I’m Jessica. I’m new to the Hatch River Expeditions team, and I just completed my first ever trip white water rafting in the Grand Canyon. Now, I find myself in the unique position of being able to tell you not only what a trip can be like, but what it’s like traveling 188 miles down the Colorado River as the most famous canyon in the world rises up and changes around you for the very first time. Over the next few weeks, I’ll tell you exactly what my trip was like, rapid by rapid.


Nights are for socializing and stargazing. The group sits together and sings while a few members strum guitars. There’s not much we all know, so the show is halting, but when we really get into a song, it echoes off the canyon walls beautifully. The kids line all their cots up in rows and sleep in one big group. They sit together and ask each other to reveal their highest and lowest points of the day. Some have no low points.

Morning comes and we trudge through coffee, breakfast (eggs made to order), and folding an army of camp chairs. The days are beginning to blur together, too. Was it today that we jumped into the pool at Elves Chasm? Did Ian lose his shoe in Clear Creek yesterday or the day before? The funny thing is, it doesn’t seem to matter. This is river time.

HatchRiver, Deer Creek Patio

This morning, we visit Deer Creek before lunch. Some of our group relaxes at the falls at the bottom while others hike up the mountainside and through the place where the canyon becomes narrow dropping straight down to a trickling creek. Here there is enough water for the Cottonwood trees to grow, but only a few feet from the creek, scrubs and cactuses are king. I lean against a rock with my feet in the water and relax—this is my favorite place in the canyon.

Our tense rapid moment of the day comes when we reach Bedrock. Rachel slows to quiet the motor and shout to our group about what needs to be done. The upcoming rapid, has a huge rock at the center and the river parts to make its way around. The current pushes you left, hard, but running the left is a good way to flip a boat. We need to aim for the right and hope not to get slammed into the rock as we do. Everyone holds on as Rachel eases into the rapid then pushes the engine hard to the right. The rock is close—almost close enough to touch, but we make it through and the current moves forward once again.

We camp early tonight, and rest for tomorrow’s adventure.


Did you take your first Grand Canyon rafting trip with Hatch? How about your latest? Your best? Tell us about it.

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Rapid by Rapid: A Hatch staffer’s first experience with white water rafting in the Grand Canyon (Part 5 – Bedrock) was last modified: October 1st, 2015 by Jessica Clark

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