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Rafts on the Yampa River

Yampa River Natural History & Hiking Adventure – 5 Days

Join OARS and discover the natural history of the Yampa River on this rafting and hiking adventure with award-winning author Dr. Patrick Tierney


Colorado & Utah


May 20, 2024 - May 24, 2024



Take a deep dive into the beauty and natural history of the Yampa River–the last large, truly wild and free river in the Colorado River Basin–with renowned Yampa expert Dr. Patrick Tierney. With plenty of hiking to lesser-known areas of Dinosaur National Monument, exciting Class III whitewater, and extensive interpretive talks by Dr. Pat, this active adventure will surely leave you with a deep appreciation and respect for this wild place.


Dr. Patrick Tierney

Dr. Patrick Tierney has been a leader on Yampa River trips for 47 years, a National Park Service river ranger, researcher, and co-owner of a commercial rafting company with his wife Robin, all on the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument. With over 150 trips down the Yampa, he has many stories to tell and special places to share in the canyons of Dinosaur. Melding this vast experience into print, Pat authored the book Colorado’s Yampa River: Wild and Free Flowing from the Flat Tops to the Green, which won the Nature Book of the Year Award from the non-profit Colorado Humanities. Pat is a retired professor of recreation, parks, and ecotourism at San Francisco State University. Besides the Yampa, Pat has led natural history-focused adventures in Asia, South and Central America, Africa, and Alaska. But the Yampa has special meaning to him – as he says, “The Yampa runs through my veins.” Here is your chance to learn from and interact with an expert on the wildlife, canyons, geology, and Native American history of one of the most beautiful slickrock canyons in the Southwest.

About This Trip

Rafting on the Yampa River

Imagine all the fun and thrill of a Yampa River rafting trip–tranquil floating, exciting rapids, pristine beaches, stellar food, and so much more–combined with a floating classroom where you’ll get a crash course in all things Yampa. Not only will Dr. Pat lead you on explorations through remote side canyons and to locations seldom seen on other trips, but you’ll also be treated to fascinating discussions on the natural and human history of the Yampa River corridor as you float through its colorful canyons. To say Dr. Pat knows the Yampa like the back of his oars would be an understatement, and there’s no shortage of incredible stories to hear from his 47 years of running this sacred river.

Each day will bring new and exciting opportunities to learn about the canyon’s unique biology, ecology, and geology. Take in the rich history of the area’s past inhabitants as you hike to Native American petroglyphs and view cabins once occupied by Wild West cowboys. You’ll get an in-depth look into why the Yampa is considered the last major free-flowing river in the West from someone who has dedicated his life fighting to protect that status. When you step off the boat at your take-out, you’ll leave the river behind but carry the Yampa home in your heart.


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