Vernal Utah Trips – Before you go

If you have any questions prior to leaving for your trip, we welcome you to call our Salt Lake City office, Monday through Friday at 800-624-6323 (outside Utah) or 801-266-2087 (inside Utah).  We’re happy to take the time to answer your questions. You can also contact us by email at [email protected]




In the early and late seasons (May, early June and September) temperatures in Dinosaur average 55 to 70 degrees during the day and 50 to 60 degrees at night. In late June through August, daytime temperatures are between 80 and 90 degrees with nighttime temperatures 60 to 70 degrees. There is always some possibly of rain which can cool temperatures considerably.  With this in mind we recommend you have a rain suit, long underwear, (fleece top and pants are nice in cool weather too) and a light tent.  If you reserved a rental kit with us when you booked your river trip, we will have a tent and rain gear for you.  There will also be sun, so bring a hat and plenty of suntan lotion and/or sunscreens. *Please avoid spray on sunscreen for the health and safety of your guide and fellow-guests

The Critters

…are generally no problem.  In fact, the lack of pesky insects is one of the reasons wilderness camping on the river is so pleasant.  Any river trip, however, is subject to an occasional localized insect hatch. During these hatches (most common in June) mosquitoes can be bothersome.  Be sure to bring long sleeve clothing and repellent. Insect repellents that contain “deet” are by far the most effective during heavy hatches. Citronella-based products work only in light hatches.  We rarely see any snakes, but if the thought of them bothers you, try sleeping on the beaches or in a tent instead of rocky or bushy areas.

Take a Hike

Hiking is a highlight of the trip, however, it is strictly an optional activity.  Please be aware that some of the hikes on this trip can be more strenuous due to heat and elevation gain.  There are many interesting short hikes available. Hiking can be done in durable sneakers or lightweight hiking boots.  Remember that hiking and other activities vary widely pending time, and what other plans are ahead for the day on the river.

Gone Fishin’

On the next to last day we will arrive at Jones Hole, which is a beautiful trout stream. We have the option of spending about three hours here and may even camp.  You will need a Utah fishing license to fish, and this may be purchased at most sporting good stores, or Smiths in Vernal prior to the trip.  Please note that these stores will not be open the morning you meet for your trip.  Only artificial lures and flies are allowed on this stream.  If you would like to obtain more information or secure your license in advance contact:  Utah Wildlife Resources, 1596 W. No. Temple, SLC, UT 84116, 801-538-4700, or online at

Bath Time!

You can bathe directly in the river using biodegradable soap (like Dr. Bronners or Campsuds). Humans have a big impact on smaller side streams therefore please refrain from bathing in these sensitive areas. Alternately, disposable antibacterial towelettes like baby wipes are a great for cooler weather trips. 

Robots in the Wild

Often times the best part about the trip is ‘unplugging’. The use of electronic devices can often take away from the ‘wildness’ of your trip. Therefore we ask that you please be mindful of their impact to others and yourself and consider instead truly disconnecting. However, some of our guests travel with their smartphone even though there is no cell service. There is always a risk of water damage to these and other electronic devices, even when they are stowed in a dry bag. We ask that you bring headphones if you intend to listen to music. And remember, were in the back-country and cannot provide a power source. 

Is Their a Doctor in the House?

Our guides are trained in first aid and carry first aid supplies only. REMEMBER to bring your own prescription medicines.  ALERT our guides to any medical problem you might have such as diabetes or allergic reactions. Wilderness expeditions are a long way from hospitals, doctors, and pain-relieving medicines.  Evacuations to modern medical care are uncertain, and protracted. In case of evacuation and/or medical treatment beyond first aid, expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participant.

Cancellation Policy

If cancellations are made prior to 90 days before the trip, monies will be refunded less a $50.00 service charge per person.  If cancellations are made within 90 days and outside of 60 days of the trip date monies will be refunded less a $100.00 service charge per person.  Cancellations made within 60 days of the trip date are non refundable.  Prior to 60 days to the trip date we will transfer reservations to another trip in the same year with a $25.00 service charge per person.  All policies will be enforced and we strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance. Cancellation of a trip is very unlikely, but we reserve the right to cancel any trip due to river or weather conditions or the lack of sufficient reservations.  A full refund will be made if such is the case.

Just in Case

Medical Evacuation and cancellation insurance on a vacation plan can be obtained from numerous insurance companies. You are responsible for these potential expenses and we strongly encourage all guests to have this coverage. We offer plans by TRAVEL GUARD that cover evacuation, baggage and cancellation claims. To get a quote follow this link. It is available to American and Canadian citizens, as well as citizens of another country as long as you have a U.S. address. If you have questions give us a call. Also, if you are bringing expensive cameras, binoculars, or other items we suggest you have insurance coverage for them (commonly available through Homeowners Policies). In the event of a loss, our insurance will not cover those items.

Tipping Your Guides

From sunup to sundown your guides strive to make your trip unforgettable. It is customary to tip your guides, especially if you feel they have been instrumental in the success of the trip. A suggested gratuity range is from $20.00 to $30.00 per guest, per day (about 10% of trip costs).  Please direct your gratuity to the trip leader in the form of cash or check made out to the Trip Leader. They will then distribute it evenly to the other crew-members.


We provide ice water, lemonade, one soda per day per person and ample cooler space. In the mornings we also provide coffee, tea and hot cocoa.  If you choose to bring any specialty sodas and/or alcoholic beverages, we have no problem taking whatever you want to bring – within reason. Don’t bring beer, wine coolers or sodas in glass containers.  Wine packaged in a box is ideal. Mark beverages that you bring so they are packed on your boat.  In Utah, wine or liquor is not sold after 7:00 p.m., before 11:00 a.m., or on Sundays and holidays.

While You’re Here

Dinosaur Natural History Museum in Vernal (open 8:00 a.m. ‑ 9:00 p.m.), Dinosaur National Monument Quarry Visitor Center and the Harper Corner Overlook.  Also, nearby are the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Jones Hole Federal Fish Hatchery, Uinta Mountains, and others.