You bet it does! Just ask Lindsay from our office; she just got back from a 4-day Upper Canyon tour (Yep, that means she hiked out of the Canyon on the final day of her trip.) with record-breaking high temperatures. Temps hovered between 112 degrees and 117 degrees EVERY DAY of her rafting tour. Even when you’re riding on a river that averages about 55-65 degrees, that sun is brutal!
There are a lot of reasons folks might opt to take their Grand Canyon whitewater tours in the height of an Arizona summer — usually, it’s because that’s when the kids are out of school and the whole family can go together. It’s very important, regardless of the season, to be prepared for powerful weather. However, if you are taking a Colorado River tour in the middle of the summer, we can offer you a few tips to help you stay cool(er).
1. Cover Up. It might seem counterintuitive, but bring long-sleeved (cotton) shirts, socks and pants. And don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat! Your clothes will be your first layer of protection between you and that sun.
2. Stay Wet. Soak everything — yourself, your clothes, your hair, your hat, your bandana — in that cold river water! Usually, we tell folks to bring quick-drying clothes but, on those really hot days, you’ll prefer cotton, which tends to retain moisture.
3. Keep Away From The Rocks. This means: don’t set up your campsite next to that really cool-looking rock wall. Rocks retain heat; that rock wall will act like an enormous space heater all night long. Instead, set up your sleeping cot (forgo the tent altogether; they turn into furnaces on hot nights) as close to the river as possible. You might get a refreshing breeze coming off the water.
Another handy little trick is to dunk your bandana in the river, roll it up, and plop it on the back of your neck. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
If you want more tips or if you want to chat with us about what it’s really like down there, give us a call at 800-343-3121.
Photo: Sometimes, you have to make your own shade on a Grand Canyon rafting trip!