A friend of mine just returned from his first white water raft trip with Grand Canyon Whitewater. He told me, when he got back, the same things a lot of our guests tell us: The food was even better than he anticipated, the special camaraderie that builds between guests is an amazing experience to be a part of, and the side hikes were his favorite part of the journey. And that reminded me: the side hikes have always been my favorite part of the trips too!
Unlike some of our guides and passengers, I’m not a big white-water junkie. Truth be told, I tend to get motion sick. Roller coasters and I do not get along. I worried, on my first trip, that I might not really enjoy the boating aspect. While I’m very glad to report I’ve never felt even the teensiest bit sick on a Colorado River tour and that I have, in fact, always enjoyed the rapids immensely, I still favor the daily off-river excursions.
The surprise of lush riparian ecosystems, roaring waterfalls and ever-wet creek beds catches me off guard every time. The staggering Canyon walls — all those layers of history! — and the just plain incredible beauty of the rocks contrasted against the rushing green (or aquamarine, or chocolate) Colorado River and that big ol’ Arizona sky keep me humble and remind me how important perspective is.
Honestly, I think our trips are a perfect mix of exhilarating whitewater river rafting, reflective floats through smooth-water stretches, and illuminating off-river side hikes. What was your favorite part of your rafting tour with us? Can you pick just one?