Splash down the Colorado River
on the trip of a lifetime


The trip is full! 

Taking waiting list names—because, you know, stuff happens!

Float the Colorado River though the Grand Canyon with the ASU Institute of Human Origins!
May 26 through June 2, 2019

One of those trips of a lifetime—floating and splashing down the Colorado River! Sleeping under the stars (or in a tent if you wish!). Looking up at towering rock cliffs during the day and a star-filled sky at night.

IHO has secured two boats for a week-long trip down the Colorado River guided by two ASU geologists—Chris Campisano PhD and Ramon Arrowsmith, PhD.

The trip will begin at Lee's Ferry and travel on quiet, motorized rafts from mile 0 to mile 187, where you will helicopter out to return to your car at Lee’s Ferry or catch a small plane back to the airport in Las Vegas.

You will be roughing it—but not totally! Sleep in tents or on cots under the stars, eat three meals under a bright blue Arizona sky, and travel down the river as we go back two billion years of Earth's history, revealed by our guides—ASU scientists with expertise in geology and the deep history of the Earth.

Grand Canyon at winder solstice
Rafting the grand canyon

This is an amazing bucket list experience and includes not only some of the biggest, most famous rapids (negotiated expertly by long-time river operators Hatch Expeditions) but also the awesome beauty of the Canyon itself!

The price for the trip will be $3,011 per person plus a request for a donation of $500 per person to the ASU Institute of Human Origins through the ASU Foundation for a New American University.

(The price of the trip includes only our cost to pay Hatch for their services and the cost of one of the scientists. IHO organizes these trips as “friend” and fundraisers to support IHO science, research, and student scholarships.)

Please respond soon if you are interested! Canyon reservations are difficult to secure and spaces for this bucket list adventure will go fast!

We hope you will consider this adventure, which also includes support of IHO's research and science.


May 26 through June 2, 2019

  • Arrive at Marble Canyon on May 26 and be on the river the morning of May 27
  • June 2 off the river and delivered back to your car at Marble Canyon or van shuttle or plane to Las Vegas McCarren Airport

The drive from Phoenix or Las Vegas to Marble Canyon is about 4 ½ hours. There is a plane service (not included in the price) that can take you round trip from McCarren Airport before and after the trip.


The price per person for the river trip will be $3,011.

  • This price includes your May 26 overnight at the Cliff Dwellers Lodge, and everything else you will need once you are on the river—food and provided drinks, sleeping gear, dry bags, life vests, helicopter ride out of the canyon on the last day back to civilization.
  • The price does not include the roundtrip from your location to Marble Canyon, which is the jump-off point for the rafting trip; does not include costs of a group dinner at the Cliff Dwellers hotel on the evening of May 26 (approx. $60/person); does not include additional beverages (soft drinks and alcoholic beverages) that you can order for the river trip.

Charitable contributions

IHO organizes these trips as fund- and friend-raising events. A charitable contribution of $500 per adult* will be requested to support IHO student scholarships, field and laboratory research, and operations. A separate letter with information about this request will be provided to confirmed travelers.

*Single traveler supplement may be required. Your gift of $500 per person will be deposited with the ASU Foundation for a New American University, a separate nonprofit organization that exists to support ASU. Gifts in support of ASU are subject to foundation policies and fees. Please consult with your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of charitable contributions (IFAS 30002491).

Expert guides

Two ASU geologists—IHO Research Associate Chris Campisano and School of Earth and Space Exploration Professor Ramon Arrowsmith—will lead the trip to engage you in understanding the deep geological history of the Grand Canyon.

Campisano is an expert in ancient landscapes and evolution, and Arrowsmith studies geological faults, topography, and the geology of earthquakes. Both scientists have rafted the canyon in the past.

In addition, Hatch provides seasoned river runners to guide the boats and daily logistics and also provide a wealth of knowledge about the river and canyon.

Experienced river runners

The river rafting company is Hatch River Expeditions (link is external), a family-owned, long-time provider on the Colorado River. On the company’s website is a terrific FAQ page (link is external) that covers many questions that you may have!

Email Julie Russ ASAP at jruss@asu.edu with your confirmation and mail a deposit of $520 per person payable to “Institute of Human Origins.”

Mail to
Julie Russ
ASU Institute of Human Origins
PO Box 874101
Tempe AZ 85287-4101

Reservations will be managed on a first-come, first-served basis for both return email and received deposit. IHO cannot take credit cards for these deposits, only checks. Payments to Hatch for the balance of the trip can be by credit card.

In your confirmation, please include the names of people in your group (indicate any minors with ages), addresses, mobile phone number, and email addresses. This information will be needed by Hatch Expeditions to provide you with additional information and invoice you for the balance of the trip.

Note: Hatch’s cancellation policy includes forfeiture of the deposit in the event of any cancellation. If I receive enough responses to fill the reservation, I will begin a wait list. I will let you know if you are on the wait list.

Please do not hesitate to call me at my office 480-727-6571 or email me, and I will try to quickly answer any questions you have to help you make a decision.

This truly is a bucket-list trip for many people, and we are so excited to be able to offer this adventure to IHO friends.