Saturday, May 7, 2011

Grand Canyon - River Rafting

During our trip to Grand Canyon a few years ago, we had a 15 mile smooth water river rafting near the North Rim of Grand Canyon, which started from Glenn Canyon Dam, near Page, Arizona.

To get to the rafters put-in site at Glen Canyon Dam, we first had to pass a homeland security check point in the desert. Then our bus drove through a mile long tunnel - which has no lights, but it was not too dark because there are a few small "side" tunnels which reached to the outside, and thus letting lights in. The bus stop at the other end of the tunnel is right at the foot of the Glenn Canyon Dam.

Getting off the bus we walked a paved parkway by the canyon cliff to the rafters. We had to wear hard hats because of the potential falling rock hazard.

The river right downstream Glenn Canyon is calm and smooth.

Once our rafter was driven to the middle of the river, we saw a beautiful vista of the dam and a bridge over it with the background of blue sky and clouds. When looking at certain angle from the cameras, it felt like that the bridge was leading to heaven.

Our guide had worked with this outfitter for a few years so he was very knowledgeable about the history of the section of canyon. Any significant feature of the rocky cliffs along the river had a story that amazed the passengers. He was also observant. During that year, the guide noticed that a pair of grey herons made a home at a tree on a rock slide area, and they had a baby heron just a few days before we arrived. Of course he purposely drove the rafter close to the tree to show us. We were lucky - when we got there, the herons were home. In fact, one was sitting by the nest, the other was flying around. (Click on the picture on the left to have a clear view)

As in many canyons, there were vultures and hawks flying by the edge of the cliffs. When we got to the horseshoe bend, we also saw "tiny" people by the edge of the cliff. We went to the top of the horseshoe bend the next day on our way to Grand Canyon North Rim. The only other wild life I saw was a lizard when our raft made a stop at an ancient cave, which has petroglyphs.

The ride on the rafter was pleasant. The view was gorgeous.

1 comment:

  1. Looking for a great Grand Canyon adventure the whole family can enjoy? Go on a 1-day float tour. These trips take you down the mellow parts of the mighty Colorado River and reveal the National Park in ways that defy the imagination.

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