Men's Journal - May 2006


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25 Classic Adventures Trips and How to Do Them Right


Rafting the Grand Canyon

Of all the people trying to raft the Grand Canyon - among them 16 licensed outfitters and an 8,000-person waitlist of private paddlers - guides at California-based Outdoor Adventure River Specialists (O.A.R.S.) were among the first to float it commercially in 1969, and they knew the canyon the best. More than three decades later, the company still offers a classic two-week trip from Lees Ferry to Whitmore Wash in classic wooden dories with guides such as Regan Dale, a chatty river rat with more than 250 Grand Canyon trips and at least 35,000 river miles worn into his oar-calloused hands.

Spend up to five hours each day slicing through boiling rapids like Lava Falls, a class 10 (the hardest on the Grand Canyon's own whitewater-rating system), before pitching a tent on sandy beaches and hiking to ruins like Nankoweep, a collection of centuries-old pre-Puebloan granaries perched 500 feet above the green water. At the takeout, you’ll board a helicopter for a ride reminiscent of the Grand Canyon IMAX, returning you to civilization with a memorable view of the 5 million-year-old canyon.

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Company Info

O.A.R.S. is an author ized concessioner of Arches, Canyonlands, Grand Canyon and Grand Te ton National Parks and Dinosaur National Monument.
Outside Travel Awards 'Best Outfitter' Runner Up National Geographic Adventure Magazine - Best River & Sea Outfitter on Earth As Featured On 50 Tours of a Lifetime - National Geographic Traveler Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S. Reservations Manager Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist 2007-2013 (River Rafting) Best of the Bay Area Winner

For consecutive years, O.A.R.S. has been named the "Best River & Sea Outfitter on Earth" by National Geographic Adventure and one of the top two outfitters in the world by Outside Magazine in its annual Active Travel Awards recognition program. In multiple years, O.A.R.S.trips have been honored as "50 Tours of a Lifetime" by National Geographic Traveler and since 2007, Condé Nast Traveler has recognized Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S. Reservation Manager and International Adventure Travel Consultant, as Condé Nast Traveler's standalone Top Travel Specialist in the River Rafting category.

Questions about trips or making reservations? Contact or call 800-346-6277 in the USA or Canada or 1-209-736-4677 if outside the USA or Canada.
O.A.R.S. Companies Inc.,
PO Box 67, Angels Camp, CA 95222