Grand Canyon Outfitters who's your favorite? - Mountain Buzz
 

Go Back   Mountain Buzz > Whitewater Boating > Whitewater Rafting


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
 
Whitefish, Montana
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 14
Grand Canyon Outfitters who's your favorite?

Who is your favorite Canyon outfitter? Please explain what you like about them and why you prefer them.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	PRO catalog.jpg
Views:	43
Size:	176.4 KB
ID:	42041  

Kayakguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
 
Arnold, California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 252
My favorite outfitter is Me! But I realize sometime there are situations that lead to decisions to use an outfitter. Ive heard virtually all positive feedback for the PRO, REO, & Moe. Ive been on a trip outfitted with Moe & they were great. They also seem to be the most responsive to questions & most flexible with options. Moenkopi also does offer pre-made boil in bag meals if you want some no-prep nights & if youre doing a winter trip they will rent dry-suits very reasonably.
Brady Black (owner) probably wont chime in on this thread but does on others to give his advice.
__________________
Cheers
SherpaDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
 
jspoon14's Avatar
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 293
I used PRO last year, and it was the second time. Their price in my opinion has gone through the roof since we did it in 2016, It was $2k more for 3 less people . There service was underwhelming, the pre-trip contact was limited and the hit us up for a lot of costs after the facts, more than $500.

Just had a bad taste in my mouth, there meals can be VERY labor intensive if you are not careful. We we chopping ingredients for fresh salsa one night for two hours.

I will try a different one next time, full disclosure, PRO is on the only outfitter I have used.

I would second that I have heard good things about Moenkopi.
__________________
Full disclosure: I suck at spelling and grammar, so if you find an error, great! Keep it to your self I don't care!
jspoon14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
 
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,379
I've been on two trips that were completely DIY and two that were "painless private". Both of the Painless Privates were through Ceiba and overall I was happy with them. They have a bunch of different menus to choose from from simple and easy to more in depth and some in the middle. Both times we did the Hiker menu, which is 75% more cooking intensive meals and 25% boil bag meals. There was some food prep...but nothing excessive.

I felt like it was fairly reasonably price...about $465 per person for a 21 day trip for food. On one trip we rented 4 boats from them and the other we just rented one and used their kitchen for both. Its not the most well stocked kitchen, but its also not the worst.

They do all their food packs in Rocket Boxes...one for each day...so its pretty simple. It comes with everything you need for non-parishables for Lunch, Dinner and the next days breakfast. You still have to go get perishables out of the coolers/hatches...but their paperwork is pretty obvious.

The last trip with them, I think it was $871 per person including shuttling the gear to Lee's and getting picked up in Diamond... but if you had a personal vehicle being shuttled it was on you(a couple of us stayed an extra day and went to Pearce so it was cheaper for us). Oh, and that included a our portion of the $500 deposit. I think with a combo of that deposit and unused funds elsewhere everyone got ~$100 back after the trip too.

I've heard good things about Moenkopi as well but have never used them. Definitely mixed reviews about PRO... most of them bad but some happy people too. I've definitely hear the thing about PRO being prep intensive with their meals.

I talked to someone that did a Moenkopi trip and they said it wasn't as organized as they would like and they had to spend a lot of time digging through dry boxes to find stuff. I do really like the Ceiba rocket box system...its all right there...and then when you use everything out of the box it turns into a trash can. I can't imagine the other companies don't do something similar...but anecdotal stories seem to say differently.

The Ceiba gear is pretty well taken care of. Rafts need topping off in the morning...but I feel like that is a normal thing for the NRS boats that Ceiba uses. On my 2018 trip someone rented a 16' Sotar from Pro and it leaked a ton and took a solid 20 minutes each morning to get back up to pressure.

I feel like trips I've heard about where Moenkopi and PRO were involved always seem to come in closer to the $1200 per person range. Moenkopi really pushes their "all inclusive Door to Door" system that includes stuff that you have to pay for with other companies like Umbrellas and dry bags and stuff...but the trip I almost went on that used them was gonna be a couple hundred more per person then the Ceiba trips I went on. Granted...I wasn't paying for peoples rental boats...so maybe that is why. Moenkopi does include a "play" craft in their package...which can be a small Cataraft, a Small Raft, or an Inflatable Kayak if that is interesting to you.

At the end of the day...I prefer the DIY trips over the Painless Private. Everyone gets to bring their specialties that they know how to cook well, its usually cheaper unless your group has expensive tastes, and I feel like people are more invested in it. It does take more work, and you have to be super organized... but I also feel like that isn't a bad thing and you aren't putting your trust in strangers (albeit professional strangers that have been doing it for a long time). I guess it depends on who's planning everything though...cause I've definitely heard some horror stories about DIY trips and food quality or quantity... so its really down to the group and the people in charge of the trip overseeing things.

Sorry for another Essay...I get on a roll sometimes.
Electric-Mayhem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
 
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 72
Just to throw this out there...I apologize for the self endorsement.

