NEW TRIP! 13 Day Active Bhutan with Day Hikes

13-Day Active Bhutan with Day Hikes
AWR announces a new trip to Bhutan designed for people who want a more active tour with day hikes almost every day — 13-Day Active Bhutan with Day Hikes!

Just $2995/person!

13-Day Active Bhutan with Day Hikes

Making traditional textiles

In this tour, you arrive in Paro, the main city of Bhutan, and then fly the eastern region. From there, you will drive back to Paro seeing all the cultural highlights plus day hikes to amazing monasteries and mountain vistas almost every day.

This is a great option for people who want to explore Bhutan’s culture and history, but also want to be more active.

  • REMEMBER:  All of our trips can be customized for your group.  This trip can be shortened, or you can schedule it around one of the popular festivals (Tshechu).

ITINERARY

DAY 1: Arrive Paro, transfer to hotel, afternoon sightseeing
DAY 2: Fly to Bumthang, afternoon sightseeing and hike (10km/2hrs hiking)
DAY 3: Bumthang sightseeing and hike (3hrs hiking)
DAY 4: Tang Valley sightseeing and hike (1.5hrs hiking)
DAY 5: Drive to Trongsa, visit Trongsa Dzong, drive to Gangtey (135km/5-6hrs driving)
DAY 6: Half day hike in Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park (4-5hrs hiking) (2hrs driving round-trip)
DAY 7: Drive to Punakha via Wangdi, hike, visit local farmhouse and dinner with family (2hrs hiking)
DAY 8: Punakha sightseeing (Punakha Dzong) and hike (3hrs hiking)
DAY 9: Drive to Thimphu via Dochula Pass, hike to Divine Madman and sightseeing (National Library, Tashichho Dzong) (30min hiking) (77km/3hrs driving)
DAY 10: Thimphu sightseeing and hike (Cheri Monastery, Zilukha Nunnery) (2-3hrs hiking)
DAY 11: Drive to Paro, afternoon sightseeing
DAY 12: Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (4-5hrs hiking)
DAY 13: Transfer to airport for departure

PRICING

  • $2995/person with mid-range accommodations
  • $4095/person with luxury accommodations

Price valid for a group of 3-5 people.

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Trip Report: Rwanda Gorillas & Golden Monkeys: July 2016

Staff Members: Robin Paschall & Dean Paschall
Travel Dates: July 30 – August 3, 2016
Destinations Visited: Kigali and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda

Rwanda is best known for gorilla trekking, but there is so much to see and do there!  We did a 5-day trip that included the gorillas, golden monkeys, and the genocide memorial in Kigali.

DAY 1 – July 30- Arrive Kigali

Arrival at Kigali Airport:

Upon arrival at the Kigali Airport, there is a line to get your Rwanda Visa.  It is $30/person, and they take USD or credit cards.  Then, you get in line for passport control.  If you got your visa ahead of time, you can go right to the passport control line.  There are people at the airport to help you. You will want your yellow fever certificate handy as well.

After passport control, you will collect your luggage and go through customs.  There are free carts to help you carry your luggage.

When you exit security, look for a driver with a sign that says “Adventures Within Reach” and your name.

Mille Collines Hotel:

We stayed at the Hotel des Mille Collines (“thousand hills”), also known as Hotel Rwanda.  It is a high-rise, modern hotel on top of a hill in central Kigali.  It has great views of the city, a large swimming pool, nice outdoor bar and dining area, fitness center, free WiFi, and the Panorama Restaurant on the top floor.

We arrived at night, but the bar and outside dining area were still open, so we were able to enjoy the evening outside as our other travel companions arrived.


DAY 2 – July 31 – Kigali City Tour and Genocide Memorial

Today, we spent the morning doing a Kigali City Tour and visiting the Genocide Memorial.  We had lunch back at the Mille Collines Hotel, and the afternoon was a 3-hour drive to the Volcanoes National Park area.

