Rafting through the Grand Canyon is a lifetime adventure that you should never miss. While there, you’ll be able to visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, see the canyon’s stunning geological formations and colorful rocks, hike the side canyons, camp on the sandy beaches under towering cliffs and even hold tight as you splash through the huge icy rapids on the Colorado River. Getting ready for your adventure in advance is key in order to enjoy your time there and create unforgettable memories. Here are 6 important tips that can help you in preparing for rafting through the Grand Canyon.
Work on Your Physical Fitness
As you wait for your trip, it is very important that you work on your physical fitness in order to enhance your stamina. This will make it easier for you to raft through the highly difficult Colorado River, hike along the steep and rough terrain of the canyons and visit the spectacular waterfalls and other beautiful scenery in the area. Other things like erecting and taking down your tent which you will be doing everyday also require physical strength, so adequate preparation is necessary.
On the same note, you also need to ensure that your medical insurance covers evacuation from the Grand Canyon should there be a need to do so. This way, you’ll save yourself from paying thousands of dollars in evacuation costs.
Decide What Part of the Grand Canyon You’d like to Explore
The Colorado River flows for 277 miles inside the Grand Canyon walls. Rafting this whole length will take you approximately 14 days. However, rafting along the upper part of the canyon can last as little as 3-4 days. So, choose what portion of the river you’d like to explore. Also keep in mind that other factors such as weather and water conditions may affect how long you take to complete your trip.
Choose Between Guided and Self-Guided Trips
Decide on whether you want a non-commercial, self-guided rafting trip through the canyon or a commercial, guided trip. A self guided trip costs less and gives you more freedom to explore the canyon. However, you’ll have to buy all the essential gear and equipment needed like camping gear, water resistant dry bags and rafting equipment among others.
On the other hand, guided trips will cost you more, but all the important items you’ll need will be given to you by the tour agency. As if that’s not enough, you won’t need to apply for a rafting permit as is the case with self-guided trips.
If you have no prior knowledge and experience in rafting, you’re better off with guided tours where the guides can ensure your safety.
Make Your Reservations Early
Once you’ve made up your mind on which means you’ll use to explore the canyon, make your reservations as early as possible to avoid disappointments. Most of the times, you’ll be required to make a down payment, so compare multiple agencies and decide which one to work with depending on your budget. You may also want to consider purchasing a cancellation insurance to help protect you in case you have to cancel your trip.
Pack Personal Items
You need to pack all the items you’ll need a few days in advance depending on which means you’ll use to explore the Grand Canyon and how long you plan to stay there. Some must-haves include lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants which can dry quickly when washed, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays, water resistant bag to protect your camera, medications and other essential items dry, jacket to keep you warm in the evening, as well as sturdy and comfortable shoes (sandals, sneakers, boots) to explore the area. Valuable jewelry, firearms or water sensitive electronics are better left at home.
Finally, be sure to inform your friends and family of your impending rafting trip. This way, they won’t get worried when they call you during the trip and find that your phone is out of service. Most importantly, prepare yourself emotionally for the adventure ahead and have a positive attitude. When you finally get to the Grand Canyon, just enjoy yourself and make the best out of your time there.