We'll meet you at 8:00 pm the evening before your trip begins at the Microtel Inn and Suites in Vernal, Utah (technically Naples, UT) 435/781-8141. We'll give you your waterproof bags, go over final trip logistics and answer any last minute questions. The following morning we will reconvene at Split Mountain Boat Ramp in Dinosaur National Monument for the shuttle to the launch site. The lead guide will have directions and times. The trip will conclude at Split Mountain around 3:00 p.m. on the last day.
Vernal is on State Highway 40, approximately 180 miles, (3 hours), east of Salt Lake City. The Microtel Inn is towards the eastern end of town. Directions to Split Mountain Boat Ramp, (30 minutes outside of town), will be given at the pre-trip meeting. There is a fee to enter the Park and vehicles will be left at the Boat Ramp for the duration of the trip.
Flying: You can fly directly into Vernal via Salt Lake City or Denver on Boutique Air. Or you can fly into Salt Lake City and rent a car for the 3 hour drive to Vernal. For transportation between the airport and your motel contact your motel or Wilkin's Transportation (435-789-2476). If you fly directly into Vernal and do not have a car for the drive to Split Mountain Boat Ramp, you can either pre-arrange a drop off and pick up with Wilkin's, or you can arrange to carpool with a fellow guest at the pre-trip meeting.
Lodging in Vernal is good at the Microtel Inn and Suites (435/781-8141); if you mention you are an ARTA guest you should receive a special discounted room rate. A few minutes away in downtown Vernal are the Holiday Inn Express, (435/789-4654) and the Springhill Suites (435/781-9000). Camping is available in Dinosaur National Monument, 30 minutes from Vernal; campsites in Split Mountain or Green River Campgrounds can be reserved through www.recreation.gov.
Oar rafts are 18 feet long, carry all of the overnight gear and up to 5 guests. They are rowed by a guide using oars attached to a metal frame. Guests ride in the front, hang on through the rapids and relax in the calm stretches.
Paddle rafts are 14 feet long and carry 6 paddlers who actively paddle through the rapids and down the river. Everyone has a paddle, sits on the outer tube of the raft and follows the commands of the paddle guide who sits in the rear.
Inflatable kayaks are 10 - 12 feet long and are paddled by 1 or 2 people using double-bladed paddles. They are fairly stable, require no previous experience and allow you to feel the thrill of independently paddling the river.
Please note that we do not guarantee space in paddle rafts or inflatable kayaks. If there are more people who wish to ride in these boats than there are spaces, we will rotate so that everyone gets a chance to participate. Paddle rafts and inflatable kayaks are only available at appropriate flows and with sufficient interest.
Meals: ARTA meals are well-balanced and consist of quality foods with fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables. The guides double as camp chefs and the menu includes a wide variety of dishes. Lunches usually consist of hand-foods and are served picnic-style at riverside stops. Dinners and breakfasts are cooked over an open fire and often include tasty Dutch Oven baked treats. If you have special dietary requirements or are celebrating a special event during the trip, please let us know in advance.
Drinks: ARTA provides water, lemonade and punch during the day and hot coffee, tea and cocoa in the morning. If you would like soda, beer, wine, or liquor with your dinner, please bring your own in unbreakable containers, (beer and soda in cans, wine in bags/boxes or plastic bottles and liquor in plastic bottles). Due to weight and space restrictions, we ask that you limit the amount of canned drinks to a moderate amount (one or two six-packs per person).
Camping: Overnight camping will be done at riverside beaches with spectacular views of the river and canyon. There is usually a central kitchen and campfire area and guests pick out spots in the surrounding area to pitch their tents or lay out their sleeping bags. We will provide portable toilet facilities.