Genocide Memorial:

This is a must-do in Kigali.  The tour starts with a short video, and then you have an audio guide tour through the museum.  You finish with the outside burial area for the victims.  A very powerful experience.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge:

We spent 2 nights at the MGVL.  This is our mid-range accommodation, but it is quite nice.  Each room is a separate cottage, which is very spacious with a separate sitting area, fireplace, outdoor patio, and large, if rustic, bathrooms.

All the meals are buffet but with a good selection.  There is also an espresso bar.

At 5:00pm every day, a local dance group performs Intore style dancing for tips, which our group joined in.  They also offer massages, rental gear for trekking, WiFi, and free shoe cleaning after trekking.


DAY 3 – August 1 – Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla Trekking

From the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, it is a 20 minute drive to the national park headquarters.  We left about 7:10am and got there about 7:30am.  The national park seems to be both organized and disorganized at the same time.  It is quite an effort to get all the groups organized, but it also takes them a while before they get the groups together.

Upon arrival, there is a local dance group that performs Intore style dancing for tips.  There is also coffee, tea, toilets, and free WiFi.

After 30 minutes or so, there is a briefing with the gorilla guide in your group of 8 trekkers. Our group was the Amaroho group.

All the groups head out to different parking areas.  Ours was about a 40 minute drive.  The last part of the drive was on one of the bumpiest roads I have ever experienced.  Children ran alongside the car trying to sell their drawings of gorillas.  It was very cute, but our guide says that if the kids make money, then they don’t want to go to school, so he discouraged us from buying them.

At the trailhead, you get a walking stick and can get a local porter.  The local porters are $10 and are a good way to help the local community.  They carry your day pack and also help you on the steep and slippery sections.

We started hiking at 9:00am.  It was about 1 hour of walking through farm fields with views of the volcanoes until we reached the edge of the forest.  It was another 1 hour of hiking on a well-traveled trail until we reached our gorilla group.

The 3 trackers bushwhack a trail into where the gorillas are, so the trail is rougher.  All packs are left on the trail with the porters before going to the gorillas (just cameras).

You get exactly 1 hour with the gorillas.  Our family had babies, females, young males, and 2 silverbacks.  When we first approached them, there were 2 youngsters chasing each other in the trees, some adults were laying around, and 1 silverback was just beyond.  They started to move up the hill, so we followed.  There was a mother with a very young baby just cuddling and playing.  We followed the rest of the group further up the hill where they were eating.  They spread out a bit, so we would go from one to another just watching them.  The trackers were great at finding them in the bushes.  This part was on a steep hill and slippery.  The hour went by so fast!

A GoPro or other video was handy.  A long lens was not necessary as we were very close to them.  Long pants and shin-high gaiters were nice as there are stinging nettles.  It was dry on our hike, so hiking shoes were fine.  If it is wet and muddy, hiking boots would be a necessity as well as a rain jacket.  Layered shirts to adapt to different temperatures was helpful.  The lodges rent rubber boots, pants, and jackets.

After our time with the gorillas, we went back to our packs for a snack.  It was nice to have some extra snacks to share with the trekking group as well as the guide, porters, and trackers.

It was another 2 hour hike back down to the parking lot.  We saw an elephant in a meadow at the bottom of the hill.  Our guide said that in 16 years of gorilla trekking, that was the fourth time he saw an elephant.

You need exact change for the porter.  You don’t have to tip the porter or guide, but I think it’s nice.

We reached the parking lot at 2pm, and it was a 15 minute drive to the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge.  The lodge serves buffet lunch until 3pm, and it has a nice outdoor dining area.

See Rwanda Day Pack Packing List >>


DAY 4 – August 2 – Golden Monkeys, Village, Kigali

Golden Monkeys

The Golden Monkeys trek starts at the same national park headquarters with a similar orientation process.  There is currently no limit on the number of people that go to the Golden Monkeys, they split us into 2 groups of 20+ people.

The Golden Monkeys are fun because they are very animated, jumping from tree to tree, swinging up in the trees, and running on the ground.

