River Permit Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Play Permit?
A play permit is required to float into the monument at Gates of Lodore or Deerlodge Park, and to float below Split Mountain Boat Ramp. This permit is for one day and restrictions apply. There is no fee. Permits are issued at the Quarry Visitor Center or through the River Office.

What dates are High-use and Low-use Season on Dinosaur's rivers?
In 2020, the High-use season dates are May 11th to September 11th on the Green River, and May 11th to July 11th on the Yampa River. The rest of the year is considered Low-use season for both river sections.

How do I get a Low-use Season permit?
Low-use season permits can be obtained through recreation.gov or by calling Recreation.gov call center at 1-877-444-6777.

What level of skill is required to float the rivers in Dinosaur National Monument?
The Green and Yampa rivers inside Dinosaur National Monument range from Class II to Class IV. The trip leader and boatmen must have previous experience on comparable class III or higher whitewater rivers. Rivers of similar difficulty include (this list is not all-inclusive): Cataract Canyon, Utah; Grand Canyon, Arizona; Main Salmon, Idaho; Middle Fork Salmon, Idaho; Rogue River, Oregon; Selway River, Idaho; Tuolumne River, California; West Water Canyon, Utah.

Does a ranger have to check my permit and equipment before going on the river?
Yes. Monument staff will be at the launch area to check your permit and required equipment. If you do not have required equipment, you will not be allowed to launch. If monument staff is not present at the launch, you must fill out a self-registration form located at the boat ramp kiosk.

Am I subject to inspection while on the river or at the take-out?
Yes. NPS staff may inspect parties along the river or at the take-out to ensure compliance with equipment and safety standards.

If I forget supplies or required rafting equipment, where can I get them?
The closest place to find river gear is Vernal, Utah or Craig, Colorado. Other communities that have ammenities are Jensen, Utah; Dinosaur, Colorado; Maybell, Colorado; Dutch John, Utah. Check with local vendors for specifics on what supplies and gear they offer.

How reliable is cell phone service in the monument?
Service is intermittent in most places and depends on the carrier. Service can intermittently be found in the vicinity of Gates of Lodore, Deerlodge Park and Harper's Corner. Service in the Split Mountain area is generally reliable. Service in the river canyons is non-existent. A satellite device is recommended, but it may also have limited ability in the deep canyons.

Do I have to report accidents that happen on the river?
Any incident resulting in injury, death, or disappearance, or property damage greater than $2,000 must be reported to Dinosaur National Monument within 24 hours, or as soon as is practical.

Is there potable water at Gate of Lodore, Deerlodge Park or Echo Park?
The water systems are generally turned on around the end of May. During fall, the availability of water depends on when cold weather arrives.

How low is too low to float the rivers?
The Yampa is too low for rafts around 1000 cfs. In most years, that happens in mid-July. The Green River is dam controlled and minimum flows are 850 cfs. At that level, the river is very rocky but raftable with skill.

How many days can a river trip be?
During High-Use Season, 3 nights/4 days on the Green, and 4 nights/5 days on the Yampa is standard. There are provisions for over-length trips, which must be arranged through the River Office.

Do I have to pay park entrance fees if I have paid for a river permit?
Yes. Park entrance fees are separate from river permit fees. See our page on
monument fees. If rafting with a concessioner, you will pay your entrance fees through the concessions company.

What are the current river flows?
You can find river flow information

What flow levels can I expect on the Yampa and Green rivers during my trip?
A chart recording daily average flows for the Yampa at Deerlodge can be found
here. You can see current and planned dam release information for the Green River at Flaming Gorge here.

Last updated: February 5, 2020

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