It’s hard to convey everything that the Yampa River is in words. It is wild, the last major river in the Colorado River system that isn’t dam-regulated. It is drop-dead gorgeous, with white and rainbow-colored canyon walls that soar into the sky. And it’s got some of the best whitewater in northern Colorado! But it’s so much more than that. At Holiday, we’ve been running the Yampa since 1966 and it still has the power to leave us speechless. We’ve compiled a selection of your impressions and experiences here, hoping to convey just a little bit of the unique magic of the Yampa. But as those of you who’ve experienced it understand, you’re still going to have to go to know.
Great From Start To Finish
Jesse, Molly, Mike, and Dustin were outstanding guides. They earned their money on a couple of long and windy days, and earned our gratitude with their friendly-yet-professional demeanors and constant attentiveness. We had a great trip on the Yampa this weekend! As usual, everything was fantastic, from the pre-trip planning and communications to the take-out and departure.
By Dave & Kris Hanaman
A New Generation Of River Lovers
I’ve now done the Yampa trip twice. The first was in 1986 with my 12-year-old son and our guide Sherpa San. It was great and we still have many great memories from that week. However, on June 16th we did the Yampa trip again at ages 68 and 40 respectively. But this time with my daughter-in-law and a new generation of rafters, grandsons, aged 10 & 8. It’s not often you get to take a trip of a lifetime, twice. The new generation of guides, Zack, Molly, Justin, Dustin, & Tanner were excellent, always caring and engaging. As an added bonus, we got to reunite briefly with Sherpa San after all these years. All in all-priceless!
By Donald Day
I was really impressed with the food, actually. The quality of these trips is something to be admired. You see beautiful sites, get helpful and informative facts, and the guides take extra precautions to keep you safe. In the end, the only possible downside is if the weather won’t cooperate. Seriously, these trips are awesome and we tell our family and friends all about them!
By Scott Smoot
We Could Have Stayed Forever
Everything actually exceeded my expectations. The guides were not only efficient and competent at all aspects of their jobs, but also engaging conversationalists and recreation leaders. The hikes were some of my favorite parts of the overall trip. The food was wonderful. I couldn’t believe how much they could do with what they brought on a boat! Our trip on the Yampa and Green River with Holiday was everything we could have hoped for and more. For some members of our party, this was a second Yampa trip with Holiday, and they loved it just as much as they did 28 years ago if not more. For the rest of us, it was amazing to see that it was everything we had been told to expect, but even better. We could have stayed on the river forever!!
By Jonathan & Julie Day
A Masterfully Conceived Trip
To whom it may concern: I was a participant on the Sierra Club Yampa River Trip of May 26-30, 2014. It was a masterfully conceived, organized, co-coordinated, and executed outing, thoroughly. I want to praise your guides: Zack, Chet, Molly, Alex, and Justin for their absolutely excellent work. What professionalism! They, in tandem with Sierra leader Pat Tierney and assistant Lisa Katzmann, crafted a wonderful experience for me (and I’m sure the other participants feel the same). Wow! Yours Truly, Paul Jonath.
By Paul Jonath
Float With Holiday
Loved the two bags you supplied. Your guides were complete gentlemen, and excellent oarsmen, as well as great cooks. I did really miss Dee on this trip, Get well soon!! The food was fabulous. I’ve been on several Holiday trips and compared to other commercial companies I’ve floated with, Holiday is at the top of the heap. Exciting and fun. We were treated like VIPs from start to finish.
By Steve Cassells
The meals were incredible!!
I was glad to be able to rent gear so I didn’t have to lug it from North Carolina. Jordan was wonderfully funny and easygoing; a real hoot. Molly was incredibly knowledgeable and willingly shared her love of the area. A special treat was seeing the river through Tim Gaylord’s eyes; what great stories and a genuine love of the river. It was great fun to be able to take a turn at pulling the oars under Tim’s tutelage! It is a lot harder than it looks! The waterfall was a really fun hike. The meals were incredible, it was amazing how the guides came up with such fantastic food at EVERY meal! It was one of the most fantastic trips I have ever taken. I was admittedly apprehensive about 5 days camping and rafting solo with my 15 year old son, but it couldn’t have turned out better. All the guests were fun, interesting, and great to travel with and the guides put everyone at ease. My son was made to feel at home with everyone. Thanks so much for such an enriching experience!!!
