I’m just gonna go ahead and say it … a whitewater rafting trip in Grand Canyon is not luxurious, and the food is not gourmet. I’m saying this considering the “rim-world” definitions of luxury and gourmet, which conjure up visions of great comfort, extravagance, and fancy, fine dining.
With regard to the outdoor world, ARR raft trips are relatively comfortable. We provide all sleeping gear and tents. Our guides set up the common areas like the bathroom and kitchen as well as cook all the meals. Guides can answer questions, bandage cuts, tell stories, lead hikes up incredible side canyons, entertain the kids and make a mean cup of cowboy coffee.
However, ARR guides will expect you to pitch in where possible. For example, helping load and unload the rafts is a daily activity. Setting up your tent and sleeping area will be your responsibility. Washing your plates and utensils before AND after each meal is up to you. Getting yourself to the meal line on time is important for the timing of the expeditions. Additionally, there are many other small tasks that will be up to you; like crushing your own cans, re-stocking your beer in the drag bags, etc. If you see something that needs attention, like low TP in the bathroom, you should tell a guide! Communication is key!
We’ve had rave reviews about our food over the years. The food is hearty, well-prepared, nutritious, and delicious! It is surprising what the guides are capable of creating in a wilderness environment with limited food-prep tools! But it is not gourmet. We stick to the tried-and-true staples like French toast and bacon, deli sandwiches, steak, and potatoes. We usually have fresh ingredients available like fruit at breakfast, avocados at lunch, and green salads at dinner but, on our longer trips (13+ days), that can diminish towards the end of the trip. Everything we serve is carried with us from the time we launch the rafts, no re-stock. We do our best to provide a healthy menu along the river, but it is possible you might run out of ice for your cocktails (which you will be mixing for yourself) by the end of the journey.
I write this blog not to warn people, but more to set expectations. Typically, our guests are so impressed with our river trips and food … but when they aren’t, it is usually due to misinformed expectations. River trips in Grand Canyon are special — keep your mind open and ready to take in the experience. But if you’re looking to be waited on, wined and dined … this may not be the adventure for you.