Hatch Celebrates 90 Years in Grand Canyon

Hatch Celebrates 90 Years Since First Grand Canyon Trip


Bus Hatch made his first Grand Canyon trip in 1934 and Hatch River Expeditions has been taking guests through ever since. 


Hatch is celebrating 90 years in Grand Canyon with a series about our founder’s first expedition and the history of rafting the Colorado River.

The Hatch family’s legacy of adventure runs deep in Grand Canyon. Since 1934, Hatch River Expeditions and the Hatch family have been at the forefront of introducing adventure seekers to the beauty and thrill of this iconic natural wonder. This story began with Bus Hatch, a pioneer in recreational boating whose vision and passion laid a foundation for what has become a “bucket-list item” for generations of river runners. 

A Trailblazer in Recreational Boating:

Ninety-five years ago, Bus Hatch embarked on a historic journey that would forever change the landscape of recreational boating. In 1929, he lead the first-ever commercial rafting trip in Vernal, Utah, on the Green River. In 1934, he further solidified his place in history by navigating the waters of the Colorado River with the Dusty Dozen group. This was one of the first trips through Grand Canyon just for the joy of exploring. Up to that point, most trips were to map the canyon or for science. Bus Hatch set the stage for a legacy that would span generations, and marked the beginning of a lasting relationship between the Hatch family and Grand Canyon.

men wearing rafting life vests outdoors in 1930s

The Dusty Dozen group, including Bus Hatch (seated, center) who founded Hatch River Expeditions

A Family Tradition:

Over the years the spirit of adventure and exploration has been passed down through the generations of the Hatch family. Today, Steve Hatch proudly carries on the legacy as the third generation owner of Hatch River Expeditions. From conducting orientations for most trip launches to guiding trips himself, Steve remains dedicated to sharing Grand Canyon with all who want to experience this unforgettable journey.

Sharing the Wonder of Grand Canyon:

At Hatch River Expeditions, the mission extends beyond simply guiding guests down the river. It’s about sharing, inspiring, and educating others about the profound beauty and significance of Grand Canyon. With each trip, everyone at Hatch strives to create unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impact on all who join us through this remarkable landscape.

A Legacy of Gratitude:

As Hatch River Expeditions begins the 2024 season, the team remains deeply grateful to the countless guests who have chosen to embark on this adventure of a lifetime. From first-time adventurers to seasoned river rats, we are thankful for each person who has shared in the magic of Grand Canyon with us.

2 hatch rafts

Looking Towards the Future:

Continuing as a family-owned and operated river rafting company, Hatch River Expeditions continues to pave the way for unparalleled experiences in Grand Canyon. With a commitment to excellence, a passion for adventure, and a deep respect for Grand Canyon, we look forward to reaching the next milestone of 100 years of operation and beyond.


For nearly a century, Hatch River Expeditions has been synonymous with adventure, exploration, and a family legacy in Grand Canyon. From Bus Hatch’s pioneering spirit to Steve Hatch’s unwavering dedication, the Hatch family continues to inspire generations of boaters. As we celebrate 90 years of unforgettable journeys through the heart of Grand Canyon, the team at Hatch River Expeditions invites you to become part of our history

Follow along this year as we tell the story of the Hatch family and their last 90 years of river running in Grand Canyon.