For Right-Brained People

Rafting with the stars!

Learn about the universe in one of its most spectacular settings

When you’re in the bottom of the Yampa Canyon, you are over 2,500 vertical feet from the canyon rim and over 20 horizontal miles from the nearest town.

It’s dark.

And if you’re there when the moon is new, it’s even darker. The stars look as close as fingertips; the Milky Way looks as thick as cream. Stars twinkle (why?). Meteors fall (how?) Satellites streak (where?) We wonder (What?)

And John explains. (“Well, let’s think about that…”)

John Keller, professor of astronomy at UC Boulder, doesn’t know if there is extra-terrestrial life or what came before the Big Bang, but he knows almost all of the other astronomical stuff that we wonder about: black holes and white dwarfs, brown dwarfs and red giants, supernovas and superstitions, (and don’t get him started on The Kuiper Belt!) He’s great at explaining the hard-to-understand and he’s also great about pondering the unexplainable; professional astronomer, amatuer philosopher.

Imagine lying on a big sandy beach in the middle of nowhere looking up at the endless sky twinkling with unknowns and being able to Google all your questions.

This trip is sort of like that.

2019 Stargazing Trip

Yampa River

June 30 – July 4


$999/youth (7 – 17)

Meet John Keller

the non-star of the show

John has enjoyed discussing meteors, cosmology, and everything in between with ARTA guests and guides since the summer of 2013. He studied biology at Stanford University as an undergraduate and planetary science at the University of Arizona for his PhD.  He’s taught middle schoolers at AstroCamp, high schoolers in the Bay Area, and undergraduates at both Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the University of Colorado Boulder.

He is currently an astronomy faculty member and Director of Fiske Planetarium at CU Boulder.

John enjoys hiking, mountain biking, rafting, and the outdoors. He especially loves sharing the universe with others.

It was perfect and John was so interesting. I learned so much but all I can remember is how amazing it was. You have to do this trip again.

Melanie Miller