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]

MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE PACKING CHECKLIST.

IN THE EVENT OF EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TRIP, OUR VERNAL HEADQUARTERS NUMBER IS 435-789-4586

Weather

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 of 60 to 70 degrees. There is always some possibility 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 guides 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 and deer flies can be bothersome. Be sure to bring long-sleeved 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 depending on our timing, weather, 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. On most trips, we’ll have the option to spend about three hours here and may even camp. You will need a Utah fishing license to fish, which may be purchased at most sporting good stores, or Smith’s grocery store 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 https://secure.utah.gov/hflo2/hflo.

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. Alternatively, disposable towelettes like baby wipes are a great option 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 the impact that any devices may have on others and yourself and consider instead truly disconnecting. Some of our guests do travel with their Smartphones 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, we’ll be in the backcountry and cannot provide a power source for charging devices. 

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Our guides are trained in wilderness first aid and carry first aid supplies only. REMEMBER to bring your own prescription medicines and please 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, and 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. If Holiday cancels the trip, a full refund will be made.

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 homeowner’s 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. Thank you!

Beverages

We provide ice water, lemonade, one soda or sparkling water 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 the beverages that you bring so they are easy to find. 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

Learn a little more about the incredible archaeology of the area at the Dinosaur Natural History Museum in Vernal (open 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., www.dinoland.com), or see the bones in situ at the Dinosaur National Monument Quarry Visitor Center. Drive out to the Harpers Corner Overlook and stare down into Echo Park, where you’ll soon be floating. Explore further afield at the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Jones Hole Federal Fish Hatchery, or in the Uinta Mountains. If you brought your bike, check out the McCoy Flats and Red Fleet mountain biking trail networks, just outside of Vernal.