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Top Ten Hikes

Top Ten Rafting Hikes

Our rafting trips are about a lot more than just whitewater. We travel by boat to some of the most remote parts of the country. The locations we travel through are protected as National Parks, National Monuments, registered national landmarks and proposed wild and scenic rivers.  Many of these amazing side hikes are not a accessible from roads. The hikes vary in length from 15 minutes to all day. They include waterfalls, Native American ruins, wildflowers, wildlife and just amazing beauty. 

Here is a top ten of our favorite hikes from our trips. (Click the photos to see a larger version)

Dark Canyon
(Cataract Canyon)

Dark Canyon on Colorado River

  • Length: 8 miles round trip
  • Avg Hiking Time: 3-5 hours
  • Vertical gain: 1000 feet
  • Attractions: Waterfalls, towering 2000 foot canyon wall
  • River and Section: Colorado River through Cataract Canyon
  • Description: Dark Canyon is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is not always open because of the water levels of Lake Powell. When we get the chance, this hike is like heaven on earth. Towering red rock walls line the canyon. Clear water cascades down a variety of waterfalls and swimming pools, some over 25 feet deep.

Jones Hole
(Green River)

Couple at Jones Holes

  • Length: 4 miles round trip
  • Avg Hiking Time: 4 hours
  • Vertical gain: 60 feet
  • Attractions: Native America petroglyphs, clear creek, Wildlife, waterfall
  • River and Section: Gates of Lodore and Yampa River
  • Description: The Jones Hole hike is famous for the variety of wildlife that is in the valley, including eagles, falcons, big horn sheep, and marmots. The trail wanders alongside the clear creek with many swimming holes and ends in a playful waterfall.  A short way further up the trail are stunning pictographs.

Little Dolores
(Westwater Canyon)

Little Dolores on Westwater Canyon

  • Length: 2 miles round trip
  • Avg Hiking Time: 1 hour
  • Vertical gain: 50 feet
  • Attractions: Black rock canyon, raging waterfall
  • River and Section: Colorado River through Westwater Canyon
  • Description: This waterfall hike runs only in May and June. The Little Dolores Creek cascades along a black shist rock canyon carved thousands of years ago. The rock is over 1.7 billion years old! This creates amazing patterns and flute like shapes. The waterfall pours out of the side canyon and we are able to swim right under the falls.

The Doll's House
(Cataract Canyon)

Dolls House Hike on Cataract Canyon

  • Length: 8 miles round trip
  • Avg Hiking Time: Full Day
  • Vertical gain: 1000 feet
  • Attractions: Native American ruins, panoramic views of Canyonlands National Park.
  • River and Section: Colorado River through Cataract Canyon
  • Description: This challenging hike offers some of the best views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands Nationals Park. The Dolls House is named for it’s towering red rock peaks that John W. Powell thought looked like European dolls. The hike includes a cool slot canyon, views of the surrounding mountains, the Needles and native American ruins.

Flat Canyon Petroglyphs
(Green River)

Flat Canyon on the Green River

  • Length: 1/4 mile round trip
  • Avg Hiking Time: 15 mins
  • Vertical gain: 10 feet
  • Attractions: petroglyphs, towering 2000 foot canyon walls
  • River and Section: The Green River through Desolation Canyon
  • Description: An easy and very entertaining stroll to a giant and impressive panel of Fremont writings. The panel has an amazing number of writings and the guides will teach about what they may mean and what happened to this ancient culture.

Rippling Brook
(Green River)

Gates of Lodore on the Green River

  • Length: 2 miles round trip
  • Avg Hiking Time: 2 hours
  • Vertical gain: 300 feet (extremely strenuous)
  • Attractions: Gorgeous views of the Green River. Spring fed water fall.
  • River and Section: The Green River through Gates of Lodore
  • Description: This fairly steep hike has photo opportunities at each switch back. The trail climbs the side of the canyon with views of the Gates of Lodore that are hard to beat. This all ends at a spring-fed waterfall.

Whispering Cave/Echo Park
(Green River)

Side hikes on the yampa river

  • Length: 6 miles round trip
  • Avg Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
  • Vertical Gain: 10 feet
  • Attractions: Native American petroglyphs, cave exploration, Pat Lynch hide out
  • River and Section: The Gates of Lodore and the Yampa River
  • Description: At the confluence of the Green River and Yampa River is a glorious hiking opportunity at Echo Park. Petroglyphs, Whispering cave, and a hermit hideout are just some of the attractions on this hike.

Rock Creek Ranch
(Green River)

Rock Creek on the Green River

  • Length: ¼ mile round trip
  • Avg Hiking Time: 1 Hour to Full Day
  • Vertical gain: 10 feet
  • Attractions: Rock Creek Ranch, Outlaw Hideaway
  • River and Section: The Green River through Desolation Canyon
  • Description: See where Butch Cassidy and his gang of outlaws stayed. Historical orchards full of fruit during August, and a longer hike is available to see outstanding petroglyphs and granaries.

Indian Creek
(Cataract Canyon)

Indian Creek on Cataract Canyon

  • Length: 4 miles round trip
  • Avg Hiking Time: 3 hours
  • Vertical gain: 100 feet
  • Attractions: Waterfalls, towering 2000 foot canyon walls, Native American ruins
  • River and Section: Colorado River through Cataract Canyon
  • Description: In the spring, Indian Creek Falls is a highlight of our Cataract Canyon trips. Indian Creek starts miles away in the Abajo Mountains. 3 miles from the river is the beautiful, secluded Indian Creek waterfall.

Bowknot Bend
(Green River)

Flat Canyon on the Green River

  • Length: 2 miles round trip
  • Avg Hiking Time: 2 hours
  • Vertical gain: 700 feet
  • Attractions: The views of the Maze section of Canyonlands National Park.
  • River and Section: The Green River Through Labyrinth Canyon
  • Description: Here the Green River makes an 6 mile loop and is only ¼ mile from itself. This hike is a little bit challenging with 700 feet of vertical gain in little over a mile, but the views are worth it.

Last Minute Gates of Lodore Discount

Buy One Get One 1/2 off!

4 day Gates of Lodore Booking Page

Great last minute discount for the June 14th Gates of Lodore trip. We are offering Buy One Get One 1/2 off from now until May 1st trip for new customers!! The Gates of Lodore has all the elements of a classic river trip: great hikes, exciting whitewater, beautiful beaches and colorful history.

This is a journey into a spectacular wilderness. This trip has lots of activities and action. You can choose between paddling with friends in a paddleboat, taking on the rapids with one of our inflatable kayaks or relaxing in one of the oarboats.


Click on the Book Online button and enter promo code Lodorebogo or call Kristl 1-800-332-2439

This deal is only good for a little while so sign up fast.


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