To get the most enjoyment out of your trip, you’ll want to be in good physical condition. Each day on the river includes several essential physical activities including simply living outside, being exposed to the elements, getting on/off the rafts (roughly a 2-foot step) from uneven, jostling, and/or slippery terrain, and navigating sandy/rocky beaches while carrying your personal bags and provided camping gear to a place where you can set up your own camp area. At camp, we ask everyone (with no medical restrictions) to assist with loading and unloading the boats via a duffel line. Gear bags, camping and cooking equipment, and buckets of water are passed up the line to make camp an enjoyable place to spend each evening. As this is a whitewater trip, you need to be able to be an active participant in your own rescue in case you end up in the river.
Your multi-day river trip also provides you with a unique opportunity to explore places deep within the Grand Canyon. These rugged side hikes are highlights for most guests. Secluded beaches, narrow slot canyons, ancient ruins/pictographs, and hidden waterfalls are just a few treasures that await you. Some of the hikes will require more effort than others, and it is critical for you to assess your own abilities. The guides will give you a brief overview of the hike, but ultimately, you need to determine the level of participation that’s right for you. It often surprises guests that most river trip injuries happen on land. Take your time, watch your step, ask for help if you need it, and don’t go beyond your limits. Most hikes are out and back, so you can tailor the hike to your ability by keeping up with the lead guide to see it all, going at a slower pace and doing only part of the hike, or choosing to remain at the rafts. Keep in mind that the guides will often be in the very front and very back of the group. It is not uncommon for guests to be somewhere in the middle without a guide in sight. If you need assistance or have a question about the trail, it’s often best to wait where you are until someone catches up to you. If you think you’ll opt out of several hikes, we recommend bringing a book, journal, or sketch pad as some hikes can take several hours.
Many people find this trip to be more physically demanding than they expected but also find it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Get active – go for a hike, take the stairs, and get ready for a great trip!