4-Day Gate Of Lodore Raft Trip
4-Day Gate Of Lodore Raft Trip
(Adults Only: 16+)
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THIS TRIP AT A GLACE
The evening before your river trip:
You will meet at 7:00 pm in Vernal, Utah at the O.A.R.S. /Don Hatch Warehouse for a pre-trip orientation. This is an opportunity to meet your fellow rafters and the head guide known as the 'trip leader.' Your trip leader will give you a run down of what to expect, answer any questions, and send you away for the night with waterproof river bags so that you can pack your belongings that evening.
A beautiful morning bus ride takes you into Colorado to the put-in point for the river. The rest of the guides will meet you here and orient you to the rafts and basic river safety procedures before you all set off for the canyon entrance that is towering downstream. A short morning on the water will have a few splashy waves and perhaps the first named rapid of the trip (Winnie's). Hunger levels will dictate when you pull over and lounge on the beach as the guides prepare lunch. After lunch, there are more waves, more stunning canyon views, hopefully some wildlife sightings, and the second largest rapid of the trip, Disaster Falls. Get your first taste of real whitewater in a raft, a paddle boat, or an inflatable kayak (IK), and then camp is next where you can relax with a cold drink, play some camp games, or simply watch the guide prepare a meal you would never expect in such a remote setting.
Days 2 – 5 (depending on trip length):
In a nut-shell, the remaining days of your trip include the following:
Awake to a hot breakfast and real fresh coffee each morning, enjoy the peaceful mornings deep in the canyon as the sun marches down a cliff somewhere nearby. Break down camp, load up the boats, and navigate the bigger rapids such as Triplet Falls, Harp Falls, and Hells Half-Mile. Maybe arrive at camp early one day and fill the afternoon hiking the Rippling Brook side canyon, playing a game of makeshift beach volleyball, reading on the sand, or splashing in the lazy current.
In the days to come, try you balance on a Stand Up Paddle board (SUP) that the guides bring, and see if you can navigate a few small rapids on the SUP. Hop in an inflatable kayak and be the captain of your own boat. Start a water fight that might just last for hours, or hang back on the gear boats and look around at the surrounding splendor. You may hike to an overlook that allows you to step back and see the awesome power of geological forces at work, or you may stumble upon an inscription on the rocks from the pioneers of the river rafting community. You will see 1,000 year-old Native American rock art and the float by the confluence of the Yampa River - the last free flowing tributary of the Colorado River. You might hike to a naturally air conditioned cave or to a waterfall that has carved a fluted path in the limestone. You will see the Canyon of Lodore, Echo Park, Whirlpool Canyon, Island Park, and Split Mountain in pristine condition, just as if humans had never arrived. You will wonder three times per day how such gourmet meals can be cooked using a portable camp kitchen, and finally you will arrive at the take out ramp with new best friends and an adventure that you won't forget.
You’ll take a short ride back to Vernal, and return to the Don Hatch/O.A.R.S. warehouse between 3:30 and 5:30 pm that afternoon. Only then can you turn your cell phone back on and return to the stresses of life off the river.