Tom and Cathy Crum and Tour West have arranged a trip this April 24- May 7 thru Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon Rafting Information Packet
14 Day Rowing Trip
April 24- May 7, 2012
Thank you for joining Tom and Cathy Crum again for a Magic in the Grand Canyon trip April 24- May 7, 2012. The trip is offered thru Tour West. James Ellsworth, and Kate Stoddard from Middle Fork River Expeditions are on board for the trip as well, so you may know some of the guides. Bruce Keller will be the Trip Leader and is a longtime friend of James and an amazing guide. John Yost is the co-founder of Sobek and runs trips throughout the globe. We are bringing 2 Inflatable Kayaks for the more adventurous types.
You need to arrive in Las Vegas on April 24 by 1pm and depart Las Vegas after 3pm on May 7.
Please carefully read this information packet as it will answer many of the questions you will have about your trip. Keep this information packet as it will also be a guide to you as you prepare and pack for your trip. We also suggest you re-read this packet after you are finished packing.
For this entire trip you will be on Pacific Time
Your trip assembles in Marble Canyon, Arizona.
Flying to Marble Canyon, Arizona
We have arranged for charter services to Marble Canyon through the Bar Ten Transportation Services in conjunction with Vision Air. Vision Airlines reserves the right to charge a gas surcharge fee before you board your flight. This fee will range from $3-$30 per person depending on the price of gas. This fee is not included in your tour cost
Plan on arriving in Las Vegas no later than 1:00 p.m. the scheduled date of your trip. This will give you enough time to pick up your luggage and check-in for your flight to Marble Canyon.
To meet for this flight please go to the information booth outside of the one baggage claim area at McCarran airport. Approximately 20 feet from the booth is a set of escalators with a sign above them reading, “Level Zero” please proceed down the escalator to level zero, where a Vision Air representative will meet you between 2:45 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. and will be holding a sign which will read, “Tour West Colorado River Rafting”. You will then board a Vision Coach which will shuttle you to the North Las Vegas airport, where you will board your flight for Marble Canyon. Please make sure to meet your representative at 2:45 p.m. pacific time. If for any reason the Vision Air representative is not at level zero by 3:00 p.m. to meet you, please wait at level zero for you Vision Coach to arrive. If you miss the coach please call Vision Coach Services at 1-800-256-8767 or Bar 10 Transportation Services at 1-800-582-4139. They will make every effort possible to connect you with your charter flight to Marble Canyon .
Please note: the FAA requires anyone who is 18 + years to present photo ID for this flight.
Air craft: Dornier 228–19 passenger plane (for smaller groups another plane may be used).
Upon arrival in Marble Canyon no one will be there to meet you so please walk across the street to the Lodge and check-in.
FIRST NIGHT OF YOUR TRIP: ____April 24, 2012 ____________________________(motel night)
You will spend the night at the Marble Canyon Lodge. You are on your own for your dinner this night and breakfast the next morning. There is a small restaurant located at Marble Canyon.
Orientation Meeting at 8:00 p.m.
You are scheduled to meet for an orientation meeting at 8:00 pm this night with your guide and the rest of the group. This meeting is held behind the convenience store in the conference room.
SECOND THROUGH THIRTEENTH NIGHT:
A van provided by Marble Canyon Lodge will pick you up in front of the motel in the morning and transport you 6 miles to Lee’s Ferry where you will launch on your river trip.
You will travel 188 river miles through the Grand Canyon. Each day you will run exciting rapids, explore unique side canyons, and enjoy the majestic grandeur of the Grand Canyon. Each night you will camp under the stars along the beaches of the river.
LAST MORNING OF YOUR TRIP: ____May 7, 2012 ________________________________
The river portion of your trip will end at Whitmore Wash. From this point you will enjoy a scenic, 10 minute helicopter ride from the river to the Bar Ten Ranch. A charter flight from the ranch will take you back to Las Vegas. Vision Airlines reserves the right to charge you a gas surcharge fee before you board your flight. This fee will range from $3-$20 per person depending on the price of gas. This fee is not included in your tour cost. You should arrive between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Transportation will be provided to the main Las Vegas airport (McCarran Airport). Please note: the FAA requires anyone who is 18 + years to present photo ID for this flight. Please do not schedule any flight arrangements out of Las Vegas before 3:00 p.m. this day!
