Confluence Trail

Round Trip Distance: 1.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5060 - 5067 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Confluence
Fee: none
Attractions: Steamboat Rock

The Confluence trail is located in Echo Park area of the Dinosaur National Monument near Dinosaur, Colorado. The trail begins just east of the Day Use Area, across from Steamboat Rock, where it travels along the bank of the river to the confluence of the Green River and the Yampa River.
Dinosaur National Monument straddles the Colorado-Utah border. The famous Quarry Site is on the Utah side north of Jensen while the area on the Colorado side is referred to as the Canyon Area. The main entrance to the Canyon Area is a couple miles east of Dinosaur, Colorado off of US-40.

From the main entrance head north on the Harpers Corner Road for 25 miles to the turnoff to Echo Park. Echo Park is only accessible during the summer months and then according to park information only high clearance vehicles are recommended. We never noticed anything bigger than your fist to drive over so not sure about the high clearance recommendation but the road is very steep in several places where 4-wheel drive will keep you from spinning out. As you turn off of the Harpers Corner Road the pavement ends. The Echo Park road immediately begins a very steep descent down a dugout. The descent continues through the very scenic Sand Canyon where the road is just wide enough for one vehicle at a time for several miles. Downhill traffic should back up until they find a spot to get out of the way of any uphill vehicles. As the road continues along Pool Creek for the last 5 miles to Echo Park there will be another petroglyph site that is well marked followed by a pullout for Whispering Cave. You can put 'Echo Park Campground' into your driving app for turn by turn directions but since there is no cellphone signal be sure to download the directions for offline access.

Follow the road past the restrooms across from the Day Use Area. The parking area for the trailhead is on the right side of the road before the start of the loop.

The trail starts out on the left at the head of the loop. At present there isn't a sign with the name of the trail but there is one that cautions hikers that the bank of the river may break away without warning.

To give a lay of the land Steamboat Rock is the end of a long fin of sandstone that pierces Echo Park on the opposite side of the river. To the right of Steamboat Rock is the confluence of the Yampa and Green Rivers. From the confluence the combined waterway continues flowing downstream as the Green River making the Yampa River, in fact, a tributary.

The trail itself is well worn and easy to follow.

Caution is advised, of course, where the trail is very close to the bank of the river. During high water you could easily skirt this area on the right.

There is a side trail that branches off on the right, climbs a small hill, and dead ends at an overlook.

From the overlook you can see the confluence from a different perspective as the Green River flows out of the Canyon of Lodore to meet the Yampa.

Here is a ground level view of the mouth of the Canyon of Lodore.

The actual confluence depends upon the current water level. There is another channel that connects the two rivers where the cottonwoods are in this photo.

From the confluence there is another trail that branches off on the right and heads up the banks of the Yampa River that might be fun to explore. The Confluence trail itself is a nice hike for anyone already coming to Echo Park whether for camping or sightseeing. As for us, we had come to see the Pool Creek Petroglyphs and the Echo Park Petroglyphs and the Confluence trail seemed worth hiking to better complete our visit. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.