WHO WE ARE
Ceiba Adventures, Inc is a team of enthusiastic & dedicated outdoors people ranging from commercial river guides, private boaters, mountain bikers, skiers, and hikers to big time dog lovers! Owners Scott Davis and Rachel Schmidt head up the crew and are thoroughly involved with all of Ceiba’s daily tasks, no matter how big or small. Rachel and Scott are 30+ year veteran river guides with a combined 360 plus trips through Grand Canyon. Their experience, knowledge and love of Grand Canyon are the foundation of Ceiba Adventures' success.
All of our employees are avid boaters - commercial guides and private boaters, mountain bikers, skiers, hikers and big time dog lovers! All of our vetted sub-contractors are as passionate about what they do as well. The Ceiba family thrives on fun, dedication and excitement. Be sure to chat with us about anything involving river running, bike riding, the Colorado Plateau and four legged furry friends. You can see us here.
Customer satisfaction is our number one priority at Ceiba! Our equipment is top-notch and maintained in excellent shape. We pride ourselves on paying close attention to detail. We have been organizing, outfitting, orchestrating, planning and participating in river adventures for over 30 years. There is no substitute for experience. Ceiba will ALWAYS stand behind our commitment to you and your group.
INITIAL COSTS, DISCOUNTS & CANCELLATION POLICY
We sure do! We call it our Whole Shabang! package. This package will get your oars in the water. We provide you with everything you will need and then some. This is your vacation so let us do the work for you.
Send us an email or give us a call, as we are happy to put together an estimate to meet your groups’ needs. The cost will vary depending on what you choose, the number of days and people. Check out our Row and Paddle, Parts and Pieces and Whole Shabang! package to see our costs. Included in the initial costs for Whole Shabang! packages is a refundable damage deposit; $500 for row trips and $1500 for motor trips. Learn more about Ceiba's Whole Shabang Complete Package.
We ask for 10% of the estimated cost of your trip in order to reserve your gear and secure it on our schedule.
- 60 days prior to launch date 50% of your estimated total is due
- 30 days prior to launch date full payment is due
**We will work with your group to meet your needs. We are very flexible with payments although full payment is required prior to your launch day.
**We recommend collecting more than you expect to spend from your group. This will be insurance in case any group gear is damaged or lost. This will save you a headache in the end!
We accept cash, check and/or credit card – MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. We will also take American Express, however there is a 3% processing fee.
For starters if you do the Whole Shabang! package you will start by saving 10% off all rental equipment. You can also save an additional 5% by joining Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association and/or Grand Canyon River Guides Association. If you or someone from your party joins both groups you can save up to 10% on top of the 10% savings with the Whole Shabang! Give us a call and we can discuss other ways to cut corners. We are happy to help!
Cancellations must be in writing and received by Ceiba:
- Prior to 60 days from launch payments will be refunded to the trip leader less a 3% administration fee of the subtotal due for the trip.
- Between 60-31 days prior to launch payments will be refunded to the trip leader less the foodpack fee, and a 3% administration fee of the subtotal due for the trip.
- Between 30-15 days prior to launch 50% of the subtotal due for the trip will be refunded to the trip leader or organizer.
- Within 15 days prior to launch, if your reservation is cancelled, the only available refund will be for any shuttles not taken and Hualapai fees (if applicable).
- Individuals Cancelling: In order to be refunded, an individual who can no longer go on the trip must submit to Ceiba written approval from the trip leader or organizer.
- Damaged Goods: You are responsible for any loss or damage to Ceiba's Equipment. We require that a copy of your credit card be kept on file by Ceiba for the duration of your trip. If loss or damage occurs, you will either be charged the cost of replacement, or $55/hour for repairable damage.
Ceiba Adventures recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected.
For more information on available plans or to enroll, go to travelexinsurance.com or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0185.
Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. W20
An appropriate fully refundable damage deposit will be added to most trip invoices. For example, Whole Shabang row trips include a $500 deposit and motor trips include a $1,500 deposit. You are responsible for any loss or damage to the equipment. A rate of $45 / hour will be charged to you for repairable damage, or you will be charged the cost of replacement. Depending on the exact damage, an additional administrative fee will apply.
PLANNING & PREPARATION
You will be working with a few different people throughout the planning of your Grand Adventure. Our veteran Ceiba office staff and food guru will help you plan logistics and menus. Anyone in the office can answer any questions you may have. Just ask! We are ALWAYS eager to work with you and answer any questions or concerns. 928.527.0171 or email@example.com
A small Grand Canyon private river permit will allow you to bring 8 people where as a standard permit is good for up to 16 people. Of course it is up to you how many you would like to bring as long as it does not exceed the accepted limit based on the permit you received.
