Colorado White Water Rafting
Why O.A.R.S. in Colorado?
Looking for a great family adventure in Colorado? O.A.R.S. Colorado white water rafting trips are truly Rocky Mountain highs. Yampa River rafting and Green River rafting trips are perfectly suited for your younger kids and offer just enough adrenaline to keep older kids and teens excited and engaged. And the prices of these family rafting adventures are perfect for a family-sized vacation budget!
Our Colorado river rafting trips never get any more challenging than Class III (with one optional Class IV rapid on the Yampa River) and our riverside overnight locations are always quiet. Swimming holes and eddies are small and shallow, nearby hikes and trails easy to tackle. With the relaxed ambiance on our Colorado adventure vacations, you’ll find quality time with your family and also plenty of time for Mom and Dad to get some well deserved R&R.
When the rafting excitement on the Yampa and Green Rivers winds down, there's almost as much to do off the water, in the mesmerizing historic monuments and scenic valleys surrounding you. This part of the western U.S. and Colorado was dinosaur country with hints of this region's facinating past everywhere along with world-class historical attractions and exciting, educational experiences young minds will never forget.
O.A.R.S. Colorado river rafting trips have been designed to fit into your summer holidays or you can enjoy them in the shoulder seasons too, lasting four to five days, from May to September.
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Colorado Rafting for Those with a Zest for Life: Yampa River Rafting & Green River Rafting including Split Mountain
A Colorado river rafting trip with O.A.R.S. is the ultimate adventure vacation for families, couples, singles or small groups who seek a premium outdoor paddling experience with dramatic highlights including river canyon geology, native cultures and stunning scenery.
The Yampa River and Green River rafting trips are considered to be two of Colorado’s classic rafting trips. Our Colorado river rafting journeys set an easy pace, complemented by an endless combination of exploratory side hikes in river canyons, quiet beach camps and moderate whitewater.
The waters of northwest Colorado can transport you back through time. The "mile high" Colorado Rocky Mountains are the source of Colorado whitewater rafting fun with spring run-offs from these towering peaks flowing through sandstone and granite canyons with rock formations rich in prehistory.
Spilling from these Rocky Mountain slopes, legendary for their winter snows, the surging spring rapids of the Yampa River and Green River flow 150 million years into the past, through the heart of Dinosaur National Monument. Fossils of more than half of all the different dinosaurs that lived in North America in the Jurassic Period are found in the Monument.
Beside fossils and paleontological riches, the riverbanks also protect Native American petroglyphs, pictographs and critical habitat for the endangered peregrine falcon, bald eagle, Colorado pikeminnow, and razorback sucker.
DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT FACTS:
The Dinosaur National Monument Quarry contains the last remains of the largest creatures to ever walk the planet. Sauropods - huge, long-necked, long-tailed, plant-eating dinosaurs - were the dominant animals of the late Jurassic Period. The bones of several kinds of sauropods make up about three-fourths of all the fossils found in the Quarry. This includes the diplodocus, the barosaurus and the apatosaurus or brontosaurus, which measured 75 feet in length and weighed as much as 34 tons.
O.A.R.S. Colorado River Rafting Trips
Rafting the Yampa River means experiencing the one major tributary in the Colorado River system that runs wild and free of upstream dams. Waters originate from the melting snows of the Colorado Rockies, so the water depends entirely on run-off.
Each spring, this river offers thrilling whitewater, including rapids such as Teepee, Little Joe and Big Joe and Warm Springs (considered to be one of the ten toughest rapids in the country).
O.A.R.S. Founder and President, George Wendt, was present at the formation of Warm Springs Rapid in June 1965. Torrential rains had fallen on the Warm Springs watershed for days on end, and the ground became super saturated generating a massive debris slide of soil, stones, boulders and uprooted trees. The slide filled the riverbed and rolled up against the cliff on the opposite bank, damming the river for a few hours. The river breached the natural dam, creating a ragged S-shaped channel, enormous waves and holes for a half-mile.
It’s not all about whitewater, however, as there are long stretches of calm water meandering past colorful and dramatic canyon walls. Short hikes lead past abundant wildlife and ancient Native American sites, as well as to waterfalls, caves, petroglyphs, old cowboy hideouts, side canyon oases and more. Cozy and scenic campsites await your arrival at the end of each day spent on this memorable river.
The Yampa flows into Dinosaur National Monument where you’ll witness some of the oldest exposed rocks in the world. Dinosaurs, prehistoric turtles and crocodiles, and creatures three times as old as the apatosaurus once roamed the very places you’ll visit. You may even spot ancient fossils embedded in the river rock.
O.A.R.S. Yampa River trips last 4 or 5 days, and the river is rated Class III-IV depending on the water level.
Rafting the Green River through the Gates of Lodore with O.A.R.S. means an ideal whitewater vacation for families, couples and solo travelers (not to mention one of the best values in adventure travel). First-timers and veteran paddlers alike enjoy opportunities to learn about dinosaurs and Native Americans that inhabited the area while we explore the river by raft and inflatable kayak.
O.A.R.S. Green River rafting trips begin at the Gates of Lodore in northwestern Colorado and end near the Split Mountain campground in northeastern Utah. The river flows into Dinosaur National Monument, cutting through the Uinta Mountains, the largest east-west mountain range this side of Alaska. The region also played host to such notable Western characters as Butch Cassidy.
Imagine the luxury of sipping on a leisurely cup of cocoa or coffee while watching the morning light reflect on the canyon walls as guides prepare a delicious meal (think stacks of pancakes!) After breaking camp, hop onto a raft for a morning filled with whitewater thrills or gazing at stunning vistas. Lunch breaks inevitably mean a stop at a sandy beach for a hearty picnic, as well as time for a siesta, a brief hike or a game of Frisbee or horseshoes. Afternoons bring more time on the river, whether a meandering through a calm section of water or splashing through more whitewater. Evenings are spent in spectacular riverside camps, often on sandy beaches, always between spectacular canyon walls.
There is no better time spent with friends and family than under a night sky, as our guides prepare a delicious feast. You’ll spend the remainder of the evening being serenaded by the sounds of water rushing over rocks, the wind tossing wild grasses and trees’ leaves and possibly the songs of crickets and frogs.
O.A.R.S. Green River trips last 4 days, and the river is rated Class III.
We also offer daily Green River rafting expeditions through Split Mountain Canyon. This trip covers approximately nine river miles.
OARS Canyonlands, Inc. is an authorized concessioner of Dinosaur National Monument.
O.A.R.S is a member of the Colorado Rafting Alliance at ColoradoRafting.org