Tour West, together with selling agents, acts only in the capacity of agent for customers in all matters pertaining to hotel accommodations, sightseeing tours, and transportation whether by railroad, motor car, steamship, boat, airplane, or any other means, and as such is not responsible for any damage expense or inconvenience caused by late train, plane, or ship arrivals or departures, or by any change of schedule or other condition nor from any loss, injury or damage to any person or property from any cause whatsoever, The right is reserved to alter the sequence of sightseeing in any of these tours. Tour West is proud of its efforts to insure the safety and enjoyment of our passengers. We feel that our customers are safer with us that they are traveling to and from the river. However, no outdoor activity is without the possibility of unforeseen hazards. It is important that each Tour West passenger recognize that there is an element of risk in any adventure or activity associated with the outdoors. Each passenger must be fully aware of the risks and the elements of cold river water, and or loss or damage to personal property. Knowing of the inherent risks, dangers, and rigors of river running, each passenger must decide if he/she is desirous and capable of participating in the river trip experience. Even though losses rarely occur, we recommend that passengers have their own travel insurance to protect personal items. It is also recommended that you have your own health and accident insurance. Each passenger will be required to sign an acknowledgment of risk form prior to the trip.
Tour West Will Supply The Following Gear:
• Boats – Custom-made, compartmentalized and unsinkable
• Life Jackets – of special whitewater design
• Meals – all meals on the river starting with lunch the first day and ending with breakfast the last morning.
All meals are expertly prepared and cooked by our guides.
• Cooking facilities – all cooking items including eating utensils
• Camping toilet facilities, toilet paper and supplies
• Beverages – unlimited water and lemonade. Coffee, tea & hot chocolate in the morning.
• First Aid Kit
• Sleeping Bag with sheet
• Comfortable sleeping pad
• Ground cloth (tarp)
• Waterproof bag – 16”X 33” 108 liters to put your personal duffel bag into during the trip
• Small water-resistant bag –9.5”X 20” 22 liters–accessible at all times) for personal articles and camera
Also included in your trip is:
• Charter Flight from Las Vegas to Marble Canyon at the beginning of your trip.
• Motel Accommodations the first night of your trip at the Marble Canyon Lodge
• Transportation to the river from Marble Canyon
• Helicopter Ride out of the canyon (approximately a 10 minute ride)
• Charter flight back to Las Vegas, NV or Marble Canyon, AZ at the end of your trip
Please note: Each person on our trip (16 years and older) is charged an additional $10 to cover the National Park Entrance fee. If you have a golden eagle or golden age passport into the National Parks please let our office know before your trip so we can deduct this fee.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO BRING WITH YOU
The following supply list suggests items you should bring for your trip. When packing please keep in mind that:
1. You must limit your gear to 25 pounds (this is required by the helicopter & airplane companies)
2. Your bag should be approximately 25” x 14” x 10” to fit inside our waterproof bag.
Fleece- lined jacket or fleece sweatshirt- (Might not use in mid-summer-but still bring)
Long pants (light-weight, fast-drying material for sun protection)
Shorts- quick drying material
Shirts (at least one long sleeved for sun protection)
Underwear / undergarments
Swimsuit or fast drying shorts – (At least two pair)
Two pair tennis/athletic shoes OR other river-type sandals—SEE FOOTWEAR SECTION
Quality Two piece Rain Suit with hood (a poncho is not effective!)-The River is ALWAYS COLD!!
