Grand Canyon River Trips
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White Water Rafting with a Personal Touch
The psychological effect of this was ultimately liberating. After a period of adjustment we settled into a routine reminiscent of a wagon train of pioneers venturing across the wilderness. (Our group consisted of 14 ‘guests’ and 4 guides) Each day at a place chosen by our leader we would make camp adjacent to the river. Guests would help unload the rafts, then set up personal campsites. Guides would set up the ‘kitchen’ and begin food preparation.
Leave-no-trace camping is a good idea anywhere, and it was a requirement of our BLM use permit. Because our trip traversed a designated Wilderness Study Area we were required to dispose of all liquid waste into the river and carry out all solid waste. We urinated, expectorated, and discarded liquid foodstuffs into the river, relying on the 18,000 cubic feet per second flow (yes; look it up) and we carried all of our trash, compost, and even excrement with us to the take out. Once we learned the routine it was not onerous.
So when we set up camp the first task of the staff was to set up the two camp toilets (I use the word loosely) – one under its own privacy tent, and the other situated behind some shrubbery usually with a spectacular view over the river. Similarly the final announcement before camp was broken in the morning was “last call for the pooper!” The constraints on elimination added to the fact that we did not have tents to sleep or change in depressed our group modesty significantly. Also not much washing, since the only option was in the river, whose temperature was in the mid 40s.
I feel a real sense of accomplishment. We set out to descend some 600 feet through several dozen rapids over 90+ miles – and did so. We got rained on (not too much) on two days, and got wet traversing the rapids every day. We ate well, slept well, and saw starrier skies than I remember since my youth. I am profoundly grateful to our guides and to the small family-owned outfitter they work for. A trip to remember.
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CRATE is a smaller, family owned company, that has been in business for decades. Over half the clients on our trip were repeat customers, which speaks volumes. A trip like this depends for its success on planning (from the top) and personalities (on the ground).
Our guides were experienced and knowledgable about local history, and geology. As well as safety, campcraft, and the skills essential for a successful outing of this kind. Their boundless energy, consistently positive attitude, and care for the each one of the guests was remarkable.
Jane is a “foodie,” very concerned with healthy food. She was pleased with our menus, which included lots of vegetables, and whole grains – quinoa, oatmeal, and rice – and whole grain bread choices. Foods were locally sourced as well. Dinners included salmon, shrimp, and steaks. Snacks on he river were consistently healthy choices.
We are seniors, in pretty good shape. This trip would be good for any age willing to try something new and have a real adventure.
Very good rafting company.
The guides were great. Everything was well organized. The food was great. I believe there was some grumblings of a lack of vegetarian options, but I am not a veggie, so I didn’t really care. I guess you should tell them ahead of time. The food was essentially everything organic at costco. ( which is not a bad thing )
The rapids were good, but I really wasn’t there for the rapids, but rather the scenary. You probably have a normal three our rafting trip of rapids stretched into a day.
We did a hike every day, and those were great as well.
I’m not a big camper, and had no issues whatso ever.
We went in mid may, and it was surprisely cold ( 80s ). I guess that is the issue with going during shoulder season. It rained on us several times.
Lastly we did the 9.5 mile hike out. it took us about 6 hours to get up. But we were waiting on one slow member. We eventually left him with the guide to we can enjoy a shower.
Best for customer focus and satisfaction
CRATE helped solve a potential problem before the trip even began! Throughout the trip they listened and responded to any and all issues, always focused on customer satisfaction. We consistently felt safe and caredRead more “Best for customer focus and satisfaction”
Grand Canyon Grand — CRATE is GREAT!
Truly one of my greatest experiences!
May 7-14 2016 Grand Canyon Rafting on the CO river
Grand Canyon Float Trip
The trip was superb. It engaged both body and mind, with dozens of exciting rapids to run every day, hikes up side canyons of surreal beauty, and 2 billion years of Grand Canyon geology to ruminate on. CRATE is an experienced outfitter, now run by a 2nd generation of family members, that leads trips on other rivers in Utah and Alaska, as well as on the Colorado.
Our guides were professional and highly knowledgeable about both the 280 miles of challenging water and the canyon’s geology. It was fascinating to hear about the formation of the different layers of the canyon as we looked at them, a geology course brought to life. We all learned the various mnemonics to keep the strata straight, such as “Know The Canyon’s History” (Kaibab-Toroweap-Coconino-Hermit) and “DUDE” (deposition, uplift, deconstruction, erosion). Each hike up a side canyon gave us a slightly different perspective on the canyon rock, as well as the chance to wade or swim in beautiful creeks, stand under falls and see springs gush from the face of cliffs. We saw a bighorn sheep descending one canyon in front of us, as well as on the riverbanks and cliffs when we were on the water. We also saw beaver, chuckwalla and other lizards, ospreys, ducks, and enormous flocks of swallows, particularly in the upper canyon. If you are a night owl you may be lucky enough to see a ringtail cat trying to plunder the campsite; we couldn’t manage to keep our eyes open.
