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5-day Yampa River Trip

  • May 22, 2013 · 7:00 AM









Please email me before signing up/send in deposit so I can make sure that there is room on the trip.

Yampa River

- Class IV, 71-miles
- Put-in Wednesday May 22nd (departing Denver Tuesday)
- Take-out Sunday May 26th
- Maximum trip size - 16 people
- Number of rafts needed - 5 - 6
- Drive - ~260 miles/~5 hours to Put-in; ~330 miles/5.5 hours from take-out (Jensen, UT)
- Water level – snow pack is 78% of normal

We have about 5-6 spots available; must send in deposit to be confirmed for trips. Qualified kayakers and people who would like to ride in rafts welcome. See below for instructions.









From “The Yampa is the last free-flowing (that means no dams) river in the Colorado River drainage system. While the majority of a Yampa river rafting trip is fairly mild, the canyon is majestic with its sheer walls looming hundreds of feet above the river. Natural interaction between microorganisms, the limestone and sandstone rock creates weeping black trails down the canyon's smooth walls, eliciting a tiger stripe effect, which has become a hallmark of the Yampa canyon. The Yampa River flows through the Dinosaur National Monument [NW Colorado] for the majority of its length.
“As the river meanders through the ancient rock formations of Dinosaur National Monument, it passes many archeological sites. At Mantle Cave, visitors view an abandoned Fremont Indian granary used to store food over the winter. At Jones Hole, a hike up the well-maintained trail offers incredible trout fishing in Ely Creek and an opportunity to visit Native American pictographs. Just down from where the Yampa unites with the Green river at Steamboat Rock in Echo Park, visitors view the colossal Mitten Park Fault-its purples, reds and oranges mark time measured in millennia.

“Though a great deal of Yampa River rafting is spent floating lazily in calm waters, during high spring flows Warm Springs rapid becomes highly boisterous and is considered Class IV (intermediate). The last twelve miles of this forty-six-mile trip flows through the Class II-III rapids of Split Mountain, making for a festive end to this five or six-day river trip.”

The put-in date is Wednesday morning, May 22nd. The trip will be 5 days (plus one travel day to arrive at the put-in), which means we'll be taking out early Sunday afternoon, May 26th. You should easily be home by that night. It is suggested you plan to drive out to the put-in in Dinosaur National Monument Monday and camp (undeveloped campground) at the put-in. First thing Tuesday morning, we’ll be running the shuttle (2 hours each way) – I’ll be making a reservation with Wilkin’s Bus Lines to bring the drivers back to the put-in in a 15-passenger van. While the drivers are doing the shuttle, the rest will be rigging the boats.


Each person is responsible for bringing his or her own personal equipment and dry bag. Your Dry Bag must be big enough to hold all your gear (clothes, sleeping bag) but it can’t be huge.

You need to bring:

- River clothes: shirt, shorts, river shoes, hat, wind/water resistant jacket in case it is cool; may want to bring long-sleeved shirt and long pants to prevent sunburn
- Camp clothes: dry shirt, pants, shoes/sandals, jacket just in case
- Toiletry items: including towel
- Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent (tent does not need to fit in your dry bag)
- Water bottle and a carabineer to clip it on to your boat
- Day pack to carry items you need during the day and a carabineer to clip it on to the boat
- Mosquito repellent – they can be nasty at the last camp of the trip.

Gear provided will be:

- Rafts
- Kitchen/cooking equipment & food
- Portable toilet
- Life jackets (you can bring your own if you have one provided it is a Class III or V jacket)

Because of the time of year, you should consider bringing a wet suit.


