Grand Canyon United States Quarter

View From the Nankoweep Granaries

Grand Canyon US Quarter









In 2010 the United States began minting “The America the Beautiful” quarters featuring National Parks.  The Grand Canyon quarter features the view from the Nankoweep Granaries looking downstream toward the Little Colorado River.  The view is a favorite of Colorado River & Trail Expeditions.  We try to do the short, but strenuous, hike to the granaries and the viewpoint on all of our Grand Canyon rafting trips.

Nankoweep is located on our Upper Grand Canyon rafting trip.  It is located about 52 miles downstream of Lee’s Ferry.  The granaries were used as a storage site by the ancestral puebloan people who grew and gathered food on the delta below.  The view on the US quarter is a great representation of the Grand Canyon.


Grand Canyon Rafting & Ranch

Our last Grand Canyon Raft and Ranch trip of the season is slated for September 12-15, 2011.  This trip is a great introduction to the Grand Canyon for those who are short on time.  The trip includes round-trip transportation from Las Vegas, Nevada and will include a scenic plane ride to the Bar 10 ranch on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, a helicopter ride into the depths of the Grand Canyon, floating 50 miles along the Colorado River and its rapids via raft, hard hulled dory, or people powered paddle boat, a jetboat ride through the final 40 miles of the Grand Canyon past the famous “Grand Canyon Skywalk”, and finally, an air conditioned ride back to Las Vegas via passenger van or coach.

In addition to all of the exciting logistics, participants will have a chance to do a variety of western activities at the Bar 10 ranch including riding 4-wheelers, horseback riding, and sleeping in a covered wagon.  On the river portion of the trip participants will engage in a scenic off-river excursion to beautiful Travertine Grotto and challenge about eight Grand Canyon rapids rated 3-6 on the 1-10 Colorado River rapid scale.  Guests will camp at night along the river bank on cots with great dinner meals of Steak and BBQ Chicken.

If you have ever wanted to go Grand Canyon rafting, but just didn’t have the time to do all 278 miles this is the trip for you.  This final trip of the season leaves Las Vegas on September 12 and returns on September 15.  It is a great time of year for this experience.  Call our office now and reserve your space (1-800-253-7328).

Happy 95th Birthday National Park Service!

NPS turns 95 Today!

Happy 95th Birthday NPS

Today marks the 95th Birthday of the National Park Service.  The National Park Service Organic Act was signed on August 25, 1916 by Woodrow Wilson establishing the National Park Service as an agency of the United States Department of the Interior.  The act was sponsored by Representative William Kent (I) of California and Senator Reed Smoot (R) of Utah. The first appointed NPS director was Stephen Mather, who took on the responsibility of supervising and maintaining all designated national parks, battlefields, historic places, and monuments.  Prior to the signing of the NPS Organic Act National Parks and Monuments were managed locally, or by the US Army with varying degrees of success.  The act gave us the eloquent and famous passage on the duty of the newly formed NPS:

“… to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Colorado River and Trail Expeditions is very thankful for the foresight of the individuals and organizations that fought to protect wild places and preserve open spaces.  We operate in three National Parks in the United States.  We offer whitewater rafting tours in Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, and Glacier Bay.  We also operate in Kluane National Park and Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park in Canada.

Our Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trips travel all 278 miles along the Colorado River through the heart of Grand Canyon National Park.  The Grand Canyon did not become a National Park until 1919 after a long fight to protect it.

Our Cataract Canyon rafting trips travel through the heart of Canyonlands National Park where the mighty Green and Colorado Rivers come together, separating Canyonlands into three distinct areas: The Maze, The Needles, and The Island in the Sky.  Whitewater bigger than the Grand Canyon abounds in the spring.  When the water drops and the temperatures cool down in the fall we do incredible fall hiking and rafting tours to see the sights of the hard to get to “martian landscape.”

