Yampa, Colorado, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III(IV) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||12 fpm|
|YAMPA RIVER AT DEERLODGE PARK, CO|
|usgs-09260050||700 - 25000 cfs||II-III(IV)||00h56m||340 cfs (too low)|
The Yampa is a classic multi-day whitewater river. Most boaters spend 3 to 5 days floating the Yampa and Green Rivers that comprise this run. For most in-season runs a permit must be acquired from the Dinosaur National Monument Ranger Station. These permits are highly competitive and the possibility of winning a permit varies year to year. The permit generally specifies the camping beaches for each float trip.
This page describes the Yampa to the confluence of the Green at Echo Park. Boaters almost alway continue another 26 miles down the Green Echo Park to Split Mountain section. The total distance of the two sections is about 72 miles.
As a high desert run the weather pattern of the Yampa River can range from freezing to over 100 degrees in less than a day during the early float season. Later runs in July or August are generally hotter and more predictable but can suffer from low water and mosquitoes.
Almost every big rapid on the Yampa can be scouted on river right. The Yampa at Deerlodge starts
as a wide meandering river in an open desert. Within a mile or so it enters a box canyon and some
easy but continuous rapids begin. There are several notable rapids on the Yampa and the gradient
is fairly constant for most of the first day. On the second or third day of paddling the Yampa
becomes tranquil as it approaches its largest rapid, Warm Springs.
Scout Warm Springs from river right. A huge flood that temporarily dammed the river formed this rapid. The rapid itself would not be much more than an easy class IV drop were it not on a multi day river excursion. Flipping a raft in Warm Springs almost always results in an unpleasant night with wet or lost gear.
Below Warm Springs the river continues to present complex rapids and wave trains, but never approaches the difficulty of Warm Springs until after the confluence with the Green in Split Mountain Canyon.
Any whitewater boat (C-1, OC-1, OC-2, Raft, K-1, K-2, etc can float the Yampa.)
Permits required year around. Lottery for high-use season second weeked in May to second weekend in July with applications due Jan 31.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
The largest rapid on the Yampa. A 1965 Debris/Flash flood event formed this rapid rated among the 10 biggest drops in the country. Scout from the right.