Vail Rafting and Dinosaur Discovery

Did you know that dinosaurs once roamed the Vail area? It’s true! These gigantic and fascinating creatures once lived here, and rafting through the Colorado River basin is the perfect way to learn more about their story. For the first time this summer, you’ll be able to dig into this unique history on a Timberline Tours dinosaur discovery rafting trip for an educational adventure that’s also loads of fun.

Discover Vail’s Dinosaurs while Rafting

With the river cutting a deep canyon and exposing layers of rock, a rafting trip along the beautiful Upper Colorado River, or Upper C, will take you back in time more than 150 million years to a place where you can touch footsteps, bones, and other remnants of the great dinosaurs that once lived near Vail, Colorado. From the rafting portion of the trip’s put-in location at Rancho del Rio to its end at State Bridge, Colorado, you’ll discover how a river can reveal Vail’s dinosaur history.

vail rafting dinosaur whitewater trip

Rafting on the Upper Colorado River is also a family-friendly adventure that outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and ability levels can enjoy. The Upper C’s splashy rapids offer some excitement, while its calm sections provide a great setting for learning more about dinosaur history and about the Colorado wildlife that currently live in this area, including bald eagles, mule deer, elk, otter, bear, and more. Your Timberline guide will safely bring you into an experience of the wildlife–currently living and long extinct–that add intrigue to every bend of the Colorado River.

Dig into Vail’s Dinosaur History

On the Timberline Tours dinosaur discovery rafting trip, you’ll also have the chance to dig deeper into Colorado dinosaur history with an actual fossil dig. We’re teaming up with Fossil Posse Prehistoric Journeys for an afternoon session at the Fossil Posse camp’s bone quarry, where you can dig for and collect fossilized shark teeth, ammonites, and fossil bone pieces. The excitement continues with activities including fossil casting, geology talks, fossil presentations, and meeting a living fossil, Fossil Posse’s giant snapping turtle.

Fossil Posse Camp x 600w

This family-friendly rafting and dinosaur discovery trip is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 15, 2016 through October and is great for adventurous guests ages 6 and above. Transportation, rafting, lunch, and the Fossil Posse dig are included.

fossil found 600w

Beyond Vail, Colorado’s Western Slope offers even more opportunities explore dinosaur history, with dinosaur digs nearby in Fruita, Colorado (along with the Dinosaur Journey Museum) and at Dinosaur National Park in the town aptly named Dinosaur, Colorado. But if you’re in Vail, be sure to get out on a dinosaur discovery rafting trip with Timberline Tours for a prehistoric adventure that’s close to home.


Timberline Tours is the Vail-area’s premier whitewater rafting and backcountry jeep tours outfitter, also offering stand up paddle board (SUP) and duckie river trips on Colorado’s Eagle, Colorado, and Arkansas Rivers. All of our guided trips are open to Vail, Colorado visitors, locals, families, and corporate groups.

To book your Vail, Colorado adventure, call Timberline Tours at (970) 476-1414, or email us at