Drive approx. 135 miles total. Morning about 20 miles, 1.5 hours; unpaved, rough road. Afternoon approx. 115 miles, 2.5 hours, with stop. Rafting approx. 37 miles; 5-6 hours total. Climbing in/out of rafts, assistance provided as needed. River temperature about 50 degrees F – air can be 100+ degrees F. Hiking about 1 mile total for the day; some slick rocks, sand. Elective climb using ropes & ladders to hidden waterfall. Getting in/out of helicopter; some steep steps; flight is about 6 minutes.
In the lodge dining room, the breakfast buffet will feature an assortment of hot and cold options, plus juice, coffee, tea, milk, water included.
We’ll meet our transportation at the hotel and travel to our drop-in point on the Colorado River at the bottom of spectacular Diamond Creek Road. Upon arrival at our destination, we will go through a safety orientation with our river leaders and get fitted with life jackets before embarking on our river rafting trip. We will divide up into multiple groups to fit on 8- to 10-passenger motorized pontoon rafts (approximately 25 feet long), each with a certified rafting expert. The river trip down the Colorado River is about 37 miles in length. During the first 16 miles we will encounter about 10 whitewater rapids, some rather large (5, 6 and 7’s on a 1 to 10 scale), so we will get wet. The air temperature in summer at the bottom of the canyon will likely be around 100 degrees so the splashing is a welcome relief and will keep us cool. We’ll pull the rafts over at a couple of attractions including the beautiful Travertine Falls and a lunch spot. While stopped, our rafting experts will lead some short walks to stretch our legs and explore the area. After 16 miles the rapids disappear, but the scenery remains "grand" in all regards. Hualapai tribal members will operate rafts and, along with our staff, provide information about the canyon along the way.
Along the river, we’ll have sack lunches provided by the river company including a sandwich, chips, and cookie, plus a soft drink, juice or water.
Continuing downriver, we’ll reach Quartermaster Landing where we will get off our rafts and climb up to the landing pad in order to board the helicopter that will fly us out of the canyon on a quick but spectacular ride. Have your cameras ready! The helicopter will drop us off at Quartermaster Point where we will board our transportation and transfer back to the lodge in Peach Springs. On our way we’ll travel through a landscape of Joshua Trees and creosote bush as we cross the beautiful basin and range landscape of the Mohave Desert. Note: Helicopters cannot fly in excessively hot and/or windy conditions for safety reasons. Although this happens very infrequently, it remains a possibility. In that event, the raft trip will be extended to a location where ground transportation can reach the group.
In the dining room at the lodge in Peach Springs, we’ll enjoy a hearty buffet farewell dinner with tea, coffee, water.
We’ll then gather for a program wrap-up to share some of our favorite memories from our program together with new Road Scholar friends. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.