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.

10 Questions to ask when planning a Grand Canyon Rafting Expedition

Grand Canyon Rafting on the Colorado River

Left Side Run In Lava Falls

#1.  When is the best time to experience the Grand Canyon?

If the focus of ones trip is the rapids and the side canyons with waterfalls then go in June, July and August.   If hiking is important opt for May or April.  Honestly anytime of the year is fabulous.  Many people choose to go in September or October when it is a little cooler and it gets dark earlier.

#2.  Rowing, Paddle, Kayak, or Motor?

Some people prefer the larger motorized rafts while other prefer to be right next to the action in a paddle raft.  With the quiet modern motors used in the Grand Canyon the noise of the motor is not really a bother, but some folks prefer to here the silence and sounds of the canyon on a rowing trip.

#3.  How much time do you have?

If general to travel through the entire Grand Canyon one needs at least 8 days.  A rowing or paddle trip through the entire canyon will take 13 days or more.  There are also shorter trips available that only travel through parts of the canyon.

#4.  What are the different trip options available?

There are a lot of different trip options available.  The best thing to do is see the entire 278 miles of Grand Canyon National Park.  Another popular Grand Canyon rafting trip takes out at river mile 187 via helicopter take-out.  Other options available include hiking in or out at Phantom Ranch, and coming in via helicopter at Whitmore Wash.  These partial trips can be as little as a couple of days on the river.

#5.   How fit do I need to be?

Although living in the elements of the natural world can be tiring, it is not essential to be in great shape to participate in a rafting expedition.  If one has any questions about their ability it may be a good idea to try the Ranch and Raft trip and see if you like it before committing to a long period of time.

#6.  Do you want to do a trip with all of your friends?

It is popular in Grand Canyon to charter a commercial trip for ones friends and relatives.  If this is the direction you are thinking about it is important to plan at least a year ahead.  This is because one can not only organize and customize their trip, but also get a date that will work for them.  Charter trips require a minimum of 24 participants.

#7.   Is there a minimum age requirement?

Commercial companies have different requirements on this.  It seems that twelve years old is a universal age.   Twelve year olds can interact well with adults and are usually old enough to take care of themselves if they end up swimming in one of the many Grand Canyon rapids.

#8.   What is the camping like?

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions is a licensed concessionaire in Grand Canyon National Park.  They supply cots, sleeping bags, tents, and paco pads.  Their bathrooms are clean, hand washing before meals is required, and the meals are incredible .  Common meals include free-range chicken and eggs, natural beef and pork, wild caught fish and vegetarian options.  In other words the camping is deluxe if you are comfortable using a non-flush toilet and washing and bathing in the Colorado River.

#9.  Where do I want to hike?

Lets start by saying that the off-river hiking on a Grand Canyon rafting trip is as incredible as the river portion of the trip.  Hiking and exploring is a must.  Some of the best spots include the Nankoweep Granaries, swimming in the Little Colorado, the waterfalls at Elves Chasm, the geology of Blacktail Canyon, and Deer Creek falls.  One of the hikes intentionally left off the list is Havasu Canyon.  This is because it is overcrowded and dirtier than the rest of the Grand Canyon.  The place would be incredible if it was not so dirty.

#10.  What about the Whitewater?

When someone thinks about Grand Canyon rafting the first thing that comes to mind is the rapids.  Although the Grand Canyon has big rapids full of waves, whirlpools, holes, boils and rocks it is also kind with large recovery zones.  That said the river is still a class IV river and boats flip and accidents happen so it is important to feel comfortable swimming in big water and accepting the risks involved.

If you still have questions about rafting the Grand Canyon be sure to check out Colorado River & Trail Expeditions(www.crateinc.com) on the web or call them directly at 1-800-253-7328.

 

 

Colorado River Rafting in Canyonlands National Park

Ancient Rock art in Canyonlands National park

Rock Art in Canyonlands National Park seen on a Cataract Canyon Rafting Trip

Before the Colorado River enters Lake Powell and above the Grand Canyon is Cataract Canyon.  Cataract Canyon is located in southeastern Utah and is a part of Canyonlands National Park.  This section of Colorado River rafting is famous for its incredible rapids and stunning scenery.  The area is a landscape full of sandstone canyons, grabens, buttes, and mesas.  Cataract Canyon starts at the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, with the rivers dividing Canyonlands National Park into three distinct and unique sections.  Between the two rivers is the Island in the Sky District, here one can find incredible views, arches, and slickrock.  On the west side of the Green River is the Maze district.  This area is full of winding canyons and ancient rock art.  On the East side of the Colorado River is the Needles District full of spires, grabens, and even more ancient rock art.  One could spend a lifetime in Canyonlands and just scratch the surface of the place.