By Lisa Harman
Certainly an Empowering Vacation
Jen, our trip leader was fabulous. She was very professional, very safe, and extremely knowledgeable. She has top leadership skills, and the hikes were very informative. There must have been great menu planning for all of the meals. We all had such a good time. We were with folks who had never done a river trip before, and it exceeded everyone’s expectations. It was so well put together your company deserves an A+. This trip was an empowering vacation; educational, professionally organized and safety was the primary concern for all. We also met some really nice people.
By Leif & Stephanie Kiewlich
Great crew of guides
I found the videos and information about the trip really useful. I also like the gallery of photos. It’s fun to see what other folks have done on your trips. I especially appreciate Ben helping my grandson with water merit badge training. Great crew of guides. Overall, everything met my expectations and then some. The Yampa is gorgeous, the rapids really fun, and the weather is perfect in June. My grandson loved the trip. The kayaks added a very nice boost to the river fun. This was my second trip with Holiday River Expeditions, but won’t be the last though, I’m 72.
Trip review by Robert
Extraordinary Outdoor Adventure
This was our third trip with Holiday River Expeditions. We knew to expect an extraordinary outdoor adventure — great river runs, hikes, food, and guides. And we weren’t disappointed! The Yampa River may have been our favorite trip because we could use inflatable kayaks in most of it. The camping spots were incredible, and wildlife was everywhere. We can’t wait for our next trip.
Trip review by Mike & Rebecca Shaw Delapa
Appreciate Genuinely Having Complete Trust in Our Guides
The gear was in great shape and the guides took great care of all the equipment during the trip. Guides were accomplished, fun, interesting, and kooky; all the very best qualities you look for when you place a cherished treasure like a child in their care. Hikes were beautiful!! There were excellent meals which were well prepared. It’s not easy cooking for a crowd in the kitchen, let alone on the side of a river. Our guides made it fun and delicious. It was pretty sweet climbing into a clean, air-conditioned van at the end of the trip. Thanks so much to every single person we came in contact with: Tammy, Josh, Kyle, Dave, Amy, Brynn, Brian and Jason. Each one of you added so much to our vacation adventure. It could have turned out to be a very different sort of adventure, but because we found Holiday we have a camera full of beautiful canyon pictures, amazing stories to tell our family, 15 new friends and memories that will last our whole lives. My thanks to each of you.
By Kristin Copper
My eyes have been opened
The guides were very informative and knowledgeable, a delight to be with. I enjoyed having experts around to answer my questions and to open my eyes to a world I knew little of. Guides of Holiday Expeditions and of the Nature Conservancy were super. Your guys’ meals are five-star. How you managed to make such good stuff all the time is beyond me. The Filets / Salmon on the last night were fantastic. I very much appreciated the abundance of fresh things and fruit. This was a wonderful trip, so informative and so relaxing. I have recommended you to several people who inquired about our experience. You guys are the tops!
By Victor & Roberta Bradford
Reverenced the Yampa River
The guides were fantastic, competent, and knowledgeable about the terrain, geology, and prehistory. They were courteous, and idealistic, in that they clearly reverenced the river and the canyon they were showing us. A remarkable moment was when Pat, the leader, took his raft to the bank to pick up some little stray piece of trash that caught his eye. The commitment to keeping the canyon as pristine as possible was very impressive. Each hike, generally mid-day, was different, interesting in a unique way, and really complemented the river experience. I’ve still got to try that carved pineapple trick as well. I’ve never done anything quite like this – a real luxury for me and my niece. It will be a lasting memory.
By Bob Henninger
Thanks from Hawaii
Jen, Zack, Aoki, and Jason were wonderful. They were clear in their communication with the group and waited on us hand and foot, they work hard. Interesting information on the hikes, the guides know the area and concerns for the environment and cultural preservation needs. Food was outrageously wonderful, great menus, and all the guides are accomplished chefs! I had a wonderful time as did my family. I love being outdoors, camping and having minimal stuff to deal with. The guides made it all happen. They go with the flow, sure hope they visit us in Hawaii as there are beautiful places to share with them and abundant outdoor activities, no big rivers though! Thanks from Hawaii for a great adventure! With aloha, Mary.
By Mary Bowman Dement
Butt Dam Falls Is So Fun
The river bags were big enough to hold more than enough gear but didn’t take up too much space. I went with my school and our guides; Brynn, Jen, Carrie, Nick, and Ben, were awesome. They told the best stories and Nick’s riddles were so hard. PS. I still am a turtle master. We went on two great hikes. The first had a view better than most motivational posters. The second, Butt Dam Falls, had the clearest water I had ever seen. As always, river trip food is the best. I am still amazed that the guides can cook that well on 2 tables. Transport was fun and relaxing. I love river trips. Everything from the games of washers and horseshoes, from the rapids to the food was excellent. Thanks for a great trip!
