Geologist Wayne Ranney to Host Canyonlands National Park River Trip

An incredible journey to an amazing destination.

An incredible journey to an amazing destination.

Wayne Ranney, world famous geologist, author, and interpreter will be hosting a rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Canyonlands National Park.  The trip dates are May 2-11 and include a 7 day rafting trip along the Green and Colorado Rivers and through Cataract Canyon.  There will also be a ground based field trip into the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park prior to the river trip.  The land based trip will be based out of Red Cliffs Lodge on the Banks of the Colorado River and will be outfitted by licensed Canyonlands National Park Concessionaire Colorado River & Trail Expeditons.  The trip cost is $3140 per person.

Wayne Ranney is the author of “Carving Grand Canyon” and co-author of “Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau.”  This will be his second Colorado River rafting trip with Colorado River & Trail Expeditions.  In addition to his great books, Wayne’s interpretation and explanations make Geology exciting and fun.  Besides the rafting part of the trip, there will be numerous off river hikes to explore the Geology and beauty of the area.  There really is no better way to see Canyonlands National Park than by boat and having a geologist the caliber of Wayne will make the trip exceptional.

The river portion of the trip will start at Mineral Bottom on the Green River.  The first couple of days on the river will offer great opportunities to see Native American artifacts and ruins.  Once the river joins the Colorado River the rapids begin.  Colorado River rafting through Cataract Canyon is worth the trip itself.  The rapids of Cataract Canyon can dwarf those of the Grand Canyon at extremely high flows and at low flows the river challenging because it is clogged with huge boulders.  The trip ends at North Wash in the upper reaches of what once was Lake Powell Resevoir.

This trip only has a couple of spaces remaining.  To find out more information call Colorado River and Trail Expeditions at 1-800-253-7328.

Second Annual Rafting Photo Contest Set To Launch

Grand Canyon Kayaking

Licensed Grand Canyon rafting concessionaire Colorado River & Trail Expeditions(CRATE) will be launching their second annual photo contest.  In addition to the photo contest there will also be a video contest.  The contest will launch on Monday March 31, 2014 and conclude on November 30, 2014 at midnight.  There will be three categories:  people, river, and scenery.  The Grand Prize winner will receive a 2015 Grand Canyon River trip and will be selected by a professional photographer.  In addition, the winner from each photo category and the video category will receive their choice of a Desolation, Cataract or Westwater Canyon river trip with Colorado River and Trail Expeditions.  Category winners will be chosen by popularity on Social Media and by fellow rafters.  All photos submitted to the contest must follow all rules, terms, and conditions.   Only photos taken on Colorado River and Trail Expeditions’ trips or of their boats will be accepted.

In addition to the photo and video contest those who submit photos will be able to share the photos amongst fellow rafters from their river trip.  This will be a nice addition to those rafting with Colorado River and Trail Expeditions this year.  Trips usually have about 24 participants so if everyone shares their photos there will be potentially 240 of the best photos from the trip shared amongst the group.

Last year’s Grand Prize winner was David Wille.  David won a space on the Tom Till Grand Canyon Photo trip that will take place May 2-12.  The category winners of the 2013 photo contest were Adrienne Prosser and LeeAnn Peterson.  Adrienne is scheduled to do Cataract Canyon river trip in May and LeeAnn is still deciding which trip she will join.  To see all of the photos from the 2013 contest go to www.crateinc.com.photos.

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions prides itself on introducing guests to nature on high quality outdoor expeditions.  2014 will mark CRATE’s 44th year under original ownership.  For more information about the photo contest or river rafting call 1-800-253-7328 or visit CRATE on the web at www.crateinc.com.

 

 

Via Magazine Highlights Green River

Via, the magazine of AAA recently did a rafting trip with Colorado River and Trail Expeditions on the 1-day section of Gray Canyon.  The river trip was in conjunction with a weekender article about heading to Green River, Utah and exploring the area.  Other attractions listed in the article included the “Good Water Rim Trial”, “Crystal Geyser”, the “John Wesley Powell River History Museum,” and “Goblin Valley State Park.”

The trip leader on the trip was Alex Jensen and is quoted in the article calling Green River and Gray Canyon “a special place that no one knows about.”  We think Alex’s description of the area is right on.  Green River is a special place that is often less crowded and overlooked due to the popularity of nearby Moab.  The area has a remote beauty to it and the Green River 1-day section is as good of a river trip as the Colorado River 1-Day section above Moab.