Rafting Cataract Canyon is a great way to explore Canyonlands National Park.  Most trips start on the Colorado River south of Moab at the Potash Boat Ramp and are 3-5 days in length.   After hearing a safety talk and being fitted with life jackets rafters board the rafts and head down river.  After a short ride on the rafts boaters enter Canyonlands National Park.  After lunch the first day there is a great spot to explore a petrified forest.  There are numerous huge trees that have been preserved by being knocked over and covered by mud before oxygen could decompose them.  The next popular stop is Lathrop Canyon.  This is a great spot to see some Native American pictographs that were painted on the sandstone hundreds of years ago.  Most trips camp in this area the first night.

The second day of the trip rafters will get the opportunity to see multiple Native American Granaries which were built to store food in.  The next hike ones comes to on the river is Indian Creek, which in the spring offers a great opportunity to hike to a beautiful waterfall in a narrow canyon.   After a few more miles on the river there is an opportunity to hike over the Loop.  The Loop is a place where the river has made a sharp turn and almost come completely back upon itself.  This allows those who feel like hiking to hike over a saddle of sandstone and meet the boats on the other side.  After a hike over the Loop it is time to relax and enjoy the scenery.  Next the Green River joins the Colorado River and Cataract Canyon officially starts.  Trips usually camp just below the first rapid in Cataract Canyon which is called Brown Betty.   Here there is one of the most beautiful sand beaches on the entire Colorado River system.  This marks the turning point of the calm water to raging whitewater of Cataract Canyon.  This section of rapids during flows above 50,000 cfs has rapids that make the famous rapids of the Grand Canyon seem small.

The next morning offers a great opportunity to hike into the “Doll’s House” of Canyonlands National Park.  This is a very strenuous hike, but if one has the time and the weather is not too hot it is a great place to see.  The best way to describe it would be a palace made of  red stone with secret passages and rooms.  It would be something Martian royalty might have.  Besides the “Doll’s House,” the scenery is amazing and one can get a view of the skyline in all directions and see all the great geology of the area caused by salt, wind, water, and long periods of time.

After returning from the Doll’s House it is time for Colorado River rafting through Cataract Canyon.  The rapids start small, but grow quickly, and before you know it you are in Mile Long, Ben Hurt, The Big Drops, and Waterhole.  At low water these rapids require great skill to maneuver through the huge sandstone boulders, at high water the waves routinely reach 10-15 feet high trough to crest.  After Waterhole Rapid the effects of Lake Powell start to rear their head.  The rapids below this point are covered in silt.  Huge sand banks full of dead trees on each side of the river block ones view of the sandstone.  This is another place where geology is happening.  This time rapidly.  Lake Powell has only been around for about 50 years.  In this short amount of time, sand has been deposited as the current slowed, and the river entered the lake.  Currently the lake is less than 50% capacity and the outlook for filling the lake is not good.  The Western United states is in a drought and an increasing population is demanding more and more water that the Colorado River can not supply.

For more information about Colorado River rafting contact Colorado River & Trail Expeditions(www.crateinc.com).  In addition to running Cataract Canyon they also operate commercial rafting trips

The South Rim and The Power House Building

The last couple of days we have been at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for our annual Grand Canyon National Park Concession meetings.  It was good to see all of our fellow river outfitters and National Park personnel.  Time was spent reviewing our past season and what to expect for next year.  We always feel lucky to travel to the South Rim and peer down into the abyss of the Grand Canyon.  It is a spiritual experience and it reminds us of the exciting and fun times rafting along the Colorado River.

At the head of the Bright Angel Trail there is a new, very nice area complete with bathrooms to wait for fellow hikers.  The Kolb studio was showcasing some amazing paintings of the Grand Canyon many of which were for sale.  If you get to the rim definitely check out the artwork on display.  Other highlights included waking up to dusting of light snow and running along the rim of the Grand Canyon along the “Trail of Time.”

