Yampa Canyon is awesome in its own right but the river itself faces the pressures from afar. Colorado’s front range continues to grow and water managers have they’re eyes on the Yampa River. With plans on paper to construct new reservoirs, power lines, pipes and tunnel the water under two mountain ranges at an astronomical cost. The river would be drastically altered with depleted flows and no long-term improvement of our fragile collective dependence on this sacred western resource, water.
RESPECT THE YAMPA
The largest wild tributary of the Colorado River Basin that remains unregulated is the mighty Yampa River. Rising from the mountain streams of the Park Range and White River Plateau the Yampa River Basin drains nearly 8000 square miles that culminates in the astonishing beauty of Yampa Canyon. From mid May through July the Yampa swells with the melting snow of spring runoff making for the best boating months. During the high water year of 2011 Yampa Canyon showcased the rivers wild nature and powerful whitewater. Then during the following year of 2012 a light snowpack and dry spring led to a trickling river. No matter the river flow people jump at the opportunity to see the canyon for the first time, fifth or apply again and again, year after year.
A permit is required to float the monument and a person can only apply for and have one active permit during the “high season”. High season for the Yampa is May 13th through July 13th. The Green’s high season is much longer due to its upstream regulation going from May 13th through to September 13th. Typically trips down Yampa Canyon are five days but boaters can request for an extra day during the High Use period with an additional fee of $35.00.
Dinosaur National Monument is where two of the West's greatest rivers come together the yampa and the Green
The campsite’s in Yampa Canyon are comfortable, clean and beautiful. Each site has a high and low water option making plenty of space for fitting any group size. Pinyon and Juniper stands dominate the upper camps of Anderson, Teepee, Ponderosa, Big Joe and later a lower site at Warm Springs. Box Elders and Cottonwoods provide good shade at the other camps of Harding Hole, Mathers Hole, Laddie Park and Box Elder.
Hiking is truly everywhere. The monument is a wonderful wilderness experience and should be enjoyed and cared for. Minimum impact practices like Leave No Trace in addition to following the rules and regulations will insure the preservation of this splendid place.
Ladie Park offers excellent space and setting.