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Rafting Grand Canyon’s Granite Gorge

Program Number: 21044RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/5/2014 - 6/11/2014;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Price starting at: $1,460.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Water Sports; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 17; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Rafting the Granite Gorge is the best way to access the Grand Canyon’s rapids and serene beaches. Experience the canyon on a hike-and-raft expedition that reveals unparalleled natural and human history. Local experts provide knowledge and leadership on river and trail and fix meals as you relax in spectacular riverside campsites.




Highlights

• Camp out for three days in the Grand Canyon and raft the Granite Gorge on thrilling whitewater rapids.
• Study the natural history of the Grand Canyon with a geologist with more than 20 years of experience.
• Spend a day hiking in Grand Canyon National Park for a comprehensive view of this incomparable destination.



Activity Particulars

Hiking 2-5 miles, elevation changes up to 800 feet. Rafting three days, climbing in and out of rafts with personal belongings, sleeping in tents on a pad and sleeping bag.



Itinerary Summary

Flagstaff, 2 nights; coach to camping/rafting in Grand Canyon, 3 nights; coach to Flagstaff, 1 night.



Coordinated by Northern Arizona University.




Grand Canyon National Park

Within the borders of its 1.2 million acres, this World Heritage Site offers bikers, hikers, rafters and campers everything from breathtaking vistas to high adventure. Its 277 miles of raw rock and water continue to amaze generations of visitors.



Accommodations
Flagstaff: Comfortable hotel. Grand Canyon: Tent camping on river, meals provided; primitive toilets. Hand-wash stations adjacent to toilets and eating locations.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Richard Stephens

Rich has been director of Northern Arizona University’s highly popular Road Scholar programs since 2001. He previously spent many years in the field as a program coordinator and group leader, where he honed his skills and learned the importance of detailed, pre-trip planning. Before making his home in Arizona’s spectacular red-rock country, Rich spent 10 years in Yosemite National Park and the Santa Cruz mountains as an environmental educator.
 
David Best

David Best was born in Cardiff, Wales, and immigrated to North Carolina with his parents in the late 1940s. He has been a geology department professor and administrator at Northern Arizona University for 30 years, and strives to enhance the learning process of non-science majors in general education science courses. In his spare time, David is currently working on two books and enjoys gourmet cooking, woodworking, traveling, and reading.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   La Quinta Inn
  Flagstaff, AZ 2 nights
   Grand Canyon Campsites along river
  Grand Canyon, AZ 3 nights
   La Quinta Inn
  Flagstaff, AZ 1 night
 La Quinta Inn
Type: Motel
  Description: Located 1/2 mi NW of the intersection of I-17 & I-40. Near shopping and restaurants; 1/4 mi from Northern Arizona University, 2 miles to Lowell Observatory and historic downtown Flagstaff; 6 mi from Sinagua ruins at Walnut Canyon Natl Mon, 15 mi from Sunset Crater National Monument, 38 mi from the ruins at Wupatki National Monument. 30 miles from the red rocks, galleries and restaurants of Sedona, AZ.
  Contact info: 2015 S Beulah Blvd
Flagstaff, AZ 86001 USA
phone: 928-556-8666
web: www.lq.com/lq/properties/propertyProfile.do?ident=LQ939&propId=939
  Room amenities: 25" satellite TV w pay movies available, large desk, AM FM clock radio, electronic locks, telephone with voice mail and data port, free local telephone calls, iron and board, hair dryer, coffee maker, internet.
  Facility amenities: Courtyard w heated pool, spa and gazebo; fitness center, guest laundry and same day dry cleaning svc, continental breakfast, wi-fi available in the lobby.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Seasonal, approx $100. Call local La Quinta for the rates available during your stay (928) 556-8666. NOTE: When they get the pre-recorded information they must hit the 0 (zero) option, then ask front desk for special Road Scholar before/after rate.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Seasonal, approx $100. Call local La Quinta for the rates available during your stay (928) 556-8666. NOTE: When they get the pre-recorded information they must hit the 0 (zero) option, then ask front desk for special Road Scholar before/after rate.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