Weather: The high desert country of the Green River enjoys daytime temperatures in the 80's and 90's, cooling off into the 60's at night, with occasional thunderstorms. There is ample shade at camps and lunch stops, however while we are on the rafts, the sun can be direct. Sunblock and lightweight cotton clothing (long-sleeved synthetic or cotton shirts and pants) will help you to avoid sunburn and a hat and bandana will help keep you cool. Although the Green River flows through arid country, there are occasional thunderstorms in the summer. We recommend that you bring good rain protection for both the day and night (rain shell and tent). The water temperature is chilly in June, but warms up pleasantly by mid July.
Wildlife: Bighorn sheep and mule deer inhabit the Green River canyon and occasionally we spot them along shore or while hiking. The canyon is also home to bobcats, beavers, otters, muskrat, badgers, skunks and ringtail cats. Birdlife is fairly abundant and we usually see hawks, falcons, geese and a wide assortment of smaller birds. Bring a small pair of binoculars and your camera.
Fishing: Due to the flow fluctuations and water clarity, fishing in the Green is not that good; however Jones Hole Creek, where we arrive on the third day, has very good fishing opportunities. A valid Utah license is required and can be obtained in Vernal prior to the trip. Light spinning or fly gear works best, (artificial lures and flies only); please bring the minimum and protect your rod in a sturdy case.
Local Attractions: Dinosaur National Monument contains one of the largest concentrations of Dinosaur remains in the world and the Visitors Center has a museum where you can touch real dinosaur bones. Also within a day's drive of Vernal are Canyonlands and Arches National Parks as well as Flaming Gorge Recreation Area.
Suggested Reading: The Green/Lodore trip takes place within Dinosaur National Monument and there are numerous books available about the area. Some of the more interesting ones are Buzz Belknap's Dinosaur River Guide, Vince Welch's The Doing of the Thing, and Explorations of the Colorado River by Major John Wesley Powell, (detailing his historic 1869 first exploration). These and other books about Dinosaur National Monument are available online or in Vernal at Bittercreek Books on West Main Street.
Travel Insurance: Because life is full of surprises, we suggest you consider purchasing supplemental travel insurance for your trip. Trip cancellation, evacuation, baggage loss and other coverages are available for between 4% and 11% of your trip cost. You can get more information at www.travelinsure.com; please enter ARTA's Participating Organization Number (215296) at the top of the enrollment form.
Gratuities: We want you to feel like a guest in our home. But, if you feel that your guides did an outstanding job, a post-trip gratuity is a flattering way to let them know. Tips should be based on your satisfaction, your financial means and your attitude about tipping. Tips typically range anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the trip cost, (with the occasional recommended book or coveted hat thrown in). It is customary within ARTA to give the tip to the Lead Guide who will distribute it equally amongst all of the staff. And thank you very much.
If there are any questions we haven't answered, please feel free to contact us. We really enjoy talking about our trips, so don't hesitate to call: 800-323-2782.
The Green River begins on the slopes of 13,804 foot Gannett Peak, the highest point in Wyoming, and travels almost due south for nearly 700 miles before joining the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park. The waterway is remote and vast and includes some of the most scenic desert canyons of the west.
One of these is the canyon of Lodore; named by Andrew Hall in 1869, who was reminded of the Robert Southey poem: "The Cataract of Lodore". Here, the Green cuts through the red rock of the Uinta Mountains and the cliffs rise up to dramatic heights. So impressive is the entrance to the canyon that Hall's travelling companion, Major John Wesley Powell, called it the very "Gates of Lodore". Once through the gates the whitewater begins, and exciting rapids such as Disaster Falls and Hell's Half Mile provide plenty of action.
But our visit to Lodore Canyon has many other attractions. We will hike at some intriguing side canyons with cool springs and lush green vegetation; we will visit overlooks that provide sweeping views of the river; and we will view ancient Native American rock art. Lodore Canyon itself ends where the Yampa River joins the Green at Echo Park, just over halfway on our journey. Our trips continue on past Steamboat Rock and into the beautiful Whirlpool Canyon, then on to Rainbow Park and Split Mountain Canyon where more rapids, such as Schoolboy, Moonshine, and S.O.B. ensure an exciting finish to the trip.