Composed of snow and ice melt surging from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, this wild and free-flowing river will carry you through 70 miles of steep canyon walls with cascading colors of vibrant reds and yellows. Halfway through the journey you will experience Warm Springs Rapid, the largest rapid on this trip and one that runs as a long and powerful wave train. Next, you will reach the confluence with the Green River where the whitewater intensifies and you pick up speed as the trip enters Split Mountain Canyon. Your trip ends with a bang as your last two days deliver more excitement and thrill with the most active water of the entire trip. After Split Mountain Canyon, you reach the take-out point with adrenaline still pumping and smiles from ear to ear; the perfect ending to an incredible journey.
A flexible, open attitude is a necessity. You will be immersed in the varying elements of nature. There is no set daily itinerary, electricity, or indoor plumbing. There is plenty of adventure, camaraderie, good food, and beautiful canyon scenery.
We’ve been connecting our clients to water adventures around the world since 1987. We partner with select outfitters who share our values and are pros at creating exceptional experiences. There is no fee for our service; we earn our commission from the outfitters we represent, and the cost of your expedition is the same as booking direct.
Trips begin and end in Vernal, Utah where the outfitter will provide transportation to the put-in point. There are 2 trip options for the Yampa:
4-Day Trips – cover approximately 71 miles of the river, starting from Deer Lodge Park Ranger Station to Split Mountain Boat Ramp.
5-Day Trips – will cover the same distance as the 4 day option, but run at a more leisurely pace, offering more opportunity for land and camp activities off the water.
All trips end with transportation back to your initial meeting location provided by the outfitter.
Most outfitters will provide all the camping and river related safety equipment, along with plenty of fresh food, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. However there are some outfitters that will ask you to supply your own camping and sleep gear. Typically these outfitters will also have an option to rent a camp/sleep kit for an additional cost. You will simply need to bring your own personal effects. Transportation to the put-in point and take-out point from/to your start city is included.
In May and early June temperatures average 55°F to 70°F during the day and 50°F to 60°F at night. In late June daytime temperatures are between 80°F and 90°F with nighttime temperatures around 60°F to 70°F. Expect a little rain with the possibility of cooler temperatures afterwards and plenty of sunshine to enjoy.
The Yampa River is the one major tributary in the Colorado River system that runs wild and free without human regulation. It flows through Dinosaur National Monument offering solitude and pristine wilderness for a truly off the beaten path experience. You will travel through spectacular canyons, float past riparian habitat, and camp in natural rock wall amphitheaters. The water temperature on this part of the river is chilly, which offers relief on warm summer days.
Your main form of transport will be an oar raft, but paddleboats and inflatable kayaks are also available for those who wish for a more interactive experience. Oar powered rafts are 18 feet long and carry four to five guests plus the guide, who maneuvers the raft with a set of oars mounted on the raft. Normally three to five boats travel together and group sizes can vary from 10 to a maximum of 25 guests. Paddleboats are 14-16 feet long inflatable rubber rafts. They carry six to eight people, and each person is responsible for paddling as a guide calls out the paddling commands. Paddleboats are a team effort boat and offer riders an intimate encounter with the river. When water levels are suitable, two-person kayaks let you challenge the rapids on your own terms.
Whether you’re an experienced camper or it’s your first time under the stars, our outfitters are specialists in facilitating an enjoyable and relaxing camping experience. Most outfitters provide a full sleep kit with a tent, sleeping bag, and inflated sleeping pad. Some outfitters will request that you bring your own sleep kit and camp equipment, or will have a package that you can rent for an additional cost. Everyone participates in setting up and breaking down camp. A clean, private camp toilet is set up first thing upon arrival at camp and it is the last thing to be dismantled the next morning.
One thing is certain on a Yampa rafting trip: There will be plenty of food! A full, hearty breakfast with cowboy coffee gets the day going. A riverside picnic sets the scene for lunch where you create your own sandwich. Dinners can be anything from a New York steak, grilled filet of salmon, or a Mexican feast followed by a hot, Dutch oven dessert. There are plenty of snacks and beverages offered throughout the day. Alcoholic beverages are not included, but you are welcome to bring your own. With advance notice, all outfitters are able to accommodate for special dietary requirements.
I cannot tell you how impressed I was with the Rivers & Oceans’ staff, their organizational skills, knowledge and simply being just nice people. Once I decided to go with them every detail of the adventure was planned, organized and implemented without a hitch.
Absolutely wonderful. Rivers and Oceans is operated by people who truly care about your trip and have the personal experience to help you make the best choice. Now go see for yourself and let Rivers and Oceans lead you towards the adventure of a lifetime.
The folks at Rivers and Oceans are great. Helped us find and book a trip and patiently answered many questions over the weeks preceding the trip. Thank you.
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