Non-Commercial (Private) River Trips
Whitewater rafting is a popular way to experience the remote canyons of Dinosaur National Monument. Self-guided raft trips, sometimes referred to as private or non-commercial river trips are permitted on both the Green and Yampa Rivers. There are also options for both multiday and single-day trips.
Each river has its own characteristics.The Green and Yampa Rivers should never be mistaken for placid rivers. When John Wesley Powell floated the Green River in 1869, the scenery enthralled his group, but the rapids caused him great anguish as boats overturned, men were hurt, and supplies were lost. Even today, many boats end up pinned on rocks, their boatmen bruised and battered. For that reason, permit holders, boatmen, and trip leaders must have previous experience on comparable rivers. Depending on the water level, some rapids are rated as high as Class 4.
Permits are required for all rivers within Dinosaur National Monument. Boating permits are limited to protect the natural and cultural resources and leave the river canyons unimpaired for future boaters. Rules and regulations have been put in place to assure that all travelers on the river will have a safe, peaceful, and memorable trip. Permits for multiday and single-day trips are made available to the public through a lottery.
1. There is a bona fide sharing of cost where no part of the fees are:
a. collected in excess of actual costs of the trip,
b. for salary or financial gain in any manner for any of the group, its leaders, or sponsors,
c. for capital increase of the major equipment or facilities used on the trip.
2. Boatmen and other crew may not be paid in ANY manner. Any or all goods, activities, services, agreements, or anything offered to park visitors and /or the general public for recreational purposes, which uses park resources, is undertaken for or results in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit to an individual, organization, or corporation is considered a commercial enterprise.
3. There is no media or direct mail advertising or soliciting for trip participants.
Requirements and Regulations
River Sanitation and Environmental Protection
In 2012 a significant rock fall occured off the cliffs above Warm Springs Rapid. Learn more…
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have boated in the monument recently, you may have noticed broad sandy beaches where there were once stands of thick tamarisk. Monument staff and volunteers have worked to combat the invasive exotic tamarisk plant along the Green and Yampa Rivers.
Dinosaur is home to many fish species including native and non-native species. Four of the native fish species are federally listed as endangered. If you plan on fishing while on your river trip, make sure you know how to identify the different species. Download a copy of the booklet, Guide to Important Fish Species in Dinosaur National Monument. An appropriate state fishing license is also required. See our Fishing page for more information.
General Monument Information
To Contact the River Permit Office
Did You Know?
Paleontologist Earl Douglass first came to Utah looking for mammal fossils. He returned in 1909 and discovered an immense deposit of dinosaur bones, now protected at Dinosaur National Monument. Although made famous by dinosaurs, Douglass died preferring his beloved mammal fossils over dinosaurs.