I had a bad experience with Canyon Explorations (Can-X). They misrepresented the trip and did not do a good job of managing the trip.
I booked a 16-day, once in a lifetime, "hiker's special" with Canyon Explorations. I chose Canyon Exploration (Can-X) because I was told we would hike "4 to 5 hours" each day, and hiking the side canyons was my main interest. The trip started April 16, 2011.
In actuality, we seldom hiked more than 1 or 2 hours in a day, and many days had only short, 30 minute hikes (with stops at the end for discussion or hanging out that consumed considerably more time). There was only one canyon hike that extended more than a short distance.
When I realized that longer hikes were not occurring, I discussed this with the trip leader; but no changes were forthcoming.
Upon returning, I wrote to the company. Their owner was defensive and non-responsive. "Most rafters love their trips." When I told him that the trip was mis-represented, he said that many factors affect how much hiking occurs.
The misrepresentation of hiking was my main concern, but there were numerous other disappointments and management failures.
* Time and again, we would get started later than other groups on the river, or stop for short hikes and lunch during the day; so that we were late in the afternoon looking for camping sites. Invariably sites that were at the entrances of canyons would be already occupied by the time we arrived
* Staff socialized and drank together upon arriving, rather than providing food and companionship with the group.
Typically, after all of the bags and equipment were off-loaded, the staff would gather together on their rafts and begin drinking. Generally, at least an hour would go by before appetizers would appear. In one instance it was several hours.
* Alcohol consumption by most (but not all) of the guides was, in my mind, excessive for staff whose primary responsibilities should have been the clients’ comfort and well being.
Not only beer but considerable hard liquor was routinely consumed. One night, one of the staff got so drunk they could barely stand up. This was an exception, but it is indicative of a permissive attitude toward alcohol.
* The leader did not have good leadership skills. To cite one example:
On the first day, the leader said that everyone should help unload the boats before looking for camping sites. Not everyone followed this instruction, though many did. On the next day, he again asked, but with no real force. Over time, more and more people immediately raced to claim camping sites. This led to hard feeling among those who wanted to help and follow the rules. Eventually, helping first broke down completely, with those ashore first scrambling off immediately to secure the “best” site.
I would not recommend this firm for a Grand Canyon trip. Their are many other firms that receive uniformly high marks. Choose one of those.