Grand Canyon Rafting Trips
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CRATE The Best way to experience the Grand Canyon
Hello there I just came back from my Fifth Rafting trip with Colorado River and Trails Expeditions, my fourth Grand Canyon trip and I was not disappointed again. We had a great crew (Ben, Cater, Phoebe, Casey and Kai) they are all experienced guides and have a great knowledge of the Grand Canyon’s history and… geology. All are well versed with stories and poems about the canyon, the river and Old River runners. Their love of the canyon shows in everything they do along the way.
So we started out 11 day trip in Las Vegas at the Best Western McCarran Inn (Needs a Big Facelift) that’s where I met up with some of the crew Craig, Todd, Beth and Sam. Bonnie gave us our bags and briefing and off we go to pack our dry bags and boat bags. The boat bags were new as before we had ammo cans to store some of our stuff. Up early and get a grab and go breakfast from the Inn and met the bus for the ride to Fredonia Arizona (aka the warehouse) and the onto Lees ferry to launch the boats. The bus ride was nice we all chatted and started to become a group, Casey and Carter rode the bus with us and gave a history lesson as we heading to the boat ramp.
We arrived at Lees Ferry and that was where we met Kim and Andrew the other travelers.
We loaded our bags and booze onto the Big boat (The Mother ship) we got into our rafts and off we went to do our flip drill yikes the water is really cold its about 46 degrees, we climbed back in the boats, hoping to not flip or fall out of the raft and away we go.
First day was an easy day floating along and learning to paddle all together and hitting our first taste of the rapids ahead with some class III rapids.
Our first camp was Hot Na Na Wash just about house rock rapid. We unloaded the Boat and got our bags and cots and set up our camps (you pick your own spot on the beach.) Then it was time to socialize with the crew and other paddlers. We had drinks and appetizers while the crew cooked us a fabulous dinner. Dinner call came and we all went to wash our hands it’s an important part of staying safe in the canyon .Two hand washing stations in every camp was setup. We sat in a big circle and had dinner chatted and learn about each other. Being that I had been before I was asked a lot of questions and gave out some of my best tips and tricks for the trip. We stopped at Red wall cavern (aka Powel’s amphitheater and played on the beach there for a while.
The next night we stopped at Redbud Alcove for a special night for Kim and Andrew as they were getting married in the Grand Canyon by Ben our trip leader. Phoebe provided the music by playing her violin and the rest of us took pictures and were witness to the ceremony. It was a moving moment on the trip for all of us lots of pictures and then back to camp for wedding cake.
We packed up the boat and our gear next morning and off we went to the next part of the adventure. We stopped at the Little Colorado on our way to Crash Canyon camp. The LCR was Aqua Blue and warm, we swam and floated for a while. We took lots of pictures and stayed a while to let the blazing sun retreat behind the canyon rim before heading to camp for the night. The next day we headed out to face the rapids Unkar, Tanner, Hance and on to Sockdolager. Passing thru furnace flats and hitting Grapevine rapid before making camp at Clear Creek. Tomorrow we would be at below pipe beach to drop off Kim and Andrew for their hike out to the south rim and wait for the new arrivals from above. We did a short hike across silver bridge and back around to pipe beach. The new rafters arrived and helped get them situated in their boat, Craig and I moved to the other boat with Aimee, Beth Emma and Todd with Casey as our boatman. We push off and head out to face some Big rapids today, Horn Creek, Hermit (my nemesis, I flipped in 2015) and Granite. We ran them all with great success and had a fun time doing them all.
The following days we spent running the Gems and hiking along the way camped at The Big Dunes, Stone Creek, and Hiked up to the patio at Deer Creek and lunched at Ponchos kitchen. Hike up Matkatamiba and built a body dam with the crew and laughed a giggled the whole time before watching Cater ride the cushion down the small rapid we created. We Rafted down to the Lower Ledges to camp there for the night. The next day we took our time and rafted down to National Camp. Hiked National Canyon came back to camp and received our briefing about the next day’s Rapids (Lava Falls)
The next day arrived and we packed up camp and heading down the river listening to tales of Great Runs thru Lava Fall and some not so Great. We hiked up to the Lava falls Over Look with much anticipation. The guides looked and pointed out different parts of the rapid and how each boat would try to run them. Off we go and hit Lava hard and we (our Boat) ended up going backwards thru most of Lava Falls first time for everything. We all made it thru with no swimmers and held paddles high in celebration. We finished off with lower Lava which is actually my favorite part. We pulled over for a snack and to talk about our run thru Lava. We sat and talked a while letting the sun fall below the rim as we drifted along to camp for our last night. We camped at Upper Chevron I had my cot right on the beach that night. We all stayed up late tell our stories about what we liked best about our experience on the river. Ben our lead guide gave us all river names and we laughed and joked about it. We talked into the night and one by one we went to our cots to sleep one last time under the stars.