First off, there is high concentration of Buzz members and GC permit applicants/winners is in the Denver/Boulder area. I decided to start a small outfitter based in Boulder. This service is intended to support DIY trips by renting a boat or two, coolers etc. My gear is in very good shape and each boat is sent to Zach at IT before it goes down the canyon. I have new Canyon 220 coolers, multiple frame arrangement options, groovers, etc.

Give me a shout if youd like to chat. Here is the website.

www.corivercompany.com
CU_Mateo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
 
kayakfreakus's Avatar
 
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,038
Used Ceiba twice once in 2012 not my trip so no pre or post river experience and then in October 2019 as TL, really liked them. Great service and contact before the trip working through equip needs and the menu. I made it super complicated with a half ceiba/half private food pack based (wont do that again, rookie kayaker TL mistake) and they were awesome and accommodating. Food was really good, like their system for sure, and all gear worked and was in good condition.

Did have what could have been major impacting issue with some of their food rocket boxes not being water tight. Could have been real bad, but suffered minimal loss once it was noticed and their internal bagging system did help. Also got saved by the private food packers as we moved Ceiba stuff into their rocket boxes as they emptied so overall not a big deal but a pain.

Ceiba made it right at the end and said they would ensure those with issues would be retired or fixed and do a better job testing them. But will forever check seals with much greater attention to detail on rented ammo cans again.

If you do go with a commercial food pack putting in the time upfront to really go over the menu and eliminate as much overage and unnecessary extras makes a big difference. Do not need a full set of new condiments every lunch box, eliminate items no one wants or will use. If you have special eaters (glutards, vegans, etc) it is even more important to dial in their menu and portions.
kayakfreakus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
 
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 597
I've done trips with PRO rental gear, Ceiba rental gear and this year the group went with Moenkopi. PRO had great gear, and a fine attention to detail, but is super pricey.



Their food pack was labor intensive though.

Ceiba has great gear that I like a lot better than PRO's, but then I'm partial to the way Hypalon boats handle, and we got SOTAR from PRO when we used them. Ceiba's food pack and menu's are great, we had just enough food, prep wasn't overly difficult for the menu we had.

This group went with Moenkopi as they wanted the "river house" in flag, which with their group size ended up being about $80 a night. I am severely disappointed with the menu though, mostly beans, rice and bell peppers in varying configurations, Yes, there's one night of steaks, and one night of grilled chicken, but lunches of "Mexi Wraps", basically beans and peppers in a tortilla, Kayaker Quinoa (I'm told it's a bowl of seeds) for breakfast 5 times, and I'm not even sure if it's made with real kayaker !! The prep times appear to be long and arduous.

But they are the least expensive of all the outfitters.. I've not heard of any problems with their boats or gear past a clogged stove that had to be repaired first night on the trip.
MNichols is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
 
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,379
MNichols bringing up lunch reminded me...if you get the hiker menu from Ceiba... know that you will be eating the same cold cut sandwiches every day for the entire trip. They mix in a few "snack" days that are just nuts and other salty/sweet items and canned oysters and a few days with tortillas instead of bread... but 90% of the days its just another version of the same sandwich again...and again. That was my only real complaint though. We did have a lot of leftovers (most of which got tossed)...but I put that down to people saying they were bigger eaters then they actually were on the food questionnaire that Ceiba sends out and its better to have too much food then not enough.

Oh...and the dish strainer they provide is horrible...just a flat piece of mesh screen sandwiched between two squares of metal that allows whatever you are straining to slop over the side very easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CU_Mateo View Post
Just to throw this out there...I apologize for the self endorsement.

First off, there is high concentration of Buzz members and GC permit applicants/winners is in the Denver/Boulder area. I decided to start a small outfitter based in Boulder. This service is intended to support DIY trips by renting a boat or two, coolers etc. My gear is in very good shape and each boat is sent to Zach at IT before it goes down the canyon. I have new Canyon 220 coolers, multiple frame arrangement options, groovers, etc.

Give me a shout if youd like to chat. Here is the website.

www.corivercompany.com
Thats cool for sure... I'll send people your way if they are looking to rent gear.
Electric-Mayhem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
 
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 72
Thank you so much, Electric-Mayhem. I really appreciate the support!
CU_Mateo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
 
plainfield, New Jersey
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 105
I have been down the Canyon 3 times, first as a commercial with AzRA in the 90s, second time in 07 with a private outfitted with REO, and then in 2017 with MOE. I was TL on the 2017 trip, and it was my first trip as TL, so I really appreciated all the help that was given for planning, gear and meals.
The canyon is impossibly hard on gear (fine silt and uv light? yep, that hurts) and MOE had gone through the gear fairly carefully before our trip.
We had a few hiccups, but nothing that had a big impact on the trip, and nothing so bad that it would prevent me from using them again. Because we had folks coming from all over the riverhouse really was a great addition to the trip, and for the most part we really enjoyed the meals. We did the full package, and upgraded to full size sleeping pads.
It is an expedition, and even brandynew gear will have things go sideways at some point, and I think part of the fun is figuring out ways to fix it and make it better. I definitely would suggest making your own repair kit with stuff that you want and knows work.
jerseyjeff is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.