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions generally meets our guests in Green River, Utah for their trips on the Green River as well as many of our Westwater Canyon river trips on the Colorado River.

Rafting

Rafting by definition is “the sport or pastime of traveling down a river on a raft.”  Rafting to us is much more.  It is the thrill and excitement of rapids.  It is the great bonds you make with fellow river rats.  It is the journey to discover nature and get back to your roots of wildness.  It is the beauty of side canyons and the sounds of wildlife.  It is more than one could ever put into words.

A multi-day rafting trip is the ultimate getaway.  Not only do you have a chance to disconnect from the strains of modern technology, but you also get to relax and bond with friends, family, strangers, and yourself.  If you have been thinking about doing a rafting trip this is the year.  Colorado River & Trail Expeditions has some great trips planned in 2014 including an archaeological based rafting trip through Desolation Canyon.  We are also planning on heading north to Alaska to run the Alsek and Tatshenshini rivers.

River trips are nice because once you arrive at the meeting point for a trip you don’t have to worry about anything until the trip ends.  All of your food, and sleeping accomodations are taken care of.  Your only requirement is to sit back and enjoy the place.

 

2013 High Flow Experiment Scheduled For November 11-16 in the Grand Canyon

The Department of the interior will conduct a high flow experimental release next week from Glen Canyon Dam.  This is consistent with the High-Flow Protocol and is related to the sediment input that has occurred below Glen Canyon Dam.  Those on our “Epic” September rowing trip through the Grand Canyon know the area received an incredible amount of precipitation with the Paria River and Little Colorado River bringing over 5000 cfs each into the system at one time during September.  Supposedly there is about three times  more sediment in the system this time compared to the last high flow experiment in 2012.

Water released for high flow experiment in 2012 from the Bureau of Reclamation

Water released for high flow experiment in 2012 from the Bureau of Reclamation

This management of the Dam is done to restore the beaches and habitat in the Grand Canyon.  The idea is to bring sediment up from the bottom of the river and deposit it on the sides in the form of beaches.  Before Glen Canyon Dam the Colorado River would flood every spring and leave behind huge amounts of sand as the water receded into summer and fall.  This would clear off the vegetation below the high water line and clean the sand on the beaches.  The hope of these high flow experiments is to recreate these conditions.  These conditions still happen naturally above Glen Canyon Dam in Canyonlands National Park and Cataract Canyon.

The real difference between the historic floods and these man made floods is the volume of water and length of time of the flood.  A natural spring flow in the Grand Canyon would regularly bring 80,000 to 125,000 cfs while the scheduled man made flood this time around is expected to peak at 37,200 cfs and last about 96 hours.  Another thing that puts a big damper on beach building is the loss of sediment in the Colorado River due to Glen Canyon Dam.  As Lake Powell slows the water of the Colorado River the sediment all drops out.  This is why below Glen Canyon Dam the water comes out clear and cold..,,

Our experience on the river has been incredibly beautiful beaches immediately after one of these flooding events.  Unfortunately as the season goes on the beaches tend to return to their original size or even smaller due to the fluctuating dam flows, monsoons, and natural weather conditions.  This loss of sediment is a huge problem and we commend those who have worked so hard to get this adaptive management in place.  As the population continues to rise in the southwest the demand on the water is increased every year we hope new solutions will continue to arise and the Grand Canyon as a resource will always be protected.

 

Fall Grand Canyon Rafting Project-Painting Side Tubes

After the Grand Canyon rafting season ends it is time to start preparing for next April.  One of the projects that we undertake is the maintenance on our side tubes.  This entails fixing any problems and painting the tubes.  We do this work In Fredonia, AZ aka the “Center of the Universe.”

fall rafting projects

The Side Tubes for Grand Canyon Rafting

The first step is to take the tubes out of the warehouse and inflate them outside of our building.  Once the tubes are inflated we check to see if any of the tubes are leaking air or need rubber work.  Then we fix any and all problems by sanding and glueing patches back onto the tubes.  It is amazing how well these tubes hold up.  They are built incredibly well.  Most of our sidetubes were built by the Uniroyal Tire company.  The biggest problem this year seemed to be the grommet patch on the front of the nose of the tube that we lace to our raft and use as a step for our whitewater rafting guests.  Some of the grommets had been pulled out by the incredible force that is placed on these grommets as large waves hit and try to separate the sidetube from the raft.

