Must Haves for Your First Grand Canyon River Trip

First Grand Canyon River Trip?

Here are some items that first-timers have said make the trip that much more enjoyable.

First Grand Canyon River Trips can be a lot to take in. The vastness of the canyon is overwhelming in an amazing way. Even without modern technology, it is impossible to get bored. The eyes are constantly entertained by the unmatched views, the rapids are equal parts terrifying and exhilarating, and hikes into the side canyons are nothing short of epic. Dusk and the depths of night are equally as captivating as the days. The stars and moon put on a show each night that made it difficult to want to close your eyes for the chance you’d miss something.

Here are items to bring with you that make this extreme experience a little easier.

Cooling Gear

If you are prone to overheating, consider ordering a cooling hat and towel. They can be lifesavers on hot days and hikes! Another option is to bring a sarong to soak and cover your legs or shoulders when on the raft. Most people wear a lightweight long-sleeved T-shirt most days for sun and heat protection and then add other items for extra cooling and protection as needed.

Good Sunscreen

Finding a good sunscreen that is effective, earth-friendly, and doesn’t make you look like a ghost can be tough! There are many brands to choose from and depending on what you need, there might be an overwhelming amount of options. When deciding on sunscreens and soaps for your trip, look specifically for “Reef-Friendly” to help decrease the impact your product will have on the canyon’s environment. We have another blog post that goes into depth on what to look for and even a list of trusted brands.

Rain Gear

A question the office gets all the time is, “Do I really need rain gear?” Yes! The river is cold! You’ll be happy you have rain gear when you’re going through the rapids or even when there’s choppy water from the wind. The guides are great about letting you know when big rapids are coming and it is time to gear up, so you don’t have to wear your rain gear the whole time and you’ll know the best times to wear it.

Camera and Journal (and waterproof bag!)

Be sure to take time at the end of each day to jot down what occurred that day. Some folks even take their river map to mark all the stops and camps throughout their trip. Several guests have used the time between setting up camp and dinner to draw the things they had seen that day or jot down details from the day in their journal.

Guest often report using their camera less than they anticipated because they are so engrossed in the moment, but for the times they did use it, having a waterproof bag for it was critical. It not only kept it dry, but also sand free and out of the sun.

What They Would Have Done Differently

Especially during April and May trip, guests will often report wishing they had brought more warm gear with them. When the trip is on the windier and cooler side – a beanie for sleeping at night and layers for the chilly mornings can really make a difference. At the end of one day, being able to get out of wet clothes and into cozy ones makes it easier to warm up and is a small luxury you will be glad you have.

Trip of a Lifetime

Guests often ask how they could extend their trip by the end of their trip. Seven days in the canyon may seem like a long time upon booking a trip, but you’ll soon find it very difficult to want to return to the hustle and bustle of modern life after such a remote vacation.