The last time Ken Brower traveled down the Yampa River in Northwest Colorado was with his father, David Brower, in 1952. This was the year his father became the first executive director of the Sierra Club and joined the fight against a pair of proposed dams on the Green River in Northwest Colorado. The dams—a big one at Echo Park and a smaller one at Split Mountain—would have flooded the canyons of the Green and its tributary, Yampa, inundating the heart of Dinosaur National Monument. With a conservation campaign that included a book, magazine articles, a film, a traveling slideshow, grassroots organizing, river trips and lobbying, David Brower and the Sierra Club ultimately won the fight—ushering in a period many consider the dawn of modern environmentalism. 62 years later, Ken revisited the Yampa & Green Rivers to reflect on his father's work, their 1952 river trip, and how we will address the looming water crisis in the American West.
Warm Springs Rapid is one of the West's classic whitewater experiences. Located in the deep canyons of Dinosaur National Monument on the Yampa River, the rapid is both feared and loved. Nearly 50 years ago, heavy rain produced a large debris flow that burst from side canyons and into the river creating what we know today as Warm Springs Rapid. River rafting was still in its early days at that time and one of the first boatman attempting to navigate the Warm Springs was thrown into the rapid and drowned. Since then the rapid has mellowed but still occupies a position of fable and nostalgia in the stories of river lore. Alongside the rapid the Yampa River has also seen many of river running's early days. From early do it yourselfers to now, Warm Springs is a story full of history, culture and a river that has captured the heart of boatmen and women for generations. And this only the beginning.
Meet Our Friends at Rig to Flip
We’re here to do that for generations of boaters by making the best dam river films out there. This is a different model then the films we see for recreation these days. Footage of boaters dropping waterfalls is awesome and intense but that’s not our focus or interest. The idea is bringing it past a recreational point of view. Our specific target is the next generation who needs to take an ownership role in the future of the Colorado River System. You can say that we’re compelled by our experience to create and craft stories that build understanding and respect. A sense of stewardship, a willingness to own the tuff issues and expressing a reverence for these places and rivers, that’s what Rig To Flip is all about.
The Last One
The Friends of the Yampa presents "The Last One," a documentary that features the Yampa River at flood stage during the historic 2011 runoff. The Yampa, located in Northwest Colorado, is the last major river in the 7-state Upper Colorado River Basin that does not have any major dams or diversions that significantly impact its flow. As pressure mounts in Colorado to locate future water supplies, the Yampa is and will always be a possible source. Take a journey down the Yampa through this 15-minute film and learn all about why this river is perhaps the most important river in the West today. Written and Directed by: Kent Vertrees Edited by: Ben Saheb AKA Saheb Creations Narrated by: Cody Perry Videography by: Mike Bye Music by: Cubix Productions
Fly Fishing in the Yampa Valley
Learn about the fantastic Fly Fishing opportunities in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. A great place for the entire family, you can spend the mornings fishing the Elk or Yampa River and then spend the afternoon mountain biking, hiking or even skiing in Steamboat's famous Champagne Powder.
Fish Creek Race 2014
This edit is from Steamboat's 2014 Yampa River Fest. This event is the Fish Creek Kayak Race.
Flooding of the Yampa River
Aerial drone footage by Cedar Beauregard. Yampa River flood 2011.