Risks & Requirements

Is a Hatch River Trip Right for You?

A Colorado River Trip is an Active Vacation in a Wilderness Environment

To ensure the best possible vacation, we recommend showing up with an adventure attitude ready to explore the hidden depths of the Grand Canyon. Guests who are ready to roll with any changes or challenges are going to be more able to enjoy their days of canyon exploration and nights of camping outdoors under the stars. The beauty of this type of vacation is the journey and the discovery that comes along with it.

The extreme rustic nature of a backcountry river tour means that while we will do our very best to accommodate as many dietary, medical, and other needs as possible, there are limited resources at our disposal. In the backcountry of Grand Canyon, there are no hotel accommodations, no hot showers, and no developed bathroom facilities. We cannot stop by the store to resupply or pick up that forgotten meal ingredient, nor can we rush an injured or ill guest quickly to the hospital. We advise having conversations with us in advance about any concerns you may have so that we can give you a realistic picture of the environment you’ll be in along with any modifications we can reasonably make to help keep you safe and comfortable.

Note: We recommend all guests with medical or dietary concerns discuss the conditions and limitations of a Hatch trip with their healthcare providers before booking. The documents below can help both you and your doctor understand what to expect when participating in a trip with Hatch River Expeditions.

Learn more by visiting our FAQ section.

Risk Advisory and Acknowledgement

To better understand the risks associated with a white water rafting trip in Grand Canyon’s backcountry, please review the following risk documents. Should you decide to book a trip with us, you will be required to indicate that you have read and understood each:

Dietary Concerns

Although we would love to be able to provide every guest with their perfect menu while on our trips, the remote nature of our operations means that there are limitations to the accommodations we can make. Guests who have inflexible dietary requirements or severe or life-threatening allergies may find that our trips are not a good fit for them. We ask that each guest review the “Sample Menu with Dietary Info” document appropriate to their trip in order to determine whether their dietary needs can be met on one of our trips.
(Note: Guests registered on 4 day upper or lower canyon trips can expect about 1/2 of this menu to apply to their trip.)
(Note: Guests registered on 6 day upper canyon or 7 day lower canyon trips can expect about 1/2 of this menu to apply to their trip.)
Basic Physical Requirements

Physical Requirements

A river trip with Hatch is an active vacation and, as such, has some basic physical requirements. Prior to being allowed to participate in a trip, you will be required to indicate on your registration form that you meet all of the physical requirements for your trip’s style.

Please note: We are happy to accommodate a wide range of physical requirements and medical conditions. Please contact our office to discuss your needs directly and to determine whether a trip with Hatch is right for you.

All Trips

Every guest on a Hatch River Expedition in Grand Canyon needs to be able to meet some basic physical requirements in order to participate fully and safely.

Hiking Focused Trips

Guests participating in Hiking Focused trips need to be prepared to hike every single day. One person not physically prepared to hike can affect the whole group. Review the physical requirements for this style of trip to determine whether it is a good fit for you. (If you are doing and Upper or Lower Canyon Hiking Focused trip, you’ll also need to meet the requirements for Upper/Lower Canyon Trips.)

Upper/Lower Canyon Trips

Guests on Upper or Lower Canyon (“exchange” style) trips are REQUIRED to hike the Bright Angel Trail into or out of the Grand Canyon. This hike is strenuous and requires adequate preparation and training prior to your expedition. If you are considering booking an Upper or Lower Canyon trip, review the physical requirements and risks for this style of trip carefully.

Trip Reservations

Reservation Policies

Hatch River Expeditions requires an initial non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of $500 per person to book. Reservations are not confirmed until we receive both a deposit and a guest name for each space. Payment can be made via personal check, money order, Visa, Discover, and MasterCard. Guests paying by check or money order will have 14 days to get payment to the Hatch River Expeditions office. If 14 days from the initial reservation date have elapsed and full payment and guest list have not been received, any spaces not assigned and paid for will be removed from the reservation.

Final payments are due 120 days before trip departure. If final payment is not received when due, Hatch River Expeditions reserves the right to cancel the reservation without refunding the original deposit.

Registration Forms
You must complete a Registration Form for every guest on your reservation within 14 days of making your initial reservation. If that form is submitted by the deadline and it is determined that a guest will not be able to participate due to the information it contains, a full refund will be provided for that guest. Hatch River Expeditions reserves the right to cancel any guest’s reservation at any time without refund if this form has not been completed accurately and returned by the deadline.
If you must cancel your reservation more than 120 before your trip, you must notify us in writing. You will forfeit your initial non-refundable, non-transferable deposit. Any amount you have paid beyond the initial deposit will be refunded minus a 5% processing fee. Refunds made more than 90 days after payment will be issued as U.S. checks only.

If you must cancel less than 120 days prior to your trip, no refunds will be made and you will forfeit any funds paid to Hatch River Expeditions.

This policy applies to every cancellation and there will be no exceptions made for any reason. We will not issue refunds for cancellations due to illness or late arrivals due to travel delays. Our company has a limited number of spaces available and a short season. Once we accept your deposit, we can no longer sell that space to other possible guests and have likely already invested time, money, and energy into preparing for your trip and cannot afford the financial loss.

If you are concerned about the possibility of canceling your trip, we urge you to purchase travel insurance.

If a guest is not able to participate in a particular trip, there are two scenarios in which we will allow a change to the reservation to be made:

Option 1) If, prior to when final payment comes due, a guest is not able to participate in a trip they have booked and they would like to send another guest in their place, a substitution may be made if the guest pays a separate $200 change fee.

Option 2) If, prior to when final payment comes due, a guest would like to change their reservation from the original date on which they booked to another date within the same calendar year that has availability, the booking may be moved to a new date if the guest pays a separate $200 change fee. Date transfers to other years will not be permitted.

After final payments come due (120 days prior to a trip’s start date), changes to guests or bookings will not be permitted. A guest may choose to cancel and rebook, forfeiting their non-refundable deposit and any additional payments made in accordance with our cancellation policy.

Outside Forces
Hatch River Expeditions reserves the right to cancel, delay, or reschedule any trip due to forces outside of our control, including, but not limited to, inclement weather, water levels and conditions, and lack of sufficient reservations. Hatch River Expeditions will not be held responsible for any cancellation related to outside forces, or for expenses incurred as a result of such cancellation. When booking with Hatch River Expeditions you agree to this policy.
Age Limits
For full canyon motorized trips, the minimum age for guests is 8 years old. For all other trips, including oar powered trips, exchanges (upper/lower trips), and hiking focused trips, the minimum guest age is 12 years old.
One Trip Per Year
Grand Canyon National Park strictly enforces a “one trip per year” rule. Hatch River Expeditions is not permitted to accept a reservation from anyone who has participated or will participate in any other commercial or private, partial or full Grand Canyon river trip within the same calendar year.