October 11th, 2016

What if it rains on my Grand Canyon rafting trip?

Arizona weather can be unpredictable. While we can say, in general, that spring is windy and by the end of October nights will be cold, nature likes to prove us wrong. This means there is NO WAY for us to predict exactly what kind of weather you’ll encounter on your Hatch River Expedition.

The most likely inclement weather you risk catching up to you on the river is a rain storm. Sometimes these last 15 minutes, sometimes an hour, and sometimes it feels like the whole trip. Fortunately, you signed up for a river trip, so you were prepared to get wet!

Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a few things in mind to make your trip enjoyable even when the unexpected happens.

Here are some tips for camping in rainy conditions:

  • Don’t skimp on the rain gear – Something lightweight is ideal. Just make sure it has a hood that cinches tight, and sleeves and pant legs with elastic or Velcro to keep water out. (No ponchos!) This piece of gear is absolutely essential for every trip. It will not only keep you from getting wet in a storm, but can keep you dry and warm when hitting those early morning rapids or spending long stretches in the shade.
  • Protect your gear – Hatch provides you with a day dry bag and a night dry bag. Use them to store your things safely away from the rain and the rapids. Bonus: If you are carrying electronics or other very water sensitive items, double protect them with ziplock bags or waterproof cases.
  • Plan ahead – If it looks like rain, set up a tent even if you don’t intend to use it. When the weather turns, it will be easy to climb in and stay dry.
  • Don’t wake up in a puddle – When you set up your tent, try to find elevated and slightly angled ground that the water will run off of. Whatever you do, don’t set up in a low spot where water is likely to pool. You also should try to keep your gear away from the sides of the tent as those points of contact are where leaks are most likely to occur.

Most Hatch trips aren’t followed by dark clouds. If you do get rained on, it will likely be pretty temporary, but isn’t it nice to know what to do if the rains do strike?

As with most aspects of a Grand Canyon rafting trip, attitude is everything. Grand Canyon rain storms are some of the most beautiful you will ever see. Revel in your good fortune if you are one of the few who get to see water cascading down the Redwall Limestone cliffs in Marble Canyon or deepening the color of the black Vishnu Schist in the Inner Gorge. There is no bad weather in the Canyon!

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