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Hiking/Rafting Guide Recommedations?

dreamland
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Hiking/Rafting Guide Recommedations?

Time to plan a bucket list trip to the Grand Canyon!

I'm an avid hiker, interested in guide company recommendations for a tour which would hike into the canyon, then ride the river back out leisurely enough for scenic side hikes along the way. Would need a company that humps the major gear for its guests, as I'm not much of a backpacker.

I think I may be too late for planning the trip this year, so may have to wait until 2014, but would be interested in exploring options of 6-12 days.

Thanks in advance!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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1. Re: Hiking/Rafting Guide Recommedations?

Best option would be a Spring trip, (longer days), You would hump your gear down to Phantom Ranch... Joining a tour that has launched, up river, some days before...I would select a outfitter offering a non-motor trip that will pull off the river at Peach Springs, wash ...carracar

Sedona, AZ
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2. Re: Hiking/Rafting Guide Recommedations?

http://rivers-oceans.com/

You're looking for a lower canyon trip with a hike in from the GCNP south rim. This website lists all of the available providers and their various trips

Seattle
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3. Re: Hiking/Rafting Guide Recommedations?

If you would like to go this year, Canyon Explorations has space left on three Lower Canyon trips starting at the end of September and in October. They tend to do a lot of hiking.

If you want to wait until next spring, you could contact Rivers and Oceans to see who offers the type of trip you want.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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4. Re: Hiking/Rafting Guide Recommedations?

Just my 2 cents regarding the hiking. If you have the time and budget, I would do a full-canyon trip instead of the just the lower canyon. You will have ample time to do backcountry hiking on a river trip and, more importantly, you'll have access to hikes that can only be accessed by the river or are remote enough that it's unlikely that you'll get to do them otherwise.

For instance, on the upper section, before Phantom Ranch, you'd miss Nankoweap Canyon, the Confluence (Little Colorado River), Lava Canyon, the Cardenas/75 Mile area... all areas that would normally require really big hikes to get to. While the corridor trails into the Canyon are popular, they're not the best that the GC has to offer.

If you're an avid hiker, I'd take the earliest or latest trips in the season.

Edited: 06 July 2013, 13:24
Sedona, AZ
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5. Re: Hiking/Rafting Guide Recommedations?

I'm with DTF. If you can, choose to do a full canyon trip from Lees Ferry to Lake Mead

Seattle
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6. Re: Hiking/Rafting Guide Recommedations?

Yes, especially if you do not want to carry your gear down the trail to meet the boats, you should do the full canyon. Some of the best hikes are in the upper portion. Most Hilers Special trips I have seen are in the spring.

dreamland
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7. Re: Hiking/Rafting Guide Recommedations?

Thank you all for so much helpful information and suggestions! Looks like I should start considering a full canyon trip in April. Probably best, so I'll have more time to plan and can get a more full experience. I'll start with the guides recommended here - please let me know if there are any other guides you'd recommend - and thanks again!

Sedona, AZ
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8. Re: Hiking/Rafting Guide Recommedations?

It's not about the guide. It's the company that you'll be selecting. They are all top quality and certified by the same agency. But they differ in terms of type of water craft, number of days and dates of departure, as well as rendezvous and transport points of service. They will all get in the water at Lees Ferry in Marble Canyon, but some will begin with meetings and orientation there or Page or Flagstaff or even Las Vegas. Make sure that you understand all of these issues as it will affect your overall plan for dates, flights, car rentals etc

Mesa, AZ
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9. Re: Hiking/Rafting Guide Recommedations?

April weather is a blessing and a curse. You will not be in the heat, but you may be in the rain. I went in the spring and was glad that I did. The colors change in the rain, waterfalls appear. Beautiful! But do not let yourself be unprepared for rain on the river. You could end up very cold. (But we had unusually low temps and more rain than usual) You will be given a gear list, and raingear is on it. A hat to keep the rain off your neck (and not going down your back) and gloves are good to have! My hands froze because my gloves were in the wrong bag, which was packed away for the day. Still, I had an awesome time!

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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10. Re: Hiking/Rafting Guide Recommedations?

Kmesaaz, you may have experienced an unusually rainy week in April. Statistically, April, May and November are the driest months in the inner Canyon, averaging less than 1/2-inch of precipitation total for the month. (August is the rainiest, btw.)

Average temperatures at the river for April are 82 highs and 56 lows.