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  • Lisa Parsons

Grand Canyon Whitewater Adventure

21 Day boating trip down the Colorado River

When the opportunity to take a long trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon presented itself, we thought about it and said “yes”. It was a blind date trip via a zoom interview with the permit leader, Sally, and her husband, Steve, who live in Montana. They were looking for a few enthusiastic boaters to accompany them down the river.

They’d been out of the whitewater scene for a number of years but when they got notice of the permit, they couldn’t pass it up. Then the challenge was finding people who could take at least 21 days off for the adventure. David and I are retired so getting the time off was easy.

After Sally and Steve interviewed different people, which included important details like vaccination status and river experience, they picked 7 other people to participate, for a total of 9. They wanted a smaller group.

A Grand Canyon trip can be challenging under any condition. Throw in the uncertainty of who we would be boating with and we were a little wary, yet optimistic after talking with Steve and Sally via Zoom.

So on March 17th, we showed up at Lees Ferry to rig our boats and prepare for another “Adventure of a Lifetime!”

Lees Ferry, the Start of the Grand Canyon Adventure

David and I also discovered there are California Condors in the Grand Canyon. We got to see them flying, guarding an egg, posturing, and sitting on the Navajo Bridge in the evening before dinner.

Condors on the Navajo Bridge

Cast of Characters

Sally. Montana. 3rd trip down the Canyon. Permit holder. 14 ft. Baby blue Cataraft.

Steve. Montana. 9th Trip down the Canyon. Co-permit holder. 16ft. Green Cataraft.

D.K. New Mexico. 9th Trip down the Canyon. 10.5 foot (mini-me) yellow Cataraft

Dave. Central California. 5th time down the Canyon. 14 ft. dark green Aire raft.

Greg. Texas. 5th Trip down the Canyon. 16 ft. Burnt Orange (not an orange) Cataraft

Rick. SoCal / Arizona. 17th Trip down the Canyon. 16 ft. Blue Cataraft

Glenn. Idaho. 2nd trip down the canyon. First time rowing his own boat. 18 ft. (Tank) Blue Cataraft.

David. NorCal. 7th trip down the Canyon. Rowing an 18 ft. (Big Sunshine) raft.

Lisa. NorCal / Washington. 2nd trip down the Canyon. Paddling the Thrillseeker (Glitterati) Inflatable whitewater Kayak for most of the trip. GoPro videographer in Big Sunshine for significant rapids such as Crystal and Lava. Co-rower on high wind days.

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