Grand Canyon River Rafting

I just read a rather interesting article entitled “The Same River Twice – Changes In River Running Over The Last Forty Years” by Vince Welch.  He talks about Grand Canyon river rafting as well as some of the other big rivers in the west.  He makes several points concerning the changes that have taken place over the past forty years and establishes himself as an old, retired river runner. Following are just a few of the points he makes: 1.  The Numbers – back in the early days of Grand Canyon river rafting, there were barely 500 people who took the trip annually – compared to around 20,000+ now. 2.  The Cost – forty years ago a trip with Grand Canyon Dories cost $450 for 19 days; now a 16 day tour runs 5 grand or more.  Most companies charge between $250 and $300 per person per day!  (A side note:  due to the exclusivity of the one-day white water tour, the cost per person is much higher.) 3.  The Gear – forty years ago only the basics were required for a multiple day Grand Canyon river rafting trip; now there is “state of the art” stuff that seems to be a necessity.  From tents and thick sleeping pads to toilet teepees, there seems to be a new mentality for “needing” much more than the basics. 4.  The Regulations – forty years ago the guides were “self’-regulated” and needed to make sure operations were conducted safely and properly. By 2012 government regulations have been in place for several years to ensure safety for the passengers, the environment, etc. 5.  The campfires – gone is the wood and the permission for campfires; the new way is the trusty campstove! 6.  The River Apparel –  Levi cut-offs have been replaced with quick drying river trunks and  flip-flops have been replaced by specialty water sandals.  You might say it has developed a style of its own. 7.  The Food – basics in #10 tin cans have been replaced by multiple-course meals and even gourmet food! There are a few things about Grand Canyon river rafting that have not changed.

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