By Neel Patel
We Felt Safe and Had Lots of Fun
The River Bags were good, a little rushed on the switch over from biking to rafting so did not get everything into the raft bags, but it all worked out. The guides were very nice to let my daughter use their sleeping pad. The guides are quite good. I enjoyed biking with Josh. I wish the camping sites had been reserved for the biking portion, as Ben had to search for a place to stay. It worked out, but we were lucky. The meals are good and well organized. Your guides are very good. On our Yampa trip we felt safe, had lots of fun, and were well cared for by the staff.
Thanks, Bob Stroheker
Please share this photo with Josh and Ben, and let Brian know that whenever I see a prairie dog I will always think of him. many thanks, Bob S.
Exhausted and Satisfied
The guides were great fun. They pitched in with the group for hikes, activities and games in the evening. But they also left us space for us to do our own thing. It was such a fun bunch of people. The food was amazing. Seriously, I had no meal that I wouldn’t have been proud of in my own kitchen. I wish I could cook like that at home. How you bake lasagna or make fresh muffins on the side of a river remains a mystery!
This is one of the best holidays I have ever had. We are a group of a dozen 30 year olds with action packed lives and high adrenaline hobbies. That you were able to have us exhausted by sundown every night and up early to get going every morning is testament to an incredibly well organized holiday.
By Edmund Carroll
Fireside Chats and River Lullabies
The trip was great. The trip leader Kerry Jones and the boat captains were all very competent so I always felt safe and secure. The whole group got along well. The meals were EXCELLENT and the food was plentiful. It was great to sit out after dinner chatting with everyone around the fireside. Then we went off to our respective tents to fall asleep to the sounds of the river. The equipment was clean and in good condition. What a wonderful trip it was.
By Carol Veome
As much fun hiking as rafting!
Tents were easy to set up, everything was in good condition. Trip guides were great, Kyle was a super nice young man, Pat a real character, Kerry and son Topher super friendly. It was as much fun hiking as rafting. We Loved the Native American and early settler’s sites. The (9 butts) waterfall was great. There was a great variety of food, we really enjoyed the breakfast. The vans used were nice and comfortable. It was all a great time, we’ve been telling all our friends and family they have to go. My 14 year old son never missed his cell phone or TV and said it was “His best adventure ever”!
By Chris & Allison Green
Set the Bar High
The Holiday office did everything to accommodate all of our wishes. Everything was handled in a professional and thorough fashion. The guides were hugely knowledgeable, interesting, friendly, and above all great fun. Plus the hiking opportunities were extensive and definitely worthwhile. All of the food was exceptional. I never imagined it would be possible to create the meals we had whilst camping. It has set the bar for all future camping trips!
This was quite possibly the best holiday of my entire life. All of the guides were incredible and full of the knowledge of the region. The trip had amazing white water, incredible hikes, and sensational campsites. Lastly, how on earth did they manage to keep our beers cold the whole time?
By Luke Jones
Guides really went above and beyond
Ben, Casey, and Austin really went above and beyond to help make our first river-rafting trip memorable beyond words. Their overall knowledge of the river(s), rafting skills, and sense of humor were very much appreciated. They were accommodating, flexible, and quickly became an integral part of OUR group – eating, laughing, and marveling at our surroundings right along with the rest of us. To sum up: their people skills and professionalism were top-notch. Thanks guys. The hiking was not too much, not too little and always optional. Again, the fellows knew their stuff and really enhanced the walks. Amazing what the guys cooked up, from grilled salmon the 1st night, to fillets the final night. Yum! And perhaps most importantly, piping hot coffee was always ready first thing in the A.M.! French toast on the river, who would have thought? We rave to friends and plan to make future trips with Holiday Expeditions.
By Jonathan Eaton & Joy Ellen
One of the Best Holidays Ever
The trip coordinator was fantastic. Our guides and the food they prepared were over and above all of our expectations. The trip was an absolutely amazing experience and one of the best holidays ever. The whole trip was extremely well planned and executed perfectly. The guides that looked after us were all very professional and hard working but also socialized really well with our group and put much more than the necessary effort in on many occasions. I could not recommend this trip and this company any higher.
By Pete Medlock