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Beginner route?
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Mary R
(pietimer) - MLife
Beginner route? on 09/23/2011 08:35:13 MDT Print View

Hey All,

I've been trying to think up a good backpacking trip over Thanksgiving weekend. Once I saw that rafts can be rented, I've started to to consider doing a packrafting trip.
Right now my thought is the Grand Canyon. However, I've never been there and I've never been packrafting, so I'm worried I'm getting in over my head. I have zero experience packrafting, though I have a decent amount of backpacking and kayaking experience.
Does anyone know the difficulty that would be involved doing a rim-to-rim packrafting trip? Or could anyone suggest a good beginner packrafting trip over Thanksgiving? I'm open to anywhere in the continental US.


After some more research, I'm fairly convinced that the Grand Canyon is too advanced for me. Now I'm considering Big Bend NP. Does anyone know any good packrafting routes in that park?

Edited by pietimer on 09/23/2011 11:04:05 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: beginner route on 09/23/2011 16:59:51 MDT Print View

The Grand Canyon is no place for a beginner.

A desert hike/raft trip over Thanksgiving would be nice. I'd look at something on the San Juan, like this trip (but without the bike):


Locale: Greater Gila
re: beginner packrafter options on 12/02/2011 10:56:20 MST Print View

I'm going to repeat Dave's advice of floating the San Juan for a beginning packrafter. Aside from playing around on kayak night at my local indoor pool, my first packraft experience was on the San Juan. It made an absolutely killer multi-night trip, enough Class II/III rapids and wave trains to make things interesting, and enough beauty and side-hikes to not get bored.

Highly recommended!