Here’s a question from Debbie and Steve, who are in the preliminary stages of researching a Colorado River tour:
“We are researching a Grand Canyon float trip and have a couple of questions about the boats. If we had 6 or 8 people who wanted to go, I see that the oar boats only hold 5 customers max. Are you able to have more than one raft on a trip??”
There are quite a few things to address here. First, we pointed out to Debbie and Steve that our trips aren’t really “float” trips; there’s a lot of whitewater down there!
Secondly, we told this couple that we always take down about 6 oar boats, which means we can bring a total of 24 passengers on most of our oar-powered trips. (The exceptions are shoulder-season trips, when the National Park Service limits our number of passengers to 17.)
Debbie and Steve are correct about the maximum number of guests our oar boats can hold. We usually find that two to four passengers is a comfortable number on these 18-foot-long rafts.
This differs from our motorized boats, which can each hold a maximum of 14 passengers. We always take down 2 motorized boats, so the maximum number of passengers on a motorized trip is 28. (Again, shoulder-season trips are the exception: We can take 20 passengers through the Canyon on an early or late-season motorized trip.)
We never assign seating on our trips — everybody is free to move about from boat to boat and to sit next to whomever they choose. In fact, we encourage folks to mix it up, try out a different boatman every day, and make some new friends!
Got a rafting tour question of your own for us? Shoot it over to firstname.lastname@example.org — We’d be glad to help you out!
Photo: This trip gets a thumbs up from river guide Matt!