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BYOB: Alcohol on a River Trip

By Marie • April 24, 2023

Of course many of us appreciate an adult beverage or two while on vacation. We don’t expect this trip will be any different. Arizona River Runners (ARR) does not provide, nor do we sell any alcohol on the trip. So here are a few tips on how to stock up on alcohol before your river trip.

What Arizona River Runners provides:

  • Drinking water
  • A variety of soda and sparkling water
  • Lemonade mix
  • Electrolyte replenishment drinks i.e. Gatorade powder, Sqwincher packets
  • A block of ice and an ice pick to use for cocktails (availability may be limited)
  • Coffee and various tea packets
  • Our ARR mugs, provided at the beginning of the trip, work great for your evening beverage and your morning coffee

  • General tips to consider:

  • Beer should be in cans, not glass. Do not bring aluminum cans with screw top. Sand gets under the lid and makes them very difficult to open.
  • Wine should be boxed.
  • Liquor in glass bottles can be accommodated, but plastic is preferred.
  • You can also pour your wine or liquor into a stainless steel bottle like a Hydroflask or Yeti.
  • ARR doesn’t limit what you can bring, but some transportation options have weight restrictions. Find your trip type below for details.
  • We do not provide tonic water or other specialty mixers, but you are welcome to use the sodas or lemonade to make a mixed drink.
  • If you prefer to drink a certain kind of soda, you’ll probably want to bring your own and label it. We never know which beverages will be popular on a given trip.
  • We keep the beer cool by dragging it in the water, so labels won’t stick. This means that beer is on your honor; you should only drink what you bring.

  • We keep drinks cool by dragging them in the water alongside the boats. Over the history of river trips in the Canyon, this has been an effective way to keep beverages cold enough so they are enjoyable any time of day. However, the lowering water levels of Lake Powell means the water being released through Glen Canyon Dam is warmer than in previous years. During the spring, the water temperature is around 50°F, but over the past few years, we have seen water temperatures over 70°F in the late summer months. This means that your beverage might not be as cold as expected, especially if you’ve been on a Grand Canyon river trip in the past. This warmer water temperature also affects our coolers and ice storage, meaning that the ice available in camp for cocktails may be limited. Make sure that whatever beverages you choose to bring on the river will be something that you will enjoy even if the river is warmer than usual. Check the current river temperature here.


    Convenient Vendors:

    Terrible’s Convenience Store – part of Texaco
    10530 S Eastern Ave, Henderson, NV 89052
    Within walking distance of Homewood Suites, Henderson. There is also a CVS Pharmacy right next to it. Both stores carry a variety of alcohol options.

    Smith’s Food and Drug
    10616 S Eastern Ave., Henderson, NV 89052
    Within walking distance of Homewood Suites, Henderson, but you have to cross Horizon Ridge Pkwy. Regional grocery chain with a large selection of beer, wine, and spirits.

    Khoury’s Fine Wine and Spirits
    9915 S Eastern Ave #110, Henderson, NV 89103
    Located 1 mile north of Homewood Suites, Henderson. Specialty liquor store with craft beer, and small-batch spirits. Delivery is available.

    Marble Canyon Chevron
    Hwy 89A
    Located just west of the Marble Canyon Lodge complex
    They have beer, wine, and non-alcoholic mixers (e.g. tonic water). They do not sell liquor.

    Trip Types:

    Because the best way to transport beverages varies depending on your trip type and transportation option, please read carefully or give us a call and we’ll help you out.

    3 Day Escape Trips

    Las Vegas Trips: You’ll need to purchase alcohol in Las Vegas before we pick you up for your trip.
    Grand Canyon South Rim Trips: We recommend purchasing alcohol before arriving. The Canyon Village Market and Tusayan General Store do sell alcohol, but canned beer and boxed wine options are limited.

    Please note: The Bar 10 Ranch does not have alcohol. They do provide a cooler where you can chill it when you arrive. There is a 25-pound luggage limit (including beverages) on the charter flight, but there are no specific liquid restrictions. If you go over the weight limit, the airline may charge an excess baggage fee.

    6 and 7 Day Motor Trips

    Marble Canyon transportation option: Plan ahead if you want liquor since it isn’t sold in Marble Canyon. Since you’ll be meeting us in Marble Canyon, please bring your river duffel, including your beverages, to the orientation meeting. Alcohol does NOT count toward your 25-pound duffel/gear weight limit and should be left outside your duffel bag.

    Las Vegas transportation option: If you prefer liquor, you’ll need to purchase it in Las Vegas the day before we pick you up. There is a 25-pound luggage limit (including beverages) on the charter flight, but there are no specific liquid restrictions. We recommend purchasing beer, wine, and mixers (i.e. tonic water) in Marble Canyon after the orientation meeting on the first day of your trip so you don’t have the extra weight on the flight.

    8 Day Motor Trips, Oar Trips, and Hikers’ Special Trips

    Alcohol does NOT count toward your 25-pound duffel/gear weight limit and should be left outside your duffel bag. It speeds things up on the first day if you purchase your alcohol in Las Vegas the day before we pick you up.

    Trips with a Hike Into the Canyon

    Do not attempt to carry alcohol in your backpack. We will provide a link to a beverage order form prior to your trip and arrange to have it on board the rafts when you arrive.

    No question too small!

    Want more info on river trip availability, packing, FAQs?