Off-River Hiking on a Whitewater Rafting Trip

View From Nankoweep Granaries

When you choose to take a whitewater rafting trip with Colorado River & Trail Expeditions a big part of that trip is the off-river hiking, swimming, and exploring. One of the common questions we get at our office is “What will the hiking be like?” This is a hard question to answer because every trip is different. The hikes we do on a river trip depends on multiple components including the hiking ability of the group, the water level of the river, what other groups on the river are doing, the weather, and the time of year. That said, in general we do more hiking that any other company on the river. Especially on our Grand Canyon rafting trips and Fall Canyonlands/Cataract Canyon rafting expeditions.

The hikes we do on our rafting trips are always optional and most offer an opportunity for our guests to push themselves as much or as little as they want. Some of the hikes we go on are less than a mile long, up side canyons with a smooth gravel bottom such as “Blacktail Canyon” in the Grand Canyon. Others follow a well worn trail, but require a big elevation gain such as the “Doll’s House Hike” on our Cataract Canyon trips, or the “Nankoweep Granary Hike” in the Grand Canyon. Sometimes we will pack a lunch and some of the group will do an all-day hike, while others relax and read at a huge waterfall right next to the river. One of the common hikes we do on our Green River rafting trips through Desolation Canyon is a hike up to an old bootlegger still that has a well worn trail about a mile each way in length.

On the other end of the spectrum we do a lot of hikes that require hiking, climbing, and clawing over boulders and rocks and may not follow any trail at all. One example of this would be doing the short boulder strewn hike to “Elves Chasm.” This is a hike almost everyone can do, but it does require hiking over and around huge boulders. Also many of our hikes follow the bottom of river channels with and without water. These hikes usually require hiking over and around rocks.

All of the off-river hiking we do on our rafting trips is amazing. Many lead to beautiful pools of water and waterfalls, others lead to ancient ruins of the Ancestral Puebloan people or more modern Miner Camps, and some lead to amazing natural features or breathtaking views. When you go on a whitewater rafting trip with Colorado River & Trail Expeditions it will become apparent to you that the rapids and canyons are amazing, but so are the hidden gems off the river. Our rafting trips allow enough time to do these off-river hikes and see these amazing places. Seeing the river and experiencing the rapids is only part of an incredible rafting vacation.