Take This Trip
From our TripAdvisor review: "Everyone needs to take this trip at least once."
For us a vacation needs to be immersive to be over the top and this trip was that in every way. The river guides were amazing and a special shout out to our boat guides, Ronnie and Alex, and Jeff and Marty. All were knowledgeable, professional, helpful and really, really made the difference between good and great.
Pre-trip planning was very intimidating and Western River Expeditions overall did a good job. Some things we would add, for women, bring a sarong if it is very hot, because you can wet it to stay cool. A hat that has a tie since it can easily get blown off and some extra sandals were even lost in the water due to the strong waves. Washing in the water was challenging due to the temperatures and in August the silt was crazy so it was muddy, bring Bio wash wipes.
Rafting was fantastic and the Western style of boat (J-Rig) makes the experience unique to WRE. We saw other companies and how their boats were in the rapids and if you want a true white water experience while being safe, WRE is the only way to go.
Hikes along the way were really fantastic and I would encourage you to do every one of them. The Western River guides were very helpful for people who needed assistance and we got incredible views, hidden waterfalls, great scenery and wonderful swimming. One highlight for us was a slotted canyon hike where we ran into another group that had brought some instruments and were having an impromptu concert because the acoustics were so good and it was very cool.
The people on the trip were great and you never know who you are going to get but anyone signing up for this trip is already adventurous so most everyone meshes. The rafting/rapids and team work of loading/uploading is a great societal leveler and everyone got along great.
The camping aspect really can't be perfect but when you are laying on your cot by the river at the bottom the Grand Canyon and looking up at a starry sky counting shooting stars, everything seems perfect and really is. We were told the biggest issue that Western River runs into with people is the bathroom concerns. A "Poo with a View" is something I miss and people overthink and worry about this, we are all the same and you quickly get over any concerns.
The food is hands down better than we generally eat at home. Considering the remote aspect of where you are at, it is crazy good and we felt pampered most of the time. They baked me a birthday cake even, had corn bread and there was more food than anyone could eat. The guides threw a couple of parties which made the experience even more fun.
The alcohol situation is tricky since only bring cans and they are "cooled" by dragging them behind the rafts. This was good for soda and beer but wine was a challenge not only because of the temp but really "box" wine isn't all that good tasting. I do wish we brought a little flask of whiskey but no one drank much anyways because of how tired you are after a long day.
We have traveled to many cities around the world and every experience is different. If you want an immersive, adrenaline filled, jaw dropping views, and a humbling experience with Mother Nature, this is the trip you need to take. The term "Suck Rubber" will forever bring back memories that will make you wanting to do this trip again.