The Coffee call came early and we transferred our gear into our duffel bags provided by CRATE to carry our gear back to Las Vegas. We boarded the boats one last time and it’s off to Whitmore wash for our helicopter ride to the Bar Ten Ranch where we catch our small turbo prop airplane back to civilization.
At Whitmore wash we meet up with Glen who gives us our instructions and place on the Helicopter. It takes a few trips to fly everyone out and I am on the last flight to the ranch.
I have a mixed bag of emotions as I am happy to be heading home but sad that I am saying farewell to my friends Cater, Phoebe, Ben Kai and Casey. So I say until next time because goodbye is too final.
So Until Next Time my Friends.
I wave as the helicopter lifts off I watch in wonder as we lift above the river and fly along the canyon wall as we rise above the rim of the canyon I can see Bar Ten Ranch off in the distance. We land and make our way up to the ranch to get our flight time to Las Vegas. Our adventure is almost over.
So if you are looking for a great adventure with a greatest company on the river then Look no further
Colorado River and Trails Expeditions is your best Choice
Tell Vicki I sent you Read more “CRATE The Best way to experience the Grand Canyon”
A Grand Canyon Motorized Raft Adventure
This was our first trip with Colorado River and Trail Expeditions (CRATE) and it won’t be our last. There was not one thing from making the reservation to finishing our rafting experiences that did not meet or exceed our expectations. Our adventure was sponsored by The Northern Arizona Museum and like CRATE they were friendly,… polite and very efficient. Our Geologist on the trip was Wayne Ranney, a delightful guide who is one of the best educators we have ever had. His years of Grand Canyon experiences gave him the fodder to bring the Canyon alive, and that he did. We can’t wait to do the whole trip again! Read more “A Grand Canyon Motorized Raft Adventure”
Best Rafting Company
My friends and I went on the 11 day paddle only trip with CRATE and I have to admit it was one of the coolest most unique experiences of my life. The guides took amazing care of us, the food was excellent, camps incredible, and rafting unbelievable/ CRATE is the best adventure and rafting company… in the Grand Canyon area and do an AMAZING job making sure each person on the trip has a great time. I can’t recommend this company or the 11 day paddle only trip enough!! If you’re into the outdoors: camping, hiking, and rafting this truly is one of the best trips you’ll ever take. Being in and surrounded by the Grand Canyon for 11 days will change your life. Ben, Casey, Carter, Phoebe, and Kai were the best group of guides we could ask for! Worth every penny! Read more “Best Rafting Company”
Above and Beyond
For my first trip down the Grand Canyon I was so incredibly impressed with CRATE. Started out with 4 incredible guides, their expertise makes for not only a exciting adventure but also an educational one. We were well fed and never were left hungry. The guides attention to detail made our trip special. My dad… even received a birthday cake to celebrate his birthday. During off the river hikes we got to experience scenery that was only accessible to those on the river. We learned a lot about the different layers of the canyon, wildlife and foliage. The raft was comfortable and not over crowded. We felt safe in the hands of the staff when going through huge rapids or being face to face with unpredictable Wildlife. The supplies provided for sleeping were clean and comfortable and we were never without water. During the time we stayed at camp we were given multiple activities to participate in if we felt like it. I highly recommend CRATE for you Rafting needs. They went above and beyond my expectations and I will definitely be back Read more “Above and Beyond”
Thank you so much for an absolutely amazing trip.
Thank you so much for an absolutely amazing trip. The opportunity to raft the Colorado, see the Grand Canyon from the ground up was literally breathtaking every single day. Second, the trail expeditions were amazing. To be able to see the wonderful gems that the Canyon has to offer and see it’s real beauty and… scenery and true soul was an unexpected surprise. Third the accommodations, meals and customer service was top shelf Last, Walker and Kai went above and beyond to ensure we all had a great experience. But the lengths they went to ensure our safety and make sure safety was job number one. We love you guys, what a great team Read more “Thank you so much for an absolutely amazing trip.”
Very professional company
I want to say during issues with 2020, CRATE has been the most professional company we have worked with in any business sense. We are in a group of about 30 planning to go in July, not everyone has been able to commit because of Covid but CRATE has guaranteed to make the trip safe… and fun for those in the group that are still going. They answer emails and phone calls always within hours if not minites. One of our friends has been using this company for almost 20 years. Please do not hesitate to pick CRATE for your Grand Canyon trip. Read more “Very professional company”
amazing custom trip down the Grand Canyon
We participated in a custom trip down the grand canyon last summer with Ben Reeder as our lead guide. It was an amazing experience, the guides were pros, and the food was delicious. They were endlessly enthusiastic and flexible taking us on hikes, exploring the area, and explaining the history. This was a really high… quality group of guides, any one of which could have been our leader. I look forward to doing another trip with CRATE someday. They are the real deal. Read more “amazing custom trip down the Grand Canyon”
Epic River Trip with CRATE!