At this point, I'm estimating a cost of around $270 for the trip. This is based on a trip of 16 people with 6 rafts. The cost will be higher per person if less people go. This ESTIMATED cost (per person) includes:

Per Person
Trip User Fee $ 12.00
Total Equip $ 70.00
Misc Exp $ 25.00
Damage Deposit $ 50.00
Shuttle & Fees $ 20.00
Food $ 80.00
Total Expenses $[masked]

Additional expenses would be travel costs getting to and from the river. I will assist in helping people arrange car-pools. We will need 5 people to plan and purchase a day’s worth of food (dinner, breakfast, and lunch) - there will be a food budget of $21/person/day. If not enough volunteer, then names will be pulled out of a hat to fulfill this task. These five people will receive a $30 credit towards the trip cost for their time and efforts. Those that are bringing rafts will receive a 30 - 50% credit (could be less if there is a higher number of boats than budgeted for) for the use of their gear and time and extra expense of getting it ready and transported to the river (percentage based on size of boat and how much gear/people it can carry). Additional credit will be given for other equipment (kitchen, portable toilets, etc.). After the trip and all receipts are turned it, any money not spent will be refunded.

Instructions for signing up for the trip:
Send a deposit of $100 through PayPal to [masked]. Once your deposit is received, a link to a Google Doc Spreadsheet will be emailed to you to collect the necessary information.

The balance will be due three weeks before the trip (a reminder that amount will be dependent on the number of people on the trip). First-timers/novice river runners are welcome.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

As a lot of time and effort goes into organizing a trip, if you sign up and then have to cancel more than 3 weeks before the trip, you will receive a refund minus $25; if you cancel within 3 weeks of the trip, a refund minus $25 will be given ONLY if your spot is filled. If you spot is not filled, there will be no refund. However, you will receive your share of the funds not spent on the trip. If your trip balance is not paid in a timely manner, it will be considered a cancellation.

Trip Philosophy - Expectations & Trip Etiquette

Over the years, I’ve boated with many different people, personalities, and boating etiquettes. My trip leading style is very flexible provided people communicate and are considerate of others on the trip. Therefore, to make trips you come on as smooth as possible and to avoid any miscommunication from the start, I’d like to go over a few things.

Our trips are: "River first; Group second; Self third.” Longer trips tend to fall apart for one of several reasons. One is when the trip leader is a dictator. That is not our style. Another is people become selfish. For example, someone goes off to do their own thing without communicating to the trip leader causing everyone else to have to stand around and wait for them. Another big one is someone does not pull their weight with camp chores or packing/unpacking the boats. River trips can be trying and hard work. The weather can get the best of you. Everyone will be experiencing the same conditions, so make sure YOU are doing your fair share. Also, no one should have the attitude that they are on vacation expecting to be waited on.

On the water, safety will be the priority. Those rowing boats can feel free to take the safest route or the most exciting, just as long as they keep their personal limits in mind. For safety and permit requirements, all boats, including kayakers, will need to stay within sight of each other at all times.

Trips are work sharing. Everyone will be expected to assist with the unloading AND loading of the boats at the put-in, at each and every camp, and at take-out.

Each person will be assigned to a cooking crew – crews will rotate: cooking/dish washing/ pumping boats, water, and recycling management with off days mixed in if available.

Trips will be environmentally sensitive, following the managing agency’s regulations. Proper health and sanitation etiquette and procedures will be covered before the start of each trip.

Trips are cost sharing. I believe that equipment is part of the cost, so those that bring boats will receive a 30 – 50% credit towards the cost, and other equipment will also earn additional credit. Volunteers will be needed to plan, purchase, and pack meals (dinner, breakfast, lunch). Each person who signs up for a trip should expect to fulfill this need. Volunteers will be recruited first, but if not enough offer, other trip participants (not the boat owners since they are already doing extra work preparing and backing their gear for the trip) will be chosen at random to deal with the meals. A trip credit towards the cost of the trip (has been $30) will be rewarded for this extra effort.

Trips are non-smoking, moderate alcohol, and no recreational drugs.

Please ask if you have any questions.

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  • Aaron I.

    Is there room for another raft and two people? We would love to come.

    April 29, 2013

1 went

  • A former member

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