We got to the parking area around 9:00am.  It was a 1 hour hike in, 1 hour with the monkeys, and 1 hour hike out.  There are hiking poles at the trailhead, and you can get a porter for $10.  Similar to the gorillas, you leave your backpacks with the porters before going into the monkeys.  We had a short break after seeing the monkeys for snacks, which we shared with the guide, porters, and 3 trackers.

They are further away than the gorillas, so a long lens was important as well as video with zoom.  The GoPro wasn’t as useful.

You need exact change for the porter.  You don’t have to tip the porter or guide, but I think it’s nice.

Iby’Iwacu Traditional Village

After the Golden Monkeys, we went to the Iby’Iwacu Traditional Village.  This is a local village project that was created to help stop poaching by giving ex-poachers an alternative income.

There is a king’s house where you can see how the old kings used to live and how they ruled.  Then you see a medicine man with traditional medicines.  A blacksmith demonstrates how they worked with metal.  A woman shows how she ground grains and made dough.  There is a small shop to buy handicrafts.  Finally, they perform local drumming, singing, and dancing.  It is a nice cultural experience.

Heaven Restaurant

For our last night in Rwanda, we had dinner at the Heaven Restaurant.  The food was great, it was a fun atmosphere, and there is a cute art gallery next door.  It is a short walk from the Mille Collines Hotel.  Your guide can drive you, or it is safe to walk in Kigali at night.


DAY 5 – August 3 – Depart Kigali

Departing Kigali Airport

As we drove into the Kigali Airport area, we stopped at a security checkpoint, which was searched by dogs.  One car had to remove all it’s luggage and people, but the other car did not.

There is a line outside the airport to check tickets, passports, and yellow fever certificates.  It helps having a copy of the e-tickets to get through the line faster.  There are luggage handlers, who can help with your luggage all the way to the ticket counter (for a tip).

All luggage and travelers have to go through an x-ray/metal detector to enter the airport.  Computers and iPads out, shoes off.

Then, you check in at your airline counter and check luggage.  RwandAir has a 60 lb. luggage limit for checked bags, which can be in 1 or 2 bags.  Carry-on has a limit of 10kg.  All carry-on luggage gets a tag (except purses).

Next is passport control, where they look at tickets, passports, and yellow fever certificates.

The waiting area has 2 shops, snacks, and toilets.

Then, you go through a final security checkpoint to get to the boarding area.  You are given a color-coded boarding card.  You wait in the boarding area until your flight is called.  There are no services in this area.

You will take a bus to the airplane where you hand in your color-coded boarding card.

The RwandAir flight to the Kilimanjaro Airport is only 1.5 hours long on a Dash 8, but they offer a hot meal and free wine/beer.


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Origin – New First Class Cruise Ship in the Galapagos Islands

origin_exterior

Introducing the Origin — the newest first class cruise ship in the Galapagos Islands!

The Origin is an improvement over other first class vessels in the Galapagos as it is 50 percent more spacious, uses approximately 30 percent less fuel, is 30 percent faster, and provides the lowest crew-to-guest ratio to provide the premier cruise experience in the Galapagos.

CABINS

origin_kingThe Origin’s ten cabins have one large king bed or two twin beds. The beds are prepared with luxurious linens, memory-foam mattresses, and soft pillows and your cabin will stay pristine with twice-daily cleanings. Cabin amenities include: ample sectional closet, nightstand, seating area, modern décor with local art work, fine linens and towels, climate controls, Apple TV with pre-loaded movies, universal docking station, and safe deposit box. A light laundry service is also available. The private cabin bathroom includes a modern shower, two-flush toilet, sink, hair dryer, waffle bathrobes, biodegradable soaps, and shampoo.

DINING

origin_dining

The Origin caters to the gourmet, with meals using locally sourced ingredients from sustainable providers. The dining room offers tables with space ranging from couples to large parties of 10. And of course, passengers can eat lunch outside on the sundeck. At the end of the day, passengers can enjoy the open bar.

FITNESS CENTER

origin_gym

Even though the Origin is at sea, passengers can continue their normal workout. The fitness center contains: a treadmill, an elliptical, free weights, and yoga mats, and other exercise equipment. Or, if you just want to relax, you can slip into the Jacuzzi hot tub.

