For first-time rafters and young families, a Flaming Gorge rafting trip is the perfect introduction to the magic of multi-day river trips.
Below Flaming Gorge Dam, the crystal-clear Green River offers splashy Class II rapids, interspersed with calm sections that inspire swimming, watching for wildlife, and gazing at the canyon scenery. For those who love to cast a line, the river is teeming with trout, which has earned it the reputation of one of the country’s finest trout fishing streams. Then comes the carefree evenings in camp. Enjoy delicious dinners prepared by our talented guide crew and unwind with camp games, good conversation, and starry nights. Together time doesn’t get any better than this.
What to Expect
Itinerary & Map
Itinerary at a Glance
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every Flaming Gorge rafting trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water, camp locations, and sometimes the weather. The following is a sample of what your trip might be like:
The Day Before Your Trip
The evening before your trip, we’ll meet for a pre-trip orientation in Vernal, UT. This is an opportunity to meet your fellow travelers and trip leader, and ask any last-minute questions.
Our Flaming Gorge rafting trip starts with a scenic drive from Vernal to our put-in below the Flaming Gorge Dam, where the boats and the rest of the OARS crew await. After a detailed safety talk, our journey begins.
The first day includes three fun rapids—Anticipation, Roller Coaster, and Mother-in-Law Rapid. The splashy, crystal-clear waters of the Green River carry us into the heart of Ashley National Forest.
Our first day sets the pace for the rest of our days on the river. Typically, we spend a few hours on the water in the morning, sometimes stopping for a great hike or a refreshing swim.
At lunchtime, we pull over to a sandy beach and enjoy a delicious picnic. After feasting and relaxing on the beach, or perhaps fishing, we get back in our boats and watch the desert panoramas transform with each river mile.
Mid- to late afternoon, we stop and make camp. You grab your bags and set up your tent while the guides take care of the kitchen and “living room”—camp chairs and the site for tonight’s campfire (if permitted). Before long, you’ll be savoring pleasing hors d’oeuvres and the beverage of your choice—delicious as these refreshments are, they always taste better after a day on the river! This is the perfect time to lounge with that book you’ve wanted to finish, take an exploratory hike, cast a line, or just sit back and laugh with friends and family as the guides prepare dinner.
After a satisfying feast, the evening is yours to spend however you wish. Maybe music, stories or jokes will bring us together tonight; maybe the popping of the fire, the whisper of the river, and the clarity of the big, star-filled sky will encourage silent reflection on the amazing wilderness that is, for now, our home.
Your days begin with the morning light turning the canyon walls the colors of sunrise. Fresh coffee and tea are waiting for you when you get up; grab a cup, sit back, and take in the glory of the awakening river. Soon breakfast is served, and once you’ve eaten your fill, you’ll pack up your things as the guides break down camp, then our new day’s adventure begins.
Back on the river, plenty of fun riffles and white caps keep interests piqued. Be sure to try your hand at an inflatable kayak! We’ll also stop to spend time at the world-famous Jarvie Ranch, a BLM-restored historic site offering visitors a glimpse into turn-of-the-century pioneer life along this stretch of the Green River.
During the evening, we’ll camp on the riverside among lodgepole pines and junipers. You may want to enjoy a short hike, or perhaps you’d rather just relax and wait for dinner—always a trip highlight, as the day’s adventures stir up a hearty appetite. After our meal, the group dynamic of our trip is at its best as we gather around the campfire for nighttime conversation and laughter.
On our last day, the river flattens out and swift currents carry us through Swallow Canyon and into the Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge. When we reach the take-out point at the Swallow Canyon Boat Ramp, we’ll board a shuttle for the return trip to Vernal.
Meeting Time & Place
7 PM, the evening before your trip
Approximately 4 – 6 PM to Vernal
Dates & Prices
Save $100 on 2024 departures when you’re one of the first to book by March 31 and request “Premier Pricing” over the phone.
|July 15, 23, 31
|August 7, 14
• Sleep Kit $40 | Tent included
The Need-to-Know Info
Included in Your Trip Cost
Not Included in Your Trip Cost
- Transportation to and from Vernal
- Pre- and post-trip accommodations and meals
- Sleep kit: sleeping bag, pillow & a deluxe 3-inch thick air-filled sleeping pad (available for rent)
- Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan
- Alcoholic beverages
The number and variety of boats on an OARS trip will vary based on water levels, the number of participants, and other factors we take into account when planning your adventure. Please be aware that in doing so we will ask you to share boat time with your fellow travelers. We don’t assign boats, nor can we guarantee exactly which crafts we bring, but trust us to provide you with the best possible mix for you and others on your trip.