 Grand Canyon Campsites along river
Type: Other
  Description: Unparalleled views. of the Grand Canyon, amazing views of the star lit night sky. The Colorado lulls you to sleep.
  Contact info: GC National Park
Closest: Grand Canyon, AZ 86023 USA
phone: 928-523-3436 xforinfo
  Facility amenities: River tour company provides necessary gear.
  Smoking allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program begins with 4:30 registraion at the hotel. You will be staying at La Quinta Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends with checkout after breakfast. You will be staying at La Quinta Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Additional form to complete: NAU Outdoors Liability Form and NAU Outdoors Equipment Request Form. (See below for details)
  Parking availability:
Free at hotel - for entire program.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Flagstaff, AZ
  Nearest city or town:  Flagstaff
  Nearest highway: East - West: I-40, North South, I-17 & US 89
  Nearest airport:  Flagstaff
  From End of Program
  Location:  Departures
Travel Details
 

Flagstaff, AZ to/from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Arizona Shuttle
phone: 877-226-8060
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approx. $45.00 one way ($41.00 Internet Reservation); $5.00 each way drop off/pickup at La Quinta
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approx 3 hours 

 

Distance:

 

150 Miles

   

Call Arizona Shuttle for departure times PRIOR to booking flights. 9 shuttles daily from/to the Phoenix airport. Upon arrival into Phoenix airport, check in required at shuttle desk in baggage claim area of airport,15 minutes before shuttle departure. Flagstaff La Quinta Hotel drop off/pick up by advanced reservation ($5.00 extra charge per reservation BY MENTIONING ROAD SCHOLAR); otherwise the drop off/pick up is at Flagstaff Amtrak (Visitor Center). Advanced reservations required.

 

Flagstaff, AZ to/from Starting Destination

 

To Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Amtrak
phone: 800-872-7245
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Varies with starting / return destination
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

From Flagstaff train station to hotel: 5 minute taxi ride. 

 

Distance:

 

From Flagstaff train station to hotel 2 miles.

   

Westbound train arrives 8:51 PM and departs at 8:57 PM Eastbound train arrives at 4:36 AM and departs at 4:41 AM. Times subject to change. Check Amtrak for current schedules.

 
Driving Directions
  Flagstaff La Quinta From I-40 Take the I-40 to Flagstaff, AZ and exit at 195 north for Flagstaff and Grand Canyon. This puts you northbound on Milton Road. At the first stoplight, Forest Meadows, turn left. Continue west on Forest Meadows for a quarter block to the next light at Beulah Blvd. Turn right on Beulah and continue for a quarter block. La Quinta is on the left, 2015 S. Beulah.
  Flagstaff La Quinta from I-17 Travel north on 1-17 until it ends, becoming Milton Road in Flagstaff, AZ. Turn left at the first stop light on Forest Meadows. Continue for quarter block to the next light on Beulah Blvd. Turn right on Beulah and drive for a quarter block. La Quinta is on the left, 2015 S. Beulah.
Elevation Note: Flagstaff 7,000 feet; Lee's Ferry 3600 feet; approximately 2000 feet at end of river run.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Program Registration & Introductions/River Company Orientation
(Thursday, June 5)
   
 Afternoon: Program registration in the hotel lobby from 4:30 - 5:15 PM.
 Dinner: Dinner at Sizzler Restaurant. Along with a hot entree selection enjoy Sizzler's famous endless Salad Bar with over 50 fresh items including seasonal and specialty salads, just picked vegetables and fresh fruits, soups, hot appetizers and cool desserts.
 Evening: Introductions and orientation in the hotel meeting room following dinner. Get to know your fellow participants, review the schedule, and get prepared for the action packed adventure you are about to embark on.
   