We can provide you with a basic necessities list that outlines what items to bring: Personal Gear List. The National Park also has a list of required gear and the River Permit Office should mail the NPS packet to you once you have secured your permit. Ceiba’s price quote sheet will also outline the NPS required equipment. If you find yourself a bit confused filling out your Noncommercial River Permit Application, here is a helpful document.
- Trip Leader name
- Trip launch date
- Your name
Yes. There are multiple options for shipping a boat when bringing it yourself isn’t an option. Some options such as flying with it or shipping it through the usual sources such as the US Postal Service or FedEx can be quite expensive… several hundred dollars. The following sources might be quite a bit cheaper so check them out!
Go Greyhound! Greyhound will ship your boat for you for pretty darn cheap and fast too! The boat must have dimensions no greater than: 29” x 47” x 82” (which limits it to smaller play boats) and a weight less than 100 pounds. Greyhound prefers your boat be in a box. Check with USPS, UHaul, or other shipping companies for the correct box size. www.shipgreyhound.com
Forward Air: Typically Forward Air will encourage you to ship your boat by ground transportation. You must call first. They will ask you to take it to a Service Center, usually at an airport, where they will measure it. A typical whitewater kayak weighs about 44 pounds and fits in a box 9’ x 2' x 2’ would arrive in about 4 business days. You must pay using a money order or certified check. www.forwardair.com.
Pilot Air: This shipping company can ship your kayak but it seems to cost about as much as USPS or FedEx. www.pilotdelivers.com.
US Postal Service: http://postcalc.usps.com/.
Mountain Buzz is an excellent website for resources and information. It is an Internet community of whitewater boaters and outdoor enthusiasts. Mountain Buzz hosts an online forum for you to ask questions and see what resources other boaters have discovered. www.mountainbuzz.com.
If you have experience in shipping kayaks or large river equipment, please let us know especially what kind of experiences you have had with the above resources!
We are experts at outfitting self-support kayak trips. We know these are not the normal trips and that your experience level is usually quite high. However, there are a standard set of questions paddlers usually ask us about requirements for trips through the Canyon. Here is some info for you.
Not only will you have delicious food options to choose from, but you can also guarantee that we will pay considerable attention to detail when packing your food. We are flexible and easy to work with when it comes to food preferences and allergies. Our food guru will go above and beyond to accommodate your specific food needs. We provide delicious, healthy and creative menus for your Grand Canyon experience. We want to ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients that you need, along with the flavor to make it yummy!
When planning your menu, our food guru will work with you on choosing the best menu options for your group. We pride ourselves on being flexible and want to ensure that you get exactly what your group needs. We are happy to accommodate any special dietary needs such as allergies, vegetarian/vegan, gluten and lactose free food issues.
The bottom line is that if you want it to fit, it will fit. The amount of beer, wine & spirits you bring is a very personal decision. Once you have decided how many boats you are taking, you will have a better idea of space. We recommend chatting with your group to see how many canned beverages each person would like to have (sodas, beer, etc) per day. Keep in mind that hard alcohol takes up much less space, but you want to avoid glass bottles. We recommend buying spirits in plastic bottles or transferring the liquid into other plastic bottles.
There will be space in the front and back hatches for cans and bottles. If you are bringing personal dry boxes or ammo cans these are good options as well. If you decide to bring glass we can rent you a 20-mil ammo can and pad the inside so the glass does not break.
TRANSPORTATION TO THE PUT IN AND FROM THE TAKE OUT
Ceiba’s late model Ford 4x4 trucks are all quad cab trucks that can accommodate 5 passengers with seat belts. Our 5th wheel trailers are flat bed style with removable cages on the front to hold all the loose river gear. Our trucks and trailers are extremely versatile, allowing Ceiba to be the only private outfitter to move a 37’ s-rig motorboat inflated. We can haul a dory and/or a fully rigged 18’ oar boat, or carry up to ten rafts at a time.
Typically, Ceiba will shuttle your gear to Lees Ferry with a truck and trailer.
We can provide shuttle drivers to move your vehicle from Lee’s Ferry to Flagstaff, to your designated take-out, or to and from the South Rim. Please contact us for up-to-date prices and details.
Several options here:
- Lee's Ferry offers free parking in their long-term lot if that works out with your groups’ logistics.
- Ceiba's warehouse facility has a secure parking area as well. Contact us for details.
- Many hotels offer free parking if you are staying there before or after the trip.
This will vary from group to group. Arranging shuttles can be one of the most challenging parts to organizing a Grand Canyon trip. We are happy to support your groups’ needs and provide you with the option that best suits your situation. Here is a starting place.
- Flagstaff to Lees Ferry: 2.5 hours
- Diamond Creek to Flagstaff: 3.5 hours (one hour on Diamond Creek Rd.)