Learn more about the OARS Fleet and the boats that may be a part of your experience: Oar raft, paddle raft, inflatable kayak, or stand-up paddleboard.
After each active day on the river, we pull ashore to camp for the night. Our first task is to unload the boats using a fire-line of crew and guests to expedite the process. Individuals then collect their waterproof bags and locate an area on the beach to camp for the night.
While you put up your tent, the guides will set up the kitchen and central dining/seating area with camp chairs. They will also locate a secluded area away from camp to set up the portable toilet, where privacy is assured.
As guides prepare dinner, hors d’oeuvres are served. This is an opportunity to relax, enjoy a drink if you wish, and reflect on the day with your fellow traveling companions.
In the morning, the first wake-up call lets you know that coffee, hot water for tea or cocoa, juice, fresh fruit, and cold cereal are ready. You can fill your mug and grab a bite, then begin to pack up your personal belongings and sleep gear as the guides prepare breakfast.
After breakfast, the entire camp is broken down and packed up. Once the guides have all of the gear loaded back onto the boats, we’ll head downstream to see what new adventures await us.
More info about Meals & Dietary Restrictions can be found on our Trip Resources page.
Average Air & Water Temperatures
|Air (Day) °F
|Air (Night) °F
Water Levels & Temperature
The Green River’s headwaters lie in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, and its stream is repeatedly blocked and diverted, most significantly by the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Thus, its flow is determined by reservoir releases. The Green also will spike in the spring and early summer as the controlling agency at Flaming Gorge Dam releases water to make room for inflow. Peak releases from Flaming Gorge on the Green usually occur between mid-May and mid-June but can vary widely from early May and into July. Water temperatures are coldest during the high water period and rain gear and warm synthetic clothing will be required. In reality, the water is quite cold even in the summer, but lower flows and warmer air temperatures mitigate the risk of hypothermia.
This section of the Green River offers splashy Class II (with one Class III) rapids, interspersed with calm sections. Despite these slower stretches, the whitewater is consistent on the Green. You’ll challenge minor rapids plus dozens of smaller waves and riffles. The Green River through Flaming Gorge is ideal for first-time rafters and children as young as 4 (7 during high water), but it is not short on excitement for the whole family.
Before booking your trip with OARS, there are a few important considerations we’d like you to know about.
Reservations and Deposits
A $250/person deposit is required at the time of booking with final payment due 60 days before departure. Accounts on which final payment has not been received 50 days before the departure date will be canceled without exception.
Payments can be made by check, money order, eCheck, wire transfer, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Prices are in US Dollars, and all payments must be made in US Dollars. Payment of the deposit establishes your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. Individual departures and trip capacity are strictly limited by the managing agency. Your payment is fully refundable for 48 hours, less a 3% processing fee, after making a reservation when you reserve a trip 7 days or more prior to departure.
Cancellations and Refunds
Canceling your trip after your deposit is processed will incur cancellation fees because OARS has absorbed costs on your behalf and will turn others away who would like to book the spaces we’re holding for you. If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below.
We regret that we cannot make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including foul weather, poor air quality, wildfire activity, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.
|Date of Cancellation
|180 or more days before your trip
|179 – 90 days before your trip
|89 – 60 days before your trip
|$100/person, balance available as a limited-time trip credit valid through the end of the following season
|59 days or less before your trip
Please note that different deposit/cancellation policies may apply for charter groups. Refer to the group organizer’s confirmation email for details.
OARS reserves the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. In such instances, we will inform you at least 45 days before departure. Do not make nonrefundable travel arrangements unless you have spoken to your Adventure Consultant regarding the status of your trip.
If a trip must be canceled or postponed due to force majeure (factors outside the control of OARS), OARS will provide full credit for payments made toward future travel, or a refund less a 5% service fee plus any nonrefundable payments made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers. OARS will make good faith efforts to recover deposits made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers, however, we can’t guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a canceled trip.
If you need to move your reservation to a different trip during the same season, or to a credit account for the following year, there is a $25/person fee up until 90 days before departure for a one-time transfer of your payment. Transfer requests made 89 days or less before departure will be treated like a cancellation according to the schedule above.
O.A.R.S. Canyonlands, Inc. operates on the Green River through Flaming Gorge as a permitted outfitter of the Ashley National Forest
Ancestral Lands Acknowledgement
We respect and recognize that many of the river canyons on state and federal lands where we operate are the ancestral homes of indigenous communities. Where we operate on the Green River between Flaming Gorge Dam and Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge, we acknowledge the territories of the Ute and Eastern Shoshone.
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