The Yampa River is not conducive to one-day trips.
Multi-day trips on the Yampa generally last for 4 or 5 days. This is an amazing trip, which includes one of the United States' 10 toughest rapids! Rapids on the Yampa range from class 2 to class 4, with the highest and swiftest water during the spring runoff in May and June. But the trip is more than just amazing whitewater. The entire stretch runs through Dinosaur National Monument - which means lots of wildlife, preserved fossils, and remaining Native American dwellings and petroglyphs. There are numerous opportunities for hikes into this historical land. Be sure to plan an extra day or two into your trip for a visit to the Dinosaur Quarry!
Most trips are offered on either paddle or oar boats. On oar boats, many guides also bring along inflatable kayaks.
Meals and snacks are provided by the outfitter. Inquire about camping arrangements; this may or may not be included in the total trip cost.
Due to the intensity of the whitewater, this trip may be best for families enthusiastic about rafting whitewater, or who have previous river running experience. Eight-year old children are generally allowed to participate with these trips, though during high water, age restrictions may be increased.
The Yampa is excellent for groups or companies. Due to the popularity of this section of river, if you have a group you would like to take on the Yampa, it is important to make advance reservations to guarantee space availability. Many companies offer discount rates to groups.
In the West, only one major tributary of the Colorado River remains wild, undammed and free flowing. It is the Yampa, and it is wild in the spring and early summer when runoff from high mountain snowpack swells and fills it bank-full.
The launch point is Deerlodge Park on the Colorado side of Dinosaur National Monument. The Yampa meets the Green River at Echo Park where it passes imposing Steamboat Rock rising 1,000 feet above the river. Floaters will enjoy this trip through history - dinosaur quarries, petroglyphs and Anasazi rock art on canyon walls along with the geology of many eras.
In calmer stretches, the river meanders through canyons filled with wildflowers, rich foliage and abundant wildlife. Above the canyon walls, eagles and falcons ride the currents.
The season is short on the Yampa - a river full of history, legends and adventure. A trip on this river is not shared by many but will be remembered by all who come.