Grand Canyon Whitewater Rafting

Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 08:27 PM
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Grand Canyon Whitewater Rafting

I'm interested in going on the adventure of whitewater rafting through the Grand Canyon after I graduate from college. I'm not sure how to tell just by looking online which companies are reliable. I've been looking at GCEX, Arizona River Runners, AzRA and the few others that typically pop up on a Google search. Finding reviews for companies is hard and I'm terrified of paying a few thousand dollars and showing up at the Grand Canyon and my trip not existing. I'd also be going alone as a female and I was wondering if I'd feel out of place or uncomfortable.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 09:15 PM
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I went with Arizona River Runners a few years ago and they were very good. You can look at the Grand Canyon National Park Website for a reliable company.

The trip we were on included about 30 people. There was one female by herself. Frankly, I think she did feel a bit out of place. If you could find a trip that included other "solo" travelers, I think you would have a much better time. I am sure some of these companies might have specific dates with that type of situation. Some of them might include "all womens" or "gourmet meals", "family", etc.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 03:34 AM
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Whitewater Rafting Trip Outfitters are tightly regulated by the government and the ones that have concessions to raft the river have been running tours for many, many years. There are only a limited number of concessions and the companies that have them rarely, if ever, give them up so that some new "fly-by-night" operator would take over. In short, there's zero chance of you "showing up at the Grand Canyon and your trip not existing".

As to whether or not you, as a single female, would feel out of place would depend on how well you as a person blends in with others. I would think that as long as you are somewhat outgoing and aren't included in a large group that's already know one another (Example: being the only outsider on a "corporate outing" of used car salesmen) you should be just fine. When you make your reservations tell the Outfitter that you want to be in with a "mixed group" and I'm sure they will do their best to accommodate you.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 07:23 AM
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My first thought is that you are taking on the Grand Daddy of them all for your "first adventure". Have you thought about doing a trip with a lower rating than the Grand? Are you comfortable with "adventure sports"? Water sports?

Which type of trip are you looking at? 14 day? 7 day? 3 day powered raft? It does make a difference, as different types of rafts are used.

Anyway, you will probably love it. Starting at the top of the scale might leave you spoiled for other trips.

Lots of friendly people go on these types of trips and if you are the least bit friendly, I'm sure you will make friends.

Happy Trails!
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 11:38 AM
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I took an 8-day motor trip through the Grand Canyon with Wilderness River Adventures in 1998, as a solo-traveling female. I did not feel the least bit out of place, nor did the other single gal in our group. All of us had a ball.

As for booking with a "fly by night" outfitter, as RoamsAround indicates, that it highly unlikely as commercial Grand Canyon white water rafting is very strictly regulated by the National Park Service. That said, there are over a dozen companies offering multi-day Grand Canyon white water rafting trips. All are NPS-licensed concessionaires with excellent records of safety and service. Who you travel with probably won't come down to who the company is, but who has the trip offering that best fits your schedule.

I recommend you work with Rivers & Oceans, a company based in Flagstaff AZ specializing in rafting trips and cruises. They work with all of the Grand Canyon river outfitters and will help you nail down the best trip for your needs. They'll save you a LOT of legwork! Visit or call 1-800-473-4576

For those who don't have time or budget to take a multi-day Grand Canyon white water raft trip, the only single-day Grand Canyon white water rafting trip is offered by the Hualapai Indian Tribe out of Peach Springs AZ. Package tours with round-trip transportation out of Williams and Flagstaff are offered by the Grand Canyon Store. Info on the latter ->:
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Old Mar 5th, 2013, 10:14 AM
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As everyone has said, all the companies are reliable since the trips are highly regulated by the National Park Service. I did a 13-day all-paddle trip as a solo female and didn't feel at all out of place or uncomfortable, even though I'm quite shy and even though my trip included a large group that already knew each other. I think the people who take these trips tend to be pretty gregarious and crew members are skilled at creating a fun and social atmosphere, so I'm sure you'd have a great time! I think this type of trip is actually a great option for a solo traveler.

In researching the trip, I found the Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association website useful for the description of the various trip options:
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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My husband and I did an 8 day, oar powered, lower canyon trip a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it! I was on our bucket list and so glad we did it. Never going on a group tour before, we were skeptical about not knowing who we will be stuck with. Our group was mostly couples, but we did have a father and teenage son, and a group of 4 single friends. Everyone was very friendly and mostly hung out as a group during down time. I think you'll have a great time and I wouldn't worry about being a solo traveler. We used Arizona River Rafters and they were great! We ate like kings and the guides were informative and fun. We would do the trip again with ARR but have other things on the bucket list that need to be checked off first. Have a awesome trip!
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Old Mar 8th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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All of the rafting companies authorized to operate in the Grand Canyon are reliable, so have no fears on that score! And the groups are of necessity small, so you'll make friends and fit in just fine.

In 2010 I did a 16-day Lee's Ferry to Diamond Creek dory trip with OARS/Grand Canyon Dories, and had a blast. I can't recommend a rafting trip highly enough!
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Old Dec 21st, 2013, 04:24 PM
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You will bond with everyone over the course of the trip. Nothing like risking your life to bring people together. By the end of our trip, we all felt like family. All the companies are reliable, and you don't want to miss this trip just because you don't know anyone. I mean, look at what you'll get to do:

Not to be missed.
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