Another thing we got to check out was the “Power House” building.  There is talk to take this incredible old building, which used two Fairbanks-Morse continuous-duty Type D Diesel generators to supply power to the South Rim, and transform it into a museum for art or historic boats of the Grand Canyon.  The building has a lot of character with high ceilings and lots of windows.  The generators are still there as well as the power switches with their original labels:  Indian Garden Pump; El Tovar; Fire Pump; Bright Angel Lights and Power; USNPS; Train Yard; Turbine Cooling Tower; Power House.  On the other side of the building is the old Ice House where ice was made to supply the lodges and restaurants.  It will be exciting to see what becomes of the Power House over the next couple of years.

 

 

 

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

 

What to Bring On Your Colorado River Rafting Trip?

Grand Canyon Rapids are rated on a 1-10 Scale

Lava Falls is a Class IV to V Rapid Rated 8-10 on the Colorado River Scale

The mighty Colorado River offers a fantastic rafting experience to one and all. The sections of the river that flow through Westwater Canyon, Cataract Canyon, and the Grand Canyon are deemed to be some of the most dramatic stretches of river on Earth.  Rafting along the Colorado River will give one memories they will never forget. Floating along in the river one will enjoy the sky-high sandstone cliffs, exciting rapids, and amazing wildlife.

If you are a first time rafter and are confused as to what to bring along, here are some tips:

 

  • Swimsuits/shorts that can dry out quickly
  • Raincoat
  • Warm jacket
  • Warm hat and visor
  • Loose and comfortable T shirts, fleece tops and bottoms, hooded sweatshirts
  • One or two pair of shoes that can stay securely on your feet and will not slip off your feet
  • Sunglasses with neck strap
  • Sunscreen lotion with SPF
  • Flash light
  • Water bottle
  • Change for buying Souvenirs or post cards of Colorado River and Grand Canyon
  • Fishing gear
  • Camp toys such as cards, Frisbee
  • Soap, shampoo, hand wash tooth brush, toothpaste, and other toiletries (Try to get biodegradable stuff to avoid polluting the river since you would be washing over there)
  • Insect repellent
  • Lightweight binoculars for enjoying the amazing wildlife
  • Camera to capture the special moments of your Colorado river rafting trip

 

Enjoy Colorado River Rafting Trips and make your time memorable!!

 

10 Interesting Facts about the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon, one of the most fascinating and intriguing natural wonders of the world has always attracted tourists from the farthest corners of the world. The raging waters, treacherous ravines, gargantuan cliffs and an enviable flora and fauna of the exquisite wilderness make the Grand Canyon one of the most sought out natural wonders. And it is not only the Grand Canyon white water rafting that attracts tourists to this magnificent natural wonder. The Grand Canyon region offers a host of activities for every tourist. Apart from a thrilling Colorado River rafting experience, when in the Grand Canyon, you can indulge in activities such as trekking, walking, bird watching, cycling, photo shoots, camping, hiking, visiting the museums and simply marveling the scenic beauty that the region possesses.

 

So you think you know the Grand Canyon? Here are some interesting facts about the Grand Canyon that will make your trip even more remarkable –

  • Scientific research suggests that Grand Canyon took around 3-6 million years to formed.
  • It was carved owing to the erosion caused by the Colorado River.
  • The Grand Canyon was discovered by Garcia Lopez de Cárdenas in 1540.
  • There are around 90 species of mammals, 250–300 species of birds, and 25 species of reptiles that live in the Grand Canyon.
  • As the North Rim is higher in elevation than the South Rim, the climate there is cooler. Owing to the unpredictability of the climate and possibility of snowfall, the North Rim is open to tourists only during the early fall, late spring and summers.
  • An estimated 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon National Park annually.
  • For Pueblo Indians, the Grand Canyon is a holy site with various spiritual connotations.
  • The Grand Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world, the first being Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in Tibet. The Grand Canyon’s average depth is approximately 1 mile.
  • The Grand Canyon floor contains fossil footprints of more than 20 species of amphibians and reptiles. Even though, no fossilized reptile teeth or bones have yet been uncovered.
  • The Grand Canyon has remained a popular movie shooting location with famous movies such as Into the Wild, Transformers, The Thief of Baghdad and Due Date, among others, shot here.
Rafting the Grand Canyon is a Must!!

