Combine the adventure of Colorado River rafting with the Milky Way skies over the Grand Canyon, and you have the trip of a lifetime! Everything is provided for in this workshop: prepared meals, air transfers from Las Vegas to the river and back, camping equipment, entertainment, and great photo instruction by NightScape Photographer, Royce Bair.
Dec. 30 update: This Workshop is FULL. (You can signup for our wait list.)
What to expect: This river trip is for all ages, 9 years to 99 years old. It’s still officially “Summer” on our first day, so it should be nice and warm. Although it rarely gets over 100 degrees at this time of the year, a quick dip in the water will cool you off. The large, motorized J-rig rafts are very safe and roomy (we will have 14 people on each boat compared to the normal 18). There are two white water rapids on this 100-mile stretch of the Colorado. You have the option of staying fairly dry in the back of the raft, or getting wet in the front. All your meals are prepared for you (the food is amazing), and all your camping equipment is provided (cots, tents, sleeping bags, chairs and a water-resistant bag to place your camera and other personals). There is very little hiking involved. All transportation and transfers from Las Vegas to and from the river are provided.
See the Video and Download the Brochure
My only group workshop for 2016: I currently have 9 private workshops (with 2-4 people per workshop) going on next year. All are sold out, most only minutes after I announced them. This Grand Canyon River Trip and NightScape Photo Workshop will have plenty of spaces available (27 spots on two boats) for my Meetup Group, past workshop alumni and their family/friends.
Extremely Dark Skies: This remote region has some of our Earth's darkest night skies. The Milky Way literally "pops"! For those who come to do night photography, you will be richly rewarded.
Photo Instruction: I will instruct and guide those that wish to participate on these five periods:
• 1st Night - 2 hours twilight & starry night photography (weather permitting)
• 1st Afternoon - 1 hour daytime on-shore photo tour
• 2nd Night - 2.5 hours starry night photography (weather permitting)
• 2nd Afternoon - 1 hour daytime on-shore photo tour
• 3rd Night - 3 hours starry night photography (weather permitting)
Photography is optional: This workshop will be mostly about free time and relaxation on the Colorado River, so feel free to bring along a non-photographer friend or family member (these will not have to pay my $200 photo instruction fee).
DAY 1 » Meet in Las Vegas at 10:15 in the lobby of The Las Vegas Marriott Hotel. A motor coach will take you to the Boulder Terminal where you will begin your Grand Canyon tour with a beautiful flight to the Bar 10 Ranch. Before you start your three-day Grand Canyon river rafting adventure, you’ll enjoy an overnight stay at the Bar 10 Ranch, a working cattle ranch perched high on a plateau above the Colorado River. Your transition from civilization to wilderness includes horseback trail rides, horseshoes, ping pong, skeet shooting, dinner and evening entertainment before settling into bed in the lodge, outdoors in a covered wagon, or outside on a spacious deck. Those who have paid the additional $200 photo instruction fee will attend a 2-hour twilight and starry night workshop instruction with Royce Bair before bedding down for the night.
DAY 2 » After a big country breakfast, a helicopter takes you deep into Grand Canyon where your rafts and guides await. After orientation and introductions, you’ll be on your way downriver surrounded by soul-stirring scenery. Breathtaking canyon walls shoot skyward in a dramatic display of geologic history as you experience your first taste of Grand Canyon river rafting. Hold on for Kolb and Mile 209 Rapids! An optional afternoon canyon photo instruction tour and a 2.5 hour starry night photo workshop will follow after our evening meal.
DAY 3 » Our J-Rig rafts enter awesome Lower Granite Gorge with a series of moderate rapids including Granite Spring, Diamond Creek and Travertine. We take some time to hike, explore and play at Travertine Grotto, a fantastic series of hidden waterfalls and pools (including an afternoon photo instruction tour). Run the biggest rapids of your Grand Canyon river rafting trip, the “230’s.” After your day of adventure, you’ll savor Western’s delicious dinners at the river’s edge and appreciate the unforgettable experience of sleeping under the stars — but first we’ll do up to 3-hours of Milky Way photography for those who wish to share these memories with others back home!
DAY 4 » As you near Lake Mead, the river calms and the canyon widens. Savor your final morning in Grand Canyon as you board a jetboat to head down river and across Lake Mead to where a shuttle will return you to Las Vegas. Lunch will be provided in transit. You will travel by way of the recently completed Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge with views of the Hoover Dam.
COST: $1699 to Western River Expeditions, and $200 to me for the photo workshop portion ($1899 total). If you have a friend or family member that is not interested in photography, the only fee is the $1699 to Western River.
Other Expenses: Airfare to Las Vegas ~ Possible overnight lodging at The Las Vegas Marriott ~ Possible Park Entrance Fee ($12) - unless you have a current Nat’l Park Pass ~ $16.99 processing fee (Western River charges a 1% processing fee) ~ $3.00 Grand Canyon Conservation Fund contribution.
How to Book: 1. RSVP for this workshop and pay the $200 deposit that covers the photo workshop portion of this river trip. 2. Call Western River at[masked]-7450. Tell the operator that you want to book a “Grand Canyon 4-Day” trip. Tell them it is the chartered, “Royce Bair Group”, for September 20-23, Booking #138871. They will take your contact information and charge your credit card a $300 deposit (the balance of payment is due 90 days before the event). You can also book additional non-photographer spots for family members.
The Western River offices will be open from 7:00am to 6:00pm MST.