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Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the price of my trip?

In addition to trip specific inclusions, all trips include the following: meals (from launch to departure); beverages (with the exception of alcohol and soda); dishes and utensils; a souvenir insulated mug; and use of a life jacket, tent, sleeping kit, and camp chair.

A National Park entrance fee of $20 is charged separately from your trip cost.

Is the guide gratuity included in the price of my trip?

No. Guide gratuity is greatly appreciated and at your discretion. A suggested guideline is 8-10% of your trip cost. Cash & checks (made out to head boatman) should be given to the trip leader who will divide it equally among the crew. We cannot accept credit cards for tips.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you must cancel your reservation more than 120 days before your trip, you will be refunded any amount you have paid less the non-refundable deposit. If you must cancel less than 120 days prior to your trip, no refunds will be made and you will forfeit any funds paid to Hatch River Expeditions.

This cancellation policy applies in every situation and there will be no exceptions made for any reason. We will not issue refunds for cancellations due to illness or late arrivals due to travel delays. If you are concerned about the possibility of canceling your trip we urge you to purchase travel insurance. You can purchase Travel Insurance from our preferred provider here.

Do I have to make a deposit?

An initial non-refundable deposit for each person is required to reserve your space. Your deposit must be in our office within 14 days of making your reservation. If a deposit is not received within 14 days we reserve the right to cancel the reservation. We accept personal checks, VISA, MasterCard, and money orders.

Final payment of the balance is due 120 days before trip departure. If final payment is not received when due Hatch River Expeditions reserves the right to cancel the reservation without refunding the original deposit.

What are the Physical Requirements for participants?

There's a Hatch river trip out there for just about everyone. We've taken guests down the Colorado River as young as 9 and as old as 90. However, all of our trips are active vacations, and as such we have some basic physical requirements you'll have to meet.

If you're concerned about your ability to participate and would like to discuss possible accommodations Hatch is able to make, please contact our office staff.

When do you need to know the names of my guests?

We require a full guest list within 14 days of booking your reservation. For spaces on a reservation to be guaranteed, we require both a deposit and a guest name.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes, we will work with you on finding a payment plan that fits your budget. Please contact our office directly for more information. 800.856.8966

Where can I locate my Guest Confirmation Number and Balance Due Date?

This information can be located in the top, right-hand corner of your invoice. All balances are due 120 days prior to your trip launch date.

What is a typical day on the River through the Grand Canyon?

No day is typical in the Grand Canyon! As a general guideline, we wake early, have breakfast, load the boats, and leave camp before 8:30 AM. From there we may run either a few or several rapids and then stop for a side hike up to a beautiful waterfall or Puebloan ruin. Then we have a beachside lunch and relax for a while before boarding the boats for more eye popping whitewater. We may stop for another short hike if time permits or we may head straight to camp.

Arriving in camp between 3:00 and 5:00 PM, the boats are unloaded, and you are free to choose where you are going to sleep and set up your camp, take a swim, or come down to the kitchen to enjoy some appetizers. Dinner is served around seven, after which you can relax and gaze at the star filled Canyon sky. Then off to bed, so you are well rested to do it all over again tomorrow!

Please refer to the specific type and length of trip to have a better idea of the day-to-day schedule.

What is camping like along the Colorado River? HINT: It's not "glamping."

Hatch strives to accommodate everyone from the most experienced hikers to first time campers, so if you need a little help, just ask!

We usually pull into camp between 4 and 5 pm. Most camps are sandy beaches or rock ledges, but every part of the Canyon is different. Be prepared for a new experience and a lot of sand every night.

First thing upon arrival, guides and guests work together to form a fire (or "duffel") line and unload all the gear from the boats. Once everything is unloaded, guests are free to go set up camp while our guides begin preparing the evening meal.

If you, like most guests, are planning to sleep under the stars, you'll stake out the perfect spot, spread your ground cloth out, and set up your cot (for motorized trips) or sleeping pad (for oar powered trips) while the guides are cooking. If you're planning to use a tent in case of inclement weather or even just for changing, setting that up while you still have some light is probably a good idea. Either way, we recommend that you keep your sleeping bag and pillow inside your closed dry bag until you're ready to sleep so no curious critters decide to make themselves at home.

When you're all set up, feel free to socialize or offer to lend a hand in the kitchen. After dinner, everyone will help wash the dishes so they're ready to go for breakfast in the morning.

Guides will also set up toilet facilities in a secluded area shortly after arriving in camp. These will be the last thing taken down in the morning. The toilets are "groover" style--essentially metal boxes with toilet seats on top. Toilets are dry, meaning that everyone urinates in the river and all other ‘business’ is taken care of at the toilet.

