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.
Download this document to review all monument regulations regarding river trips. This document is required to be carried by each group on their trip. (Adobe PDF)
These companies are 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 these shuttle companies is prohibited.
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.
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. See our Fishing page for more information. An appropriate state fishing license is also required.
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.
Last updated: May 28, 2019