Challenging, fast and very technical rapids

Cross Mountain Gorge


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cross mountain gorge overview

Floating through the meadows upstream, you’d never imagine that the lazy meandering of the Yampa River would give way to one of the most action-packed, technical and challenging stretches of whitewater in the state. But here it is – Cross Mountain Gorge. Sharp walls seem to rise out of nowhere channeling the water into a veritable maze of boulder gardens and holes.

Recommended White Water Rafting Trips on Cross Mountain Gorge – Yampa River:

At this time, we do not have information on outfitters that offer commercial trips on this section.

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!

cross mountain gorge sections

Yampa River – Cross Mountain Gorge Whitewater Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class IV-V (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 5814′ to 5606′
Average Gradient: 16.0′ per mile

Access to Access

East Cross Mountain to West Cross Mountain: 4.0 miles
West Cross Mountain to Deerlodge Park: 9.0 miles
Total Mileage: 13.0 miles



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:

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 ~

Please contact the river manager (above) for information on shuttle

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