Rafting the Grand Canyon!

Trip Start Jul 18, 2009
1
Trip End Jul 26, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Monday, July 20, 2009

I spent a week rafting and hiking the Grand Canyon with my dad and brother. It was one of the best experiences of our lives.

Whether it was relaxing on the rafts in flat water stretches as the canyon looms over us, hiking marvelous side canyons with strange rock formations and beautiful waterfalls, holding on for dear life in 20 ft waves of whitewater, or just enjoying a cold beer as the day comes to a close and the guides are cooking another amazing dinner – every aspect of our trip was wonderful.

Our trip was the upper part of the Grand Canyon. We started at Lee’s Ferry just below Glen Canyon Dam on the border between Utah and Arizona. As we went southward along the Colorado River the walls of the canyon rose up around us. Each day they got higher and higher until on our last day, at Phantom Ranch, they reach a full mile above us.

Every day we would take hikes out away from the river. Sometimes they were up lush slot canyons leading to waterfalls. Sometimes they were on rocky ridges with steep falls on both sides.

In this landscape water = life and lack of water = death. The line was crystal clear and applied to us too – in temperatures up to 115 F (46C) if you don’t drink a liter or more each hour you will quickly dehydrate.

The weather could change quickly from the blazing heat to very cool. A rainstorm had us all scrambling for jackets but it also brought out beautiful waterfalls.

The silt carried in by the rainwater flowing across the desert turned the Colorado from blue-green to red chocolate brown in no time at all.

The whitewater in the river is much different than any we had experienced before. We’ve been in Class-V water in the past (considered to be the most difficult actually runable) but the water here seems bigger somehow. Huge stretches of boiling foam thrashing around enormous boulders. Waves bigger than your boat crash over your head and try to suck you backwards. Of course the guides will tailor the ride to your liking – if you want a conservative run with barely a bump they can deliver that – if you want King Kong banging into you head on they can deliver that too.

On our last day we hiked out of the canyon from the river up to the rim. This is an intense 9.5 mile (15.3 k) hike that gains more than 5300 feet (1600 m) in elevation. It’s tiring but the views are so beautiful that it is worth the effort.

A phenomenal trip that will stay with me for a lifetime!

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Comments

starlagurl
starlagurl on

Awesome!
I have been literally waiting the better part of this year to read your blogs about this summer!

That video was cool BTW, what kind of camera did you take that you weren't afraid of getting wet?

Louise

huckabmm
huckabmm on

Re: Awesome!
Aw thanks! It means a lot that someone is interested in my stories. I'll try to get more up really soon.

I'm glad you liked the vid. I splurged on the camera. I use a Olympus 1030SW - its waterproof to something like 30ft, shock proof to 5ft and freeze proof. It's a lot of money but totally worth it for the outdoors. The only problem...it doesn't float :-/

matt

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