Arizona River Runners was awarded the Leave No Trace Community Partner of the Year award! Along with our sister company, Grand Canyon Whitewater, we recently received the award for our continued dedication to the Leave No Trace ethics. If you’ve been on one of our trips, you surely know how serious we take that.
River guides help solidify that message continually throughout the trip. Leading by example, guides teach guests to pick up micro-trash, fish stray items out of the river, and teach a pack-in/pack-out mentality that everyone can learn from. Camping only in designated areas in the Grand Canyon is essential for us to maintain the beauty of the national park. Guides also inform guests about the beautiful and extremely fragile crypto-biotic soil crust that looks simply like dirt but is actually a living organism. Guides encourage everyone to stay on designated trails with the motto ‘don’t bust the crust!’
Things like respecting the Native American artifacts and dwellings is incredibly important, especially in such a rich area of previous habitation. Pottery shards and dwellings can be found along the journey in the Grand Canyon, and we stress to leave all items as they were, untouched.
We don’t offer paper plates or paper towels to reduce waste – showing guests that you can do without them. We encourage guests to bring reusable water bottles. We also give each guest a reusable stainless steel mug to use throughout the trip; this helps to reduce waste from single-use cups. As a bonus, the actual Leave No Trace principles are printed on the mug, a constant reminder to guests during (and after!) the trip to continue using the principles.
We’ve also improved our warehouse operations to help limit single-use plastics. Making items in-house allows us to tailor what we bring in the backcountry to precisely what we need. Replacing plastic containers that would need to be replaced annually with stainless steel allows us to reduce plastic waste in the backcountry.
Guest Jeff Fordice summed up perfectly: “Bryce and Johnnie didn’t stray once from the attention to conservation / Leave No Trace. They were exceptional guides, way above and beyond my expectations.”