Bandanna-great for keeping your sunglasses clean
Hat- with retention strap- good brim for sun protection; Knit cap-for use on cool mornings
Small towel and washcloth
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Soap and deodorant
Zip lock bags – ½ dozen- gal. size- (For storing wet items & keeping things dry)
Flashlight or Headlamp and spare batteries-Headlamps work best
Fanny pack or small backpack –(optional-but nice to have on hikes and for storing extra things on raft)
Quart plastic water container- with carry strap or belt attachment
Medication or personal first aid items – if needed
Backup pair of prescription glasses – if needed
Sunglasses – with retention strap (Consider bringing a spare pair also)
Insect repellent – small can or one can per family (probably won’t be needed)
Chapstick and Sunscreen-(Larger size or more than one) SPF 15+ You need to be prepared for a strong sun
Hand Lotion/Moisturizer/Vaseline-(Large size as the air is very dry)
Shaving Kit & Mirror – optional
Feminine Hygiene products
Small packs of Kleenex
Camera, lots of film and spare batteries and additional waterproof disposable camera for rapid shots
Fishing gear—optional—See Fishing section for more information
Money for gratuities at end of trip, or for small purchases before or after the trip, and possible gas
surcharge fee (see p. 3 for details)
Optional personal items – Carabiner, baby wipes, hiking sticks, solar shower, gloves, river guide book (available on website), book, playing cards, small musical instruments (Call us for guitar information if you want to bring yours), Frisbee, etc.
You must limit your gear to 25 pounds (most need far less). Nylon or other quick drying clothing is preferable.
Special Note: DO NOT bring your suitcases with you on the river trip. For storage options see Section “Luggage Storage”. Bring what items you need in a soft duffel like bag or canvas type bag.
WEATHER – Temperatures can vary, but the following chart shows average temperatures and precipitation
for the months of April through October. You can also visit our website for current weather information at
Inner Grand Canyon
Average Temperatures and Precipitation
TEMP APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT
Average High 89 92 101 106 103 96 86
Average Low 56 60 71 79 74 70 59
Precipitation .38 .22 .38 .78 1.22 .43 .49
Water temperature averages about 50-55 degrees all summer long.
RAIN GEAR – It is important to have a quality 2-piece rain gear with hood, not a poncho. The rain gear is for keeping warm and dry while going through the rapids and occasionally for rainy days. Make sure that your rain gear is waterproof and not just water-resistant. Don’t go on your trip without rain gear! You can purchase your rain gear on our online store at www.twriver.com .
FOOTWEAR – We encourage you to bring 2 pair of shoes. Sandals/Shoes need to be worn on the raft and in camp. It’s nice to have a dry pair for camp or an extra pair in case of loss or damage. Bring at least one pair of tennis/athletic type shoes. Quality river sandals with heel straps (Tevas, Chaco, Alps, Merrill, etc.) are an excellent choice on our river trips as your second pair of shoes. Consider bringing a pair of socks for your sandals, because many people develop sore spots due to abrasive sand and straps rubbing on their feet. All shoes should have good traction, be broken- in, and be comfortable. If you need the added support of hiking boots they are ok to bring along. Note: Because most hikes are in or around water, hiking boots that
cannot get wet are not practical as footwear.
CLOTHES – PACK YOUR RIVER GEAR IN A SOFT COLLAPSIBLE GYM TYPE BAG. Your bag should be approximately 25”x14”x10” to fit inside our waterproof duffle bags. Keep your clothes to a minimum and in colors that will not show dirt easily (avoid black clothes as they get hot during mid-summer). The river and sand may permanently stain some of your clothing. Fast drying nylon shorts and bathing suits are recommended. It is important to have something to cover up with if you start to sunburn or get too hot so be sure to bring along a pair of long pants and a long sleeve shirt in a lightweight nylon or cotton fabric. Also, if it should rain it will turn chilly or cold so bring a fleece- lined jacket or fleece sweater with you. Most people tend to over pack, bringing too many changes of clothes! You do not need a new outfit for every day, as most people wear their clothes more than one day.
PERSONAL ITEMS – Passengers may bring their wallets, credit cards, and airline tickets with them on their trips. They should be stored in zip lock bags in the bottom of your waterproof bags. Do not bring expensive jewelry, expensive watches, cell or wireless phones, boom boxes or other such items and valuables with you on the river trip.
CAMERAS – Bring plenty of film and spare batteries for your camera. All cameras should have straps. We recommend keeping your camera in a waterproof case, even when it is in your small water-resistant bag. The waterproof or panoramic disposable cameras are excellent on the river trip.
VIDEOS – As video cameras become smaller and batteries last longer we are seeing more and more on the river. Be aware, there is no place to recharge batteries on our trips so you need to bring extra batteries. As we do not provide a hard case for storage, we recommend that you bring your video cameras in a hard waterproof case.
