Put-in: Gates of Lodore
Take-Out: Split Mountain Campground
Trip Length: 3-4 days
Mileage: 39 Miles
Class: up to IV
Take a step back in history and experience Lodore Canyon as John Wesley Powell did in 1869. The river has changed little since then, and continues to offer excellent rafting!
One-day trips are not offered through Lodore.
Multi-day Trips | lodore canyon guides |
Most trips on Lodore last 3 to 4 days; some companies may run 2- or 5-day trips. The first section of the trip tends to be the most exciting, with the greatest number of rapids over a small stretch of river. However, though less concentrated, the rapids on the second half of the trip are also excellent. Short hikes can be taken on these trips, but most of the time will be spent on the river. Some guides bring inflatable kayaks on Lodore trips, and allow guests to have "personal paddle time." Meals and snacks are provided on these trips. Camping equipment is necessary. Bring your own, or plan to rent from the outfitter company. Inquire for details.
Family Trips | lodore canyon guides |
Families enjoy Lodore. There are some big rapids, plus plenty of smaller ones to keep things exciting. Children as young as 8 are generally permitted. Parents will appreciate the inflatable kayak options, which allow children to shed some of their excess energy.
Groups/Corporate Trips | lodore canyon guides |
This can be an excellent group/corporate trip. Discounts are available; please inquire.
By Wendy May Hatch
Lodore Canyon, located in the sprawling acreage of Dinosaur National Monument offers many miles of scenic wonderment.
The Green River, once called the seeds-ke-dee by early native Americans was explored by major John Wesley Powell in 1869. When his group of hardy explorers reached the area now called Gates of Lodore, they found the canyon to be dark and foreboding, "like a mountain drinking a river." As they began their descent into the canyon, they found the beauty of the vermillion colored walls, touched with a hint of green, awe inspiring. The name Lodore comes from that voyage, being derived from an English poem remembered by one of Powell's crew.
For years, the section of the Green called Lodore Canyon was visited only by those daring enough to tackle the swift and mighty waters. Now the waters of the Green are backed up by Flaming Gorge Dam and the flows are regulated.
The river season runs from mid-May to mid-September. Trips are typically three or four days in length. Camping is along sandy beaches within the canyon. All equipment and provisions are carried along and taken out. The area is well-preserved and care is taken to ensure that it will remain for those who come after. This is definitely the most beautiful stretch of the Green. The steep, red canyon walls are contrasted by bright green Box Elder trees along the beaches. Lodge Pole pine and Douglas fir can be seen on the high ledges and canyon rims. You're always likely to see mountain sheep, mule deer and other wildlife, including river otters, which have recently been reintroduced to this area. As you float through the tranquil canyon, you can almost hear the whisperings of trappers and explorers from an era long past. In the evenings, you can sit around a campfire and listen to the stories of by-gone days. At bedtime, the soothing sound of the flowing river gently lulls you to sleep.
There's plenty of excitement too! Lodore Canyon has rapids with names like Disaster Falls, Hell's Half Mile and Triplet Falls. The average descent in the canyon is 13 feet per mile, with the lowest at 1' per mile above Disaster Falls and the greatest at 30' in Hell's Half Mile.
Trips launch right at the Gates of Lodore at the northernmost border of Dinosaur National Monument, in Colorado. Approximately 20 miles from the launch point, at the head of Lodore Canyon, the Yampa River merges with the Green at Echo Park, site of the dramatic Steamboat Rock. You'll continue on the Green through the placid waters of Whirlpool Canyon, allowing time for reflection on the wonders you have witnessed before reaching the Canyon of Split Mountain, the final leg of the journey, and more whitewater, including Moonshine, S.O.B., Schoolboy and Inglesby rapids. Rafters will exit the river at Split Mountain Gorge, on the Utah side of the Monument, which lies adjacent to the Dinosaur Quarry. At the quarry, dinosaur bones are on exhibit and visitors can watch as technicians continue to excavate fossil remains from the face of a stone cliff.
The Green River is an excellent place to go just to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Here one may enjoy the scenery and solitude with a splash of excitement thrown in. It's a perfect trip for everyone, including families who may be looking for an introduction to the increasingly popular sport of whitewater rafting.
Information courtesy of Utah Guides & Outfitters Association.
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