Apologies in advance for the long review. If you are considering this trip or have already booked - PLEASE READ!
My husband and I partook in the 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip and it was a life changing experience for me.
We were on the boat with Joe and Lou - two of the most amazing people that you will ever meet. Beyond friendly, knowledgeable, and just down-right AMAZING human beings. They have a true passion for the nature that they surround themselves in and it radiates from them every moment.
If you are NOT ok with peeing in the river, pooping in a tent with a bucket, being hot, sleeping outside, being smelly, or have the inability to leave modesty at the door then this trip is NOT for you. For those of you who are ok with those things, you are in for the most amazing experience of your life.
We began day 1 with our departure from the Marriott Convention Center Hotel in Las Vegas. Getting to the river and getting back from the river is NOT a quick thing so be prepared to be patient. The bus ride from the Marriott was very comfortable and brief (about 30 minutes). After arriving at the airport to fly to the Bar 10 Ranch, we waited almost 2 hours before our flight. The plane ride to the Bar 10 ranch was about 45 minutes. You get in a small bus and travel down a dirt road for about 10-15 minutes and you're at the Bar 10. The Bar 10 has restrooms, a shop, some great views, and surprisingly has grass. From the Bar 10 you get into a helicopter and go to the bottom of the Grand Canyon to your boat departure point (7 minute helicopter ride).
Helicopter ride is AMAZING if you like that kind of thing. Its very anticlimactic for the first 3-4 minutes. THEN... the canyon drops out below you, the pilot dips down and does all sorts of canyon wall evasive maneuvers. I LOVED IT... my husband was an anxiety attacked mess. It is gorgeous beyond words.
They set the chopper down in the sand and the boats and their crew are there to greet you. After getting your day bags/night bag gear, life jacket (MUST WEAR), and a safety talk... you're on the river.
You've never seen such beauty and cannot imagine how amazing it truly is. Just when you think it can't be more beautiful, you bend in the river and it is even more gorgeous. This repeats for 3 days. The changing light on the canyon walls throughout the day/night is a sight to behold.
The food is amazing and overly abundant. I would have been fine with a hot dog. The crew makes AMAZING meals. They truly work their butts off. TIP THEM WELL!!!!!!
When you buy a sunhat, buy one that DOES NOT have a flimsy brim. It is useless in the wind as I found out - and there is a lot of wind. The wind/breeze is not cool... it's like a hairdryer in your face.
I couldn't understand why they recommend bringing a sarong - BRING ONE. you can dip it in the cool water and put it over your legs on the boat - sun protection and keeps you cool. It is HOT in the Grand Canyon and there is little to no shade.
Ladies- I wore athletic shorts, a bikini top and an athletic tank top. Only thing I might change for next time is I would wear a sports bra instead of a bikini top. My husband wore swim trunks and a long sleeve surf shirt the whole trip and was 100% comfy and protected from the sun.
Take an inflatable pillow (they're like $8 on Amazon)
Dip your fleece blanket in the river before you go to bed at night - it's like a weighted cooling blanket and it was the only way that I could sleep. It does NOT get cool at night. I did wake up at around 3-4 am a little cool and put a sweatshirt on.
it is BEYOND DARK at night.... you will see every single star in the sky. However, it makes the moon look like a spot light in the sky. I would imagine that going during a full moon would be blinding at night. We were there during a crescent moon and it woke everyone in camp up when it rose.
Most definitely get a waterproof protection cover for your phone. You will be taking LOTS of photos!
There were about 12 people on our boat - the majority of them were 100% fantastic. Be mindful that not everyone is there to chat. Most are there to just enjoy the beauty and soak the abundant nature around them in.
When using a flashlight at night - POINT IT TO THE GROUND ONLY. Any light at night is blinding.
Buckle up for the greatest adventure you could ever have. You will NOT regret going on this expedition.
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