Kayaker Dies in Dinosaur National Monument

A 66 year old man from Craig, CO, died yesterday while on a two-person private trip using inflatable kayaks on the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument. Release of the deceased’s name is pending family notification.

Tepee Rapids in the Yampa River Canyon

Based on preliminary reports, at approximately 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 15, the kayaker hit a rock in Tepee Rapid, capsized, and never resurfaced. He was wearing a personal flotation device. The reporting party kayaked 24 miles downstream to Hells Canyon Ranch to report the incident. Monument staff were contacted just before 9:00 pm on Saturday evening. Search and rescue efforts were launched Sunday morning.

Due to the remote location of the incident, and low water levels along the Yampa River, monument staff used a helicopter to aid in the response. A contracted helicopter from PJ Helicopters of Red Bluff, CA and the Mesa Verde National Park Helitack Crew were already on-site in the monument for a wildland fire assignment.

At 11:40 am on Sunday morning, the kayaker’s body was located approximately 3 miles downstream from the point last seen.
[NPS Story]

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