Details on the trip
We used Canyon Explorations and chose to go in October, after the giant motorized rafts are banned for the rest of the season. This gave us the river to ourselves, and to the
few other oar boats and dories we came across along the way
– a far quieter, more private experience. We highly recommend
the full two-week trip, rather than one week. The first week the
rapids are smaller (then one-weekers have to hike several hours
out and up to the canyon rim, carrying all their gear); the second
week, the rapids are bigger and more dramatic (and one-weekers
joining it have to hike down the canyon with their gear).
CanX sent excellent prep materials in advance so we knew
exactly what to bring and what to expect. Equipment, rafts, and
tents were high quality. Our guides prepared amazing meals
every day (allergies accommodated). They were consummate
professionals from interesting walks of life, supremely capable on
the river, and great storytellers. Before the trip, we gathered in
Flagstaff, Arizona, where we had a thorough orientation.
Our trip had five “oar” boats, and one “paddle” boat. Oar
boats are larger, more stable inflatables; a river guide handles
its two large oars, and there are places for four non-paddlers.
The paddle boat is a smaller inflatable, propelled by six paddlers,
with one river guide steering. We also had two rubber duckies –
blow-up kayaks that several people tried on smaller rapids. Each
morning, the guides described the rapids of the day; you could
decide to go in an oar boat or be part of the paddle-boat team.
Cost: $1,965 for six days; $3,895 for 14. Book at least a year
in advance; trips fill fast. Children older than 12 welcomed.
CanyonExplorations.com – B.B.
54 | BoatU.S. Magazine APRIL | MAY 2017
A placid stretch of
the river offers a
great nook to stop
and rest for this
dory and her crew.