Rafting the Grand Canyon, alone ... - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-25-2012   #1
 
So Cal, California
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Rafting the Grand Canyon, alone ...

Is it possible to raft the entire length of the GC alone, or do you have to go with an outfit? If possible, I'd like to raft GC alone. I hike and camp deep into forest alone, but I've never been on a raft before. Going through the canyon alone seems like a blast though. Thing is, I don't know how bad the rapids can get. This is probably just a pipe dream but if it's possible I'm up for doing it this summer. I live by Los Angeles so I'd go raft up in Kern River just to gain some experience before doing this big one. I see it takes the groups about 2 weeks or so to go through it. I won't go if you have to go with a group though. It's either alone or nothing. Any insight would be appreciated.

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Old 03-25-2012   #2
 
vail, Colorado
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It can be done, start your research, start getting your skills together.
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Old 03-25-2012   #3
 
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Couple things...

Yes you can do it alone, many people have, but you need a permit which is hard to get - especially in summer. They have a lottery in February every year for the next years permit. So the permits through 2013 have already been awarded. Google grand canyon permits and you can learn all about it. You can try to get a cancellation for this summer but it is far from a guarantee.

As far as difficulty, the whitewater is not unreasonably hard, but it is not the place for a beginner on their own. You will likely get destroyed which can lead to serious issues if you are by yourself.

However there are lots of beautiful places that are only accessible by boat that are easier to get on than the grand canyon. Do some research there are plenty of beautiful floats in and around California.

Finally I don't think anyone should learn about whitewater on solo trips - a lot can go wrong - but that is ultimately your choice.
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Old 03-25-2012   #4
 
So Cal, California
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All right, I will look into it more in depth. Thanks for the answers.
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Old 03-25-2012   #5
 
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good luck flipping your boat back over by yourself

while completely possible, this sounds like a shit show waiting to happen

i advise against it
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Old 03-25-2012   #6
 
North Bend, Washington
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In general- boating solo (on any river) is a bad idea.

Just sayin'
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Old 03-25-2012   #7
 
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Is it possible - yes. Is it smart - no.
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Old 03-25-2012   #8
 
placerville, Colorado
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these last 2 posts are completely subjective. it can be totally fulfilling and safe to boat alone, raft or kayak, as long as you stay within your abilities.
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Old 03-25-2012   #9
 
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doubtful that he will stay within his abilities
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Old 03-25-2012   #10
 
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It won't be this summer but if you are serious start learning about the permit system and making a list of the skills and training you need to do something like that. Required equipment, rentals, etc. I would read some of the books by people who have done it solo in the recent past such as River by Colin Fletcher. Of course you can go back to the Powell journals, Buzz Holmstrom, etc. I believe Colin took a couple week course on how to whitewater row, river safety, etc before embarking on his solo of the entire Green/Colorado.

I'll agree with the others, boating alone is generally considered not the best thing to do in a sport where safety is always foremost for most of us, but if you are dead set and that's how you roll you can do it with the right preparation. One good thing if the Grand Canyon during summer is what you are set on, you can plan on at least seeing several groups a day and generally will have other people to run major rapids with. It's remote but not a complete wilderness experience from that perspective. Don't take it lightly though, casualties happen every year.

let us know what happens.
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