CREW

The Origin’s 13 experienced crew members, high-level captain, two expert naturalist guides, and a full-time concierge are all prepared to provide world-class service to you.

Please visit AWR’s web page containing more information about the Origin.

Book your Galapagos Islands cruise with AWR today!

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NEW TRIP! 6-Day Rongai Trek (Alternate Route)

6-Day Rongai Route (Alternate)

AWR announces a new route on Kilimanjaro — 6-Day Rongai Trek (Alternate Route).  Our 6-day “alternative” Rongai trek includes a night at super scenic Mawenzi Tarn Hut camp. Soak up the rugged mountain views while camping in the shadow of one of Kilimanjaro’s tallest sub-peaks, Mawenzi.

Starting at $1845/person!

This trip is a hybrid version of our “easiest” trek (the 7-day Rongai) and our standard 6-day Rongai, which also has one of the highest success rates possible. If you are looking for a slightly more challenging hiking experience than the standard Rongai trek, yet something still “easier” than a 6-day Machame, then this is an excellent choice! On a standard 6-day Machame, you have 2 long days of hiking; on this trek, you have just one, on Day 2.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1: Drive to the trailhead, hike to Simba Camp
  • DAY 2: Hike Simba Camp to Kikelewa Camp
  • DAY 3: Hike Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn
  • DAY 4: Hike Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut
  • DAY 5: Kibo Camp to Summit and descent to Horombo Hut
  • DAY 6: Final descent, transfer to Moshi

PRICING

  • 2-3 People: $2145/person
  • 4-6 People: $1995/person
  • 7+ People: $1845/person
NOTE:
  • Save $150/person when you book a Kilimanjaro Trek and Safari in 2016!
  • Low Season: Discount $50/person in April, May, and November

6-Day Rongai Trek (Alternate Route) >>

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NEW TRIP — 4 Day Thailand Beach Extension to Ko Samui

4-Day Thailand: Beach Extension to Ko Samui

AWR announces a new trip extension in Thailand — 4 Day Beach Extension to Ko Samui!  This is a great combination with any of our other trips in Southeast Asia.

Starting at $405/person!

Krabi, Phuket and Koh Samui are the three most popular beach destinations in Thailand. Trying to decide which one to visit? Use Thailand’s climate to guide you.

Thailand has 2 distinct monsoon seasons. One – the main one – occurs in Thailand’s interior and west cost, while another occurs on the Gulf side. Monsoons are not just marked by heavy rains but also rough seas, which can really jeopardize good-time fun on the beach. Avoid the monsoon at the beach by picking the right beach destination at the right time.

Travelers typically visit Samui from April through August, while Phuket or Krabi is better November through April. The good news is that no matter the time of year may want to travel in Thailand, you almost always have a nice beach area to visit with good weather.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1: Fly to Ko Samui
  • DAY 2: Relax on the beach or optional kayak tour
  • DAY 3: Relax on the beach or optional snorkel tour
  • DAY 4: Depart

HOTEL OPTIONS

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: Samui Jasmine, Deluxe Building, garden view
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, Garden Deluxe bungalow
  • 5-STAR ELITE LUXURY: SALA Samui, Deluxe balcony

*** Optional tours are available on both of your free days if you’d prefer to be a little more active and see more of the area.

PRICING

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $405/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $695/person
  • 5-STAR ELITE LUXURY: $795/person

*** Prices listed are valid from November 2016 through October 2017.

4 Day Beach Extension to Ko Samui >>

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NEW TRIP! 9 Day South Vietnam: In Depth

9-Day South Vietnam: In Depth

AWR announces a new trip — 9 Day South Vietnam: In Depth!  On this special trip, we explore in-depth the deep traditional ways of life in the south, enjoying countless encounters with gentle genuine people living on the land and rivers, the lifeblood of the region.

Starting at $1095/person!

