Arizona River Runners 50th Anniversary!

By RaftArizona • June 11, 2020

No one expected our 50th anniversary to be this crazy, but so it goes! What does 50 years mean to Arizona River Runners? It might just be a nice round number, but it means a lot more than that.

50 years means we’ve had the opportunity to journey with well over 100,000 adventurous guests down this crazy little river in the Grand Canyon. 50 years means we’ve employed hundreds of hard-working, nature-loving river guides, office staff, drivers, and hiking guides who make an impact on our guests’ lives. 50 years means countless good runs (and some bad runs 😉) of Lava Falls, Crystal, and Hance. 50 years means we have been able to share our love for the Grand Canyon with you!

It all started in 1970 when Fred and Carol Burke incorporated a little rafting company called Arizona River Runners. Starting from humble beginnings in the small outpost of Marble Canyon, Arizona, they successfully ran the business until a duo of young river guides named Bruce Winter and Bill Gloeckler purchased the company. That year was 1986 and they own the company to this day. After 34 years of building the company into one of the most respected rafting operators in the Grand Canyon, Bruce and Bill are *slowly* starting to think about retirement. Luckily their love of sharing the canyon with others has been handed down to the next generation, and their children are starting to take over the day-to-day operations. Bruce’s daughter, Lindsay, is handling the office operations and Bill’s son, TJ, is managing the warehouse.

So here we are at our 50th anniversary. This season certainly didn’t start off the way we thought it would, but we’re more eager than ever to share the next 50 years with you. Enjoy some old photos we found and we’ll get busy planning our 100th anniversary. Love you all. We couldn’t have gotten to this point without you!