After the patching and glueing was done it was time to start sanding the old loose paint off of the tubes.  This is a time consuming task but sometimes it is nice to do a project that you don’t have to think about too much and can just let your mind wander.  Once the tubes are  sanded down we have to mask them so we don’t get paint on the places we don’t want.  Then it is time for the painting.  This is the best part of the project.

Painting the side tubes goes quickly and it is great to see how good the tubes look.

Paddling Strokes for Beginners [Infographic]

Paddling Strokes Infographic by CRATEINCC.R.A.T.E., Colorado River and Trail Expeditions presents a wonderful Infographic titled ‘Paddling Strokes for Beginners’. It has been created to outline the basics of paddling a raft. It adumbrates the 6 common paddle strokes a rafter must be efficient at.

The Infographic reveals:

  • Names and visual guide of the different types of stokes
  • The effect of each stroke while rafting
  • ‘How-to’ steps for each stroke

Grand Canyon Rafting FAQs

Thinking about rafting the Grand Canyon for the first time?  It’s hard to know what to expect on a river trip, especially if you haven’t been before.  We get a lot of e-mails and calls with general questions about our rafting trips.  In an effort to help you better understand rafting the Grand Canyon with CRATE, here is a short FAQ list to answer some questions you may have.

camp near little coloradoQ- What is the best time of year to raft the Grand Canyon?
A- We have scheduled our expeditions during the times of year that we think are most appropriate and enjoyable. It doesn’t really matter when you go. However, as a general rule of thumb, you can think of April and May as the most moderate months as far as temperatures go. It can be kind of chilly on the river, especially when you are splashed in the rapids, but it’s usually perfect for long off-river hikes. This is also the best time to see wildflowers in bloom. June and July are warm and dry, perfect for running rapids and playing in side streams, waterfalls, and natural pools. In August, thunder showers cool things off a bit, and the rain causes cactus and other desert plants to bloom. Early-to-mid September, like the spring months, offers cooler temperatures and ideal weather for off-river trekking.

Q- What is your age restriction for the Grand Canyon?
A- 12 Years and older.

Q- Is there 1-Day rafting available in the Grand Canyon?
A- Access in and out of the Grand Canyon is very limited.  There is a company that provides 1/2 and full day calm water float trips from the Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry (Colorado River Discovery).  They will take 4 years and older.  The shortest rafting trip with CRATE is our Ranch and Raft trip which is 3 days.

Q- Do I really need to bring a rain suit in July?
A- YES!  We highly recommend bringing a rain jacket, at least.  The Colorado River water temperature stays around 50 degrees F year round.  Running rapids in the morning can be cold if the sun hasn’t come up over the Canyon walls. 

Q- What kind of footwear should I bring?
A- Good quality, comfortable footwear.  We recommend one pair of river sandals that can be worn on the raft and also on off river hiking excursions (Chaco, Teva, Keen).  We also recommend one pair of athletic shoes as a backup or an alternative hiking shoe.  Hiking boots are optional, but recommended if you need the foot-ankle support.

Q- How experienced are your guides?
A- Most of our guides develop their expertise through an in-house training program that gives them an opportunity to learn everything about the river business from the bottom up. They participate in numerous training trips as helpers, or “swampers,” and must be able to repair rafts, motors and other equipments before they start operating their own rafts with customers on board. This usually requires two seasons. Most of our guides have a minimum of 3-5 years’ experience. Our veteran guides have been with us from 10-20 years.

Q- What is your operating season?
A- Early April through late September.

Q- How many people per boat?
A-
Our 37 foot motorized “S” rigs can accommodate 12-14 passengers plus 2 guides.  Our 18 foot row rigs can accommodate 3-4 passengers plus 1 guide.  Our paddle raft holds 6-8 paddlers plus 1 guide.

Q- What if I have a group?
A- We gladly welcome groups.  12 people qualify for our 10% Group Discount.  If you are interested in chartering a trip, please contact us.

Q- How far in advance do I need to book?
A- 
Most people book a year in advance.  Our April and May trips tend to fill up faster than our later summer trips.  However, there are usually some last minute cancellations.  Just call or e-mail our office to check availability.  Final payment is generally due 60 days prior to the trip departure date.