- Pearce Ferry/South Cove to Flagstaff: 4.5 hours
At Ceiba, we make certain that our drivers are professional, well trained, insured, and compensated well for their hard work. We believe our shuttle drivers are one of the key ingredients to a successful Grand Canyon trip. Therefore, we hire top- notch, qualified drivers that we know will take care of you!!!!! Not only do we hire great drivers, but we also have top of the line, reliable trucks, trailers and vans that we service and maintain on a daily basis.
Unfortunately if fuel costs rise, Ceiba prices will go up as well.
First and foremost, stay calm! If Diamond Creek flash floods it is not the end of the world. It has happened before and it will happen again. Monsoon storms in July & August can trigger a flash flood as well as winter storms. One thing to keep in mind is whether or not it has been raining hard a few days before your take out. If that is the case, it is advisable to call Ceiba a day or so before your take out date to check in on the status of the road. The sooner we hear from you, the sooner we can move to plan B - another good reason to have a satellite phone! The biggest thing to remember is that each situation is unique. Once again, being calm and flexible can really make a challenging situation turn out a-ok! Remember, we are here to help!
If you are planning on being in Flagstaff the night before your rig day (the day before your launch date) we recommend that you stay at Hotel Aspen Flagstaff. This hotel is within walking distance of downtown and offers discounted rates for Ceiba clients.
Typically we will meet customers around 9 am at Ceiba in Flagstaff the morning of rig day. However, the location may vary depending on the logistics of the participants (ie. trip participants driving themselves to Lees Ferry and then having vehicles shuttled to Flagstaff). Your group and gear will then head to Lees Ferry. We shoot for arriving at the Ferry sometime between noon and 2:00 pm, allowing your group enough time to rig boats and become familiar with all of the equipment before dark.
If your gear is both rented from Ceiba and transported to Lee’s Ferry by us, a put-in consultant will show you how the Ceiba system works. This consultant will work with you as long as necessary to ensure that you and your group have an understanding of all our systems. The Ceiba consultant will also make sure that you and your group are all set with the NPS regulations and ranger.
There is a bathroom, pay phone, drinking water and recycling/trash dumpsters. Sorry, no showers.
Just a 15-minute ride from Lees Ferry, Marble Canyon Lodge has a fully stocked store with last minute or forgotten river items. From river guides/maps to neoprene booties, you can find all of your overlooked goodies that you will need for your expedition. There is also lodging, a restaurant and a convenience store with gas.
Sleeping, camping and/or overnight parking is not allowed on the launch ramp. There are two designated group camping sites located 100 yards down stream from the launch ramp on river right. If you arrive before your rig date you can camp in the formal campgrounds for a fee at Lees Ferry.
This usually happens around 3:00 or 4:00 pm on your rig day. The ranger will want to see the permitee’s paperwork, including a complete group participation list. Your Ceiba consultant will help facilitate this process.
The orientation begins at 9 am sharp the morning of your launch day. At this time everyone will need to be present and have his or her photo I.D. ready. The orientation generally happens at your camp or under the shade structure on the ramp and typically lasts about an hour. Be sure to remind your group to bring photo id!
The following 3 items are necessary in order to launch. The ranger will not allow your trip to launch without them:
- Photo ID - current valid, unaltered, government issued photo identification that includes date of birth - i.e. driver license, state issued identification, or passport. Foreign visitors need a passport (a foreign drivers license will NOT work).
- A printed copy of your river permit and the Noncommercial River Trip Regulations
- A list of all the participants
Once you are done with the ranger orientation, you are good to go! Typically around 10:30 – 11:30 AM.
ON THE RIVER
We believe that 18’ boats are the best option for carrying all of the equipment you will need for a Grand Canyon expedition.
For a standard 16 person / 16 day trip we recommend five 18’NRS boats. If you have personal boats as well, but need several Ceiba boats to carry additional gear we will work with you to decide what is the best number of boats for your trip.
- An 18’ NRS raft can fit a total of 4 people, including boatman.
- A 16’ NRS raft can fit a total of 3 people, including boatman.
- A 14’ NRS raft can fit a total of 3 people, including boatman.
- Oarlocks allow more oar movement, enabling the rower to feather the oars, draw the oars into the raft, or pull the oars out of hydraulics.
- Pins and Clips keep the angle of the oar length and blade set perfectly at all times.
- Oar Rights are an oar stopper that keep the angle of the oar length and blade set perfectly at all times, yet allow the rower to draw the oars into the raft, or pull the oars out of hydraulics.
- 11’ Sawyer composite shaft with dyna-lite blades
- 11’ Wooden Smokers
- 11’ Composite Cataract oars
- 10’ Sawyer composite shaft with dyna-lite blade or wood blade
A beaver board is a wooden board (also called a rear deck board), which is attached to the d-rings & frame and rigged slightly off of the floor at the stern of the boat. Essentially this board allows for more gear to be rigged on the boat without adding weight to the floor.
