It was inevitable, really. With the surge in popularity of whitewater SUP, aka river SUP, it was only a matter of time before a rafting outfitter put together a multi-day river expedition by stand-up paddleboard. And we could have put money on the fact that it would be Colorado’s DVK Expeditions. Owned by the Dvorak family, DVK is not only at the forefront of the industry, but also river conservation and advocacy. Founder Bill Dvorak is president of Friends of Browns Canyon, and sits on the board of both the Colorado River Outfitters Association and America Outdoors. DVK holds the first rafting permit ever granted in the state of Colorado.
DVK’s debut SUP river trip will take place July 7 – 13, 2015, covering 86 miles through Desolation and Gray Canyons on the Green River in Utah. Dvorak’s son Matt, one of the pioneers of river SUP, is leading the trip, along with world-class SUP Yoga instructor Sarah Callaham. “There seems to be this perfect synergy between the flow of the river, the otherworldly beauty of the desert, and the practice of yoga,” says Matt Dvorak. “We really wanted to put them all together. Add in the fact that we’re doing it on stand-up paddleboards, and well, it’s shaping up to be the greatest river trip ever.”
The trip, dubbed Green River Yoga & SUP Journey, will keep the whitewater to a minimum—more like a gentle cruise with the occasional class II rapid. That’s not only to maximize the serenity aspects of the trips, but also because rapids feel more intense atop a board than in a raft. “If someone wants to learn to run beginner-level rapids on a board, we’ll have plenty of time to play, Matt says. “But adrenaline isn’t the focus of this trip.”
Guests can expect gourmet campfire cuisine, using organic whenever possible, prepared by DVK’s top chefs (the trip is fully raft supported). Also in play: daily morning sun salutations on the beach, daily hikes exploring the desert landscape (think petroglyphs and hoodoos), and three SUP yoga sessions on boards anchored in warm, tranquil pools. Just don’t expect cell phone service. “This is a steep, primordial canyon,” says Matt. “You’ll be completely disconnected, and that’s part of the magic.”
Dvorak Expeditions is offering the inaugural expedition at a special rate of $1,700, all-inclusive (high-end stand-up paddleboard, lifejacket, helmet, and paddle rental, as well as one-night pre-trip hotel accommodations, the flight to the put-in, and all gourmet meals on the river). The trip starts and ends in Grand Junction, making it a no-brainer for intrepid Front Range travelers. “One of the things we’re most excited about is the cool people we’re going to get to meet on this trip,” says Matt.