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Grand Canyon River Trip for Native Youth

July 11 @ 2:00 pm - July 19 @ 4:00 pm

If you’re between the ages of 16 to 20, are a member of one of the associated tribes of the Grand Canyon, and want to go on a free once-in-a-lifetime river trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, this trip is for you! Join us July 11-19, 2022, for the Grand Canyon Regional Intertribal Intergenerational Stewardship Expedition (RIISE).

The Grand Canyon holds many stories of creation and resilience. On this trip, Indigenous youth will learn traditions, narratives, and histories of the canyon from cultural knowledge-holders of tribes who call this place home. As we travel downriver, elder and youth participants on the trip will determine the cultural sites we visit, and the content of discussions and workshops. We expect to share ecological knowledge of the Southwest, ethnographic knowledge of plants and foods, and intergenerational perspectives of connection to place, among other cultural teachings.

Join this intertribal group of 16 Native youth and four elders to build your connection to — and meaningfully discuss the future of — this sacred space. Hosted by the Grand Canyon Trust and Grand Canyon Youth, with support from Arizona Raft Adventures and Grand Canyon Expeditions, this nine-day Grand Canyon river trip is one you won’t want to miss. There is no cost to participate.

Who can sign up?

Young people (ages 16 to 20) who identify as Grand Canyon-affiliated tribal members. Please contact us if you have any questions.


General itinerary

Pre-trip: All participants will first meet with trip leaders for online introductions and an orientation with a Q&A session. The day before the launch, all participants will meet in Flagstaff, Arizona, with transportation provided to Lees Ferry, the start of your Grand Canyon river trip. There will be a camping and rafting orientation with the river guides that evening.

On the river: Each day will be spent rafting down the Colorado River. Participants will ride rapids, stop at important cultural sites, and share stories and knowledge. Participants will cook delicious meals together in the evenings and discuss creative solutions to the complex environmental and social justice issues that threaten the Grand Canyon and its peoples.

Post-trip: The river trip ends at Diamond Creek, near Peach Springs, Arizona. Transportation back to Flagstaff is provided.


This is a camping expedition. Expect to sleep outside under the stars. All group rafting, kitchen, and camping gear will be provided. All shared meals, snacks, and water will be provided. Grand Canyon Youth has personal camping items and rafting gear to borrow. Please email Amber Benally at abenally@grandcanyontrust.org with any questions.

COVID-19 considerations

Our top priority is the safety and comfort of our trip participants. Safety measures that will be taken on trips will be communicated in pre-trip emails and the pre-trip orientation meeting. If we feel that a trip cannot be safely conducted due to public health conditions, we will cancel the trip with as much notice as possible. For the safety of all trip participants, we require everyone to be fully vaccinated prior to attending, unless a reasonable accommodation is approved. Participants in need of an exemption from the vaccine requirement due to a medical reason, or because of a sincerely held religious belief, must submit a request for accommodation to Amber at abenally@grandcanyontrust.org. Reasonable accommodations will be granted where they do not cause the Trust or Grand Canyon Youth an undue hardship or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.


July 11 @ 2:00 pm
July 19 @ 4:00 pm
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