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Tour West, Inc.
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Edmund Kim wrote a review Sep 2021
Duluth, Georgia26 contributions18 helpful votes
+1
27 of my extended family ages 13 to 68 went on the 6 day trip from Lake Mead to our take out point at Mile 187 at the end of July. Jake was our leader who had been doing these trips for over 20 years. He was an amazing wealth of knowledge about the geology, history, culture, and natural elements. He was constantly telling us stories about different layers of rocks, the Native Americans and how they lived, pointing out flora and fauna. It was like having our own professor teaching us in the most beautiful and awesome classroom. Nate was the other boatman who had been doing this for about 20 years, funny, wisecracking, an 8th grade English teacher during the rest of the year. The adults were on the raft with Jake and the kids were with Nate which was perfect. The younger Jake was was a college student learning the ropes and Patrick and Sam were friends of leader Jake as hired hands. Most of us were not outdoors people and so there was a lot of trepidation about how to use the bathroom (all liquids in the river and all solids in the groover), how to bathe (only in the river which was 50 degrees - brrr), and sleeping outdoors. Tour West provided cots and mats which were plenty comfortable. Tents were available if it rained (used them 2 nights) but we slept mostly outdoors because it was cooler and nicer under the stars. We arrived at Marble Canyon the night before the trip started. We were given an orientation on how to use our 2 dry bags, one for most of our gear (total limited to 25 pounds because of the weight limits for our flight out) and one for things we would want to access during the day (sunscreen, first aid kit, waterproof pants and jacket and the best guide for the trip Belknap's Waterproof Grand Canyon River Guide). The motel is dated and rustic but it is the last hot shower and running toilet you will see. Make sure you bring your own liquor in non-glass containers. There is a store in Marble Canyon that sells beer, wine and White Claw but no hard liquor. You will drink more than you think. A short walk from the motel is the Navajo Bridges where you can look down at the river. The next morning we loaded up and went down to Lees Ferry where we boarded our 2 motorized rafts. We were shown how to make a fire line to load our stuff onto the rafts. We got a safety briefing and off we went. The weather was sunny and hot for most of the trip but the water was always 50 degrees and really muddy this time of the year because the monsoon rains wash silt into the river. The scenery is constantly changing. There are rapids interspersed with calm water. The front of the raft is where you get wet, the back is relatively dry. Nate would tell us stories from time to time and we talked amongst ourselves. No electronics, no cell signal, no wifi. Just us, the raft, the river and rocks. So nice to be completely disconnected and just live in the moment. Most of us wore quick dry long sleeved shirts and shorts with hat and sunglasses to protect us from the sun. Lots of sunblock. Teva or Chaco sandals. We would spend 6 to 8 hours on the river every day. We would stop usually one or two times for potty breaks, once for lunch somewhere in the shade and once or twice to hike a side canyon. The best hikes were to the Puebloan granaries and Upper Deer Creek. There were some hikes that we weren't able to do because of weather. Safety was Nate's number one priority. Late in the afternoon, we would stop at a camp site. We would form a fire line to unload all the gear then set up camp. Cots scattered around to sleep, folding chairs in a circle to hang out and eat, groover set up in some private area. The food was AMAZING. Every night something different - hamburgers and hot dogs, spaghetti with meat sauce, barbeque chicken, pork chops, and steak on the last night. They even made a birthday cake - yellow cake with chocolate frosting for my birthday! They had enough ice to keep the drinking water cold and for alcoholic drinks that needed ice. It would get dark around 8:30 and by 9, most people were in their cots looking up at the stars, the Milky Way stretching overhead. We only had bugs the first night, these little flying beetles that were just irritated you when they landed on you. It was hot, most people slept just under a sheet if anything. Coffee was ready at 5:15 in the morning when it was starting to get light. Nate would make the coffee call which was also like a wake up call. Breakfast was also amazing - pancakes, french toast, breakfast sandwiches, yogurt, granola and fruit. We would also make our sandwiches for lunch at that time. Then pack up, fire line to load up the rafts and off we would go on another day of adventure. One day it did rain for several hours and we got very cold, so good rain gear is important. Realized on that trip that my rain gear kept me dry