This has been a bucket list trip for 35 years....and it totally met and exceeded all my expectations!
From all the pre trip information and ease of reservations clear thru to Bar 10 Ranch experience, Western River Expeditions gave attention to each detail.
The first fire line to load the rafts and our orientation on the river by our guide leader, Ronnie, set the stage for what we could expect. There were two rafts on our trip with four of the best river guides that Western must have---Veronica (Ronnie as we knew her and the trip leader) and Jeff Haymond, R D Tucker (the second raft driver), and Scott Place. Gear provided by WRE included tents, if you wanted one, cots (that at times tried your patience in setting up), chairs, sleeping bags, a sheet, and the waterproof gear and day bags. The meals were delicious and pretty gourmet for a 7 day rafting trip.....sample dishes included: pancakes, French toast, eggs in various ways, Rainbow trout, Pasta dish with sauce, fajitas, cornbread baked in Dutch ovens, fresh roasted veggies such as asparagus and Brussel sprouts, steak, burgers, Dutch oven baked cakes-chocolate and yellow, and wonderful lunches as well. I was totally impressed that there was ice cream on the 5th day for my birthday!
The guides shared lots of information, facts, and stories about the Grand Canyon and each stop or hike we did. They were kind, funny, compassionate, knowledgeable, and experts in all they did. The short hikes were all enjoyable--too many to discuss each one--up canyons, to waterfalls, and warm waters! The guides were there to provide encouragement, help, and praise if you were able to overcome a fear(edges) or experienced difficulty in any way. When Scott played his guitar and sang songs he had composed about the "ditch"/Grand Canyon, it was very emotional and even brought tears to some eyes.
The rapids ranged from small and fun to the large ones such as Hermit, Granite, Crystal, Horn, and Upset to the mighty Lava. There was a rapid for each and everyone's desire and riders had a choice of where to sit on the raft to experience it at the level desired. The helicopter ride out was fun and the flights both to and from the river sure gave a different perspective as well as made the distance seem shorter. At times the Canyon winds do make the flights a bit bouncy.
This was truly a dream trip that far exceeded my high expectations.....