I had NO IDEA that Vernal had river rafting. I was super excited to go and so very grateful to Harmony for braving 7 kids under the age of 8 for the day. She got a lot of CRAZY looks while she was out exploring while we were gone.
We did need a national parks pass for this trip since we were entering the river at the Dinosaur National Monument. You can buy a day pass or annual, or if you have a 4th grader, passes are FREE (4th grader must be with you).
The OARS HQ was in downtown Vernal, a short drive from our the Dinosaur Inn where we were staying. From there we got geared up (wet suits optional, splash jacket recommended), helmets, and life vests, then we boarded the bus for a beautiful 45 minute drive up river.
Inside Dinosaur National Monument we stopped for a little hike up to some petroglyph in the rocks.
The rest of the trip, you'll just have to take our word for how cool it was because I didn't take my phone for photos. We do have some videos on the go-pro, I'll get those added soon. All I have to say was that it was EPIC! No kids under 12 can ride at this time because the river runoff is so fast right now and the water level is so high. Good news, that makes for some pretty amazing rapids! This was serious fun and would be a blast with a group of friends or family. The more the better! Our kids loved it and no one fell in.
Another awesome part of this tour is that they feed you lunch on the river. We pulled over half way and I was expecting some pre-made baggie sandwiches, but no, it was glamping style. They set up tables, had a sink to wash up, made appetizers of cut up fruit and chips while they were prepping lunch. They had a make your own sandwich station with all the fixin's and some seriously amazing deli meats. They even sent us off with a stomach full of Oreos before we hit the water again.
Our last stop on the tour was this cool cave full of the finest sand. It was pretty cool in there. Rumor has it, someone found an old gun holster back in the day that belonged to an outlaw.
This rafting trip was AMAZING. The food was great, our guide was awesome. We can't wait to go again one day.
For the day trip, plan on 9-4, its an all day experience, worth every penny.
They have a dry bag that is secured to the raft. They don't recommend bringing anything that couldn't be ruined, so I left my phone on the bus, but next time I'm totally taking it. Everything was safe and nothing got wet.
Take a water bottle. They also supply you with water, lunch and dessert.
Sunscreen, hat (worn under helmet), and sunglasses are great too.