for less than an hour before starting to soak through and I got very cold. Snacks - apples, oranges, granola bars, some chocolate, other snack bars were always available. The last full day we were on the river, it started to rain, thunder and lightening. We got wet but soon forgot about that because hundreds of waterfalls formed as the rain poured over the sides of the canyon into the river. It was the most amazing sight. Even Jake who had been doing this for over 20 years was taking pictures as we all marveled at the scene that surrounded us. It was a spectacular end to a spectacular trip. At mile 187, we took a helicopter out to the Bar 10 ranch (they weigh each person and then each bag because they have to make sure the helicopter is not overloaded). Then from the Bar 10, we were flown to Vegas (again the bags are weighed so don't bring more than 25 pounds!). This is truly the trip of a lifetime. It is a little uncomfortable because you are in the elements, hot at times, cold at times (seems like you are either hot or cold), sandy, wet. But the scenery and the food and the river and being disconnected, just enjoying the company of our family... just wow. Doing this as a family trip was so much fun because we got to spend so much quality time together.
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Date of experience: July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Ben S wrote a review Aug 2021
Greenville, South Carolina107 contributions85 helpful votes
This was an amazing trip. Tour West and guides Jake, Ryan and Jeremiah were knowledgeable, friendly, and knew the river, the history and the ecosystem extremely well. They made the trip special and also did an amazing job cooking each night. We had two boats and a great group. The 7 nights on the river was amazing and to see the Grand Canyon from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead was truly a bucket-list experience. I highly recommend this trip with Tour West. They did it right and were very accommodating for everyone. The boats were great, sleeping cots were comfortable and the selection of camps sites allowed us to witness amazing views of the stars at night and hear the rush of the river. Take this trip and enjoy side canyons, fun rapids, excellent history of the area and see amazing sights.
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Date of experience: August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
2 Helpful votes
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lbcephas wrote a review Aug 2021
Atlanta, Georgia2 contributions
This 6 day 5 night trip down the Colorado River was a trip of a lifetime. We were with three other couples (all in our 60s). We met the other 21 people quickly and loved our big group. Jake and John were our guides and we can’t say enough great things about them. Safety was always first but fun seemed to be the theme for each day. The hikes were challenging but not impossible. We learned about so much wonderful history of the River and the area. The food was five star considering the guides pulled each delicious breakfast and dinner from storage underneath the boat and prepared it from scratch. We went during the last week of May and had great weather each day. The starry nights and sleeping out underneath that canopy with a rushing River as background was like nothing I had ever experienced. If you are pushing into your 60s….run don’t walk to their reservation site.
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Date of experience: May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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John A wrote a review Jul 2021
Augusta, Georgia7 contributions2 helpful votes
Just got finished with the three day, two night rafting trip down the Grand Canyon. The staff was excellent, very knowledgeable about the Canyon/geology/etc. and the food was excellent. A trip of a lifetime! I would highly recommend them!
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Date of experience: July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Peg Lieb wrote a review Jul 2021
3 contributions
+1
I'm a grandmother and brought my son and his 21 yr daughter on a 6 night Grand Canyon river rafting trip. Chris guided our boat and Nate the other. If you love fantastic scenery, lots of excitement, don't mind getting splashed with cold water and can handle rough camping, you will say this was your best trip ever. Chris handled the boat knowing his passengers (more splash and dips for those who wanted it). I needed special assistance on rocky hikes and the crew were always there to help. The crew worked constantly to make the trip safe and fun for all. They even prepared special meals for those who needed it. I've traveled much of the world and rafted on many of those trips, but this trip was my absolute best.
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Date of experience: June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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