4 Day: Gates of Lodore | Green River Rafting | Utah River Trips - Sheri Griffith Expeditions

4 Day: Gates of Lodore Rafting


• Rapids Every Day
• An Active Vacation
• Great Waterfall Hikes
• Dinosaur National Monument
• Stunning Scenery
• 2000ft. Redrock Walls
• Classic Outlaw History

2023 Trip Rates

Adults: $1499
Youth: $1399

*Does not include taxes & government user fees

Trip Length:

4 Days/3 Nights

Host City:

Vernal, Utah

Minimum Age:

8 Yrs Old


III-IV (Depending on Water Levels)

2023 Dates: 

4 Days/3 Nights
June 4, 10, 15
July 19
August  23, 29


Oarboats, Paddleboats, Inflatable Kayaks

Sheri Griffith Expeditions is an Authorized Concessioner of Dinosaur National Monument.

"I just finished a trip through the Gates of Lodore with Ari, John and Faye as our guides, and I just want to tell you that they were fantastic. They were extremely competent, energetic, upbeat, and they were great cooks! They were able to educate us in so many different ways. The professionalism they exhibited was extraordinary. We had such a great time, and it was due in no small part to these 3 fantastic young people!”

Betsy Pink- Erie, CO



2023 Trip Rates


2023 Dates

June 4, 10, 15
July  19
August 23, 29


2 day Cataract Canyon booking

 What This Rate Includes:

More Information

Full Days on the River:

Camping Gear: Clean Sleeping Bag, Pad, & Tent

Oarboats, Paddleboats, & Inflatable Kayaks

All Camping Equipment

Great Hikes in Dinosaur National Monument

Quality Guides: Highly Experienced, Professional, & Licensed

High Quality and Quantity Meals:

Iced Coolers on boats

Lemonade, Iced Water, and Gatorade: Coffee, teas, hot cocoa, and juice available in camp.

Transportation from and back to Naples, UT 2022 rates include the shuttle from Naples to the put-in, and from Split-Mountain Back to Naples.

Trip Deposit: $300 per person deposit required upon reservation. Full balance due 45 days prior to departure.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

Minimum Age: 8 years old

What is not included in trip fares:

Guide Gratuities by no means required but always appreciated by our guides. We recommend 10-20% of the cost of the river portion of the trip.

Transportation to Vernal Utah.

Lodging and meals prior to or following your expedition (except where noted.) Click to see list of quality places to stay in Vernal Utah.

Government user fees and taxes (about 9% of trip cost.)

OPTIONAL SHUTTLE OPTION: If you prefer to have your vehicle shuttled from the put-in at the Gates of Lodore ramp, to the take-out at Split Mountain, please contact our office.  There is an additional $175 per vehicle fee for this shuttle.


The Gates of Lodore Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Starting The Adventure

We meet at the Microtel Inn and Suites in Naples,  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 1869. 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


Map of Gates of Lodore Rafting

View Gates of Lodore on the Green River in a larger map

A member of John Wesley Powell's expedition, named The Gates of Lodore after a poem called, "The Cataract of Lodore," by Robert Southey.

The Canyon of Lodore lies in the upper end of the Dinosaur National Monument, which was created in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson. In 1938 the park was enlarged to include this incredible canyon and the Yampa River.

Gates of Lodore Information:

River: The Green River

Rapid Rating: Class III-V(Depending on Water Levels)

Put in: The Gates of Lodore Ranger Station, in the Dinosaur National Monument.

Take-out location: Split Mountain boat ramp

River Miles: 45 miles

Number of rapids 11

First to run Gates of Lodore: Fur trapper, General William Ashley in 1825.


Colorado Plateau

Map of the Rivers we run

Gates of Lodore Map

Click to view larger image

Map of Gates of Lodore on the Green River

Join Our Community


Featured Files:



River Trip Resources

Required Forms:

Please print, sign and return the required forms (for each person in your party) to our office by email, fax or mail at least 45 days prior to your trip.

Trip Risk Forms

Guest Registration


Trip Document in PDF's

Vernal Trip Planner

Packing List

Trip Itinerary

Travel Insurance:

Transportation to Vernal

Preferred Lodging Guide

Tips for Women in the Outdors

Beverage Request Form

Faxed Reservation Form

Helpful Links

Canyonlands National Park: Canyonlands National Park preserves a colorful landscape of sedimentary sandstones eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River and its tributaries.

Arches National Park: Arches National Park preserves over two thousand natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations.