Q- Can I book a trip online?
A- We like to deal with our clients directly and get to know them.  Feel free to call us or e-mail us anytime with questions or to sign up for a trip.

Q- Why should we choose your company?
A- If you appreciate personal service and enjoy being treated more like a “friend” than a “client,” you will probably like going with us. From office staff to river crew, we will do everything we can to help you plan, prepare and enjoy your time on the river. Our guides are the best! In addition to their training and experience, they are kind and friendly and enthusiastic. You should also consider we do not overcrowd our trips or our rafts. Our equipment is in excellent condition. We love what we do!

Q- What is your menu like?
A- Delicious Dutch-oven dinners, sandwich bar lunches, and hearty camp breakfasts are provided throughout the river trip. We think our menu will satisfy everyone, from those who are watching calories and cholesterol to those who want to splurge on the richest desserts and the biggest steaks! With ample quantites of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and pasta, non-meat eaters also have a variety of good foods from which to choose. Hot beverages such as coffee, tea, and cocoa are served in camp. Assorted non-alcoholic cold drinks are available throughout the day. We do not provide alcoholic beverages, but adult guests may bring small amounts of beer, wine, or liquor for their personal use.

Q- What about bathing and bathroom facilities?
A- It is okay to bathe and/or wash in the river, providing you use biodegradable soap and shampoo. Hand washing devices are set up in every camp. We carry clean, easy-to-use portable toilet facilities with us. They are set up in each camp and concealed in large, roomy tents for privacy.

Q- What is a typical day like on the river?
A- Our guides will wake you early in the morning with a call for “coffee.”  When you hear the call, it means time to come to the kitchen area.  After eating your breakfast, you will have a chance to pack your personal camping gear.  The guides will break-down the kitchen and start to load the rafts.  You may carry your gear to the beach area in front of the boats and when the guides have secured the deck, they will ask your your helping loading personal dry bags.  We stop during the day of lunch, usually on a sandy beach along the bank of the river.  After a full day or rafting and hiking, we will find a place to set up camp.  We ask everyone who is able to help the crew unload the boats to form a line and pass gear on the to the beach.  Guides will set up the kitchen and community camping gear while individuals set up their personal area.  Soon after making camp, the guides will begin to cook dinner.  This is often a good time to write in your journal, read a book, or take a refreshing bath or “power nap.”

For more FAQs: http://www.crateinc.com/why-crate

To make a reservation or check availiability please call or e-mail us at:
1-800-253-7328 / crate@crateinc.com
www.crateinc.com

 

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions Receives Second Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence

Certificate of Excellence 2013

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions has been honored with this award for 2013

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions has been awarded a 2013 Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor.com for its rafting trips.  This is the second straight year C.R.A.T.E.  has received this accolade, which honors hospitality excellence.  This accolade is only given to tour companies that consistently achieve outstanding reviews on Tripadvisor from their guests.  Only about 10% of those companies and organizations listed with Tripadvisor.com receive this prestigious award.

In order to qualify for this award CRATE had to maintain an almost perfect rating as reviewed by travelers.  Additional criteria included the volume of reviews received during the past 12 months.

CRATE is honored to be rated so highly by their guests and is grateful for all of its wonderful employees who put together such wonderful trips.

 

 

 

Chicken Salad Recipe

Over the years, we’ve had many compliments and questions about the meals we prepare on our river trips.  We thought we would share a recipe with those of you who would like to try preparing one of more popular lunches at home.

Chicken Salad Wraps (Serves approx. 5)

- 2-3 Cans (7.5 oz) Canned Chicken- 2 Cups Celery
- 1-2 Tomatoes
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 Red Onion
- 2 Cups Red Grapes
- 1 Cup Whole Cashews
- 1 Head of Romaine or Iceberg Lettuce
- Mayonnaise
-1 Package of Tortillas

Open/drain the Canned Chicken and add to a large bowl.  Dice Celery, Tomatoes, Cucumber and Red Onion and add to the bowl.  Shred the Lettuce and add to the bowl.  Add Red Grapes (can be whole or sliced in half) and Cashews.  Add enough Mayonnaise to get the consistency you want and mix all the ingredients together.

Serve in a tortilla and enjoy!

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