The Bucket List-Worthy Experience
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in a dory isn’t so much a river trip as it is a spiritual experience. The ultra-maneuverable wooden rowboats with upturned ends are not only the most exhilarating way to run the canyon but also the most visceral. Unlike an inflatable raft— which tends to muffle the river’s power by absorbing its shifts and surges—a dory responds to every riffle, kicking up like bucking broncos in the rapids. Of the several outfitters with dory trips on the Grand Canyon, OARS also offers the biggest variety of trips, ranging from five days on the easiest section of the river to 16 to 18 days on the entire length, from Lees Ferry to Lake Mead; you’ll experience everything the Grand has to offer, from ancient rock walls soaring overhead to the infamous Lava Falls rapid. You’ll also get to disconnect from the world for a week or more and bask in the revelation that the world goes on without you.
THE SKINNY ON THE DORY: Despite their antique appearance, dories are hardy vessels with ample room for four rafters: two in front and two in back. The guide sits in the center, manning two powerful oars. All you do is sit back and hold on while getting a river guide’s view of the canyon. —J.M.
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