Our Alaska rafting trips are the best way to see Kluane, Tatshenshini-Alsek, and Glacier Bay National Parks.  The land is true wilderness where wolverines, bears, moose, and wolves rule the landscape.  These rafting tours give plenty of time to see the sites and enjoy the experience of hiking on Walker Glacier and watching icebergs break off into Alsek Lake.

The National Parks were the United State’s best idea, and we are proud and lucky to operate our business in them.  We wish the National Park Service a happy 95th birthday.


Plenty of Options For Grand Canyon Rafting with Colorado River & Trail Expeditions

Colorado River & Trail ExpeditionsOur September rafting trip in Grand Canyon will offers options for everyone.  We will have oar rafts and a dory for those who want to enjoy the ride, and a paddle raft for those who want to challenge the rapids face on.  In addition to our normally scheduled rafting trip September 3-13, we also have a Ranch/Raft expedition scheduled September 12-15 from Las Vegas for those who are short on time.  The Ranch/Raft expeditions will also offer the Dory and Paddle Raft option.  We have a few last minute spaces available.  If you want to experience the Grand Canyon call us now (800)253-7328.The Grand Canyon Rafting is the greatest vacation in the world.

What I’ve Learned on the River

1. Relax. You will be where you should be when the river and your guide takes you there.

2. Togetherness is great. So is a little solitude.

3. Cleanliness is a relative thing. (I wonder, is godliness relative, too?)

4. Where you are going will be beautiful. Where you have been is beautiful. Don’t forget to notice where you are right now.

5. When hiking on a narrow ledge, lean in. The canyon will hold you up.

6. A hike means the guides will reach the end. A walk means some of the rafters will get there, too.

7. Getting to the end of the trail is cool. So is sitting down and letting the beauty seep into your soul.

8. Bats are beautiful.

9. You should push yourself just a little harder than you think you can. You may be surprised at what you can do.

10. Memories are the most precious things we have. We will have many photos of the trip, but it is the memories we should cherish.

*Memories of each other—the “duffle shuffle”, the early morning coffee call, “First last call on the toilets”, the world’s best UNO game, bathing in the colorful Colorado and swimming in the cool clear pools of Havasu Creek.

*How much fun it is to wash dishes, how good peanut butter tastes (on bread it’s good, on chocolate chip cookies it is superb!)

*How wonderful it is that a group of strangers, aged 12 to 72, can become friends.

*How beautiful the sunrise and the moonset are in the Canyon.

*How the white clouds define and sharpen the blueness of the sky.

*How the chaotic schist contrasts with the ordered calm of the sedimentary rocks.

*How grateful we are to have shared this experience with all of you. Thank You!

—Barbara Meyers
Guest on Colorado River & Trail Expeditions-Rowing/Paddle Grand Canyon Rafting Trip CRATE’s Facebook Web Address

Facebook Grand Canyon Rafting Page

Rafting Social Media

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions is closing in on our 600th Facebook “like”. Our fan base is composed of past guests, guides, friends, and future river runners. If you have not joined our facebook rafting community and would like to follow this link Or visit our Colorado River & Trail Expeditions website and follow our links.

Grand Canyon Rafting in September? Camps will be beautiful!

Since the middle of May of 2011 the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon has been flowing at or above 20,000 cfs at a constant flow. This has made for great river trips, rapids, and plenty of time for off-river hiking and exploration. Another nice thing that will come from this high water is that when the water drops the beaches will be huge, clean, and beautiful. This drop will come at the beginning of September when the river is dropped to a steady flow of 15,000 cfs for September and October. There is still some space available on our September Grand Canyon rafting trip. Be sure to check out our webpage for all of the details about our Grand Canyon rafting trips

Camp at Nankoweep on Grand Canyon Rafting Trip

Grand Canyon Camping in Style


Why is the Little Colorado River Turquoise Blue?

Little Colorado River

Why is the Little Colorado River Blue?

