Dinosaur Discovery

This family-friendly dinosaur discovery adventure combines the best of Vail whitewater rafting with fossil hunting for a prehistoric journey like no other. Raft back in time more than 150 million years along the beautiful Colorado River, where you’ll see and touch footsteps, bones, and other remnants of the great dinosaurs that once roamed Colorado. Rafting through the Upper Colorado River’s mild rapids adds fun to an educational experience that digs into the history of Vail’s dinosaurs.

Timberline Tours teams up with Fossil Posse on this trip to provide world-class rafting guides and dinosaur experts who will shape adventurers of all ages into paleontologists for the day. The trip will begin with a dig at the Fossil Posse bone quarry, where they’ll discover and collect exciting finds including fossil shark teeth, ammonites, and fossil bone pieces. Other morning activities include fossil casting, geology talks, fossil presentations, and meeting a living fossil, Fossil Posse’s giant snapping turtle. After enjoying lunch together, transportation is provided to Rancho Del Rio on the Colorado River, where all guests will be outfitted with the required rafting gear and then begin their river journey. Embark on a family-friendly rafting trip from Rancho Del Rio to State Bridge. Guides will be sure to point out various points of interest related to the time when dinosaurs roamed the area as you float down the Mighty Upper Colorado. End the day at the State Bridge take-out, where your dry clothes and transportation back to your lodging or car will be waiting for you.

When school’s not in session, this rafting trip provides a great way to make learning fun for all ages. It’s hands-on, expert led, and the stuff of a true Colorado adventure. For visitors and locals to the Vail area, this outing will be a memorable way to connect with an exciting history that’s both local and global. This rafting and fossil hunting trip is offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays during the summer season for all adventurous guests ages 6 and above, and it’s also a great way to celebrate a birthday party, family reunion, or special event.

Dinosaur Discovery Rafting Trip

Telephone: 970.476.1414



Class II (Scenic, splashy float)


  • $159 per person + 12% land use fee

Approximate Trip Time:

9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

***Please be aware these time windows include time spent at Fossil Posse, driving to/from, check-in, gear-up, and safety talks.



Available Tuesdays (ask about private parties)
Late May to Early October

Put In:

Rancho Del Rio

Take Out:

State Bridge

Minimum age:

The minimum age for this trip is 6 years old.


transportation, rafting, lunch, Fossil Posse dig

Learn More

What to Wear
Rafting Safety
Paddling Tips
Rafting History: Vail
River Ratings