For trekking, rugged mountains, Hanoi and Halong Bay, travelers will want to visit North Vietnam, but for travelers seeking a quieter, personal look deep into the traditional river cultures of Southeast Asia and specifically Vietnam, plus some quality beach time in a beautiful beach area, South Vietnam beckons.

As a stark and colorful contrast, we also tour bustling Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the gateway for this trip. Saigon is a fascinating mix of Chinese and Vietnamese cultures, and is the undisputed economic hub for the country.

We wrap up the tour with relaxing days on the beach island of Phu Quoc. You’re welcome to add days here if you’d like more beach time.

One easy way to extend your trip is the 4-day Angkor Wat and Siem Reap in Cambodia, just over the border and a quick flight from Saigon.

*** The best time of year for this trip is November through May, the dry season and the time we see the calmest seas.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival
  • DAY 2: Explore Ho Chi Minh City
  • DAY 3: Travel Ho Chi Minh City – Ben Tre – Cho Lach
  • DAY 4: Culture and countryside of South Vietnam
  • DAY 5: Nga Nam Floating Market and Pagodas / Can Tho
  • DAY 6: Delta explorations / Speedboat transfer across the sea to Phu Quoc
  • DAY 7: Free day on the beach
  • DAY 8: Free day on the beach
  • DAY 9: Transfer to airport / Depart

PRICING

2-3 People:

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $1345/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $1545/person

4+ People:

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $1095/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $1295/person

9 Day South Vietnam: In Depth >>

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Peru Overnight in a Sky Lodge with Ziplines and Via Ferrata

2-Day Via Ferrata/Zip Line/Sky Lodge in the Sacred Valley

For a truly unique adventure experience, spend the night in the Sky Lodge!

2 Days / 1 night: Just $415/person!

2-Day Via Ferrata/Zip Line/Sky Lodge in the Sacred ValleyThe Sky Lodge is a clear luxury “capsule” that hangs off the top of a mountain in the Sacred Valley near Cusco, Peru.  This hanging bedroom offers a spectacular 300-degree view of this beautiful valley.  There are 3 capsules with 4 beds, a dining area, and private bathroom.  They are 24 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8 feet high.  Gourmet dinner with wine and breakfast are included.

To reach the Sky Lodge, you must climb 1300 feet of via ferrata or hike up a steep trail. Decent is by repelling or via zip lines to the base of the mountain.

2-Day Via Ferrata/Zip Line/Sky Lodge in the Sacred ValleyA via ferrata is a method of climbing a mountain with ladders, metal handholds, and bridges.  This allows a non-rock climber to climb the mountain safely and more easily.  Everyone climbs with a guide and wears a climbing harness, helmet, gloves, and via ferrata lanyard.

There are 7 zip lines from 150 meters to 700 meters long for a total of 2800 meters.  You access the zip lines by a 30-40 minute hike, or doing the via ferrata.  Everyone goes with a guide and wears a climbing harness, helmet, gloves, zip line kit, and via ferrata lanyard.

2016 Price: $415/person

Price includes:

  • 1 night accommodation in the Sky Lodge
  • Via ferrata or zip lines (extra cost for both), equipment, and guides
  • Gourmet dinner with wine and breakfast
  • Transportation from Cusco or the Sacred Valley round-trip

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NEW TRIP! 16 Day Southeast Asia Explorer: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia

16-Day Southeast Asia Explorer: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia

AWR announces a new amazing trip in Southeast Asia to include 4 countries — 16-Day Southeast Asia Explorer: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia!

Starting at $2445/person!

If vacation time is limited, but your travel goals expansive, this is an ideal “Best of” trip to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, four spectacular countries in the region that will not disappoint the curious traveler.

You can start this trip any day of the year, however the best time to visit the region is October through April. October and April are “best value” shoulder season months, meaning significant discounts yet the climate remains decent on the whole.

