- Minimum Age: 12 years
- Level: Intermediate
- Meeting Place: Vernal, Utah 7:00 a.m.
- Dates: June 6, 13, 20
Day 1: Meet group at Holiday Expeditions headquarters in Vernal, Utah. A one and a half hour van ride, takes us to Iron Springs Overlook for a magnificent view of things to come. Time to fill your water bottle and adjust your bike seat for one of the most spectacular downhill glides on the Colorado Plateau. Seven miles and two thousand vertical feet later we will have made the descent from the high plateau through Sand Canyon to the Yampa Bench. Riding along the mostly level bench takes us past breathtaking overlooks where we can view the Yampa River one-thousand feet below. We will camp near Johnson Canyon, where a short hike reveals an area noted for its rare plants.
Day 2: Day two will be our most ambitious day of biking (20-25 miles). A morning roller coaster ride takes us past the old Baker homestead, beyond Haystack Rock to the beginning of our climb over Blue Mountain's Ridge tops. Two miles and 700 vertical feet of pedaling deliver us into Bear Valley, where we receive our reprieve; several miles of smooth sailing. We will camp this evening at the head of Disappointment Draw with distant views of the Yampa Valley.
Day 3: This day begins with a short morning ride before hiking down disappointment draw. Support vehicles transfer bikes and equipment back to headquarters, and you board the rafts at Deerlodge Park. The Yampa River's speedy flow takes you over many miles and abundant rapids.
Day 4: Big Joe rapid usually marks the beginning of this day. Extra time provides opportunities for hiking and exploring up Johnson Canyon into Signature Cave where pre-Columbian Indians took shelter.
Day 5: The Yampa meanders past such attractions as The Grand Overhang, Cleopatra's Couch and Tiger Wall. A heavy flash flood in 1965 down Warm Springs Draw choked the Yampa with boulders, forming the river's largest rapid.
Day 6: The Yampa joins the Green River at Echo Park where the canyon widens before the river circles Steamboat Rock. Here the river enters Whirlpool Canyon. The afternoon may be spent at Jones Hole Creek - a blue-ribbon trout stream with side canyon petroglyphs and waterfall.
Day 7: Peaceful morning in Rainbow and Island Park areas before entering another massive gorge. The Green's powerful forces cut laterally through Split Mountain's uplifted and colorful core. Rapids abound before the take out and a 35-minute ride back to Vernal.
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USA Utah Colorado Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting
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