double clickBert Loper's Boat and Bert's Canyon - Resting Place of Bert's Boat
Grand Canyon
6 or 7 Day Rafting Vacation
Bert Loper’s Boat and Bert’s Canyon

Mile 41.5 - Bert Loper’s Boat and Bert’s Canyon

Bert Loper capsized his boat while running 24.5 mile rapid during high water in July of 1949. It is likely that Loper, aged 79, began having a heart attack just before the capsize. He remained motionless in mid-river immediately following the upset as his passenger, Wayne Nichol, hollered at Bert to self-rescue. Once the rest of the river party caught up to Loper’s boat, named Grand Canyon, it was lifted and pulled above flood line. His friends proceeded to solemnly paint in bold letters, “Bert Loper, Grand Old Man of the Colorado, Born July 31, 1869. Died July 8, 1949”, on the bow of the boat. Loper’s body was never recovered, except for his jawbone which was discovered by a hiker in a driftwood pile at Cardenas Creek, some fifty miles downstream from where he was last seen by Nichol. The remnants of Bert’s Boat rest where they were left in 1949.

Bert's Canyon

Bert's Canyon »

Downstream from Bert’s Boat is a canyon bearing his name. The canyon is shady and also seeps water, making it a cool and inviting place during the heat of the day. Workers from the Marble Canyon Dam site spent time here during the 1950s and 60s. They also left behind some historical artifacts in the canyon, which still remain there today.

Lower Gorge Grand Canyon

Lower Grand Canyon Mile by Mile »

The lower Grand Canyon, as traveled by Western's 3 or 4 day expedition begins at Whitmore Wash (mile 188) and finishes at Lake Mead (mile 277).

See Lower Grand Canyon