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Old 06-17-2007   #1
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5
Pre Grand Canyon feel/trips?

I'm mostly interested in the Grand Canyon trip but being inexperienced.. I was wondering what multi-day trips (assume camping on the river) would be recommended to get a feel for what Canyon is like?

I'm preferably looking to just paddle on a raft with maybe one other person.. and would rather travel with normal rafters then go commercial the areas available to me at the moment are CA, UT, AZ (and thinking of trying to do a trip within the next month)

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Old 06-17-2007   #2
Frisco, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 62
Try and do Cataract Canyon. You will have big water, and you will be out there for 4-6 days depending on how much you want to paddle.

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Old 06-17-2007   #3
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 883
Absolutely Cat. It's several days of flatwater in a beautiful setting, with one day of GC-class rapids.

And while it's only an overnight, Westwater has a mini-GC feel to it geologically, and if you can make the "Skull move" at any water level, you're ready for the downstream ferry action that are used in some GC rapids.


Rich Phillips

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Old 06-17-2007   #4
oarbender's Avatar
ww guide/ frame builder/welder, mobile fabrication gig
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 247
Im just assuming, but it sounds to me as if your just getting started. I could be wrong. One thing that is going to be difficult, and is for even experienced folk, with all the gear, is meeting people that :

1) are willing to take someone that they don't know anything about
2) tell you everything to do, and how to do it.
3) basically act like your guide, and allow you to part-take in all the goodness without any of the investment.

Im not trying to ba an ass at all, but one thing about non-commercial "PRIVATE" trips is that they are a shared expence trip, with like minded outdoor adventureres.

Now, if Im required to pay my share, and bring my 10,000 dollar rig, Im usually going to fill my trips with people that have their own gear, have some of the gear, or at least a boat to take more of my gear. As of now, your looking for a ride, and thats fine, and i hope it works for you.

one avenue that might be good ( depending) on where you live, is to become active with a local "boating club" most of these allow rafts/kayaks/canoes, and aren't very specific of craft, just mostly about river people doing river stuff.

this would allow you to introduce yourself, get to know some of its members, and IMO would get you on the water on a multi-day trip MUCH faster than anything else.

best of luck.....

You going to love it!
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Old 06-17-2007   #5
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SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Ditto, Cataract and Westwater in spring for the thump & thunder.

For logistics, I'd also recommend Desolation Canyon on the Green.

Non-motorized private trips on the Grand (Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek) average 18 days. If you've not camped on a desert river (particularly in extreme heat), 7 or 8 days on Deso in July or August is good place to thrash out your gear and comfort levels. Also day-to-day tactics: figuring out how far to float and where to camp. (One bit of advice: don't run crux rapids late in the day.)

For the Grand, it's good to have some old hands or ex-guides along, who know the best lines at various flows, where to lay over, etc. That experience can make or break a trip.

Good luck,
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Old 06-17-2007   #6
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
How about a Diamond Down Trip for GC training?

Hi Master,

Have you considered a Diamond Creek to South Cove trip on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon?

Diamond Creek is at river mile 226, and the last GC class rapid is at 235, so you have ten miles of some big whitewater, then the river is almost all fast moving flatwater to about 294 Mile. Be sure to scout 232 Mile! You will have to row the last 4 miles of reservoir to reach the South Cove take out.

Getting a permit to raft this section from Grand Canyon National Park is fairly easy, and you'll certainly get a flavor for what the Grand is all about in three to four days.

Hope this helps, yours, Tom

Tom Martin, Co-Director
River Runners For Wilderness River Runners for Wilderness - Protecting the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and Its Tributaries
Moderator, Rafting Grand Canyon WIKI
Main Page - Rafting Grand Canyon
Litigating for a wilderness river in Grand Canyon and equitable access to same

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