We ate extremely well, with terrific meals prepared from fresh ingredients for the full length of the 8-day trip, thanks to the natural refrigeration of the river’s 40-something temps preserving the ice in the raft’s under-deck storage compartments. Our guides set a new standard for camp cooking, with hearty breakfasts; sandwiches, wraps and fruit for lunch and different entrees every night for dinner.
Sleeping under the stars was bliss in comfortable temperatures on the nifty folding cots. CRATE provides summer bags, so you will want to bring extra insulation like fleece tops and bottoms for trips earlier or later in the season. We used tents on only two nights during the trip when we had overnight rain.
Unless you fill a trip entirely with family and/or friends, you will be traveling in close contact with people you don’t know. Our group quickly became a close-knit bunch; enjoying an adventure together in which everyone pitches in to help created a lot of camaraderie and sort of a family spirit. In my experience, trips like this are somewhat self-selecting and weed out those who might not be comfortable with this level of intimacy and group participation.
My friends and I are in our early 60’s, but this is a fabulous trip for those of any age who enjoy adventure and the chance to experience one of the world’s geologic wonders. We had one adventurous couple in their late 70’s on the trip- they enjoyed it immensely. The motorized trips have the advantage of covering the 280 miles in 8 days, for those who can’t find the two weeks needed to run the river in a wooden dory or oared raft. We saw several dory and oared raft trips on the river, and it is definitely a sporty ride through the rapids which looks like tremendous fun. CRATE guides both types of trips. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them highly to anyone, and would love to join them on an Alaska trip one day.
Full length, 8 day rafting trip down the Grand Canyon
CRATE, our outfitter, was great. They are a 2nd generation family operation and our guides had deep, and sometimes personal, knowledge of the history of rafting down the Colorado, as well as some of the best hidden spots to explore. We were on a larger, motorized raft, with the benefit of allowing us to see all of the canyon in a manageable amount of time, and a side benefit of having plenty of stores. Each meal was delicious. The crew worked hard to make our experience special, also fun. Our group pitched in too, adding to the camaraderie.
April is a good time to visit the Grand Canyon. You share the river with just a few others and it’s before the heat of the summer.
I would unequivocally recommend CRATE and the Grand Canyon for an adventure vacation.
A float through the millenia
Grand Canyon rafting
Awe inspiring and Life Enriching
The BEST – 17 trips and counting
Most importantly the guides are the absolute best, knowledgeable, compassionate, professional. I have entrusted them with my daughter and grandson time and again. Have not met a CRATE guide in 17 trips that I would not go on another trip with!
Have already planned my 2017 trip.
Desolation Canyon rafting trip
Desolation Canyon could be a great family trip. River was nice but not like Grand Canyon. It is very enjoyable ride. As higher elevations weather is mild too. Guides are very professional and also friendly. They made my trip very memorable. This Canyon is highly recommended for familyRead more “Desolation Canyon rafting trip”
Efficient, knowledgeable, thoughtful river guides
Whitewater rafting, hiking, and camping in Grand Canyon for 11 days-THE BEST!!!
Awesome 11 Day Grand Canyon Trip July 2015
All I can say is WOW. We had a great time from when we arrived in Las Vegas until we took the bus back from the North Las Vegas airport. The Crew was well versed in packing the rafts and keeping us all safe while having fun and being fed. The food was great fresh food from day one until our departure at Whitmore Wash. There was always plenty to eat and even had a birthday cake baked in a cast iron pot (Thanks Zach).
The Crew navigated every rapid with ease and even when we flipped in Hermit rapid they had the boat righted and we were on our way in no time. All of the side hikes were well worth the extra effort because at the end of each hike was an amazing waterfall or beautiful blue pool or a rock water slide.
Sleeping under the stars each night was like a new light show every night. We even saw satellites fly by. There were a few nights when the moon was out and it was so bright it was almost like day.
My best part of the day was waking up to the hot coffee call which was made by our guide Carter. Having coffee next to the river and watching the sun come up was awe inspiring site to be seen.
Time in camp was nice we socialized and got to know our fellow travelers and even made a couple of friends. We are trying to organize a reunion trip already for 2017.
The only thing they need to work on is time management at Phantom ranch. Some of the travelers only did half the trip and hiked out while some hiked in and did the second half. We sat at the beach waiting for three hours waiting for the new passengers to get there and be oriented and pack up their dry bags. When we could have taken a side hike or sat up at the Phantom Ranch catena and sipped lemonade until they were ready for us to move on.
I could write for days about how great a time I had with this company and crew but I will say you have to see for yourself the wonders of the Grand Canyon with Colorado River and Trail Expeditions
12 Day Loma to Hite Dories
Yeah! CRATE knows how to do this stuff. I’ve done trips with a lot of different outfitters and Walker Mackay and his crew are a cut above the rest. I’d definitely go boatin’ with them again. They got cool swag,Read more “12 Day Loma to Hite Dories”
Excellent support for private,5-dory trip on upper Colorado
Colorado River Rafting through the Grand Canyon
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