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Trip report: 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Western...

Maryland
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Trip report: 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Western...

The trip started with a bus pick-up at 8:00 am at Hawthorne Suites LV near the strip. I stayed at Motel 6 Tropicana which was only about a block away to save money. The bus was already there at 7:40. They took us to a small airport where we flew Vision Air out to Bar 10 ranch. The plane didn’t leave until after 9:30, I wished I had brought a book to read. As soon as we landed at the Ranch we were lined up for the helo down to the river. There was a place to change there. Once down by the river we transferred our stuff to our “day bags” and large waterproof bags for duffles or backpacks. In our daybags we kept sunscreen, chapstick, cameras, and a jacket. They gave us travel mugs which could be clipped in our lifejackets or onto our bags. The helicopters held 5 people, so it took about an hour to get everyone down to the river. We got briefed on the trip while the crew made a lunch of really good cold cut sandwiches. It was pretty windy that day, and we were happy to have sunglasses to keep the sand out of our eyes. We finally got underway, 31 people total on 2 boats. The boats have various comfortable places to sit; no paddling required. At camp, they offered tents but recommended to set up cots and enjoy the stars which we all did. There was about an hour to hike before dinner. The crew made all the food, we set up our own cots. They provided a sleeping bag, fleece bedroll, tarp, and sheet. Dinner was spaghetti, garlic bread, salad and cheesecake for desert. The next day was our full day on the river. We took a couple of short hikes during the day, nothing over 30 minutes. We followed the same schedule at camp that evening, with about an hour for packing. The last day there were no rapids, we were on the river for about 3 hours before a large jet-boat came to pick us up and take us across Lake Meade, which was a little over an hour. For lunch the last day we were loaded on a motorcoach and taken to a grocery/deli in a small desert town (Dolan Springs, I believe). We got $6 vouchers, sandwiches were pre-made and cost $4.50. There were drinks and chips available to buy too. On our trip we were able to drive over the Hoover dam, so we were back to the Hawthorne Suites around 3:30.

Packing: the website recommends sarongs; no one wore them. It also recommended Camelbacks; we never used ours b/c the hikes were short and they provided the travel mugs. No one needed the rafting gloves, the ropes aren’t bad to hold onto and there were only about 4 rated rapids on the trip. A bar of Ivory and a travel pack of baby wipes for 3 days is all you need for soap/shampoo. The water is 50 degrees. As far as raingear, I bought some cheap stuff from Target ($10, Coleman 2 pc raingear) and was glad I had it early in the morning on the front of the boat., but my husband never wore his. I was glad to have a lightweight fleece, and quick drying pants, but we didn’t take anything else warm and we were comfortable.

This trip was incredible, I recommend it highly. The guides were awesome! The oldest person on the boat was 66. A lot of other info is at www.wewsternriver.com.

Mesa, Arizona
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1. Re: Trip report: 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Western...

Great report and love your picture :)

Maryland
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2. Re: Trip report: 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Western...

Likewise, dragonflylady!

Another thing about packing I forgot to add. You can bring 'adult beverages' along on the trip. They have dry storage on the raft or drag bags to keep cans cool. You wouldn't want to drink much alcohol during the day for fear of dehydration. We brought a 3L shiraz "wine cube" from Target. It was great to sip wine at dinner in the shadow of the canyon... And we shared with everyone the second night when the guides made steak and trout for dinner.

I also spelled the website wrong; www.westernriver.com

Reading...
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3. Re: Trip report: 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Western...

Great trip report!!! I have 3-4 families that are interested in going rafting in the Canyon but there are a few concerns. Are there alot or any snakes or scorpions and how are the bugs? Did you have to hike in or out of the canyon? Thanks ahead for your reply!!

Maryland
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4. Re: Trip report: 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Western...

Are there alot or any snakes or scorpions?

We didn't see any snakes or scorpions. We were told there was a possibility of seeing a snake, but if we did to noify the guides and they would move it.

and how are the bugs?

It's so dry that there are very few bugs. We saw fire ants, but at camp each night the guides set up ant traps which worked well. I don't think anyone got bit.

Did you have to hike in or out of the canyon?

No hiking in our out; we were heloed in, and the trip ends on Lake Mead where we walked about 10 yards from the dock to a shuttle bus!

Maryland
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5. Re: Trip report: 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Western...

For mmarte215... My Memorial Day report...

West Palm Beach...
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6. Re: Trip report: 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Western...

Since you were only on the river one full day, what portion of that day were you in the rapids. How were they? Were there alot of rapids during the trip? Did you wish you had taken the 6 day trip or was the 3 day enough?

Maryland
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7. Re: Trip report: 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Western...

If I had the vacation time to take the 6 day, I wish I would have. But some not-so-wildernessy people who had been on the 6 day trip said it was really hot and a little too long. Here's a website with a link to the map of which part it covers. www.westernriver.com/trips/grand3day/map.php

The map show 9 rapids, the GC doesn't use the normal Class 1-5 system, they use 1-10. I forget the exact ratings, but I would say there were 4 or 5 rapids that would be Class III, the others being around Class 2.

Atlanta
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8. Re: Trip report: 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Western...

Hi Mr. Squid,

I am planning a three day raft trip as well. I just found out Western is booked for the dates that will work for me. Have you tried a raft trip with any other company? Did you research any other raft companies? I think Western gets the best ratings...were they worth the time and effort?

My wife just found The Arizona River Rafters ....that may work....they have a three day trip that spends the entire first day at the Bar 10 ranch...then two days rafting...huh?? Anything to do at the bar 10 Ranch?

Not many folks offer three day trips. I want to try a short trip because my two young sons ( 11 and 12 years old) are comming with and they may get bored with rafting and camping quickly. Most raft company's have an age limit so I am really stuck.

Where did you leave your baggage once you hooked up with Western?? I know you couldn't have taken it with you on the trip. Are you required to have a hotel room during the raft trip? That would get expensive on say a 7 day raft trip! Are there any kid friendly hotels left in Vegas??

Thanks

Chas

Maryland
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9. Re: Trip report: 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Western...

I chose Western River over Arizona River Rafters because the dates worked with my schedule, and maximized river time. I've never taken any other trips in the GC (but have rafted in other places.)

A day at the Bar 10 may be enjoyable for kids - I didn't see much to do, but we were only there to change and hop on the helo. I htink they may have horses, anyway.

If you are staying at the Hawthorne Suites (you only have to stay the night before the trip starts) you can leave your baggage there. It is kid-friendly with a pool and no casinos.

Harpenden, United...
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10. Re: Trip report: 3 day Grand Canyon rafting trip with Western...

we have planned a similar trip using Tour West, again because the dates fit. Several of the different companies do similar trips. Ours is a 3 night trip

First night at Bar 10 ranch: I think there are cowboy things to do with option of sleeping in wagon etc. ! then flying by heli down following mornings with rafting + 2 nights camping then back to Las Vegas.

Tour sounds similar as yours

Really looking forward to it.

With the companies all doing different dates need to choose the company that suits your dates and providing no bad reports or query experiences hope for the best!