PEACH SPRINGS, Ariz. - Hualapai River Runners owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe in northwest Arizona opened its 2010 season March 15 and will run until Oct. 31. The 2010 season marks the 37th anniversary of Hualapai River Runners, which is the only one-day whitewater raft trip though the Grand Canyon.
The Hualapai River Runner Guides trained for several weeks in preparation for the season opening. During the training they received intensive safety education, as well as studied the history of the area and the Hualapai Tribe, providing for informative narrations during the trip. Although Hualapai River Runners is owned by the Tribe and not regulated by Grand Canyon National Park, Hualapai River Runner guides undergo training as rigorous as other river guides who are regulated by the National Park.
The rafting trip departs daily from the Hualapai Lodge on Historic Route 66 in Peach Springs at 8 a.m. The guests are driven down the only road that leads to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Diamond Creek Road (only accessible with a permit from the Hualapai Tribe). The rafts launch from the riverbanks on eight-passenger whitewater rafts specifically designed for traversing rapids of the Colorado River. The first set of rapids is just down stream from the launch point providing a taste for what lies ahead. The raft then docks along the riverbanks where guests can take a short hike up to one of the most beautiful, hidden treasures of the Grand Canyon, Travertine Falls. The rafts continue downstream until they stop at a sandbar for lunch right on the riverbanks.
A few rapids later the rafters reach the bottom of Grand Canyon West, where the take an exhilarating flight 4,000 feet up to the top of the canyon via helicopter. After the flight, guests are driven back to the Hualapai Lodge - back between 5 and 6 p.m. - where they can stay the night at the Lodge and enjoy the saltwater pool, Diamond Creek Restaurant, and Native American culture or continue on their journey.
Raft trips run seven days a week, but seats are limited so reservations are required. Guests can book their trip or get more information by calling Hualapai Tourism at 1-888-868-9378 or visiting www.hualapaitourism.com.