Do it! Christmas and New Year's in the big ditch is unforgettable. I did a trip down in December 05 and weather was really good. Then again, it was one of the warmest and driest winters on record for AZ, and I've definately heard of people geting pelted with cold rain and wind on some winter trips. But its very rare for it to snow below the Redwall (halfway up the canyon walls). Drysuits are a nicety, but not an absolute necessity. Just take lots of warm shit like you're headed out on an early season april trip in the mountains.
Did a November Trip many years ago... Halloween Launch -
Weather was nice enough, but days are short down in the canyon...
Hard to get people up and at'em / off the beach before the sun hits.
Sun goes away early too, made for some epic days trying to make up distance. Short days was a bigger issue than weather for us..
Hi Fuzzy, I have done a number of winter trips in the canyon, and do not own a dry-suit, so you should know there are many ways to skin the winter cat. Bib bottoms and a good splash jacket or rain jacket with lots of poly pro can serve you just fine, as they do me when i row. It depends if you are a passenger just sitting, rowing your own boat or kayaking.
Go Man Go! You will have a blast! Yes, it's cold, yes, it might and has snowed on the river in December. It will most likely freeze at night, but not drop much below freezing. The river doesn't freeze over, but I have seen a lot of ice built up on the shore on a couple of trips.
There's a huge wealth on info at these two sources:
River Runners For Wilderness’s listserver. It's a great place to stay abreast of and participate in the latest river issues. It’s as easy as sending a blank e-mail to [email protected].
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