5 Tips for Bathing in the Colorado River

Grand Canyon Expeditions - Taylor Grand Canyon River Rafting, Rafting Tips 2 Comments

When reading your Grand Canyon Expeditions packing list you might think to yourself, “Will I get a chance to shower or bathe on the river?” The answer is yes! Although, it may not be what you expect…

Usually the best time to bathe is at camp in the evening. After you’ve set up your camp, you will have some downtime before dinner is ready. At this point the air is warm, you don’t have anywhere to be and a bath might sound quite lovely. So you’ll gather your bath items and head down to the main channel. (Remember nowhere but the loo is absolutely private, so a bathing suit is perfect for bathing). At this point, you might be thinking, “Um.. isn’t the water only 48 degrees?” Well yes, it is. But because the air is warm and the sun may still be out, bathing in the cold water can actually be refreshing.

Here is the quickest method to taking a bath in the river:

  1. Get in the water to rinse off – the quicker the better, like a swimming pool.
  2. Soap up your body and apply shampoo
    • A tip for everyone – I recommend keeping your soap and shampoo and other things in a Ziploc bag. That way you can keep them mostly sand free by setting them on top of the Ziploc on the shore while you bathe.
  3. Get back in the water and rinse off
  4. Another tip- don’t try to stand and bend over to rinse your hair. I have toppled over many times and it’s always worse after that happens. I recommend sitting on your butt and laying backwards
  5. If you use conditioner, you’ll lather again and rinse off… if you don’t, you are done!

There is also a towel on the packing list, and a quick drying camping towel (found online and at your nearest sporting goods store) is a great way to dry off!

Some things to remember about bathing:

  1. Stay safe! If you know the channel is deep or are camping by a riffle – keep yourself closer to the shore. Even near the boats so you have something to grab onto if you need.
  2. In order to preserve the fragile ecosystem of the side streams, bathing has to be done directly in the main channel. There is no soap or shampoo allowed in side streams.
  3. Have fun! We know it’s cold and that camp bathing is weird, but it can also be enjoyable!


If you have any other questions about bathing or anything else, give our office a call! 800-544-2691


Kandy H

PC: Kandy H – Some GCE guests enjoying a dip in a side stream.


Comments 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.