I recently completed the September 11-17 Bright Angel Canyon – Whitmore Wash trip with 8 of my friends, and 8 other (soon to be new friends).
I’ve done a lot of rafting and kayaking in my days, and this was by far the most fascinating, enjoyable, and fun trip I’ve ever done.
A… lot of the success of this trip has to do with the expertise, general awesome attitudes, and approach of the 6 guides (Sybrina, Carter, Able, Casie, Adam, and John). Carter Mills obviously has the river running through his veins, as he guided our 6 person paddle raft over all the large rapids without one spill. Sybrina and Able are two of the coolest people I’ve met in a long time, and I was surprised, and very moved, when they brought out their instruments and played for us twice. All of the guides were so friendly, and set the pace for how to treat each other with kindness, support, and respect, allowing two different groups to merge into one and become friends in the process. I was so sad to leave the river and these fine people and I cannot wait to do another trip with CRATE!!! Read more “Epic River Trip with CRATE!”
Great Grand Canyon Experience
I completed the 11 day Grand Canyon rowing and paddle experience with CRATE in August 2019. Thanks to the CRATE crew for an excellent adventure along Colorado in the Grand Canyon. Ben Reeder and his crew did an excellent job! They are excellent boatmen and handle the rapids with professionalism and all the while making… it exciting for the travellers. They are very knowledgeable about the history and geology of the canyon and shared this information willingly. The hikes were equally enjoyable, food was excellent and equipment reliable and well cared for. A great experience! Read more “Great Grand Canyon Experience”
Trip of a lifetime!!
There are possibly not enough words in the English language to accurately describe my first trip down the Grand Canyon! I can, however, say that being on the river with the Crate crew made this experience more extraordinary than expected. Ben, John, Jazlee, Jonah and Carter shared their love of ‘the river’ and it’s history… with us, and made my journey all the more enjoyable for that. They told us crazy stories about those who rode the river before us, they introduced us to geological masterpieces, hidden waterfalls, turquoise pools and life vests worn as nappys! Their genuine kindness to us all made us feel that we were part of a special group- those who love ‘ the river ‘. They care deeply for that majestic piece of the earth, and I cannot thank them enough for sharing it with me. All I can offer in return is an open invitation to visit us in NZ. Read more “Trip of a lifetime!!”
8-Day Colorado River Trip Thru the Grand Canyon
From the captains & crew to the boats, gear and meals…this was an absolutely spectacular trip! Just the right amount of roughing it with the exceptional service by the crew. Ben, Dewey, Eliot and Josh were fantastic…couldn’t have picked a better crew if I tried…and will request them again on my next trip! Ben &… Dewey both deserve a raise for what they do on these trips. The way they navigate the river…and the knowledge they share along the way is absolutely breath taking. How can they know so much!?!?!?! You must go on a trip with these guys…it’s memorable for the rest of your days! Thanks fellas! Hope to see you guys soon! -Scott F. ~ Very Happy Customer! Read more “8-Day Colorado River Trip Thru the Grand Canyon”
Magical, grand adventure
Our group was amazing. The crew was expert and very accommodating to our needs. The meals were tasty and ample. I enjoyed the waterfall hikes even though I was not in the shape I should have been for a couple of the hikes. The crew made sure of our safety and encouraged us when needed.… Excellent adventure, and the Grand Canyon is TRUELY Grand. I enjoyed our swamper Chris’ trumpet, and Sabrina played the violin in a canyon on the way to a waterfall. I saw many of us with teary eyes as it was so beautiful and such a special experience. Thank you to John, McKenna, Sabrina, Chris and all of our group that pitched in to make this a fabulous lifetime event. Loved it. Read more “Magical, grand adventure”
Our group rafted the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. It was such a positive experience from reservation to the take-out. Our rafting adventure was so well-coordinated and we felt confident in our delightful crew from the first rapid to the last. Delicious meals, great conversations, challenging hikes, and yummy desserts. The crew checked in… with us regularly to make sure we were comfortable and were accommodating for various levels of abilities. We even had poetry read to us each morning before we started our day. Would I go again? Absolutely! Would there be a few things I would do differently? Absolutely! Less personal items (you won’t be shampooing as often as you think), less clothing, and a few more layering pieces. Overall, this was truly a trip of a lifetime. Read more “Absolutely Go!”
Our group of 24 people went on the 8 day raft trip from Lee’s Ferry to Pierce Ferry, Grand Canyon. It was the trip of a lifetime! The guides were experts and they worked incredibly hard to ensure we had a great adventure. Thank you CRATE!
love rafting with CRATE!
