The Little Yampa Canyon (LYC), also known as Duffy Canyon, is located in Moffat County, just downstream of Craig, Colorado and is home to a 32-mile, family-friendly, flat water stretch of the Yampa River; a stretch that has been found to hold characteristics suitable for a wild & scenic river designation.
This section of river boasts incredible scenery, hidden Native American petroglyphs, frequent wildlife viewing opportunities, and an incredible sense of serenity and solitude that is lost in today’s modern, busy world. Unlike the Yampa Canyon which requires a permit from Dinosaur National Monument to float the river, the LYC is managed by the Bureau of Land Management as a Special Recreation Management Area and does not require a permit to float the river.
In partnership with the BLM Little Snake Field Office, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Yampa River State Park, Mission Continues and the Northwest Chapter of the Parrotheads, among others, the Friends of the Yampa have helped revitalize 5 riverside campsites along the LYC corridor that are now clearly marked and ready for use. Each campsite is equipped with a fire ring and grilling grate, in addition to a picnic table and areas suitable for tent camping.
Call us to arrange your river shuttle for The Little Yampa Canyon. We will drive your vehicle(s) to the put-in while you enjoy the river.
MILE 0: South Beach put in: Located 3 miles south of Craig, Colorado off Colorado State Highway 13. It’s obvious to find. You’ll go south from Craig on Highway 13 and once your cross the bridge over the Yampa River, your take a right onto the dirt road. You’ll pass the pump station to the power plant on your right and the access is just there behind it on the right along the Yampa River. There is a toilet at this river access but no camping allowed.
MILE 7.6: Antlers, the first of the five sites, is on river right and identified by several large cottonwoods and a large post reading Antlers, with a large pair of antlers attached. The 7.6 mile float from the South Beach River access site takes approximately 2-4 hours depending on river-flows and weather conditions.
MILE 14.5: Friends, the second of the five sites, is on river right and identified by a large clearing containing several large cottonwoods, both dead and alive, and a large post reading Friends. The 6.9 mile float from Antler campsite to the Friends campsite takes approximately 2-3 hours, depending on river-flows and weather conditions.
MILE 14.8: Railroad, the third of five sites, is notably the only campsite on river left, nearly adjacent to the the Friends campsite (0.3 miles away) and identified by a large post reading Railroad.
MILE 25.5: Bubba’s Beach, the fourth of five sites, is on river right, identifiable by several large Tamarisk stands and a few cottonwoods, in addition to a large post reading Bubba’s Beach. The 10.7 mile float from the Railroad campsite (or 11 miles from Friends) takes approximately 3-5 hours depending on river-flows and weather conditions.
MILE 30.4: Charlie Mike, the fifth of five sites, is on river right, identifiable by low-standing sage-brush and a large post reading Charlie Mike; it is important to note that the site borders private land closely and is separated by a barbed-wire fence, therefore it is advised to be careful so as to not accidentally trespass. The 4.9 mile float from Bubba’s Beach to Charlie Mike takes approximately 1-2 hours depending on river-flows and weather conditions.
MILE 32: Duffy Mountain take out. To get to the take out, you will take US Highway 40 west of Craig for 19 miles to Moffat County Road 17. Drive 10.2 miles to BLM Road 1593 and turn left. The river access site is 1 mile farther on the right. From the river floating, this is take out is on river left and it’s and obvious take out. During high water it can be tight for multiple boats so spread out. There is a toilet there and picnic and camping if you need.
It is important to note that there is private property interspersed throughout this float. Most sections or public and private property are marked on the river, but this isn’t always the case. Please respect all private property rules and regulations and practice leave no trace camping and floating ethics during your LYC journey.