I think it’s important to note the distinction between our river trips and some other tour activities in the Southwest. Grand Canyon rafting is an expedition! Phew…that feels good to say out loud. The journey through the majestic Colorado River corridor is unparalleled, in that when we embark into the canyon, we are completely self sufficient in a wilderness environment for days on end. We don’t pipe in internet or have the ability to fly in extra amenities. It’s sometimes uncomfortable, it’ll stretch you in ways you never thought you could, and it’ll show you how tough you really are (which you are). But this trip is not just for the fit few or the avid outdoorsman, it’s not just for vigorous young folk, but for everyone with an adventurous spirit and a desire to escape into the Grand Canyon wilderness.
River running in the Grand Canyon can trace its roots back to one of the greatest adventures of all time. In 1869, Major John Wesley Powell and his 9 mighty men were compelled to trek one of the last undiscovered areas in the U.S. and became the first non-native men to explore the Grand Canyon in its entirety. Boats broke apart, rations were washed away and three men were never seen again. This three month expedition developed into one of the greatest adventure stories of all time.
In the 1960s commercial rafting in the Grand Canyon was a tough endeavor. Cans of beans for some, cans of corn for others—were given as daily rations for passengers. Initiation was a bucket of water and a bucket of sand dumped on the head and a little bit of mild spanking with an oar.
Since then, we’ve refined our trips a bit. Our meals are hearty and healthy, our boats are sleek and tough, and our guides have decades of experience navigating the mighty Colorado River. Arizona River Runners has made it a point to refine our river trips each year by collecting reviews from our river guests (affectionately called “River Rats”). Each year these wonderful folks share their stories about how nervous they were to camp 3, 8, or 13 days along the river and how it’s not always easy, but certainly rewarding. What these “River Rats” will tell you, is whatever comfort zone you leave behind, will be replaced with a personal fortitude and an experience that traverses the boundaries of the sublime.