Whitewater rafting is a popular way to experience the remote canyons of Dinosaur National Monument. Self-guided raft trips, also known as private or noncommercial 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 IV.
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.
Contact the River Office
Staff are generally available by phone to answer questions and assist with trip planning Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to Noon (Mountain Time), at (970) 374-2468. You may also contact us by email.
Information and Regulations
Download the 2023 Boating in the Monument document (Adobe PDF) to review all monument regulations regarding river trips. This document is required to be carried by each group on their trip.
River Permits are required for all river trips within Dinosaur National Monument. This includes multiday and one day trips and play permits for both the Green and Yampa Rivers.The rafting permit page has information on requirements, how to apply, and permit fees.
Monument Entrance Fees
Entrance fees are required of all visitors to Dinosaur National Monument regardless of where they enter the monument. Your river permit fee does not cover your entrance fee to the monument.
Buy Your Pass in Five Easy Steps:
Visit our river camping page for more information including locations, mileages between campsites and camping regulations.This also includes information about requirements for handling waste and minimizing wildlife encounters while on your river trip.
All groups must have specific required equipment when boating on the rivers in Dinosaur National Monument.
This company is authorized to provide transportation services within the monument. You can also enquire about moving a personal vehicle from one location to another. Paying for shuttle services outside this shuttle company is prohibited.
River Flow Rates
Real-time river flow data provided by the U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS)
YAMPA RIVER AT DEERLODGE PARK NEAR MAYBELL, CO
Other Rafting Opportunities
For more information about rafting between Flaming Gorge Dam and Dinosaur National Monument, visit Ashley National Forest and Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge. Boating on the Yampa River upstream from the monument is managed by the Bureau of Land Management Little Snake Field Office. The Green River downstream from the monument is managed by the Bureau of Land Management Vernal Field Office.
Fishing in Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur is home to many fish species including native and non-native species. Four of the native fish species are federally listed as either threatened or endangered. If you plan on fishing while on your river trip, make sure you know how to identify the different species. See our Fishing page for more information. An appropriate state fishing license is also required.
Frequently Asked Questions
Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for many of the most common questions concerning river permits.
Last updated: March 25, 2023