Rafting the Grand Canyon is a Must!!

 

The Grand Canyon is a perfect place for a fun-filled vacation. Select the best Grand Canyon tours provider and immerse yourself in the magnificence of this mystifying natural paradise.

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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Colorado River Rafting: An Amalgamation of Real Adventure and Thrill

Adventure and thrill are not just two words to explain the excitement of the recreation outdoor sport – rafting. They are specific reasons for which millions of professional as well as novice rafters, tourists and water sport lovers of all sizes and types visit great rivers of the world every year. When it comes to living rafting moments ceaselessly and openly, Colorado River rafting outshines all other rivers of the world with its free-flowing, untamed and boisterous water. Rafting on the Colorado River makes people feel energetic and refreshed, shedding their monotony and boredom of everyday life.

The gigantic and colossal river is fairly called the “granddaddy” of rafting trips owing to its dramatic canyons and whitewater rapids that induce adventure in the heart of rafters. Being one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the river entices millions of people across the world to taste all ten grades of difficulty in whitewater rafting within its youthful and bouncy water waves. Another thing that makes the river and its tributaries popular for whitewater rafting is the availability for customized rafting trips

13 Experiences For 2013

 

#1.  Walk on a Glacier

Walker Glacier

On the Walker Glacier with the Alsek River in the background.

Positioned below the Tatshenshini and Alsek River confluence is the Walker Glacier.  Though the Walker Glacier has been receding continually since the first Colorado River & Trail Expeditions trip in the late 1970′s,  it still offers a relatively short hike to its base where it is possible to get on top of the glacier and hike on it amongst miniature ice rivers and waterfalls, deep blue crevasses, and huge boulders it has carried on its back for thousands of years.

 

#2.  Captain Your Own Boat 

Preparing for the rapids

Enjoying the calm between rapids on the Green River.

Join Colorado RIver & Trail Expeditions on a Green River rafting trip through Desolation Canyon and pilot your very own one-person or two-person inflatable kayak through over 50 mild to wild Class II and Class III rapids.  No prior experience is necessary, as the guides will give you instruction. Each day the rapids get bigger to match your increasing ability.

 

#3 Take a Leap 

Jumping at Elves Chasm

The Elves Chasm Leap

One of the most beautiful places in the Grand Canyon is Elves Chasm.  The chasm is full of ferns and a lovely waterfall in a setting that is as spectacular as any on Earth.  During the times the Colorado River is flowing muddy, Elves Chasm is especially inviting because of its cool clear water.  The only way to truly experience Elves Chasm is to swim through its inviting pool and climb up behind the waterfall where there is a perfect place to take a jump into the pool below.

 

 

#4.  Sleep Under a Blanket of Stars

Star Pattern Captured at Grapevine Camp in the Grand Canyon

For most of our human existence the stars have been our compass, our calendar, and our source of myths and legends.  Unfortunately, over the last 100 years the light pollution from cities and towns has made it hard to see the sky as our ancestors did for thousands of years.  A river trip down any of the rivers in the Southwestern United States is a great way to see the moon, stars, and planets in a setting free of light pollution.  The Colorado Plateau is recognized as one of the best star gazing areas in the United States because of how sparsely populated it is.

 

#5.  Enjoy a Thunderstorm in the Desert

Mikenna Clokey’s photo of Rimfalls above the Marble Canyon Dam Site

It is rare for it to rain in the desert, but when it does, it is incredibly exciting.  The Monsoon Season usually starts in mid-July and ends about the third week in August in the Colorado Plateau region.  The normal scheme of things is for the clouds to start building shortly after lunchtime leading into wind, thunder, lightning, and finally a downpour of rain in the afternoon. The storm is usually short lived and clears up by dinner time.  During the months of July and August the storms are usually a welcome cool down from the hot dry summer.  If one is really lucky they might get to experience rim falls.  Rim falls are waterfalls that pour off of the canyon walls into to river.  They are formed when it rains hard enough for the water not to soak into the desert soil.

 

#6.  Choose Real instead of Virtual 

frog on max arm

Trade Virual For Real Memories

In today’s society it is hard to escape the virtual world.  Everywhere you go, people are zoned in on their smartphone partaking in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and watching Youtube videos.  2013 is a year to get back to real friends, real family, real games, and real experiences.  The best way to do this is to go to a magical place where these devices don’t work.  Multiday rafting tours are an excellent way to accomplish this. Once a couple of days have passed, real adventures and memorable experiences will far outshine the virtual world.

