Lodore Canyon Naturalist Trip with Andrew Gulliford


Naturalists Lodore Canyon – About This Trip


Visiting the Gates of Lodore is the perfect entrance into a back country river trip; with 4 days, moderate rapids, idyllic beaches and interesting side-hikes, it offers a little bit of everything. This trip however will offer even a little bit more. Dr Andrew Gulliford will be joining us to enhance our level of naturalist interpretation & bring this magnificent canyon to life. Feel free to tune out of the electronic din from home and tune into Dr Gullifords decades of wisdom traveling this and many other canyons.

Andrew Gulliford is a historian, photographer, and travel guide who leads tours across the Southwest. An award-winning author and editor, he has won the Colorado Book Award, the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, and the Wrangler Western Heritage Award. Dr. Gulliford is a professor of history & Environmental Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango.

Camping on the Green River in Lodore Canyon

Trip Overview


Location: Green River -
Dinosaur National Monument
Type: Rafting
Length: 4 Days
Dates: August 11-14, 2020
Meet At: Vernal, UT 7:00 AM
Rating: Intermediate
Age Min: 8
Deposit: $300


  • Dramatic cliffs guide you through a geologic time warp
  • Exciting, technical class III & IV rapids
  • Riparian ecosystem provides habitat for a variety of wildlife
  • Wilderness rafting trip with fully catered amenities
  • Visit hard-to-see corners of Dinosaur National Monument
  • World-class trout fishing

Trip Price & Departure Dates


4 Day Trip

Per person - 1,035

*$27 NPS Fees per person.

2020 Trip Date

August 11-14, 2020

Trip Slideshow


Full Gallery



The Green River slips through the imposing Gates of Lodore into the heart of Dinosaur National Monument, meets the Yampa River at Echo Park, then slices into Whirlpool Canyon to reach the idyllic Island Park. From there it's eight more miles of rapids as the river carves its way through Split Mountain before washing up at the takeout.



One of the advantages of a river trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary.  It can vary widely from one trip to the next based on group desires, Mother Nature, assigned campsites, and courtesy for other groups on the river. This sample itinerary illustrates a four-day trip through Lodore Canyon.

Day 1: Meet your party at our headquarters in Vernal, Utah at 7:00 a.m., Mountain Time. There we will issue your waterproof bags and you can buy any last minute items from our accessories store at this time (see our packing checklist for a list of items you can find at our store). Watch for raptors and pronghorns on the three-hour drive from Vernal to the put-in at Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge. Enter the canyon through the impressive Gates of Lodore and imagine you're one of John Wesley Powell’s boatmen, entering the great unknown. Winnie's and Disaster Falls are the first major rapids we'll navigate: a great taste of what's to come.

Day 2: The "Gates" mark the beginning of high desert countrythe Colorado Plateauin what is deemed an ecological transition-zone: a landscape teeming with wildlife. As the canyon narrows, more rapids emerge: Harp Falls, Triplet Falls, and Hell's Half Mile. Hike at Rippling Brook and discover a secluded waterfall.

Day 3: At the confluence of the Green and Yampa rivers at Echo Park, the canyon widens before the river circles Steamboat Rock. Here the river enters Whirlpool Canyon. The afternoon may be spent at Jones Hole Creek, a blue-ribbon trout stream with side canyon petroglyphs and a waterfall.

Day 4: Peaceful morning in Island and Rainbow parks before entering another massive gorge. The Green's powerful forces cut laterally through Split Mountain's uplifted and colorful core. Rapids abound before the take out and a 35-minute ride back to Vernal. Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is about 4:00 p.m, where your Lodore Canyon rafting adventure will come to an end. 

As mentioned earlier, this is a sample itinerary and should not be thought of as the trip you will experience. It is intended to give an idea of what the trip will be like. It could also be exactly what you do. Keep an open mind, be flexible, go with the flow, and enjoy!


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