As the daughter of a longtime river runner, Grand Canyon Whitewater guide Kelly Winter was blessed with a truly unique childhood — on the mighty Colorado! Her love of Grand Canyon carries on a family tradition that started back in the 1970s, when her grandmother and her father took their first trips down the river. Here’s Kelly’s story, in her own words:
"I went on my first Grand Canyon rafting trip when I was 12 years old. I remember telling my friends about the size of the 10 rolling waves in Hermit Rapid, and that there were so many more stars than you ever thought possible, and there were a million waterfalls that are always flowing in the middle of the Arizona desert! I told them about the 27 new friends who were just strangers at the beginning of the week and how we meshed into an oddball family on an adventure. I’ve been working in the Canyon since 2008. It is such a pleasure to share this place and those things that captured me with others on each trip. I love watching people of all ages play like kids again in the Canyon … starting water fights, sharing jokes, or chasing after lizards. I also can never seem to get enough of the serenity of the Canyon. I love quiet time in a place like Blacktail Canyon or watching for a few shooting stars before dozing at night.
When I’m not on the river I love to travel. I have spent winters doing things like backpacking India, Thailand, and Nepal, attending Spanish school in Guatemala and scuba diving in Belize. I also love Bikram yoga. I like reading, cooking, playing games, and hiking.
See you on the river!"