You can request changes to the itineraries, such as adding or subtracting days — just let us know. All tours are custom and private. We can also help travelers with elite luxury 5-star hotels in addition to the recommended “best value” 3-star mid-range and 4-star luxury options listed.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1: Bangkok arrival
  • DAY 2: Bangkok exploring – best of Bangkok by boat
  • DAY 3: Travel Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • DAY 4: Full day with the elephants, at Patara
  • DAY 5: Travel Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • DAY 6: Explore Luang Prabang
  • DAY 7: Discover Laotian culture
  • DAY 8: Travel Luang Prabang to Hanoi
  • DAY 9: Experience Hanoi like a local
  • DAY 10: Explore Halong Bay
  • DAY 11: Travel Halong – Hanoi – Danang – Hoi An
  • DAY 12: Explore the Hoi An countryside or enjoy a free day on the beach
  • DAY 13: Travel Hoi An – Danang – Siem Reap
  • DAY 14: Explore Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom
  • DAY 15: Discover the Roluos Group & Tonle Sap
  • DAY 16: Depart

PRICING

2-3 People:

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $2845/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $3495/person

4+ People:

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $2445/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $2995/person

*** Prices listed are valid from November 1, 2016 through March 30, 2017.

*** Discounts for travel April 1 – October 20.

16-Day Southeast Asia Explorer: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia >>

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NEW TRIP — 4 Day Thailand Beach Extension to Krabi

4-Day Thailand: Beach Extension to Krabi

AWR announces a new trip extension in Thailand — 4 Day Beach Extension to Krabi!  This is a great combination with any of our other trips in Southeast Asia.

Starting at $445/person!

Krabi, Phuket and Koh Samui are the three most popular beach destinations in Thailand. Trying to decide which one to visit? Use Thailand’s climate to guide you.

Thailand has 2 distinct monsoon seasons. One – the main one – occurs in Thailand’s interior and west cost, while another occurs on the Gulf side. Monsoons are not just marked by heavy rains but also rough seas, which can really jeopardize good-time fun on the beach. Avoid the monsoon at the beach by picking the right beach destination.

Travelers typically visit Phuket or Krabi between November through April – the cooler dry season. For the island of Ko Samui, travelers target April through August. The good news is that no matter the time of year may want to travel in Thailand, you almost always have a solid beach area to visit with good weather.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1: Fly to Krabi
  • DAY 2: Krabi beach time – optional sea kayaking adventure
  • DAY 3: Beach time or optional boat trip for snorkeling and sun
  • DAY 4: Depart Krabi

HOTEL OPTIONS

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: The Ban Sainai Resort, Cliff Cottage
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: The Nakamanda Resort & Spa, Sala villa
  • 5-STAR ELITE LUXURY: The Tubkaak Krabi Boutique Beach, Superior room

*** Optional tours are available on both of your free days if you’d prefer to be a little more active and see more of the area.

PRICING

  • 3-STAR MODERATE: $445/person
  • 4-STAR LUXURY: $715/person
  • 5-STAR ELITE LUXURY: $795/person

*** Prices listed are valid from November 2016 through October 2017.

4 Day Beach Extension to Krabi >>

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Trip Report: Grand Canyon June 2016

Staff Members: Robin & Dean Paschall
Travel Dates: June 19-30, 2016
Route:  Lee’s Ferry to Pearce Ferry Landing

DAY 1 – June 19 – Mile 0-20

Our put-in spot is Lee’s Ferry.  Some of the group went out in duckies and the rest in the giant raft.  We saw hawks and condors.  There was nice jumping rock. Lunch was at the Badger Creek Rapid.  House Rock Rapid was the largest rapid of the day.  Camp #1 was at 20 miles across from North Canyon.  A great spot to celebrate Father’s Day!


DAY 2 – June 20 – Mile 20-34

Today we went through the “roaring 20” rapid — fun and wet.  Lunch was at Shinumo Wash, but we did not hike to the Silver Grotto.  We stopped at Cave Springs, which some interesting artifacts including old miner’s pots, and we did a quick hike to Stanton’s Cave.  The afternoon was spent in the shade of the giant Redwall Cavern, which is big enough for a large game of frisbee.  Camp#2 was at Little Redwall.


