What Happened When One Woman Spent a Week Rafting Through the Grand Canyon
We’ve all dreamed about it—switching our phones off, setting sail into the sunset, and never looking back. But have you ever considered doing it on a raft at the bottom of the Grand Canyon? While you have to look back eventually, an eight-day rafting trip down the Colorado River can be the most incredible break from technology and life as you know it. After having spent eight days rafting down the valley myself with a team from Grand Canyon Expeditions, I’ve come up with eight reasons why you should do the same.
Tucking into a warm sleeping bag has never felt as cozy as it does at the edge of the Colorado River, inside the Grand Canyon. Most rafting companies provide tents, should you prefer a little shelter, but once you opt for a cot under the stars, you’ll never want to put anything between you and the wide-open sky again. Watch the moon rise above the rim of the canyon, drift off to sleep under the Milky Way, and wake refreshed as the sunrise illuminates the massive canyon walls. The experience gives the term “good night” a whole new meaning.
Guides are incredibly knowledgeable about the canyon’s geology and history. Each day, you’ll take away a wealth of information about this special place. Perhaps even more impressive than their knowledge of the canyon is their genuine, heartfelt connection to it. It’s inspiring to make the remarkable journey with people who hold it so dear to their heart.
Meals just taste better when they’re made outdoors. When rafting down the river, the guides will come prepared with meals that aren’t your run-of-the-mill franks and beans. Think thick-cut pork chops, grilled mahi-mahi, and breakfast burritos—not to mention the peach cobbler. Plus, they are happy to accommodate any dietary restrictions and requests. They primarily use locally sourced, organic ingredients. You haven’t tasted a filet mignon until you’ve had one in the Grand Canyon from a farm that practically overlooks it.
There is something about the dents and dings from being dragged through the rapids that makes a beer pulled out of the Colorado River taste even more refreshing. You are welcome to bring as many adult beverages as you’d like into the canyon, as long they aren’t in a glass container. They are chilled as all drinks should be: in a mesh bag dangling below the raft in the icy river.
You probably don’t think about beaches in the desert, but they’re there. Each night of the trip, you dock at your own private beach to set up camp at the river’s edge. Sink your toes in the sand, crack open a cold one, and take a refreshing dip—minus the salt and the waves.
If you are lucky enough to have a guide or guest with a musical instrument, there are some incredible acoustics to be found in hidden canyons. Pull off the river for an afternoon concert. Start a sing-along around the evening campfire. Few things turn a group of strangers into friends like the opportunity to share in a soulful melody.
Yes, you read that correctly. You’ve never taken care of your morning business with a view like this. It may seem daunting at first, but in no time, being out in nature just feels, well, natural. Believe it or not, you might even grow to look forward to the rustic facilities. When you return home, that boring old porcelain throne just won’t compare.
When was the last time you witnessed the night sky come to life one star at a time? Watched slowly dissipating airplane trails draw patterns across the sky? Followed a bird’s flight through a twisting canyon? With no technology or email distractions to consume you, the opportunity to be truly present lies in every moment. It’s a welcome gift that we should all give ourselves every once in a while.
Are you ready to jump in the rapids? Sign up for an eight- or 14-day trip with Grand Canyon Expeditions.