Yampa River History Trip with Andrew Gulliford

The Yampa River History Trip with Andrew Gulliford is the perfect introduction to a backcountry river trip. With some of the West’s rowdiest rapids, beautiful alcoves and canyons, and fascinating side hikes, the Yampa offers a full range of experiences. This Yampa River naturalist trip also includes the opportunity to learn from an expert historian and interpreter! Join Dr. Gulliford as he brings this magnificent canyon to life.

The Yampa contains countless stories. We’ll visit cultural sites left behind by the Fremont indigenous culture. Dr. Gulliford will also share stories about the first Euro-Americans to run this section of the Green River. Fur trappers experimented with river running as a way to access beaver habitats. And John Wesley Powell, a one-armed Civil War veteran, was the first to map the canyons of the Green River. Powell’s names dot the landscape: Echo Park, Whirlpool Canyon and many more. Modern history also provides inspirational tales of the people who fought to preserve these canyons for future generations.

There’s also plenty of time for simply relaxing as we float downstream. Holiday’s professional guides take care of all the cooking and cleaning, leaving you free to reconnect with friends or family. Enjoy four days without the bustle and hum of the modern world. Tune out the electronic din from home and tune into Dr. Gulliford’s unique vision and understanding on this Yampa River history trip with Andrew Gulliford.

Want to know more about Dr. Gulliford? Check out his interview with Holiday! 

Check out our Insider’s Guide to the Yampa River to learn more.

Vernal, Utah: Things to Do and Places to Explore

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Trip Overview

  • Type:


  • Location:

    Yampa River-Dinosaur National Monument

  • Length:

    4 Days

  • Dates:

    May 18-21, 2022

  • Meet at:

    Vernal, UT @ 7:00 pm (night before the trip)

  • Difficulty:


  • Min. Age:


  • Deposit:



  • Thrilling, technical Class II-IV rapids, including Warm Springs
  • Spot big horn sheep, River Otters, and Osprey
  • Fully supported wilderness trip with gourmet food and professional guides
  • Enjoy the canyons of Dinosaur National Monument
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List FAQs

Rates & Dates

4 day

  • Adult:
  • $1,110
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $1,110
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $1,110
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $1,110
Book This Trip
Check Availability
  • May 18-21


The Yampa River weaves through millions of years of geologic beauty into the heart of Dinosaur National Monument, & meets the Green River at Echo Park, then slices into Whirlpool Canyon to reach the idyllic Island Park. From there, enjoy eight more miles of rapids as the river carves its way through Split Mountain before washing up at the takeout.

Sample Itinerary

The night before your trip: Join us at our Vernal, Utah, headquarters at 7:00 p.m., Mountain Time. Your guides will issue your waterproof bags, show you how to pack them, and give you time to buy any last minute items from our on-site store (see our packing checklist for items you can find at our store). This brief meeting helps ensure that our launch morning goes smoothly and we get on the river as quickly as possible!

Day 1:

From Vernal, it’s a 90-minute van ride to the put-in at Deerlodge Park in Colorado. Once the boats are rigged and all guests are oriented, we’ll push off and begin to move on river time. We’ll enter Yampa Canyon almost immediately, and encounter several fun, splashy rapids. Lunch may be on a beach near a historic cabin. Make camp and fall asleep to the sound of rushing water.

Day 2:

Hike to a wide mouth overhang where indigenous peoples left signs of their presence. Follow the river’s entrenched meanders past the 1,200-foot Grand Overhang. Listen for the trill of a canyon wren playing off the canyon walls. Carefully kiss the Tiger Wall: it’s sure to bring good luck for your run through Warm Springs Rapid, the biggest of the trip.

Day 3:

This morning may include some tranquil introspective time as we approach the confluence with the Green River at Echo Park. Dip your toes into the place where the rivers meet and watch the different colored-water flow side by side for a surprising distance. Striking geology changes dramatically as we float through the Mitten Park Fault and into Whirlpool Canyon. Spend the afternoon at Jones Hole Creek: fishing, hiking, petroglyphs, big horn sheep, and waterfalls are all possibilities.

Day 4:

Choose to paddle an inflatable kayak through the last several miles of rapids and riffles then a long stretch of calm water in Island Park. We’ll follow the river as it cuts its way into the aptly named Split Mountain. The river drops an average of almost 20 feet per mile for the last eight miles. Enjoy your last several rapids before we pause for lunch and finally arrive at the boat ramp. We’ll load the boats and then transport you the final 25 minutes back to our warehouse in Vernal. We shoot to arrive back at our headquarters by approximately 4:00 p.m.

Please remember that this is a sample itinerary, not an exact description of your trip. Our goal is simply to give you an overview of what the trip may entail. We invite you to embrace the inherent changeability of a wilderness river trip and come prepared to have fun and go with the flow!

Yampa Retro River Mathers Camp Boats

The best part of a river trip is how flexible the daily itinerary can be. Trips vary depending on group desires, assigned campsites, river flows, and our unpredictable Mother: Nature. This sample itinerary illustrates a four-day trip through Yampa Canyon.


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Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 2 reviews
 by Kim Littlefield

The Salt Lake office was extremely helpful and friendly. The guides were fantastic. They made sure everyone was safe and cared for. I have RA and had a few issues with handling zippers and closures. They also were kind and reassuring when I fell behind the others on hikes. Although the CFS was a bit low, the guides made sure we had an exciting time. The Guides were extremely knowledgeable, helpful, friendly, fun, and great.

 by Mary Moorehead

The guides and food were exceptional! Excellent overall experience - Ellie, Jacqueline, Spencer, and Ben worked hard from sunup to sundown, were multi-talented and knowledgeable regarding the river and the geology. I loved the tailor-made omelet procedure!