BEVERAGES – We provide cold lemonade and water all day long on the boat and in camp in the evening. If you wish to have any other beverages (soda, juices, alcohol, etc.) you must supply your own. Hard liquor should be in plastic containers. Soda, beer, and any additional beverages must be in aluminum cans (NO GLASS). Your beverages will be stowed away by the guides during the day and available to you in the evenings. You may want to mark your cans on the top with a permanent marker. You can purchase beer, wine, and soda at the Marble Canyon Trading Post, however, hard liquor is not available there.
FISHING – You may bring a small collapsible fishing rod. You can fish from the shore but not while the boat is underway. You would be fishing mainly for trout. Arizona residents must have an Arizona fishing license. Out of state passenger can purchase a short-term license at Marble Canyon Lodge or call Arizona Fish & Game at 602-942-3000 to see about obtaining a license.
GRATUITIES – It is customary upon receiving a satisfactory trip to tip the river crew. It is an acknowledgement of a job well done and greatly appreciated by members of the crew. If you feel a tip is in order, the average runs between 10%-15%. You may leave it with the trip leader and he/she will distribute is among the crew.
NATIONAL PARK ENTRANCE FEE—Each person on our trip 16 years or older is charged an additional $12.00 to cover the National Park Entrance Fee. If you have a golden eagle or golden age passport into the National Parks please let our office know before your trip so we can deduct this fee.
PASSENGER INFORMATION FORM – We require that each passenger taking our trip fill out the attached passenger information form. This form will give us more information on how to better serve you while you are traveling with us. Please make sure to include on this form if there are any special physical or medical condition we should be aware of. This form is attached to the back of this packet.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISK FORM-We require that each passenger sign an acknowledgement of risk form. Anyone under 18 must also have the signature of their parent or legal guardian. This form must be returned to our office prior to your trip.
BALANCE DUE – The unpaid balance for your trip is due 90 days prior to your trip date. Balances may be paid in the form of a check, money order, or credit card. We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover or America Express.
CANCELLATION POLICY – A minimum $500.00 cancellation fee will be assessed for all cancellations. Cancellations received between 90 and 60 days prior to departure forfeit one half the tour cost. Cancellations between 60 days and the day of your trip lose the entire tour cost. No shows lose entire tour cost. We are firm with this policy and suggest you purchase cancellation insurance. This would help reimburse you in the event of illness or other unforeseen reasons for cancellations. Forms are available in our office or from your travel agent. This cancellation policy applies per person.
LUGGAGE STORAGE – If you are taking the charter flight from Las Vegas to Marble Canyon additional luggage can be stored at the North Las Vegas airport for a fee. You cannot leave any luggage with us in Marble Canyon as we have no facilities to store it, or to have it brought to meet you at the end of the trip.
EMERGENCY INFORMATION – During the season, you may call us after-hours or on weekends at our regular toll free number (1-800-453-9107). The message will give you the numbers of those you can contact or you can leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Please be aware that getting an emergency message to a guest on our river trips, even in the event of a death in the family, will not be possible. The Grand Canyon Park’s policy is not to allow the use of helicopters to contact or remove river guests for this type of emergency. Please give our toll free number to family members and have them call us if there is an emergency while you are on the river.
ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Is the trip strenuous?
Since our trip is an outdoor activity, and with the exposure to the elements, we consider our trips to be mildly strenuous, requiring some effort. You are responsible for carrying you personal bags to your camp and setting up your camp area. Our guides will give instructions the first night on how best to set up the camping equipment we provide. As with all aspects of the trip, we encourage the guests (with no medical restrictions) to participate in as many activities as possible. This includes helping the guides load and unload the rafts at camp. Some of the hikes off the river will require more effort than others. The guides will try and give you a brief overview of the hike. If you would rather not participate on any hikes you may find a comfortable place to stay near the rafts. You will enjoy the trip more if you have prepared with some walking or exercise and are in better physical shape. If you have any medical questions consult your own doctor and call our office so that we may help answer your questions.
