ARTA River Trips - Image Art

The Yampa River

Undammed, unequalled, unforgettable

For right-brained people

Rafting the Yampa River in Dinosaur National MonumentThe Yampa River is only runnable for a few weeks each year which gives the canyon a feeling of secrecy and surprise. Not very many people get to visit and each trip feels privileged; like if the Smithsonian were only open for two months a year. And, like the Smithsonian, there is so much to do and see! First of all, the scenery is stunning, (sensually-smooth cliffs with rust colored streaks that rise straight up from the river’s edge and stop conversations) and unbelievable, (there is a place where those cliffs overhang the entire river). Then, there are the campsites, including one where you can sleep under an overhanging ledge on a sand beach and another where you can look across the river at a sweeping natural rock amphitheater and watch the rays of the setting sun perform magic tricks. And the hikes? The best of any trip we offer: to caves, to overlooks, to waterfalls, to Native American sites; too many. The rapids? Perfect for those who prefer It’s A Small World over The Matterhorn, (with a notable exception at Warm Springs on day 3). And all of this is within Dinosaur National Monument so the place is pristine and protected; you'll see more bighorn sheep than people!

"We all absolutely adored your guides. They made us feel comfortable on the river, were awesome with our children, worked incredibly hard but always had positive attitudes. They worked extremely well together, they knew the river, flora, fauna, geology, etc. In short, they made a wonderful vacation for our entire family."

Naomi Leach

For left-brained people:

  • The Yampa in one word:
  • Ephemeral
  • In another word:
  • Picturesque
  • Best known for:
  • Dramatic scenery
  • No other trip has:
  • Better hiking
  • Expect to:
  • Be awe-struck
  • You can also:
  • Visit Arches and Canyonlands
  • Signature Rapid:
  • Warm Springs
  • Types of boats:
  • Oar, paddle & inflatable kayak
  • Meeting Place:
  • Vernal, UT
  • Length in days: 5
  • Length in miles: 71
  • Overall difficulty: III
  • Highest difficulty: IV- (1)
  • Rapids perday: ~4
  • Gradient: 13 feet/mile
  • Rapids:spacer3 stars
  • Scenery:spacer5+ stars
  • Wilderness: 5+ stars
  • Swimming:spacer3 1/2 stars
  • Hiking:spacer5+  stars
  • Campsites:spacer4 1/2 stars
  • Wildlife:spacer4 stars
  • Fishing:spacer1 stars
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    Canyon Wren

    Canyon Wren -
    (Catherpes mexicanus) – We hear them more than we see them; their gently descending cascade of liquid notes echoing out from the shadowy recesses of overhanging rocks. They eat spiders, live in little moss and twig nests tucked into crevices and wait for us to come along so they can sing and make us smile.