River Rafting & Boating
Rafting is a popular way to experience Dinosaur National Monument's remote canyons. From origins high in the Rocky Mountains, the Green and Yampa Rivers wind their way across sagebrush covered plains before entering this outstretched arm of the Unita Mountains. The mountains force the rivers into tight channels surrounded by towering cliffs. Drops and obstructions in the rivers create rapids. The thundering fury of Warm Springs, Hells Half Mile and other rapids can challenge even the most experienced boatman. Other locations such as Rippling Brook or Island Park allow you to sit on a quiet beach and escape the pressures of everyday life.
There are two options for rafting Dinosaur's rivers.
Commercial Guided Trips
If you want to leave the rowing and planning to someone else, you can sign up for a guided (commercial) river trip with one of the monument's approved concessionaires. Commercial trips are offered on both the Green and Yampa Rivers. They include both one day trips through Split Mountain Canyon and multi-day trips of four or five days depending on the river. Visit our page on guided river trips for more information.
Private (Noncommercial) Trips
If you have the experience and the equipment, you can apply for a permit to do your own private, noncommercial river trip. For those who are interested in conducting their own private river trip, remember that the Green and Yampa River are not easy rivers to run. Each river has its own characteristics. The Green River between the Gates of Lodore and Split Mountain contains multiple challenging Class III and Class IV rapids. Even today, many a boat ends up pinned on rocks and many a boatmen bruised and battered. The Yampa River also sports many Class III rapids and one Class IV known as Warm Springs Rapid, which has a hydraulic named Maytag that has the tendency to flip boats. Visit our page on noncommercial (private) boating and rafting to learn about permits, fees and regulations.
Last updated: December 21, 2017