Update Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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We have received inquiries from existing and potential guests about how the COVID-19 might affect our operations and cancellation policy.  

Grand Canyon Expedition (GCE) is always concerned about the health and well-being of our local and global community. Our hearts go out to all people in the US and worldwide who are suffering directly from COVID-19 or indirectly by the measures that have been taken to contain its spread.  

Our top priority has always been and will continue to be for the safety of our guests and our employees.  GCE is committed to playing a proactive role to encourage everyone in our community to come together and prevent the spread of this virus.

At this time, there is no indication from the National Park Service that the Grand Canyon National Park will be closed, nor will any of our river trips be affected.  We do not anticipate any significant changes to how we operate our river trips. We already practice comprehensive sanitation protocols designed and proven to prevent the spread of any communicable virus or bacteria.

We adhere to the following as part of our sanitation practices:

  • Local Rules and Regulations regarding food handling and sanitation
  • The Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code
  • National Park Service Reference Manual 83A – Public Health & Specifically, Chapter 5 – Backcountry Operations
  • Our facilities and equipment are inspected regularly to assure compliance with all of these codes.

All of our guides carry current certified food-handlers permits.  All of our guides are certified to the level of Wilderness First Responder (WFR) or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).  Both of these certifications emphasize sanitation as the key to prevention of communicable diseases.

We operate in an open-air environment. Any airborne contaminants dissipate much more easily than in a confined space. Our entire group sizes are limited to no more than a maximum of 32 persons on every launch (including the crew operating the trip). The group with whom you will travel is mostly isolated from other groups on the river.  Interactions with other groups are very limited and unlikely over the course of your trip.

If a guest chooses not to travel due to fears about the Coronavirus our standard cancellation policy still applies. We have not altered our cancellation policy.

If your health care provider confirms that you have coronavirus within 14 days of your trip, we certainly do not want you or those living in your household to travel at that time. Please call us so we can discuss alternatives and potential resolutions.

In the very unlikely event that GCE chooses to cancel a trip due to concerns about COVID-19, we will be contacting each guest individually about options available to you at this time. 

As always, we encourage you to purchase trip insurance. It is the guest’s responsibility to understand any and all restrictions that their travel insurance may or may not cover.

  • In each camp, we set up two hand-washing stations. One is near the toilet facility and the other is near the kitchen. These stations allow a person to wash their hands without the need to touch any surfaces after the washing is completed. 
  • We also set up a hand-washing station at every lunch stop. 
  • Hand sanitizer is provided upon request, especially when snacks may be made available while on the boats.  
  • It is our policy that no one may come to the meal table without having first washed their hands with soap and water followed by the use of hand sanitizer.
  • Of course, awareness of this specific virus will cause us to be even more vigilant in our efforts to keep surfaces clean, require hand-washing, and practice safe handling of food and anything else that has the potential to spread communicable diseases. 
  •  In addition to our on-river sanitation protocols, all of our equipment (boats included) are sanitized between trips.

We will follow the CDC and WHO for facts as they become available. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us 800-544-2691 and/or 435-644-2691.



Marty Mathis
Grand Canyon Expeditions

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