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Float With The Traveler In The Wake Of John Wesley Powell Through Dinosaur National Monument

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Pass through the Gates of Lodore with the Traveler this summer./Kurt Repanshek

Float in the wake of Major John Wesley Powell down one of the West'™s iconic rivers with the Traveler this July. For four days we'™ll follow the Green River as it meanders and pitches through rapids on its way through Dinosaur National Monument in Utah.

We'™ll let the licensed guides of Holiday River Expeditions lead us through Disaster Falls, Hells Half Mile, and the other rapids. They'll provide natural history interpretation, and cater to us with three sumptuous meals a day.

But once ashore, noted national park historian Dr. Alfred Runte, who consulted for and appeared on the Ken Burns/Dayton Duncan documentary, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, will lead campfire discussions about the National Park System. And during the day, award-winning photographer Patrick Cone will offer instruction and tips for capturing the striking scenery. We'™ll also dig nightly into Traveler'™s 'œswag' bag of giveaways.

The scenery in this part of Dinosaur National Monument is outstanding. The Green River has cut a cleft in the Uinta Range at the Gates of Lodore. Further downstream is towering Steamboat Rock, and swirling Whirlpool Canyon. We'™ll see ancient rock art, be doused by a waterfall, enjoy the perfect swimming hole, and hike to a point hundreds of feet above the Green River. Wildlife includes bighorn sheep, deer, great blue herons, and various raptors.

This is the perfect trip for families with youngsters at least 8 years old. There'™s plenty of river time, as well as time for hikes or simply relaxing with a good book as the Green flows by. Meals range from blueberry pancakes or made-to-order omelets for breakfast, wraps and deli sandwiches for lunch, and steaks, fish, or chicken for dinner. Special dietary needs can also be easily handled with enough notice.

We'™ve reserved July 17-20 for Traveler readers. Pricing is $870 per person. To reserve your spot, call Holiday River Expeditions at 1-800-624-6323 and tell them you'™d like to be on the Traveler trip. Or, book online at Holiday's website by picking the Lodore Canyon trip for July 17-20. Space is available for 18-22 travelers. If we don'™t sign up 18 by May 11, those who have reserved spots will have their deposits refunded.

The fine print:


We meet for your trip in Vernal, Utah at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters, 7 a.m. (Mountain Time) the morning your trip begins.  If you arrive in Vernal by bus or plane, call our headquarters (435-789-4586) upon your arrival to make arrangements to have you and your gear transported to our headquarters the morning of the trip.  If you are driving, your car can be left at our headquarters.


Upon your arrival at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters (7 a.m., Mountain Time), we will issue your waterproof bags.  You can buy any last minute items from our accessory'™s store at this time.  We will then take a three-hour scenic van ride to the Gates of Lodore, where we will transfer to the boats.


We will disembark at Split Mountain Campground in Dinosaur National Monument near Jensen, Utah. From there we will transport you back to our headquarters in Vernal, Utah (35-minute van ride).  Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is about 4 p.m.


Our guides are trained in first aid and carry first aid supplies only.  REMEMBER to bring your own prescription medicines.  ALERT our guides to any medical problem you might have such as diabetes or allergic reactions.  Wilderness expeditions are a long way from hospitals, doctors, and pain-relieving medicines.  Evacuations to modern medical care are uncertain, and protracted.  In case of evacuation and/or medical treatment beyond first aid, expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participant.


If cancellations are made within 90 days and outside of 45 days of the trip date, monies will be refunded less a $100 service charge per person.  Cancellations made within 45 days of the trip date are non-refundable.  Prior to 45 days to the trip date we will transfer reservations to another trip in the same year with a $25 service charge per person.  Cancellation of a trip is very unlikely, but we reserve the right to cancel any trip due to river or weather conditions or the lack of sufficient reservations.  A full refund will be made if such is the case.


Medical and cancellation insurance on a vacation plan can be obtained from numerous insurance companies.  We offer plans underwritten by TRAVEL GUARD that cover accident, baggage and cancellation claims.  An application should be enclosed with this information package.  We encourage all to take advantage of this coverage.  It is available to American and Canadian citizens, as well as citizens of another country as long as you have a U.S. address.  If you have questions give us a call. 

Also, if you are bringing expensive cameras, binoculars, or other items we suggest you have insurance coverage for them (commonly available through Homeowners Policies).  In the event of a loss, our insurance will not cover those items.


Many guests ask us if tipping is appropriate after the trip.  If you feel the guides have been instrumental in your enjoyment of the trip, you may choose to direct a gratuity to the trip leader in the form of cash or check.  He/She will then distribute it evenly to the other crew members.  Of those that choose to tip, the average contribution amount ranges between $15 and $25 per guest, per day.  However, the decision to tip is left to your sole discretion.


We provide ice water, lemonade, two sodas per day per person and ample cooler space.  If you choose to bring any specialty sodas and/or alcoholic beverages, we have no problem taking whatever you want to bring '“ within reason.  Don'™t bring beer, wine coolers or sodas in glass containers.  Wine packaged in a box is ideal.  Mark beverages that you bring so they are packed on your boat.  In Utah, wine or liquor is not sold after 7 p.m., before 11 a.m. or on Sundays and holidays.


Prior to leaving for your trip, we welcome you to call our Salt Lake City office, Monday through Friday at 800-624-6323 (outside Utah), or 801-266-2087 (inside Utah). We'™re happy to take the time to answer your questions. You may also contact us through e-mail at [email protected].



Wow! It sounds amazing.


Kurt, how fun, have camped their a few times, my wife did the river trip, just a great place.

Thanks Danny and Ron. I've done it twice, and it is an incredible trip. And when you think of sitting down around a campfire at night and discussing national parks with Al Runte, well, what more could you ask?

This sounds like an amazing trip and, if I didn't already have plans, I would jump at the chance. I hope NPT offers more of these in the future.

We'd like to make these trips an annual outing for readers to plan on. And we're thinking of other trips away from the water....If there's enough interest, we'll keep 'em coming.

My reply has to be the same as dahkota's. But please do keep 'em coming. Someday the calendar and other factors will work out.

Ditto dahkota and Lee Dalton - if my calendar wasn't already set up with vacations for 2014, this would be an awesome trip to take.  Think you'll have something for 2015?

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