“Our early May 2012 (motorized 7 days) with Grand Canyon Whitewater was AWESOME! It started from the Desert Rose Resort in Las Vegas (not to be missed – lots to offer) ->bus ride to North Las Vegas airport ->small plane flight to Marble Canyon ->van to Lee’s Ferry->to our 22′ Snout and 35′ S raft. Being early in the season, there were just 11 of us and 4 crew (Brock was the trip leader – a true leader in every sense and a good story teller, Troy was 2nd in command – an extremely experienced and knowledgeable geology/history encyclopedia, John was our “swamper” – a hard worker with a great laugh and great brownies, and Joanne was our “Energizer bunny” who just didn’t seem to stop – 42 years on the river and only missing one year due to injury from her pup last year) on our two rafts. Brock drove the “Snout” and Troy drove the “S” raft. The passengers included: Lance and Jack (brothers), Daniela and Jose (friends from Brazil), Elyse and Rick (all the way from Page, AZ), Mary (longtime friend of Joanne – the “Energizer bunny”), Joanne and Patrick and Barbara and Peter from NY (Joanne and Barbara are sisters).
PHOTO TOP RIGHT: Brock, Joanne, Troy and John
Our big dilemma every morning was: “Do we ride the ‘fun boat’ with the abbreviated history/geology info OR the ‘history channel boat’ where you learned something new at every bend (“Know The Canyon’s History – Study Rocks Made By Time“)? Either way, we had fun! The Snout had a front row seat to all the rapids and was “thrilling”. It was great to have a choice at how wet you might become.
The food was outstanding and the crew took good care of everything. We had excellent meals (the steaks, lasagna, and pork chops were amazing) with appetizers and desserts (thanks John for the brownies!) as well as cheesecake and strawberry shortcake, fresh fruit (melons, apples, oranges, plums, grapes) and vegetables/salads, snacks (granola bars, M&Ms, PayDay bars, Snickers, etc.) with the hikes, and great views from the “groover”. We learned all the rules of the canyon as well as how to find privacy if needed or desired. We all worked together to unload the rafts in the evening and reload them every morning. We played hard at the great stops/hikes (Jose even learned how to throw a frisbee – well mostly) along the way. We splashed in the side streams and waterfalls and some of us even seem to enjoy bathing in the ice COLD clean Colorado River! It did take your breath away when you first plunged into it. We saw bighorn sheep, mule deer, all sorts of fish (trout and carp), condors, falcons, blue herons, toads, frogs, a snake and LOTS of lizards. We saw Arizona Fish and Wildlife personnel and other scientists (testing the environment and watching out for the endangered Humpback Chub) as well as private rafters and other companies rafting the river.
PHOTO LEFT: Frisbee in Red Wall Cavern
We will never forget the “diaper rides” down the Little Colorado River (bright turquoise and heading towards being warm – well almost), the Red Wall Cavern (great frisbee games and lunch). We saw pictographs and petroglyphs and old granaries from centuries ago. We stopped at Phantom Ranch and drank ice cold lemonades and mailed out postcards and a couple of us washed our hair in HOT water. Several of us jumped at Elve’s Chasm – Brock led the way, followed by Lance, Jack, Daniela, and Jose.
PHOTO RIGHT: Elve’s Chasm, A magical place along the Colorado River accessible only via a white water rafting trip
We took nice hikes into Deer Creek Falls and Havasu Creek. We took a hike to look at the Kolb Brothers oars stashed away decades earlier. We loved the 360 in the Snout at Lava Falls Rapid (where we earned our river rat pin) as well as Crystal Rapids (ABC – “Alive Below Crystal”) and Hance, Sockdolager, Zoroaster, Horn Creek, Granite, and Hermit rapids – just to name a few. Thank goodness for the rain gear – although we did get some great tans (on our hands and face) from them – bring sunscreen and lotion/chap stick. We had some interesting conversation at the meals and found out a lot about our new friends. We learned about the culture of Brazil from Daniela and Jose and we all learned the Daniela pose for photos! She had great energy.
The Belknap Grand Canyon River Guide book was invaluable for anticipating and recalling all the excitement of the days and we would highly recommend it.
Our trip ended with a helicopter flight out of Whitmore Wash to the Bar 10 Ranch where you could get a complimentary hot shower (bring your own soap/shampoo and towels – available for a fee if you don’t have them), free lunch, option to buy souvenirs, then a plane ride back to North Las Vegas or Marble Canyon.
The office crew (Emi, Sarah, and Lindsay) at Grand Canyon Whitewater were always there to answer questions and help every way they could – a wonderful office crew that were very friendly and always got back to you. They were great and made the trip even nicer – we would highly recommend this company for a Colorado River trip!
Thanks again guys – until we meet again. The memories will last a lifetime!”
–Pete & Barb ages: 59 & 55 Endicott, NY
Passengers on 7-day Full Canyon Motorized Raft Trip in May 2012