You don’t need to have previous rafting experience to fully embrace this extraordinary expedition which combines beautiful environments and exciting activities with an emphasis on developing leadership, community, and personal strength (not just physical). On the river, you will learn both the basics and the fine points of managing a paddle raft through some of the best whitewater in the West, as well as camping underneath the pristine night skies of Southern Utah. You will paddle a raft, taking in the exquisite natural beauty, and often stop to explore many awe-inspiring viewpoints.
Dinosaur National Monument, Yampa River, Colorado and Utah
There are few instances in the United States or the world, where a river runs free and wild without dams, highways, railroads, or other manmade creations for its entire length. The Yampa is a symbol of wild rivers around the world, and it is the only major tributary of the Colorado River system without a dam controlling its flow. You can paddle through deep sandstone gorges and class II-IV rapids with your expedition mates. The Yampa is one of the most sought after rivers on any river-runner’s life-list due to the exhilarating whitewater, rich Native American history from over one thousand years ago, storied recent political history, and riverside wildlife.
While on the river, each day is spent learning to recognize and navigate various obstacles and hazards in the river, and how to anticipate the forces of the current from far enough upstream. You and your companions will work to become a team, coordinating your spacing, and paddle strokes. You will have an opportunity to be the captain of your crew and put to use what you’ve learned as you maneuver your raft through Class II – IV rapids. Interspersed between the rapids are flat-water sections where there is a current, but no whitewater. At times, you will take advantage of this calm water to hone your skills and enjoy the view. Time in a raft is ideal for getting to know each other and form boat pride, laughing your way downriver as you relax into the graceful simplicity of river life.
As you travel the river, you will stop along the way to explore side trails, canyons and historic or geologic points of interest. These hikes will take you through rough terrain to incredible, remote places that are only accessible by river travelers. The hikes are always well worth the effort to see both Ancient and turn of the century artifacts as well as stunning natural beauty.
NOTE: While rafting itself - riding down a rapid - is not as physically challenging an activity as backpacking, you do need to be adequately fit to paddle aggressively and to enter and exit the raft (you should be able to get out of a swimming pool without using a ladder). You should also know that hiking is an almost daily element of the course.
To apply for this course click the apply button next to the course dates that work for you. The non-refundable application fee of $125 is due at the time of application. For full fee schedule and process, click here. Course tuitions listed do not include our application fee or transportation fee.