Last fall we received a wonderful video from Dean of our shirts being unboxed by the Arizona River Runners team. Bruce and Bill are the owners of Arizona River Runners, a Grand Canyon white-water rafting adventure company where Dean works as photographer and marketer.
Dean noted that Bruce has been wanting something like this for years, so he was really excited. We love this joy that their shirts helped create! We thought this was also a great opportunity to learn more about the team and their rafting trips.
Arizona River Runners has been around since the 70’s which is amazing! On your site it says trips vary from three to thirteen days. What is a shorter trip like in comparison to a longer trip?
Our 3 Day Motor trip is a fun and fast escape in the Grand Canyon. We have a ton of families on these trips – it is a great way to have a memorable outdoor adventure in a short period of time. The 3 Day trip is a day and a half at a working cattle ranch on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, then you helicopter into the canyon and meet the boats for a day and a half of rafting. It blends the Western Ranch experience with some super fun whitewater rafting.
Our longer full canyon trips are the ultimate Grand Canyon expedition and allow you to immerse yourself in the canyon. Full canyon trips vary from 6 to 15 days as they travel through the heart of the Grand Canyon. Get ready to experience rapids rated from 1 all the way up to a 10 (the highest) on these trips. Waterfalls, slot canyons, vistas, and big big water!
Can anyone go on these trips or do you have to be certified / required to take any training?
We welcome anyone from age 8 and up on our motor trips. Many people that raft with us have little to no rafting experience before their trip. We take care of the details and your job is to hold on and have fun.
What is your favorite part about the job?
My favorite part about our job is helping people realize a dream that they might have had for 30, 40, or 50 years. Rafting the Grand Canyon is the ultimate ‘bucket list’ trip for a lot of people. And it is great to see how excited (and sometimes nervous) people are before their trip. And then seeing the reaction of people when they get off the river is priceless. We love asking people what their favorite part of the trip was; most of the time they said their heads are spinning and can’t name just one thing!
Do you ever have surreal moments with nature and the Grand Canyon? If so, what was your favorite memory?
Grand Canyon river trips are this amazing juxtaposition between a group activity (we have 28 people on each trip) paired with meaningful time alone. I think of the fun times in camp sitting around in a circle telling stories and laughing and the camaraderie built on a difficult side hike to a Native American ruin as we all help each other make it to the top of the trail. But I also think of the quiet times that you can have alone in the Canyon. A time for reflection on your trip, your life, the Grand Canyon… Being in a place that is millions of years old give you a lot of perspective.
What is the most satisfying thing about your job?
I really enjoy being part of the Arizona River Runners family. And it is a family business. Owners Bruce and Bill met running the river in the 1970’s and have operated the business since 1986. And now Bill’s son TJ and Bruce’s daughter Lindsay are working in the business as well. Arizona River Runners treats all of their employees like family. The guides feel that and so do the office staff. But that also trickles down to our guests. After going on an Arizona River Runners trip you feel like you’re part of the family too. A true ‘River Rat’!