Geology on the Yampa River 5 Days


Professional Geologist Wayne Ranney 

Dinosaur National Monument – the name alone conjures a host of images: dinosaur bones preserved in ancient rock walls, deep rivers that cut indecorously through dry desert canyons, ancient sea beds full of prehistoric fossils, frozen in time. Join professional geologist Wayne Ranney for an in-depth exploration of these wonders of the evolution of the Earth.

Wayne Ranney worked as a backcountry ranger while finishing a geology degree at Northern Arizona University, before becoming a river guide on the Colorado and San Juan rivers. He received an advanced degree in geology and began a career as a geologic interpreter and educator, an award-winning author, and lecturer on outdoor adventures and worldwide expeditions.

Rafting past the uplifted layers of rock on the Yampa River

Overlooking the river as it flows through Dinosaur National Monument

A Yampa River rafting adventure offers you the fascinating experience of actually traveling through the river canyon’s various layers, each one representing an entire age of the earth’s development: the rise and fall of major mountain ranges, the arrival and retreat of oceans at least 12 different times, the alternating development of deserts and swamp lands. A billion years are captured in the canyon walls, along with the remnants of various life forms that existed long before humans. Our pathway through time showcases some of the oldest exposed rocks in the world, ones that have been folded, lifted and split by eons of geological forces.

Blonde rock and black manganese oxide on Tiger Wall

Beside this fascinating scientific value, the Yampa’s geology is also responsible for the beauty of its canyon home: vertical yellow and red sandstone walls that tower as high as 1000 feet and squeeze the river through a surprisingly narrow gorge, tiger-striped walls alternating in blonde rock and black manganese oxide, clear creeks tumbling out of shady side canyons, sheltering sandstone caves, and more…

Geology formation near the Yampa River

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