Where and when do we meet?

For Full/Upper Canyon Only:
If you are flying in the night before, we will pick you up at Marble Canyon airstrip and you will be transferred to your motel. The next morning, our van shuttle will pick you up in front of the Cliff Dwellers Lodge restaurant at 8:30am.

For Lower Canyon Only:
Please be on time to meet our hiking guide at 5:00am if front of the fireplace at Bright Angel Lodge for check in and instructions. Make sure you are packed and ready to hike.

How do I get to Marble Canyon to start my trip?

From Las Vegas, NV you can either fly or take a van shuttle service. Either of these can be booked through Bar 10 Transportation.

What gear do I need for my rafting trip?

You will receive a detailed gear list in your reservation packet. You may also download the packet on your trip's page. Most people pack more than they actually use. Pack for the season and your personal needs. Although air temperature in the Grand Canyon can often exceed 100 degrees in the summer months, the river temperature is a constant 47-52 degrees. With this in mind, base quantities on your trip’s length and pack according to your own tolerance for heat and cold. Average temperatures in the Canyon are:

Average High 82°F / 28°C 92°F / 33°C 101°F / 38°C 106°F / 41°C 103°F / 39°C 97°F / 36°C
Average Low 56°F / 13°C 63°F / 17°C 72°F / 22°C 78°F / 26°C 75°F / 24°C 69°F / 21°C
Average Precip (in.) 0.47 0.36 0.30 0.84 1.40 0.97
Do I really need to pack rain gear?

Yes. At 47 degrees Fahrenheit, the Colorado River can prove chilly in the morning, even during summer. Rain gear also provides rain protection during the Arizona monsoon, which brings periodic thunder showers in June, July and August. No ponchos please.

What about my valuables?

We recommend you leave electronics at home. Your wallet, credit cards and traveler’s checks can be placed in Ziploc bags and stored in the bottom of your night bag. Please remember: Bar 10 Transportation requires all passengers 18 and older to carry a valid, government-issued photo ID when they board the plane at the end of their trip at Bar 10 Ranch. You may want to have a small amount of money available in your day gear in the event your trip stops at Phantom Ranch to purchase souvenirs and postcards. For Upper and Lower trips, if you are taking a taxi at the South Rim, they accept CASH ONLY.

Can I charge my camera or cell phone?

We now have some charging capability on the rafts. We can charge AC, DC and USB devices. Please note that charging capability relies on battery and solar power, and therefore is not guaranteed and is particularly challenging on oar-powered trips. Please keep in mind that charging stations are also shared among all guests on a trip.

Additionally, please remember that there is no cell service with any provider within the Canyon.

I use a CPAP machine. Can I bring it on the river?

Motorized Trips

Yes, we are able to accommodate some styles of CPAP machines. Eligible CPAPs must:

  • Be the portable/travel style
  • Not use a humidifier
  • Be DC inverted (use a cigarette lighter style adapter)

Please note: CPAP machines designed for home use are difficult to bring into the backcountry camping environment of the Grand Canyon and use too much power for us to ensure proper charging. Only CPAPs designed for travel are permitted on motorized trips with Hatch.

Oar Powered Trips

No. Oar powered trips rely entirely on solar charging, which can be limited and unpredictable. For this reason, guests may not bring CPAP machines on oar powered trips.

Can I bring my drone?

No. The use of drones is prohibited in Grand Canyon and all National Parks.

Is there cell service?

There is usually good cell service at both Cliff Dwellers Lodge and the South Rim. Beyond that, don’t count on it. Bar 10 Ranch does not have cell service. As stated above, we do not recommend bringing electronics at all. We understand that some people want to have them handy upon return and will take a chance with them on the river. If you do this, make sure your device is waterproof or in a good waterproof bag in the middle of you night duffel and be careful. The elements can be unkind to electronics in the Canyon.

What are the hikes like?

Keep in mind most trails are not maintained. Typically, a trip includes between two to three hikes per day rated somewhere between “moderate” to “strenuous” in category and length. Your guides will describe trail conditions before leaving and you can decide whether you want to participate. (Hiking into – or out of – the canyon via the Bright Angel Trail requires a person to have no joint problems and to be extremely physically fit. See Hiking Acknowledgement of Risk Form for more information)

Do I have to carry my own gear while hiking Bright Angel Trail?