Dinosaur National Monument: Dinosaur National Monument protects a large deposit of fossil dinosaur bones--remains of the so-called "terrible lizards" that lived millions of years ago.

Vernal Travel Council: A great resource on Vernal area trails, hotels, and other great things to do in Vernal.

Links to Area Information

Vernal Weather

Water Levels

How to get to Vernal

Where to staying Vernal

What to do other than rafting

Questions about the trip:

Cancellation Policy and Trip Insurance:

Sheri Griffith Expeditions has a NO REFUND policy. Since you have reserved space for which we have a limited number of seats, our non-refundable policy applies in every instance. There are no exceptions for any reason, so we highly recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance to protect your vacation investment. Please take some time to visit the following website www.travelinsure.com/affiliate/selecthigh.htm?32219, which contains information about Travel Insurance.

How to book a trip

There are several easy ways to make a reservation. Easiest is to click on the “book online” button on your trip or at the top of the screen. You can always give us a call at 800-332-2439. You can also download Reservation PDF and fax it in (435)-259-2226 or mail it to us at Po Box 1324 Moab UT 84532.

Deposits and Reservations

For 1 day trips full payment is required at time of booking. For multiday trips a non-refundable $300/person deposit is required at the time of reservation. The balance is due 45 days prior to departure. After making your reservation you will receive a reservation packet that will include a packing list, helpful travel hints, travel insurance information, a beverage request form, and a guest registration form. Please fill out the guest registration form and send or fax back quickly. If you find you are unable to participate in the trip that you booked, but would like to transfer your trip to the following year, there will be a charge of $300 per participant if the change is made at least 3 weeks prior to your departure date.


We make every effort to follow through on our plans. However, we reserve the right to make changes in the itinerary or possibly cancel a trip if necessary including but not limited to weather conditions, water fluctuations, insufficient reservations, changes in international relations, or other factors beyond our control. If cancellation is necessary, your money will be refunded. Our financial liability shall be limited to the amount actually paid and shall not be extended to cover any other costs incurred by the trip member.


At 6:30 pm (MDT) the day BEFORE the departure we meet at the Microtel Inn (located at 1041 S 1500 E) in Naples, Utah  for a pre-trip meeting. Here you will learn what to expect and prepare for, receive your dry bags, sign Assumption of Risk forms, and get a chance to ask last minute questions. If you cannot make the meeting, let us know before hand. That way we will drop off you dry bags and any last minute instructions at your hotel.


If you would like any personal beverages while on the river, i.e., sodas, beer, wine, etc., you can bring them with you the morning of departure and we will place them in iced coolers. We provide some sodas, water, lemonade and Gatorade mixes and tea, juice and coffee in the mornings.


Guests often ask whether gratuities are appropriate, and in what amount. If you feel your guides have provided a very special trip for you, a gratuity may be left with the trip leader and will be shared among the crew. Entirely discretionary, anything between 15% and 20% of the trip cost is a general tipping guideline. If you plan to tip, remember to bring a personal check or cash—ATM’s are hard to find in the backcountry! PLEASE, do not make out checks to Sheri Griffith Expeditions. If you are writing check please make it out to the Trip Leader.  NOTE: we cannot take credit card gratuities.

Hiking and Physical Requirements:

If you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying any of our trips. It’s not necessary to be an athlete to participate in a river expedition. However, It is several hours to the nearest medical center. If you take medication you should bring a good supply and inform your guide of all medication that you are taking. When you meet your guide, you should discretely explain any medical conditions you may have or be concerned about including allergies to bee stings, etc. Each guide carries a first aid kit and will need to know if specific medicines should be stored. It’s also helpful to know about other health issues when planning activities for the day. Pregnant women and anyone with heart trouble should have their physician’s approval before taking a river trip.

Safety, and Assumption of Risk

We maintain an excellent safety record, since 1971. However, all outdoor experiences involve risk and we all must recognize that accidents or illnesses may occur. We cannot guarantee your safety. We place final responsibility for your safety firmly on your shoulders where it belongs. You have to pay attention to what you are doing. Mother Nature controls the water level, the weather and the elements, so there is a risk involved in rafting and camping. Before your trip departs, you will be asked to sign an Assumption of Risk and Release Form. We assume no responsibility for injury to trip members, their personal belongings or, for time and expense incurred. We strongly recommend Travel Insurance, which covers vacation losses and accidents and provides a refund if you have to cancel your trip.

Parking, luggage and valuables:

The Best Western Antlers allows us to leave vehicles at the hotel while we are on the River. We also can store valuables with the hotel here. The guides will help you with this.

More FAQ's