DAY 3 – June 21 – Mile 34-53

Happy summer solstice!  From the river, we were able to see the Anasazi Footbridge, crystals in the walls of the canyon, and the Bridge of Sighs (a natural bridge).  We did a stop at the Marble Canyon Dam Site, which has 3 dark tunnels to explore.  Then a hike to Saddle Canyon with its waterfalls and pool.  Camp #3 was at Lower Nankoweap.  From there, we hiked up to the Granaries for sunset views.  We even had beavers swim across the river right at the camp.


DAY 4 – June 22 – Mile 53-69

Our big stop today was at the Little Colorado River.  Beautiful blue and warm water with small rapids, which is great for swimming down in your life jacket.  Plus a healthy mud bath.  We stayed a long time, so lunch was on the boat.  It was actually raining when we went through Furnace Flats.  Camp #4 at Below Tanner Rapid.  From there, we hiked to a butte in Tanner Canyon overlooking Unkar Rapids.


DAY 5 – June 23 – Mile 69-115

This was a big rapids day — staring with Unkar Rapids and all the way through the Gems.  We scouted Hance Rapid and Crystal (ABC: Alive Below Crystal).  We stopped at Phantom Ranch for a lemonade and gave a ranger a ride to the next boat stop.  The next stop was Shinumo Creek with super warm waterfall, waterfall and cave.  Lunch was in a shady spot tied off to the wall of the canyon.  Camp #5 was Upper Garnet.  Everyone was happy to have a nice bathing spot!


DAY 6 – June 24 – Mile 115-134

Our first stop was at Elves Chasm.  It has a lovely waterfall and pool, which is great for jumping.  Lunch was at Blacktail Canyon.  We hiked into the narrow, deep canyon to see the Great Unconformity.  The afternoon hike was to Stone Creek with a beautiful waterfall but no swimming.  The water was almost hot as were the rocks around it.  Camp #6 was at Talking Heads.


DAY 7 – June 25 – Mile 134-137

Today we spent a full rest day at Deer Creek.  The Patio has a lot of shade plus a stream, pools, and small waterfalls — great for relaxing.  We also hiked up to the Springs and Throne Room, but there was no water at the Springs.  Camp #7 was at Across Deer Creek.


DAY 8 – June 26 – Mile 137-149

We made more miles today, but it was another rest day at Matkatamiba.  It was a lovely canyon with a stream and small pools (and good shade).  Some of us hiked up the canyon where a flash flood had gone through in recent years.  Camp #8 at Matkat Hotel.  Tonight was our first golf tournament!


DAY 9 – June 27 – Mile 149-171

We got to Havasu today.  Some of us hiked the 3.5 miles one-way to Beaver Falls (a dozen sheep seen).  Some hiked the 17 miles round-trip to Mooney Falls and Havasu Falls.  There are many spots along the river to enjoy the pools and waterfalls.  Camp #9 at Stairway Canyon with wreckage from the Lee’s Ferry ferry.  And another round of golf.


DAY 10 – June 28 – Mile 171-213

This was a big river day.  We had two youngsters aboard to kiss the Vulcan’s Anvil before jumping into Lava Falls Rapid.  We also saw 5 condors, lots of sheep, and a helicopter landing at Whitmore.  Camp #10 at Pumpkin, which some interesting hot springs and a popular cliff jumping spot.  We hiked to the potholes, which were fun to climb through.


DAY 11 – June 29– Mile 213-250

Our first stop was a 30-foot diving board rock for the adventurous. A group got in the duckies around mile 217 for the fun rapids ahead.  We did a hike at Travertine Canyon with ropes and ladders to a lovely waterfalls that can be climbed.  Lunch was at Bridge City (239), which has an old dam establishment.  On past Separation Canyon.  Camp #11 was at Tomahawk, but it took some weed whacking to get it ready.


DAY 12 – June 30 – Mile 250-280

The last day!  There are no more rapids as we approach Lake Mead.  We could see the Sky Walk from the river, and the helicopters and jet boats were numerous.  Our take out was at Pearce Ferry Landing. Fond memories of an amazing trip!

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