Fantastic 8-day motorized raft trip on the Colorado in May! Crew takes such good care of us and the food is wonderful. This was my 6th trip with CRATE and I will be going again.
A+++ rafting and hiking adventure
We did the May trip on the Green and Colorado river through Canyonlands National Park. Highlight were the rapids in Cataract Canyon and the hiking in the Doll House.
5-star bucket list completion!
Fabulous views, information, hiking, food, folks, rafting=a 5-star bucket list completion, but, I want to go again! So much beauty & excitement wrapped into 9 days on the Colorado River with excellent guides that prepared delicious, unique meals! Don’t wait another year to make a decision! The Grand Canyon may change. CRATE is the only… outfitter that I would consider to do this spectacular trip! C Susan Read more “5-star bucket list completion!”
WOW!!! If you are looking for an exciting, yet relaxing excursion in some of the most beautiful and remote wonders of the world…..LOOK…NO…FURTHER!!! Our friends at CRATE are top notch and won’t leave you disappointed…unless you just aren’t the adventurous type. The crew of always incredible – engaging, helpful, funny, accommodating, …, the list goes… on and on. Our 9-day 2014 Grand Canyon National Park Trip and our 7-day 2019 Canyonlands National Park Trip were both out of this world! Looking forward to our next experience! Keep ‘em coming CRATE! Read more “CRATE ROCKS!!!”
Cataract Canyon 7 day
Hello Ill just say, I am hooked on Colorado River and Trail Expeditions. This is my fourth adventure with them. This was a 7 day trip down the Green river to the Colorado and on to Lake Powell. The trip started in Moab airport where I met up with some of the crew and my… fellow rafters. For me this trip had a lot of old friends Cater Mills, Adam Teal, and Oni. The trip leader was Walker MacKay and I met one new crew member John. The crew works as a well oiled machine and as always ready to help with even the smallest detail to make our experience unforgettable. My fellow rafters were from all over the country and all walks of life. Everyone was fun to be with and we came together as a group quickly. We had two motorized rafts and we all found a spot to sit for the trip. Our trip leader Walker gave us the rundown on the trip as we motored along the Green river. The focus of this trip was the side hikes and the beauty and grandeur of Canyonlands National Park and Cataract Canyon. The food was great and plenty to eat. I am always impressed with the ability of the crew to cook such a wide range of foods in the portable kitchen and the fresh food we have from the first day until the last day. The side hikes were tough be worth the effort. The Dolls house hike was spectacular but tough. The guides stayed with us each step of the way making sure we were safe and there if you needed a hand. I would recommend this trip if you like to hike and see unspoiled county and varies landscapes.
Thank you to the entire CRATE staff and crew. A Special thank to Vicki Mackay for putting up with me. Read more “Cataract Canyon 7 day”
6 Day Lower Canyon Adventure (4/15-20/2019)
27 years ago in April 1992 my wife and I did the Lee’s Ferry to Hoover dam expedition. Last year I suggested to our 4 kids (54-47) that it might be interesting to do it again and that I thought they would really like it. They could not do the full trip because of work… and other commitments so we settled on the 6 day trip (Phantom Ranch to Hoover). One just could not come due to work commitments but a fried from Phoenix was able to join the group. So we were a group of 5. I choose CRATE simply because my wife and I had a GREAT experience 27 years ago. We started the long hike down early on the 15th made it down and joined the rafts and started the ride with 5 or 6 quite interesting rapids. The enormity of the canyon and its beauty, its geology and its history are fascinating. It is impossible to get tired of looking at the endless vistas and formations that make the canyon so majestic. The hikes into the side canyons are just as beautiful and a priceless part of the adventure that simply can’t be seen without taking the trip. Our guides Walker, Carter, John and Olny (sp) were not only skillful, very helpful and a pleasure to be around…part of the family. Great bunch of guys! They are canyon historians, great boatmen, geologists, riggers and great chefs…lots of skills! The office staff Vicki, Bonnie and Kristen were most courteous and helpful. The relatively small family run business renders a customer focus attitude that permeates with all the folks associated with CRATE. As great as our first trip with CRATE 27 years ago was this one was a little bit better which says a lot for CRATE as they have improved the creature comforts better than before while maintaining all the adventure and camaraderie during the trip. Our group all were delighted with the adventure and my daughter said she did not really have a good idea as what to expect said it far exceed her expectations. Great trip and a great job by CRATE. I can only conclude bu saying that I can’t wait 27 years for the next trip, but if there is to be a next one it will be with CRATE.
Jesus E. Gonzalez Read more “6 Day Lower Canyon Adventure (4/15-20/2019)”
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