Join National Parks Traveler as we spend five days floating the Yampa River, the last undammed tributary of the Colorado River, through Dinosaur National Monument in northwestern Colorado and northeastern Utah.
This trip, scheduled for June 6-10, 2015, will be guided by the professional river runners from Holiday River Expeditions. They'll provide natural history interpretation, and cater to us with three sumptuous meals a day beginning with lunch the first day and ending with lunch on the last day.
But once ashore, noted national park historian Dr. Alfred Runte, who consulted for and appeared on the Ken Burns/Dayton Duncan documentary, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, and who wrote National Parks, The American Experience, will lead campfire discussions about the National Park System. And during the day, award-winning photographer Patrick Cone will offer instruction and tips for capturing the striking scenery, and Editor-in-Chief Kurt Repanshek will be along to keep the parks conversation flowing. We'll also dig nightly into Traveler's 'swag' bag of giveaways.
The scenery in this part of Dinosaur National Monument is outstanding. Unlike nearby Gates of Lodore and the Green River, floating down the Yampa River can seem like you're in southern Utah, thanks to the towering sandstone cliffs. We'll join the Green River at Steamboat Rock, and then pass through swirling Whirlpool Canyon.
This is the perfect trip for families with youngsters at least 8 years old. There's plenty of river time, as well as time for hikes or simply relaxing with a good book as the Yampa flows by. Meals range from blueberry pancakes or made-to-order omelets for breakfast, wraps and deli sandwiches for lunch, and steaks, fish, or chicken for dinner. Special dietary needs can also be easily handled with enough notice.
We've reserved June 6-10, 2015, for Traveler readers. Pricing is $900 per person. To reserve your spot, call Holiday River Expeditions at 1-800-624-6323 and tell them you'd like to be on the Traveler trip. Or, book online at Holiday's website by picking the Yampa River trip for June 6-10. Space is available for 18-22 travelers.
The fine print:
MEET FOR YOUR TRIP
We meet for your trip in Vernal, Utah at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters, 7 a.m. (Mountain Time) the morning your trip begins. If you arrive in Vernal by bus or plane, call our headquarters (435-789-4586) upon your arrival to make arrangements to have you and your gear transported to our headquarters the morning of the trip. If you are driving, your car can be left at our headquarters.
BEGINNING OF THE TRIP
Upon your arrival at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters (7 a.m., Mountain Time), we will issue your waterproof bags. You can buy any last minute items from our accessory's store at this time. We will then take a three-hour scenic van ride to the Gates of Lodore, where we will transfer to the boats.
AFTER THE TRIP
We will disembark at Split Mountain Campground in Dinosaur National Monument near Jensen, Utah. From there we will transport you back to our headquarters in Vernal, Utah (35-minute van ride). Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is about 4 p.m.
Our guides are trained in first aid and carry first aid supplies only. REMEMBER to bring your own prescription medicines. ALERT our guides to any medical problem you might have such as diabetes or allergic reactions. Wilderness expeditions are a long way from hospitals, doctors, and pain-relieving medicines. Evacuations to modern medical care are uncertain, and protracted. In case of evacuation and/or medical treatment beyond first aid, expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participant.
If cancellations are made within 90 days and outside of 45 days of the trip date, monies will be refunded less a $100 service charge per person. Cancellations made within 45 days of the trip date are non-refundable. Prior to 45 days to the trip date we will transfer reservations to another trip in the same year with a $25 service charge per person. Cancellation of a trip is very unlikely, but we reserve the right to cancel any trip due to river or weather conditions or the lack of sufficient reservations. A full refund will be made if such is the case.
Medical and cancellation insurance on a vacation plan can be obtained from numerous insurance companies. We offer plans underwritten by TRAVEL GUARD that cover accident, baggage and cancellation claims. An application should be enclosed with this information package. We encourage all to take advantage of this coverage. It is available to American and Canadian citizens, as well as citizens of another country as long as you have a U.S. address. If you have questions give us a call.
Also, if you are bringing expensive cameras, binoculars, or other items we suggest you have insurance coverage for them (commonly available through Homeowners Policies). In the event of a loss, our insurance will not cover those items.
TIPPING THE GUIDES
Many guests ask us if tipping is appropriate after the trip. If you feel the guides have been instrumental in your enjoyment of the trip, you may choose to direct a gratuity to the trip leader in the form of cash or check. He/She will then distribute it evenly to the other crew members. Of those that choose to tip, the average contribution amount ranges between $15 and $25 per guest, per day. However, the decision to tip is left to your sole discretion.
We provide ice water, lemonade, two sodas per day per person and ample cooler space. If you choose to bring any specialty sodas and/or alcoholic beverages, we have no problem taking whatever you want to bring ' within reason. Don't bring beer, wine coolers or sodas in glass containers. Wine packaged in a box is ideal. Mark beverages that you bring so they are packed on your boat. In Utah, wine or liquor is not sold after 7 p.m., before 11 a.m. or on Sundays and holidays.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS
Prior to leaving for your trip, we welcome you to call our Salt Lake City office, Monday through Friday at 800-624-6323 (outside Utah), or 801-266-2087 (inside Utah). We're happy to take the time to answer your questions. You may also contact us through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THE EVENT OF EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TRIP, OUR VERNAL HEADQUARTERS NUMBER IS 435-789-4586.