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

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

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“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

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.

What does CRATE stand for in the rafting world?

CRATE boats camped across from Deer Creek

"CRATE" rafts and crew after an incredible day at Deer Creek Falls

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions is our official company name. Most of our friends and guests over the years refer to our rafting company as CRATE. CRATE is an acronym that stands for Colorado River & Trail Expeditions. When our company first formed in 1971 the only section of river we ran was the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. In addition to rafting we also led backpacking trips into the Grand Canyon and did overnight hiking trips away from the river. As time progressed we expanded throughout Utah and Alaska running different rivers and seeing more incredible places. We eventually quit doing the backpacking tours, but kept the focus on off river hiking in conjunction with our whitewater rafting. We like to get up early on our rafting expeditions and make the most of each and everyday. When taking part in a Grand Canyon rafting expedition the off-river side canyons are just as impressive as the main corridor itself. If you have ever watched one of our rafts pass under the Kaibab Suspension Bridge, or sat atop the Grand Canyon skywalk peering down with binoculars you have noticed the very subtle “CRATE” sign at the front and back of our rafts. When you come down the river it will all be clear, and you like the 1000′s of people we have taken down the river will just call us CRATE. We run great river trips with the best and most organized rafts and river guides on the river.

Grand Canyon Rafting – A Trip for Adventure and Thrill

If you want to break the monotony of a boring routine and want to experience the thrill of whitewater with crashing waves on the Colorado River. A Grand Canyon rafting trips may be just what you are looking for. Dare to experience new things and hike to some of the most amazing sites in the world. For an adventurous trip in the lap of nature, get wet and enjoy Colorado River rafting with your friends, family or colleagues.

Grand Canyon rafting trips are ideal for the persons who love water sports and the outdoors. Colorado river rafting is an amazing experience that you may have never experienced before. Friendly, knowledgeable, experienced guides with training in Wilderness First Aid, Swift water Rescue, and Environmental Ethics take you through the most amazing place in the world. Sharing their interpretive skills throughout the trips. Colorado River rafting gives you the majestic experience of exploring the thrill of rafting.

CRATE takes care of providing you with the right equipment required for any river rafting trip such as rafts, life jackets, water proof bags to hold your belongings, tents, sleeping bags, food and the best bathroom facilities on the river. For a wonderful experience at the Grand Canyon visit http://www.crateinc.com/raft-trips/grand-canyon-rafting

Summer Nights On The River

Rafting Grand Canyon on The Colorado River

Enjoying the High Water of 2011

There is an old Mormon hymn that ends with the words, “Day is done; all is well.” This is the feeling one gets on the river as daylight fades to dusk and then to darkness. With the sound of the river flowing nearby and the touch of a warm and gentle breeze wafting off the canyon walls, peace and contentment reign. The day is done and all is well.

Not yet ready for sleep, even after a vigorous day of rafting, hiking, and exploring, one can lie on a bed of sand, with only a simple sleeping bag and foam pad between yourself and the earth, and gaze into the universe. Suddenly, a shooting stars interrupts profound thoughts, and considerations turn to the here and now – the feel of the sand growing cooler beneath you, the quiet lapping of the river next to the shore, the nearness of a friend or loved one who is sharing the moment with you, the exquisite beauty of the moment. Day is done, and all is well.

Tonight, our rafting clients are watching the moon rise over canyon walls and glacier-covered mountain tops. Along the banks of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and on a remote gravel bar next to the Tatshenshini River in the Yukon, the folks have set up their first night’s camp on the river. In Desolation Canyon, folks are silently saying their goodbye’s to the river and canyon and the star-filled night sky, because their adventure will end tomorrow. And somewhere other people are sleeping in a bed for the first time in more than week, and they are missing the sound of the river and the feel of the sand. Day is done, and all is well.