Accommodations: La Quinta Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Full day trip to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
(Friday, June 6)
   
 Breakfast: Deluxe continental breakfast at the hotel to include waffles, hard boiled eggs, fresh fruits, pastries, bagels, cereals, muffins, juices, milk and coffee.
 Morning: After breakfast, we travel to Grand Canyon National Park for an introduction to its geology and natural history. From the South Rim we are able to gain perspective of the Canyons immense size and catch glimpses of the Colorado River below, our home for the next 3 days. Enjoy walks along the rim and an optional walk on the Bright Angel Trail below the rim of the canyon.
 Lunch: Sack lunch while hiking in the canyon.
 Afternoon: Continue our day of hiking in the Canyon. Participants who want a bigger challenge can descend into the Canyon along the famed Bright Angel trail.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local Flagstaff restaurant.
 Evening: River orientation. Meet your raft guides and review all the particulars of the trip. Each person will receive one large and one small dry bag to pack their things into. We will review packing suggestions and what to expect on the river. Luggage which you do not want to bring on the river can be stored safely at the hotel until we return. For questions contact the Provider (Northern Arizona University) at (928) 523-2359; or RoadScholarprograms@nau.edu
ADDITIONAL RAFTING INFORMATION
HEAT: Late spring and early summer raft trips on the Colorado River will likely encounter hot weather conditions on the river. Your guides will direct and instruct the group about staying hydrated throughout the day. In addition, be prepared to stay cool using river and stream water on clothes. Emphasis will also be placed on using proper sun protection elements such as broad brim hats, sunscreen and loose cool clothing.
TEAM WORK: This is a rewarding river adventure in a primitive / wilderness setting. Come prepared for a hands on experience where participants pitch in with camp set up and clean-up throughout the trip.
   
Accommodations: La Quinta Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Rafting Lower Granite Gorge Canyon - Incomparable Views & Stunning Stops
(Saturday, June 7)

Note: Rafts are 16 and 18 foot "Oar Frame" pontoon style rafts with an attached metal frame. The boatman pilots and powers the raft using two oars situated in the oar frame. Passengers sit on top of the rubber pontoons or on top of gear boxes. There are strong nylon straps (webbing) to hold onto in the rapids. Be prepared for repeatedly getting on and off the raft and helping to carry gear to set up camp. Camping will be under the stars - with tents, pads and sleeping bags provided.



   
 Breakfast: Deluxe continental breakfast at the hotel to include waffles, hard boiled eggs, fresh fruits, pastries, bagels, cereals, muffins, juices, milk and coffee.
 Morning: After breakfast, we check out of the hotel and travel through parts of the Hualapai Indian reservation to our launch point. We travel the only road to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the Diamond Creek Road, which is a thrilling experience itself for as we descend into the canyon the red rock walls rise and soon engulf us. Board rafts at the Diamond Creek beach and start your journey down lower Granite Gorge and the final 56 miles of the Grand Canyon and John Wesley Powell's "Great Unknown".
 Lunch: River lunch on a beach with coldcuts and assorted goodies.
 Afternoon: Following a beach lunch, continue traveling down the Colorado River continuing the fascinating story of Grand Canyon's geology and natural history en route to the first evening's campsite. Today we experience many thrilling white water rapids of class 3 size (the Colorado River uses a 1-10 rapid rating scale making our rapid 6 -7's) Expect some splashing and hold on!
CAMP SET UP: Help the crew unload the communal cooking equipment, food and personal gear from the boats. Finding your own site to set up your camp. Under clear skies most participants opt to NOT set up a tent and instead sleep under the stars. Tents will always be available for set up though. Be prepared for camping on sandy beaches. Some beach areas may be small and camping spots will be relatively close together.
Camp will be exposed to the elements. We will hope for and frequently enjoy balmy days but be prepared for shifts in the weather including cold fronts and wind. Once camp is set up, the NAU Outdoors crew will prepare a meal.
 Dinner: Freshly prepared meals every night. You may offer to help the crew in prep and clean up. Wonderful fare served up every night in beautiful riverside settings.
 Evening: After setting up camp for the evening, enjoy chatting with new friends. Relax in the evening under the stars.
   
