Large, beautiful Colorado river full of diverse rafting options

Yampa River


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yampa river overview

The second-largest watershed in the state of Colorado, the Yampa is a majestic, free-flowing river steeped in history. From its start near Steamboat Springs, it winds its way through farmlands and small canyons before making its way toward the Green River through the unparalleled and stunning grandeur of Dinosaur National Monument.

• Difficulty: Class II-IV (What does this mean?)
• Season: May – July

White Water Rafting Trips on the Yampa River:

Trip Lengths: 4 & 5 Day (Yampa Canyon/Dinosaur)
Outfitter: Adventure Bound River Expeditions
Learn More: ~ 800.423.4668

Wilderness Aware Rafting does not operate trips on the Yampa River. Information regarding the Yampa River on this website is strictly informational. Please click here for a complete list of trips that we offer, or use the search filter to the left. Thanks!

yampa river sections

Steamboat to Craig
Class II-III
Hit the Steamboat Springs Whitewater Park at the start of this section before floating mellow waters through wide valleys, meadows, farms and ranches.

Little Yampa & Juniper Canyons
Class II-III+
Beautiful and isolated Little Yampa Canyon provides a relaxing and peaceful multi-day float while Juniper Canyon moves a bit faster and offers up a playful wave train due to a diversion dam.

Maybell to Cross Mountain
Class II
Quiet and mellow with great opportunities to see wildlife and relaxing on a flat-water section of river.

Cross Mountain Gorge
Class IV-V
Short and action-packed, Cross Mountain Gorge offers amazing and highly challenging rapids through a sharp walled canyon.

Yampa Canyon through Dinosaur National Monument
Class II-III
Slow and winding section of river set in an awe-inspiring high walled canyon chalk full of stunning scenery, wildlife and splendid feelings of isolation.



What people are saying

  • Lydia filled us with confidence. She was skilled and knowledgeable and explained each set of rapids so we knew what to expect. She was great company and we had the best experience. She was brilliant.

    Dwight W. Rafter
  • I cannot wait to come back! Also loved how funny all the guides were. It was the most I’ve seen my sister laugh in a long time! Thank you so much for this amazing experience.

    Lexi R. Rafter
  • I spent several days researching various rafting options and after speaking w/your team was sold. We were not disappointed-the trip is spectacular and our guide Sean was informative, lively professional and entertaining.

    Lauren C. Rafter


Information for Yampa River Self-Guided Boaters:

Steamboat to Yampa Canyon

The Yampa River (Steamboat to Yampa Canyon) is in the Yampa River State Park and is managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

  • Boating Permit Required: NO
  • Permit Details: No fee of any kind is required to float the river, but you do need to buy a pass to use the State Parks managed access sites.
  • River Manager 1: Yampa River State Park 
    6185 W. US Hwy. 40, P.O. Box 759, Hayden, CO 81639 ~ 970.276.2061
  • River Manager 2: U.S Bureau of Land Management – Little Snake Field Office 
    455 Emerson Street, Craig, CO 81625 ~ 970.826.5000
Yampa Canyon through Dinosaur National Monument

The Yampa River (Yampa Canyon) is in Dinosaur National Monument and is managed by the U.S. National Park Service.

  • Boating Permit Required: YES
  • Permit Details: Permits are required in advance and there is a fee. Visit the Yampa Canyon section page, self-guided boater information, for details on obtaining a permit and fee information.
  • River Manager: U.S. National Park Service – Dinosaur National Monument
    4545 E. Hwy 40, Dinosaur, CO 81610 ~ 970.374.3020

If shuttle service is available, information is listed under the specific section page.

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