When you pour a glass of ice cold water out of one of our 7-Gallon Orange Gott Coolers the water may appear colorless, but water is actually a faint blue color. Water’s natural blue color is easy to see when one looks at deep bodies of water such as the oceans, and deep mountain lakes such as Lake Tahoe. The color of water does not come from light scattering(why the sky is blue) nor dissolved elements and compounds(such as copper). Water absorbs the red end of the visible spectrum, thus when we look at water we see the complementary color of orange which is blue. When one observes dark blue water they are looking at deep water that has absorbed most of the orange. When one looks at turquoise colored water they are looking at water that has only absorbed a little of the orange. Pure water actually derives its color from, and is the only known example of natural color caused by vibrational transitions. Vibrational transitions have to do with the molecular form of water.

There are other factors that can change the color of pure water. For example the Colorado River when it flows out the bottom of Glen Canyon Dam is green in color due to green algae in the river, and the natural color of the Colorado River is a light tan color due to suspended brownish colored silt. Small particles in rivers can scatter, absorb, and reflect light. In the case of the Little Colorado River and Havasu Creek, they are very rich in lime due to to the sedimentary rock layers they have cut through. In addition to the lime scattering light in these streams, the calcium carbonate in the lime coats the bottom of these waters with a white bottom. The white light reflected off objects can be seen when no part of the light spectrum is reflected significantly more than any other color. Thus in swimming pools, the Little Colorado River, and Havasu Creek, the deeper the water the darker the blue color, due to more orange absorption of the sunlight from the water and the white bottom reflecting all colors equally.

“Google +1″, Colorado River & Trail Expeditions, and Grand Canyon Rafting

“Google +1″ Colorado River & Trail Expeditions

Google +1

Google +1 Rafting with CRATE

Recently Google has added the “+1″ button to searches and websites. To use this feature you must have a Google account and be logged in. Then when you click on a “+1″ button you are saying to friends, contacts, and the rest of the world “you should check this out” or “this is awesome.” One way to think of the +1 button is like a sticky note someone leaves for you at home that tells you about a great product or company. The Google “+1″ button gives your stamp of approval!

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions has recently added a “+1″ button to our website and we are asking anyone who has had a great experience with us on the river to click on the button and recommend us to the rest of the world. Our Google “+1″ button is located on the left hand side of our homepage below Alaska Rafting and above our Facebook link. Colorado River & Trail Expeditions is celebrating 40 years(1971-2011) of Grand Canyon Rafting, Utah River Trips, and Alaska Wilderness Vacations.

September & October–An ideal time for rafting in the Grand Canyon and Utah’s Canyonlands

Raft the Grand Canyon, Cataract Canyon or Westwater Canyon this Fall

September & October Rafting on the Colorado River

Here at CRATE things are starting to slow down. Our 40th season on the river has been fun, busy, exciting, and successful. As we head toward September we still have a few trips with space available on them. September and October are great months for Grand Canyon rafting and Utah River trips on the Colorado River. Cooler temperatures and great weather combine for great hiking, rafting, and photography opportunities. Here is a brief rundown of the trips and tours we still have space on for 2011. If any of these trips strike your interest give us a call now at (800)253-7328 and mention you saw them on our Run Wild! Run Rivers! Rafting Blog.

Westwater Canyon     August 26-27, September 17-18

Cataract Canyon Fall Rafting, Hiking & Photography Trip    October 9-16

Grand Canyon    August 31-September 8   9-Day Grand Canyon Motor Trip

Grand Canyon    September 3-13   11-Day Grand Canyon Rowing/Paddle Trip

Grand Canyon    September 3-7   5-Day Upper Grand Canyon Rowing/Paddle Trip

Grand Canyon    September 7-13   7-Day Lower Grand Canyon Rowing/Paddle Trip

Ranch & Raft Grand Canyon From Las Vegas     Motorized August 28-30, Dory,Rowing, or Paddle September 12-15