2. Who will our guides be?
Tour West feels that we have the best guides in the business. Our guides are all whitewater qualified with an average of fifteen years and hundreds of miles of river experience. Each guide is an accomplished outdoors person with a background in natural history and the ability to make each river trip special and memorable.
3. Where and when will I get my river and camping equipment?
Your waterproof duffle bag, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, sheet, small water-resistant bag and cup will be available at the orientation meeting. Your tent will be available at the first night’s camp. We recommend you only set up a tent if there is a threat of rain. Nothing beats sleeping under the stars!
4. What items will I have access to during the day?
Every morning your waterproof duffle bag containing your sleeping gear and clothing will be loaded on the boat and packed away for the day. Your small water-resistant bag is used to store any of the items that you will need to get to during the day, such as sun screen, hat, camera, water bottle, etc. If you plan to wear tennis shoes on a hike but not on the boat the guide will provide a bag where you can store them.
5. What is the menu like?
We take pride in offering well-rounded meals that are very appetizing with sufficient quantities for everyone. Breakfast items include many traditional favorites from pancakes to omelets, fresh fruits and juices. Lunches are a favorite for many with a variety of deli meats and cheeses, salads, chips and cookies. Dinner includes: fresh salads, chicken, steak, meals with an international theme, side dishes, and of course, desserts. All meals include water and lemonade to drink.
NOTE: If you have a special diet or allergies, please inform us of your specific needs so that we can determine how to best accommodate you.
6. What are the toilet facilities on the river?
We take portable toilets, which are clean and comfortable. These facilities are available in the morning and night while in camp. We have a smaller portable toilet that can be used during the day but we do not set- up facilities to urinate during the day. The National Park Service requires us to have guests urinate in the wet sand or in the river. This can be a little more difficult for our female guests so you might consider bringing clothing that will make this easier such as a two-piece swim suit or shorts instead of a one-piece suit.
7. Where will I bathe?
Bathing is only allowed in the main river channel, soap is strictly prohibited from the side streams. You may bring a solar shower if you would like but a few things to keep in mind are they can only be used in the main river and not on the beach or in the sand. Since there are few trees by the river someone will have to hold it for you. Please only bring one per family.
8. Why is the water so cold?
The river water is released from Glen Canyon Dam on Lake Powell, 15 miles above our raft launch point at Lee’s Ferry. The water is taken from deep in the lake and comes out of the dam at around 47 degrees. It only warms up about 1 degree every 20 miles.
9. What about bugs and snakes?
The Grand Canyon is a very friendly place to camp. Being a desert environment, mosquitoes and flying insects are not generally a problem. Snakes and scorpions are seldom seen. Most trips will have the thrill of seeing Desert Big Horn Sheep and many varieties of canyon birds.
10. Can we expect rain?
We never know for sure when it will rain, so even if you are taking a mid-summer trip be sure to bring a two piece rain suit! Ponchos are not recommended.
MAPS/BOOKS- Below is a list of books about the wonders and history of the Grand Canyon. The Belknap
Guide book along with other gear for your trip is available on our website at www.twriver.com
1. Grand Canyon River Guide (waterproof mile by mile map) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Author: Buz Belknap
2. The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons
Author: John Wesley Powell
3. Introduction to the Grand Canyon Geology
Author: Trinkle Jones
4. River Runners of the Grand Canyon—The human story of the Colorado River (VIDEO OR DVD)
To order call: 1-800-580-6863 or write Don Briggs Film & Video PO Box 788 Sausalito, CA 94966
Help protect future commercial rafting trips in the Grand Canyon by visiting the following website:
Due to limited availability, the National Park Service restricts recreational boating opportunities on the Colorado River within Grand Canyon National Park to one trip per year per individual. Because of this regulation, Tour West cannot accept a reservation from any individual who has or will participate in any other full or partial canyon commercial or non-commercial river trip within the same calendar year. If you have already completed or have plans to participate in any other Grand Canyon river trip this year and would like to go again, please wait until next year or sometime thereafter to book you next trip. Grand Canyon National Park’s one-trip-per-year rule is strictly enforced.
We’ll see you at Lee’s Ferry!
Yours for rivers, Ellsworth
Grand Canyon Dory Rowed by Martin Litton