Accommodations: Grand Canyon Campsites along river
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Another Day in Paradise...
(Sunday, June 8)

Note: Sit on a raft watching the canyon flow past, get on and off raft, help carry gear to set up camp, optional short hike to a scenic wonder.



   
 Breakfast: “Wake up early to the shout of “coffeeeeee!” as your guides prepare tasty fixings to include, depending on the day, scrambled eggs, french toast, fresh fruit, bacon, orange juice, bagels...“
 Morning: Break camp and help load the raft. Rafting downstream with interpretation of geologic, natural and human history anecdotes en route. More rapids and exploration of side canyons. Highlights will include an optional short hike to Travertine Falls, a beautiful 35 foot cascade surrounded by streamside vegetation and a stop a Separation Canyon. This historically significant spot is where after months of challenges, turmoil and deprivation, three members of the famous 1869 Powell Expedition left the river trip to strike out on their own and try hike out of the canyon rim. The three men were never seen from again. Your guides will tell the rest of the story.
 Lunch: River lunch on a beach with coldcuts, and assorted goodies.
 Afternoon: After lunch, raft down the river, deeper into the Grand Canyon, with stops for short side hikes. Continued interpretation by raft guides about passing sights.
 Dinner: Find a spot on the beach to enjoy another delicious and filling meal.
 Evening: Enjoy the evening chatting with the group, writing in your journal or looking up from your campspot as the stars begin to pop out.
   
Accommodations: Grand Canyon Campsites along river
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Continue Your Journey Following the Rhythm of the River/~ Halfway Point on River Odyssey
(Monday, June 9)

Note: Sit on a raft watching the canyon flow past, get on and off raft, help carry gear to set up camp, optional short hike to a scenic wonder.



   
 Breakfast: “Wake up early to the shout of “coffeeeeee!” as your guides prepare tasty fixings to include, depending on the day, scrambled eggs, french toast, fresh fruit, bacon, orange juice, bagels...“
 Morning: Before breaking camp, breakfast by the river. Then float downstream, running rapids, learning how to read the river and stopping for side hikes. On this day the rafts will float within view of the now famous Grand Canyon Skywalk. Located 3,500 feet above the river, the horseshoe shaped glass walkway juts out over the rim of the canyon giving tourist a thrilling view of the canyon below their feet.
 Lunch: River lunch on a beach with coldcuts, peanut butter and assorted goodies.
 Afternoon: After lunch, continue rafting downstream. Cool off with a river dunk before reboarding boats after lunch. Exploration of side canyons/hikes at the discretion of river guides.
 Dinner: Once the crew has set up facilities for the evening, they will prepare another scrumptious dinner.
 Evening: Another evening in a different camp with a different view. Aaah, life doesn't get much better than this!
   
Accommodations: Grand Canyon Campsites along river
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Exploration of the Grand Canyon
(Tuesday, June 10)
   
 Breakfast: By now, you know the drill! "Coffeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!"
 Morning: Today, after breaking camp for the last time, we head for our river take out. We will quickly pass the Grand Wash Cliffs and emerge out of lower Granite Gorge and the Grand Canyon. The rapids will now be behind us a we take in the smooth waters that are the farthest reached of Lake Mead.
 Lunch: Today we will enjoy lunch in the funky old Route 66 town of Seligman. We will give a little time to explore the many historical sights and shops after lunch, and maybe even enjoy some ice cream at the landmark "Snow Cap" drive-in.
 Afternoon: Return to Flagstaff traveling through the Hualapai Reservation and along famed Route 66. Afternoon arrival back to "civilization" and a long, hot shower in your hotel room.
 Dinner: Celebratory dinner at a local restaurant with your fellow intrepid adventurers!
 Evening: Time to recap our adventure, laugh with our new friends, and plan your next Road Scholar!
   
