Day 1: Starting The Adventure
We meet at the Best Western Antlers Inn at 7:00 AM, shuttle to the launch site, meet the crew, have a safety briefing, and then launch. We float for a short while as we enter the Yampa River canyon which rises 1000 feet above. After entering the canyon we have exciting whitewater all day. We will stop and take a short walk to Anderson Hole and Stubbs Cabin.
The scenery is spectacular and offers great views around every corner. Midday, the guides will prepare a fresh buffet lunch along the riverbank. After Lunch we have the option run the big rapids Tee Pee, and Big Joe right before camp or on day two first thing after we launch for the day.
This evening, relax by the river while the guides prepare hors d'oeuvres and dinner. Campsites are well maintained by the Park Service with wonderful camping spots. Camp under Ponderosa and Box Elder trees, and let the sound of the river lull you to sleep.
Note: Meals are served from a set daily menu, but you are welcome to request in advance, special dishes or tell us if there are particular things you would prefer not to have.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Stubs Cabin, Tee Pee, Big Joe, Harding Hole
Day 2: Hiking the Yampa River
Wake each morning to the smell of coffee. After a hearty breakfast, off Pancakes with bacon or French toast and Sausages we pack and push off.
Today we enter the Weber Sandstone layer of the canyon. The river slows down and we drift under the Grand Overhang and by Mantle Ranch. We may stop and explore Mantle Cave, once inhabited by the Fremont people. We will also float by the spectacular Tiger Wall.
Lunch will again be on a nice river side beach. Option could include Chicken Cesar Salad, or Sandwiches with fresh vegetables. We will pull over and camp in the late afternoon. While you find a spot to pitch your tents, the guides prepare dinner. Fall asleep under the starlit sky.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Mantle Cave, Signature Cave
Day 3: Warm Springs Rapid
This morning we wake up with the anticipation of running Warm springs rapid, the biggest rapid of the trip. The Yampa River was once known as a float trip that was very beautiful but did not have a lot big rapids. This all changed in the late 1960's, when a wet spring brought down tons of rock and sediment which created Warm Springs Rapid. On the 5 day Yampa trip Warms Springs is smaller than on the 4 day trips but still exciting. We will stop and scout the rapid before taking on the challenging cataract.
Rafting the Yampa River is like traveling through time. Each of the river canyon's various layers represents an entire age of the earth's development: the rise and fall of major mountain ranges, the arrival and retreat of oceans at least 12 different times, and the alternating development of deserts and swamplands.
Dinner will be prepare by your professional Chefs. We start with appetizer and move to the entrées which can be any thing from high end steak and potatoes to lasagna and fresh vegetables.
Day 4: Confluence of the Green & Yampa Rivers
We will eat another hearty breakfast and then raft to the confluence of the Yampa and Green Rivers at Echo Park where we will pass imposing Steamboat Rock rising 1,000 feet above the river. Echo park offers several great hiking opportunities including whispering cave, and 1000 year old Native America writing.
Pass by the amazing Mitten park fault, named after Pat Lynch's mule Mitten. Soon we will enter our next canyon: Whirlpool Canyon. Guests may be able to see Seastacks, which afford geologic evidence of vast seas that covered the area eons ago. Later we will see an inscription made in 1838 by French fur trapper Dennis Julien, and equipment left by dam surveyors who had big plans to build a dam in Echo Park.
We will cross into Utah and then just below Jones Hole we will stop for a hike and try to catch a glimpse of one of the largest herds of Bighorn Sheep in the area. Jones Creek is a spring fed creek with countless opportunities for fun and adventure. Spend some time fishing along the creek, which has a fish hatchery at the top. Hike up to some amazing Fremont pictographs. Play in the Ely Creek waterfall or just hang out along the creek in the shade enjoying the peaceful scenery.
Camp is just down stream where your guides will prepare hors d' oeuvres while you relax on the beach. Come "dressed" for dinner tonight. This is our party night! Our way of celebrating a great trip, fun rapids, great hikes, amazing scenery and new formed friendships! Dinner will again be served in a spectacular setting.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Echo Park, Whispering Cave, Jones Hole
Day 5: More Big Rapids
This morning we will run more fun rapids. Start this morning's river travel with the fun, splashy Greasy Pliers rapids. The canyon then opens up into the Island Park area. Enjoy viewing amazing
petroglyphs of a very large bison. Raft through Rainbow Park and enjoy swimming in the river before the river slices through Split Mountain.
Stop for Lunch on another great sandy beach. At lunch today your guides will give special instructions for those brave souls who wish to challenge the next few rapids in their Inflatable Kayaks. We run exciting rapids-Moonshine, SOB, and Schoolboy. We take out at Split Mountain and return to Vernal (approximately 45 minutes away).
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Rainbow Park, Moonshine