 

#7.  Peruse an Ancient Gallery

Ancient Rock art in Canyonlands National park

Rock Art in Canyonlands National Park seen on a Cataract Canyon Rafting Trip

The ancient rock art left behind by the Fremont and Ancestral Puebloan Cultures of the Colorado Plateau is some of the most interesting and beautiful found anywhere.  No one can definitely say what the art means, but most agree it was an important part of ancient culture.  The rivers of Southeast Utah and Northern Arizona offer a great way to experience these magical, mysterious rock art panels.

 

#8.  Float into the Wild West

Abandoned Ranch Equipment at Rock Creek Ranch

 Desolation Canyon is in a remote area of Eastern Utah.  It is Cowboy Country in every aspect of the word.  Access to the area is the Green River, which offers the perfect highway to see the sites and ruins of the old West.  Desolation Canyon has been home to homesteaders, ranchers, wranglers, outlaws, and Native Americans.  All along the banks of the Green River are reminders of this, including herds of wild horses.  Highlights of the 5-day Desolation Canyon adventure include stopping at historic Rock Creek Ranch, hiking to an old bootlegger hideout, and stopping at Flat Canyon to view a spectacular petroglyph panel.

 

#9.  Watch the Grand Canyon’s Walls Rise and Fall

Watch the Canyon Walls Rise and Fall Raft all 278 Miles

To know the Grand Canyon is to travel through all 278 miles of its grandeur.  This means rafting the Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead.  There is something special about seeing the canyon’s walls rise at the beginning of the trip and gradually fall away at the end.

 

 

 

#10. Un-runable Rapids? Then Helicopter Portage

Helicopter Picks up the First Cargo Net of Gear for Portage Around Turnback Canyon

Experience a thrilling helicopter ride over a section of Class VI rapids when you join Colorado River & Trail Expeditions on their Alsek Rafting Expedition August 4-15, 2013.  At Turnback Canyon the Tweedsmuir Glacier has pushed the river up against a solid wall of granite, creating a 5 mile section of whitewater that is un-runable for rafts.  The night before the portage, the rafts are de-rigged and prepared for portage.  Then the next morning the helicopter swoops in, picks up the gear and passengers, and transfers them below Turnback Canyon.  The portage takes about 10 helicopter trips.

 

#11.  Rejuvinate with a Power Nap

Rafters Power Nap After a Delicious Lunch

Maybe the best thing about getting away for a few days on a river trip is the ability to leave your troubles at home.  To have a mind that is worry free is one of a river’s great blessings. After a few days of living with the Earth and the wind playing with your hair, relaxation will come easy.  This relaxation will lead to the great pastime of taking a noon time power nap sprawled out on the sand after a yummy lunch!

 

#12.  Capture True Wilderness in the Soul

Wild Alaska Rafting

Mindy Mackay’s Chaco Tanned Foot next to a Grizzly Bear Track

On Colorado River & Trail Expeditions’ last Alsek River trip, the group saw over 30 Bears (Black and Grizzly), 2 Wolverines, a Wolf, Mountain Sheep, and countless Eagles.  The wildlife is the just the beginning! Besides the animals, there are glaciers, icebergs, craggy peaks, dense forests, giant unnamed lakes, and a huge river with a couple of Grand Canyon style rapids.  Sitting around a big fire in the midnight sun telling stories and soaking up the wildness does wonders for you soul.

 

#13. Do Something You Never, Ever, Ever,  Dreamed of Doing

Swimming in the Little Colorado River

 There are countless stories of people who had never camped a night in their life until they took their first river trip.  For most of them, the river trip was life-changing, and they claim it was the best thing that they ever did.  Many have come back for other trips.  So don’t let a fear of camping or living outside deter you.  The meals, camping equipment, and bathrooms are better than any campground, and the river is always there for washing your hair.  Besides, Colorado River & Trail Expeditions will take great care of you, as will the the Rivers and Canyons.

 

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions offers rafting trips through North America’s most beautiful locations.  To learn more about these incredible experiences visit their website www.crateinc.com or call 1-800-253-7328.