Grand Canyon Rafting Trip Itinerary
A typical day River Rafting in the Grand Canyon.
We wake up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Although the sun will not flood our camp for some time, the tops of the Grand Canyon’s walls are already aglow with sunlight. Somewhere a canyon wren is singing reveille. While eggs, sausage, and muffins cook, we pack our sleeping bags.
We enter a series of rapids. A great blue heron takes off downriver, wings pumping. Both the bird and its surroundings seem somehow prehistoric.
We stop to explore a narrow, beautifully sculpted wash named Shinumo. In shadows all but fleeting moments each day, its polished silver walls shed a light of their own. To see the sky, you must tilt your head back with great effort.
South Canyon intersects the river, signaling that Vasey’s Paradise is just ahead. Sunlight seems to explode from the fountains of water gushing from the Grand Canyon’s wall. Lush growths of moss and ferns in this “paradise” seem strangely out of place in such a desert setting. We drift close to the gushing water, giving everyone aboard a welcome shower.
Our boats stop for lunch in the shade of Redwall Cavern. Inside this great cave, there is room enough for a game of softball!
As two golden eagles soar lazily overhead, we drift quietly and our boatman tells us the story of Bert Loper’s historic river run in 1949. We feel the heat, but soon a roller coaster rapid refreshes us.
We sight moon lilies a bloom at the mouth of Saddle Canyon. We top off a hike to explore Saddle Canyon with a cold soda.
We make for Nankoweap, site of ancient Indian ruins, and our campsite tonight.
After a dinner of filet, Dutch-oven potatoes, green salad, and cherry cobbler, we hike to the ruins, and view the river below.
Those who cannot stay awake find their sleeping bags. Our bed tonight is beneath the Milky Way, and a canopy of stars that dwarfs even the Grand Canyon.