Accommodations: La Quinta Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Departure day
(Wednesday, June 11)
   
 Breakfast: Deluxe continental breakfast at the hotel to include waffles, hard boiled eggs, fresh fruits, pastries, bagels, cereals, muffins, juices, milk and coffee.
 Morning: Program ends after breakfast.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Flagstaff, AZ Flagstaff Area
Points of Interest w/in 2 hours of Flagstaff: Walnut Canyon NM, Wupatki NM, Sunset Crater NM, Museum of Northern Arizona, Downtown Flagstaff & old Route 66, Lowell Observatory, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona Red Rocks and the Secret Mountain Wilderness, Montezuma’s Castle NM, Tuzigoot NM, Jerome, AZ Ghost Town, San Francisco Peaks and the Kachina Wilderness, Hopi & Navajo Reservations, La Posada Hotel / Restaurant at Winslow, AZ, Grand Canyon Railroad @ Williams, AZ and the Grand Canyon National Park. For additional information, visit www.flagstaffarizona.org
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Living at the Edge: Explorers, Exploiters, and Settlers of the Grand Canyon Region


Author: Anderson, Michael F


Description: A comprehensive look at the pioneer history of the Grand Canyon Region, from its earliest residents to the creation of the national park at the end of the pioneer era (circa 1920). Included are close to two hundred historic photographs, many never published before, and 12 custom maps of the region. 184pp



Carving Grand Canyon: Evidence, Theories, and Mystery


Author: Ranney, Wayne


Description: Ranney explains how rivers in general can physically carve canyons, looks chronologically at the numerous theories that have been presented by successive generations of geologists regarding the Grand Canyon's formation, and describes a plausible sequence of geologic events that could create such a landscape. Numerous color photographs, detailed illustrations, and maps are provided. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR 160pp; 2nd edition 2012.



Introduction to Grand Canyon Geology


Author: Price, L Greer


Description: This overview of Grand Canyon geology is perfect for the first-time visitor or the seasoned Grand Canyon traveler. Chapters cover the basic priciples of geology, the history of geological exploration at Grand Canyon, the canyon's structural features, and the Colorado River. Includes over 70 photos and illustrations, an index, and glossary. 63pp



Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West


Author: Stegner, Wallace


Description: Here Wallace Stegner, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, gives us a thrilling account of Powell's struggle against western geography and Washington politics. We witness the successes and frustrations of Powell's distinguished career, and appreciate his unparalleled understanding of the West. "Stegner's most exciting work." (San Francisco Chronicle) 496pp



The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons


Author: Powell, John Wesley


Description: Full text of Powell's 1,000-mile expedition down the fabled Colorado in 1869. Superb account of terrain, geology, vegetation, Indians, famine, mutiny, treacherous rapids, mighty canyons. 240 illustrations. 432pp



Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis


Author: Glennon, Robert


Description: In the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas casinos use billions of gallons of water for fountains, pirate lagoons, wave machines, and indoor canals. Meanwhile, the town of Orme, Tennessee, must truck in water from Alabama because it has literally run out. Robert Glennon captures the irony—and tragedy—of America’s water crisis in a book that is both frightening and wickedly comical. Unquenchable reveals the heady extravagances and everyday inefficiencies that are sucking the nation dry.



I Am the Grand Canyon: The Story of the Havasupai People


Author: Hirst, Stephen


Description: I Am the Grand Canyon is the story of the Havasupai people. From their origins among the first group of Indians to arrive in North America some 20,000 years ago to their epic struggle to regain traditional lands taken from them in the nineteenth century, the Havasupai have a long and colorful history. The story of this tiny tribe once confined to a too small reservation depicts a people with deep cultural ties to the land, both on their former reservation below the rim of the Grand Canyon and on the surrounding plateaus. 276pp



The Man Who Walked Through Time: The Story of the First Trip Afoot Through the Grand Canyon


Author: Fletcher, Colin


Description: The remarkable classic of nature writing by the first man ever to have walked the entire length of the Grand Canyon. 256pp



Field Guide to the Grand Canyon


Author: Whitney, Stephen R


Description: This book describes and illustrates the area's plants and animals, and offers fascinating in-depth information on the natural history and geology of this dramatic region. 272pp





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