7 Must Do Outdoor Activities in Utah

7 Must Do Outdoor Activities in Utah

 Whitewater Rafting the Gates of Lodore on the Green River

This river meanders through the Utah/Colorado border but is so spectacular we had to keep it number 1 on our list. Entering through the Gates of Lodore sends you on a 44-mile expedition through technical whitewater rapids like Hell’s Half Miles, lets you sleep on peaceful beaches, watch the stars swirl around the canyon at night, explore vista hikes that will drop your jaw hundreds of feet back to the river, and let you live among the mule deer and bighorn sheep for a few days. Luckily the river is permitted, so although over 9,000 people apply to go down the river every year, it will never be overcrowded and you’ll sure to have an unforgettable wilderness experience. Once you have experienced a Green River Gates of Lodore trip you will have to come back and see the Yampa River another western river gem located in the heart of Dinosaur National Monument.

 Hiking in the Uinta Mountains

This is one of the more underrated mountain ranges in Utah.  Just a few hours outside of Park City, the Uinta’s are home to Utah’s tallest peak, Kings peak at 13,534 feet.  The wooded area is home to beautiful mountain lakes, wild flowers, and crisp mountain air and due to its high elevation, it stays cooler in the heat of the Utah summers.  With plenty of trails for day hikes or backpacking, it’s on the list for a Utah must-see.

Canyoneering in Canyonlands

 The slot canyons in Southern Utah are worth getting yourself into.  Spend a day hiking through one of the wider canyons, like the Narrows, or hire a guide to take you and your friends repelling down a longer more technical canyon.  Be sure not to attempt to do this on your own unless you know what you are doing. The canyons and change quickly with weather and you don’t want to be a search and rescue story. You will more than likely spend some time in Moab while you are there stop in to the local owned outdoor recreation and gear experts Moab Gear Traders.

 Backpack the Grand Gulch in Bears Ears

This stunning 52-mile backpacking trip will take you into the heart of Bears Ears. The steep canyon takes you out of this world as you walk past ancient pueblo ruins: everything from granaries and kivas to petroglyphs and pottery shards. It’s believed that Bears Ears was a hub for pre-colonized North America, like and ancient city. Ruins from many tribes can be found throughout the hike, but don’t forget to visit Newspaper Rock on your way out, with hundreds of petroglyphs from centuries of Native Americans.

Fly Fishing on the Green River

The A-Section of the Green River attracts Anglers from around the world. With over 1000 trout per-mile and cold crystal-clear waters, just below Flaming Gorge Dam, you’d be hard pressed to find a better fly-fishing zone in Utah.  Float the 7 miles section in a drift boat or walk along the banks of the river along a trail that runs the length of the first section.  While the A-section is the most popular, the B and C sections also offer amazing fishing with a few less people.  Make a weekend of it and float the A, B, and C sections, reserving a campsite on the riverbanks. Want to learn more about fishing or just need some help with your casting? Not to worry, there is a whole city of fishing guides in Dutch John, Utah happy to take you. Fishing is not your thing but you would still love to see the river, we offer a fantastic scenic river rafting day trip give us a call or book online for Utah one day on the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam.

 Mountain Biking in Vernal, Utah

 Vernal is giving Moab a ride for its money.  It has something for everyone; easy beginner trails to learn or ride with kids, self-inflicted suffer fest, flowy downhills with a few drops if you are daring, and everything in between. The city sits on the edge of the North-Eastern Utah desert and the Uinta Mountains giving it a uniquely diverse landscape. Within 20- minutes of Vernal in either direction you can ride on Moab Style slick rock or Montana-esque packed dirt in the woods. There are dozens of well-made trails and not as crowded as Fruita or Moab.  Head into the local bike shop, Altitude Cycle, for tips on which trails to ride.

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

This Utah view is iconic for a reason. The three-mile hike takes you along sandstone slick rock, winding through desert half pipes and bowls. It’s a moderately-difficult hike and worth the trek to see the arch in person.

White Water Rafting For Beginners

White Water Rafting for Beginners

White water rafting can be intimidating, especially if your only perspective is from the adventure documentary Congo: The Grand Inga Project. You might be thinking to yourself.  “These people are insane! I don’t want to die in crocodile infested waters, with beaches unsafe for camping, where literally everyone dies!”  Well not to worry. Not all white-water trips are the red bull version of a whitewater adventure. There a few levels of starting your rafting adventures ranging from a scenic float trip on the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam to a four or five-day multi-day trip in Dinosaur National Monument on the Yampa River or Green River through the canyon Gates of Lodore.

The Scenic Float:

This trip is perfect for the beginners with young kids, people looking for a relaxing day out or someone unsure if white water rafting is for them. A scenic float typically involves a little bit of white water splashing in a beautiful place. They offer class I-II rapids, places for kids to swim in the water, a delicious lunch, and the option to use an inflatable kayak depending on the company you are booking through. It’s a great way to get a sense of what it’s like to float on a river raft trip. In Vernal, Utah Dinosaur River Expeditions is the only locally owned and operated outfitter we have a great day trip on the A-section of the Green River it is the ideal place for a scenic river float. It offers views of the beautiful Uinta mountains, a bit of geological and environmental history from your guides, and the potential to see a few bald eagles, great blue herons, mule deer and maybe a pronghorn antelope. This trip is a great activity if you are visiting the vernal area for a few days and want to spend a day on the water. https://www.dinosaurriverexpeditions.com/expedition/daily-trips-flaming-gorge-river-rafting/

The Mellow Multi Day:

Looking for more than a one day trip but you are still unsure about river trips with bigger rapids. We offer a great multi day option that can be just one night, or three, has class 2 and 3 rapids and will give you a great idea for what river camping is like, or glamping rather. A standard night on the river is going to include a campfire, a gourmet dinner complete with Dutch oven dessert, falling asleep to the sounds of the river, and a pancake or French-toast breakfast. This option is on the Utah section of the Green River from Flaming Gorge Dam to Brown’s Park. It’s a beautiful trip with class II rapids and lots of wildlife. The river tends to be much less populated on these lower sections of the river offering seclusion with your family and a chance to view Utah’s night sparkling sky. https://www.dinosaurriverexpeditions.com/expedition/green-river-flaming-gorge/

The Thrilling Four Day and Five Day:

If you tried the Splashy day trip and a mellow overnight and want to mash the two together, a thrilling four-day or five day trip is right up your ally. In Dinosaur National Monument, the Gates of Lodore on the Green River and the Yampa River are perfect multi day white water rafting adventures. They are classic white water adventures and will offer all the perks of a mellow overnight: great food, seclusion and wildlife with spicier rapids such as Warm Springs on the Yampa River or Hell’s Half Mile on the Green River through the Gates of Lodore. Your guides will know a lot about the area and be able to give you a fairly detailed history of the environment, and geology around you. If you already know you love camping and are a thrill seeker don’t be afraid to jump straight to either of these trips. They are  great trips for a first timer or experienced river rafter a like!


The Congo:

After a four day Lodore you are ready for the Congo. Just kidding. This is not a river for beginners in any sense, unless you are beginning the late stages of a professional kayaking career.

Any of these style trips are a great place to start! A few tips: remember a water bottle, sunscreen and a rain jacket (YES A RAIN JACKET). Nothing ruins a trip fast than a sunburn and an angry dehydration headache. Listen to your guides and have fun! The river is a great place to let yourself have a little fun and embrace your inner child. Your amazing guides will make it as safe and fun of an experience as possible.