rafting moffat

Moffat County – Travel on the Yampa River

Welcome to the Yampa River Valley, consider traveling on the River!

The wild Yampa River is an incredible asset in Northwest Colorado and has stunning landscapes through the region.  One of the most satisfying ways to experience the river is to actually do a float trip. There are several sections that are available for the public to enjoy with many different watercrafts.

Flattops to Steamboat Springs

High above the Yampa Valley in the Flattops Wilderness the Yampa River starts its journey toward the Green River in western Moffat County.  The River meanders through the Steamboat Area, passing through world famous Steamboat Ski Resort, the river runs west through the City of Steamboat Springs.  The City provides several access points, riverside reaction sites, trails, parks and river oriented recreational opportunities.

Steamboat Springs to Craig

The Yampa River continues west from Steamboat along US Hwy 40, the river flows past the Steamboat Golf Course west to Milner, Colorado.  The first two miles west of Steamboat are popular with boaters; the next four miles have limited access.  The town of Milner is located 6 miles west of Steamboat Springs.

After the Yampa River passes through Miler, traditional mining and agriculture become prominent.  The Yampa River passes through historical mining communities of McGregor, Brookston, Coal View, Mount Harris and Bear River.  Further west is the historical Carpenter Ranch; this ranch offers an agricultural legacy to the Yampa Valley.  The Yampa River State Park is just west of Hayden and is an ideal launch point for float upstream or down steam of the State Park.   The land sustains agricultural development and the most pristine riparian and waterfowl habitat in the State of Colorado.  This section provides abundant wildlife viewing. 

As The Yampa River reaches Craig, city and county ownership along the south side of the River offering many opportunities for accessing the river.  Again, wildlife viewing, birds of prey and fishing and floating opportunities abound.

Craig to Maybell

The Bureau of Land Management’s Little Yampa Canyon and juniper Canyon Special Recreation Areas offer many boating opportunities with several State park launch points, beginning just west of Craig and continuing all the way to Maybell, Colorado.  The 27 mile segment of the river through the Special recreation Management Area from the Williams Fork River to the west side of Duffy Mountain has become an increasing popular Class I flatwater boating section.  Notably, this section of the Yampa River has attained statewide and regional significance because of its flatwater boating opportunities in a scenic and natural environment.  There are several public access points along this section.

Maybell to Dinosaur National Monument

Much of the Yampa River as it exits Juniper Canyon is a flatwater float with access points just east of Maybell, at Sunbeam and further west and east Cross Mountain.  The launch into Cross Mountain is a serious undertaking and in many water levels may be considered not runnable.  Be sure and check with local whitewater guides in the area before entering this section.

Dinosaur National Monument to the Confluence of the Green River

This section of the Yampa River is entirely in Dinosaur National Monument and is permitted by the National Park Service.  This spectacular run is a river running classic and is wildly popular with experienced rafters.  The Yampa confluences with the Green River at Echo Park, the famous Steamboat rock is found in this location.  More information concerning rafting permits in the Monument can be found at recreation.gov. 

Visit Moffat County has a river access map available for launch points and recreation sites along the Yampa River from Steamboat Springs to Dinosaur National Monument.  Request your free copy of this map at 970.824.2335 or request on line on the “Contact Us” page.

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