In January 2009, we ticked a major box on the kayaking hitlist – the Grand Canyon of the Colorado in Arizona. From top to bottom, the trip is about 225 miles and took us 15 days and 15 cold, cold nights. For this self-supported trip, the crew comprised fifteen hardy souls in a flotilla of four 16-foot rafts and four kayaks, carrying everything we needed for food, clothes, and shelter.
The canyon itself is, you know, deep, and the river is, eh, big. It pushes along at about six miles an hour so manning the oars isn’t the ordeal you might expect, particularly with so many people to rotate on the oars.
If you’re thinking of going you need to get a permit through the lottery system (the ‘waiting list’ system has been scrapped) and get a local rafting company to sort the logistics for you. We heartily recommend Brady at Moenkopi who made the whole thing hassle-free. All we really had to do was get to Las Vegas (Vegas, baby!) and cruise on up to Flagstaff.