Gates of Lodore
Trip Planning & Itinerary
Gates of Lodore Itinerary
EVENING PRIOR TO YOUR TRIP:
Verify you have all that is suggested on the packing list.
Meet at 8:00 AM at the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham (1041 S 1500 E, Naples, UT 84078). Enjoy the scenic 2.5-hour drive to our put-in at the Gates of Lodore. We will start our adventure with a thorough safety orientation and then we will hit the river! The Gates of Lodore starts strong with some of the most exciting rapids on the Green River! After spending a few hours on the water in the morning, enjoying the exhilarating whitewater, we will find a sandy beach to pull over for a picnic lunch. Lunch can be midafternoon, so be sure to pack some granola bars or snacks to hold over the kids. We recommend a fanny pack to keep these essentials nearby on the rafts. After lunch, we will hop back in the rafts for an afternoon on the water soaking in the beautiful desert landscape! Having rafted for 4-5 hours, including our lunch, we will stop for the evening on another fantastic sandy beach for camp. While your guides tie down the boats and set up camp (kitchen, camp chairs, groover- the portable toilet), we welcome your help in setting up your bedroom (tent) and getting yourself settled. Camp allows plenty of time to relax, explore hikes, play on the beach, soak in some rays, beach games, read a book or nap. Then comes the pre-dinner hors-d’oeuvres while the guides prepare a delicious gourmet steak dinner, scrumptious salad, warm bread, and guide specialty of potato, pasta or rice. As you savor dinner, you will relish in the smell of the Dutch Oven dessert, as the whole camp will smell of a sweet aroma. As the sun drops and the stars shine, we enjoy fun, games, and stories around the campfire. Surely, this will be one of your best night’s sleep in a long time, under the stars!
DAY TWO ON…
Wake to the smell of brewing coffee and a crackling fire. The early bird catches the worm, as the sunrise can be the most breathtaking part of the day in the canyon, with vibrant, Instagram-worthy hues. Fill yourself with a delicious guide-prepared breakfast, as they clean up and pack up the kitchen. Your help packing up your gear and tent will be appreciated. Your guides will rig the boats and secure gear. Then, it is time to launch on the river for another day of adventure and memories to last a lifetime! On the river, your upcoming days in the canyon bring a historical treasure chest as the Green River winds through ancient petroglyphs and geological wonders of Jurassic-era Dinosaur National Monument. You will experience the exhilarating rapids Harp Falls, Triplet Falls, and Hell’s Half Mile as you journey through the canyon. The many splashes and ripples in on the river keep everyone engaged as we enjoy the towering red cliffs and desert flora. Just like previous evenings, we will settle ourselves in a beautiful sandy camp for the night. As guides prepare a delicious meal, you can get your “bedroom” settled and find yourself a spot to relax or take a self-guided walk exploring your surroundings. Many side hikes rise from the camp. We will pass the confluence with the Yampa River and enter a new world of beauty where we may stop to see Fremont petroglyphs along the river’s edge or break to hike through the magnificent sandstone formations at Steamboat rock and into Echo Park. The canyon walls here will reveal millions of years of history. Following a bit of flat water, we will enter Split Mountain Canyon where the river steepens and brings us to four fun rapids that will round out the end of our adventure. As we reach our take-out at Split Mountain we prepare to say goodbye to our new friends, cement in our minds this magnificent scenery and prepare to adjust back to the hustle and bustle of life.
Important Note: As the river is different every time it is run, so is each trip! Depending on water flows, the number of participants, and other circumstances Mother Nature imposes, our itineraries are just an estimate!
Gates of Lodore Rapids & Water Levels
Have you heard raft guides and river folks throw around the term ‘CFS’ but aren’t sure what that means? So what is CFS? CFS stands for cubic feet per second which is a unit of measurement referring to the volume and speed of water flow. So basically, if a river has a high CFS that means the water is flowing faster resulting in larger rapids. With this said, CFS is very important to be aware of as different levels will give you different experiences on the water. Cataract Canyon considered having high water when the CFS is 20,000 and above and low water is around 4000 CFS. If the river is low, your rafting trip might be more mellow and have less intense waves. Gauges are installed on rivers in order to measure the CFS and that information can be found on city water data sites. Inflatable kayaks are not used for high water flows as a safety precaution.
Peak flows occur in the late spring and early summer. Low flows occur in late summer and early fall. Plan your trip accordingly.
If your Gates of Lodore occurs during a period of high flow, you can expect multiple class III & IV rapids with class II mixed in. There where be plenty of whitewater! If your trip is during a period of low flow, you can expect class I & III rapids. For trips taking place with medium flow rate, expect a mix of class II & III rapids.
Meet-Point & Directions
Meet at 8:00 AM the morning of your trip at the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham in Naples, UT:
1041 S 1500 E, Naples, UT 84078 (Naples is a suburb of Vernal, UT)
Getting To Vernal/Naples:
3hr drive from Salt Lake City 5.5hr drive from Denver
- The easiest airport is in Salt Lake City, which is serviced by most major airlines. You can rent a car at the airport and drive to Naples, leaving it parked at the meet-point during the trip.
- Boutique Air offers twice-daily flights between Salt Lake City and Vernal and daily flights between Denver and Vernal. Check www.boutiqueair.com for current pricing and schedule.
- Redtail Aviation has charter flights from Salt Lake City to Vernal for an estimated cost of $392 per person (price is subject to change). A minimum of two passengers is required. Please call Redtail Aviation for more information: (800) 842-9251.
- There are many rental car options at the Salt Lake City airport and it is often more convenient to rent a car at the airport and return it after your trip. This allows you the flexibility to visit surrounding areas and sometimes is more economical than renting a vehicle one way.
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car is located at the Vernal Airport. Please call them directly at (435) 781-3008 for pricing and location hours as they are subject to change.
- If you’re travelling with a group, you can charter a van from Wilkins Bus Lines. Call Todd at (435) 828-6660.
- Greyhound services Vernal. There is one daily bus trip between Vernal and Salt Lake City. Amtrak services Salt Lake City and Helper, Utah.
Pre & Post Trip Accommodations:
- Vernal/Dinosaurland KOA (435) 789-2148
- Fossil Valley RV Park (435) 789-6450
- Dinosaur National Park (435) 781-7700
- Red Fleet State Park (435) 789-4432