Keep the Yampa River Wild


When we acquired Adrift last year, our introduction to the business and to the Yampa River was with Western State University. For over a decade now, Mark Gibson, Department Chair for the Recreation, Exercise and Sports Science Department, has brought up to 25 students every year in May on a transformational journey to explore the Yampa River and give them an opportunity to see both the inner and outer workings of a whitewater tour operator in Dinosaur National Monument. This year we decided to raise the bar and ask more of the students. We took the class from an introduction to an immersion. We let the students help open our boathouse and get it ready for opening day. They helped us do inventory and get our small retail shop open. They helped us perform an inventory that went down to the number of forks we have in our kitchen. After all the hard work they put in, they got to set off on the last undammed river that is a major tributary of the Colorado River System and these are some of the experiences the students have shared with us…

Cheryl Welch-

“Red walls of sandstone rise up and up from the playful meandering of the Yampa River. Echoes of ancients resonant within, their stories etched in rock as petroglyphs and pictographs. The rocks have their own stories too. Dinosaur bones. Seashells. Transformation. This five day trip down the Yampa and Green Rivers both transcended time and wrote new stories. Stories that are powerful, exhilarating, and life-changing. Playing drums around the fire at Tepee camp, doing yoga in Signature Cave, cheering on the boats navigating Warm Springs rapid, splashing in waterfalls of Box Elder camp, and hanging out with some of the most rad people I know – each memory is unforgettable. The Adrift guides that shared this incredible experience with us – Dan, Annie, Mike, Luke, Utley, Bradley, Trinity, and Buckley – are passionate, friendly and competent in everything that they do. Top-notch boatman-ship, geological and archaeological interpretation, knowledge of flora and fauna, and just all around bad-ass cool cats that love to share this magical place with others. For me, going through the silent float section of the Yampa and Green River confluence, I let go of the past, of things that I have let hold me back in my life. No more looking back, my eyes are downstream, the future is bright and exciting. Ride the wave. I am forever grateful and forever changed. May the river change you. Keep the Yampa River wild.”

Dylan Jensen:

“These are the words that will be singing in my heart and mind for my lifetime. I’m a student at Western State University in the Outdoor Recreation and Education major and had the opportunity of a lifetime; To float 72 miles of untouched, beautiful, mind-blowing, unhindered water through three canyons and humbling environments. Our adventure started at the Adrift boathouse where we met co-owners Javier and Buckley with their staff that we would be floating with. My dear friend Dan was our trip leader (he did an amazing job), Schmidty one of the guides (great witty humor that kept me laughing the entire trip), Mike Utley (amazing knowledge of the canyons and a fantastic musician), Bradley (a white-water SUP guide and professional rider), and Luke (an amazing SUP guide and instructor). I remember how anxious I was driving down to Dinosaur where our trip began and ended. It was after our first briefing and meeting that my anxiety was subdued by meeting all the guides and owners, knowing we were in more than capable hands. On put-in day we loaded up all the gear, said our farewells to the helpful ranger and took off away from civilization. It was in the silty, chocolate milk looking Yampa river that I found my next calling. This experience has made me want to pursue a career in the raft and stand up paddle board guiding. Over 5 days and 4 nights I was continuously humbled, filled with gratitude and excited through every bend and every rapid. I will keep the rapids a secret so when you find yourself flowing down them alongside one of the amazing guides you will have your own experience with no preconceived notions. To anyone who is looking for an adventure that many will never have in their lifetimes and an adventure that will have a forever lasting impression on your life and those you surround yourself with than you need to get on your phone or laptop surf over to or call 435.789.3600 and make a reservation for an adventure you won’t regret. It may even leave you wanting to quit your 9-5 office job and become an environmental steward of the free-flowing Yampa River system or any other beautiful piece of wilderness for that matter I know that was the end result for me.”

We still have a few launches left on the Yampa River and our Lodore season begins at the end of June.  We have a variety of trips to pick from that will tickle any fancy. If you are looking to charge and challenge yourself, we have the SUP Focused trips with CMAC, Dan Gavere and RVR2RVR.  If doing yoga is more your speed, we have one in a few weeks and one at the end of August. We have a jam fest for a good cause with our ROMPin down the River trip and our Live in Season trip with Kelly Liken should be a culinary treat for anyone interested in top-tier camping gastronomy.  If you have been looking at some of our trips and would like to book or get more info, please call us or send us an email. We are certain that you will be raving and as transformed as these two that just came off the Yampa.


CEO/River Manager

Adrift Adventures

Stand Up Paddle Colorado

Check out this season’s trips here.