You are responsible for carrying your own personal gear when hiking into/out of the canyon. Hatch does offer a UPS duffel service. On Upper Canyon trips guests leave their duffel with the boat prior to the hike out. It will be mailed back to you after the end of the trip (5-10 days later) and you will be charged just for the shipping costs. Lower Canyon trip guests must UPS their duffel to our warehouse 8-10 days prior to their trip date. Your bag will meet you with the raft at the bottom of the Canyon. Inquire with our office staff if you are considering this option and we can reserve this service for you.

What is the food like?

Our guides’ skills do not just lie in maneuvering through exhilarating whitewater; they are also talented camp ‘chefs’. Your evening meal might be a juicy New York steak, a fillet of grilled salmon with a honey-Dijon glaze, or a huge Mexican feast with all of the accompaniments. Top off your meal with a Dutch oven dessert; always a guide specialty. In the morning, you may awake to the smell of hot coffee and sizzling bacon. When you wander down to the kitchen, blueberry pancakes, eggs to order and an array of cereals and fresh fruit greet you. At lunchtime, we stop for a riverside picnic where you assemble your sandwich from the finest quality meats, cheeses, and fresh veggies. Of course, we have the requisite amount of snacks as well: cookies, candy, and chips, along with apples, oranges and other seasonal fruits. Plenty of lemonade and water are always on hand. We also serve milk and juice at breakfast, and coffee, tea, and hot chocolate in the mornings and evenings. If you would like other beverages such as soda, or alcohol you will need to purchase them before your trip and bring them along with you.

Cliff Dwellers Lodge provides a beverage ordering service that many of our guests take advantage of so that they do not have to travel with their soda and alcohol. A Beverage Order Form is included in your trip packet with instructions for submitting it directly to Cliff Dwellers Lodge.

What if I have special dietary requirements?

If you have special dietary requirements, we will do our best to accommodate them within the confines of this trip. Please keep in mind that we do have limitations on space and refrigeration aboard the rafts. For this reason, we cannot always meet the needs of everyone. In your final information packet, you will receive a questionnaire asking you about your dietary needs. Please fill this form out completely and return it in a timely manner. For needs that are highly specialized please contact us directly, and we will work with you to determine whether we are able to meet your needs given the limitations of this remote environment.

Where do you get your drinking water?

Each boat on the river will start with 40 gallons of spring water from Marble Canyon, Arizona. Throughout the trip, your guides will replenish your trip's drinking water reserves by filtering and disinfecting water from the river. River water is filtered first through a 5 micron sediment filter and then through a .5 micron carbon block. The filtered water is subsequently disinfected with chlorine at a ratio of 1 mg/liter (or 1 part per million) per National Park Service requirements.

Due to space restrictions and environmental concerns, guests may not bring their own supplies of bottled water for the trip. We simply do not have the carrying capacity for each guest to bring sufficient water to stay adequately hydrated nor the space to carry the waste of hundreds of discarded plastic bottles.

What are your rafts like?

Hatch rafts are constructed of military spec neoprene rubber creating a highly stable and safe platform for navigating whitewater on the Colorado River. The pontoon design, first used in World War II, was the beginning for motor raft design. It has gone through many modifications and a great deal of evolution over the decades into a highly customized craft capable of safely carrying up to 16 people for extended periods of time.

Motor Powered Raft

The main section of our boats consist of specially designed self-bailing aluminum frames to carry all the food and gear for extended trip lengths allowing passengers to have all the creature comforts required for today’s camping trips. At over 35’ in length and 16’ in width, they are exceptionally capable crafts for all water levels and conditions experienced in Grand Canyon.

The power plant is a 30 horsepower four-stroke outboard motor meeting the stringent standards from the EPA for emissions and sporting ultra quiet exhaust. At 56 decibels, they are so quiet that most of the time you can’t even hear them while underway. We continually strive to minimize our Eco Footprint.

Oar Powered Raft

Hatch oar boats are made from tough hypalon rubber that can withstand the fun and abuse the Colorado River through Grand Canyon dishes out. At 18 feet long and 8 feet wide, these boats are perfect for up to five people including a guide.

With self-bailing floors and custom frames, these are the most comfortable rowboats on the water, capable of hauling your necessities for up to two weeks at a time.

Is it safe?

Nothing in life is completely safe, but safety is definitely first and foremost on our agenda. We want you to have a great time and doing that means paying attention to your well-being. At the beginning of your trip you will take part in an extensive safety orientation detailing proper life jacket use, boat safety, correct riding positions, and hiking guidelines. Every trip has a full first aid kit, safety equipment, and satellite telephones for emergency use. We also design most of our equipment ourselves, using our years of experience and expertise to devise safe, efficient equipment.