Day 1: Starting The Adventure
We meet at the Antlers Inn, in Vernal, Utah, early the morning of departure. You will be shuttled to the launch site and head downstream to huge stone gates, 1,000 feet high that appear to have split the mountains in two - The Gates of Lodore. Your guides will give you a river orientation and safety briefing before departing on your journey into the canyon between the towering red cliffs of the Gates of Lodore.
The trip begins with a gentle float, changing to small rapids above Winnie's Grotto. We'll stop there for a brief hike into the alcove. The rapids are more frequent after Winnie's.
Guides prepare a tasty buffet lunch along the riverbank.
After lunch we will travel deeper into the canyon. After lunch we load back into the rafts and enjoy several small rapids where we continue to practice our skills before our first major rapid: Disaster Falls. Disaster Falls received its ominous name from the first John Wesley Powell Expedition in 1969. It was here where they lost their first boat, the No Name on No Name Island!
Each evening we establish camp on the riverbank. While you explore and relax, the guides set up chairs, and the kitchen, where they prepare fresh, delicious abundant meals. The clean air amplifies a vibrant blue sky, creating a perfect environment for hiking and unparalleled photographic opportunities.
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: Pot Creek Canyon, Winnie's Grotto, Disaster Falls
Day 2: Whitewater Day
Wake to the smell of coffee brewing. After a hearty breakfast, we'll pack up the rafts and push off shore. The rapids are almost constant now, interspersed with fewer calm stretches. The rapids increase in size and excitement as the river winds deeper into the Uintah Mountains.
This morning as you float down the river, catch a glimpse of an inscription left by some of the first river runners as you float towards Harp Falls rapid. Just before lunch we will stop and scout Triplet Falls, our first big rapid of the day!
After lunch we pull over for a short hike near the next big rapid Hell's Half Mile before rafting through the churning whitewater. This rapid was named by one of the most well known river expeditions led by Major John Wesley Powell. His expedition's goal was to explore the Colorado River and it's biggest tributary, the Green River, in wooden boats specially built for the adventure. These explorers floated through the Gates of Lodore and named many of the side canyons and rapids on the Green River. After destroying their kitchen boat in a rapid, Major Powell dubbed it "Disaster Falls." Powell's expeditions also named such infamous rapids as "Hells Half Mile" and "Triplet Falls."
We'll pull off and set up camp early in the afternoon. Next to camp is a wonderful waterfall hike up the canyon with great views of the river.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Triplet Falls, Hells Half Mile and Rippling Brook
Day 3: Hiking Dinosaur National Monument
This morning you will eat a hearty breakfast with plenty coffee, tea and hot chocolate; as well as fresh juices, and fresh fruit.
This morning the calmer water will give us time to really enjoy the scenery. It does not take long to get to Steamboat Rock, which the boats will eventually travel nearly all the way around. Next we will arrive at Echo Park where the Yampa joins the Green River.
Raft around Steamboat Rock and then around another bend into Whirlpool Canyon and the rapids begin again. 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.
Just below Jones Hole, we'll stop and explore the area, hike a bit and try to catch a glimpse of one of the largest herds of bighorn sheep in the area. We'll find a shady place for lunch and explore some more before heading back to the river. Raft another mile or so farther down river to camp, where there's a nice sandy beach. Guides will prepare dinner, while you relax on the beach.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Echo Park, Jones Hole
Day 4: getting wet before going home
After breakfast, we'll be rafting through some 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.
The river opens up into a big basin area, before it slices through the mountains again. There is a dramatic cut through Split Mountain and the river gradient dramatically increases from 1 to 20 feet per mile. Run Moonshine and S.O.B., and a number of other fun rapids.
At the end of this great trip you will have conquered 44 miles of river. We will pull over at the Split Mountain Boat Ramp where your bus will be waiting to drive you back to Vernal. The drive is about 45 minutes.
Potential Hiking Opportunities: Island Park, Rainbow Park