A trailer frame is an additional frame that attaches to the main frame and is rigged behind your cooler. The trailer frame offers a drop hatch that allows more gear to be rigged below the deck. It can also carry an additional cooler instead of the drop bag if necessary.
A sleep plate is a diamond plated aluminum sheet that is used to create extra sleeping space. It covers the gap between side boxes/ammo cans in the foot well.
Kitchen set up will change from camp to camp, with a few constants along the way. Looking for flat areas is always a good start. Your dish table should be set up close to the water (be sure to look for the high water line so your table does not get swept away!) You will have a prep table and a cooking table. You will also want to set up a hand wash system close to the kitchen. When setting up the blaster, make sure that it is out of the way of foot traffic, and VERY stable! Also make sure your cooking table is stable too. Boiling water on unstable platforms is a huge safety hazard. Ceiba Parts & Pieces Rentals
We use 20 mil ammo cans each day that will hold all your dry goods for breakfast and dinner. Once emptied, the ammo can becomes the trashcan for the day. We also use larger volume side boxes for snacks, breakfast, overflow and resupply. We often have a meat, dairy, lunch and veggie cooler. The number of coolers your group has will determine how we pack.
We use solid block ice, that combined with our Canyon Coolers and good cooler management skills, will often keep ice for the duration of your trip. The cost of ice is included with your food pack.
Essentially cooler management is crucial to the survival of your food and ice! Be prepared when gathering specific ingredients out of a cooler for a meal to ensure a quick and efficient process. Keep the lid opened for a minimum amount of time. Ceiba coolers are self-draining through several small holes in the drain plug. However, sometimes this small hole gets clogged with debris and coolers should be monitored for standing water. Standing water is bad and should be drained! Consolidate the food into fewer coolers as you go down stream. Use up your produce, as it gets ripe and be sure to not leave rotten produce in the cooler.
With good cooler management, the ice should last the duration of your trip. However, the daily amount of fresh food will decrease the further you get downstream, but you will still be able to have fresh food all the way to the end. Once again paying attention to the condition fruits and veggies are in is crucial. We plan your menu based on the longevity of food items.
Absolutely! Ceiba is vigilant about recycling everything possible. We typically provide about a dozen rice bags for each trip. You can initially store your canned beverages in them and then turn them into recycling bags. Each bag holds about 48 12oz. cans. We accept plastics #1-7, cardboard, tin, and aluminum. We ask that you crush, rinse and sort everything by type before placing it in the recycling rice bags. Glass can also be recycled, but should be rinsed and stored in an empty food box.
Being in large groups in the wilderness, over extended periods of time, can lend to germs being spread very easily. It is important to wash hands after using the toilet and before each meal in order to prevent germs from spreading. Bugs can spread like rapid fire on a river trip if people are careless about washing hands. Washing hands thoroughly and often is crucial for a healthy river trip.
Ceiba’s hand wash system consists of 2 hand-wash set ups that consolidate into one unit. Each unit has two buckets, one for clean water and one for dirty water. There is a hose and pump that attaches to the outside of each bucket and is supplied with hand soap. You will want to set up one hand wash near the toilet and the other near the kitchen.
Once you have arrived at camp and unloaded the boats, one of your first priorities should be setting up the toilet. Often times, the best toilet spot is also a great spot for a camp. So, make sure to let folks know that toilet set-up takes precedence over sleep spots. You should try to find a spot that is close to the river, secluded, and has a beautiful view! You will have two 20-mil ammo cans: one is the yellow porto box, which comes equipped with the seat, toilet paper, hand soap, cleaning supplies and powdered bleach. The second 20-mil is the red “Poop” can. Remove the lid from the yellow box and place the seat on top of the red ammo can. Make sure the poop can is level and stable! There is also an aluminum riser that fits between the can and the seat to be utilized when the can begins to fill up after a couple of days of use. Besides several other empty poop cans, you will also have an additional box for toilet supplies and toilet paper resupply. Toilet System
Yes, once it is filtered & treated.
We offer two different types of water filters:
Expedition Katadyn Pump (a hand pump for large volumes of water that is able to be used in harsh environments)
Vital Electric water pump (an electric pump that is simple to operate, maintain and repair in the field).
Settled water (settling the night before is a good idea!) will extend the life of the water filter and make water-pumping time way more efficient. After filtering, the NPS currently recommends adding 2 drops of chlorine per gallon of water. Leave the lid of the water jug open for about 15-20 minutes to allow the chlorine to off gas.
Typically we recommend drinking about a gallon a day in the really hot seasons. Generally you want to be urinating six to seven times daily. We also recommend eating well to keep a healthy balance between salt and water intake. Drinking plenty of water and eating salty foods will keep everyone hydrated and happy!
EMERGENCY & SAFETY
The taxpayer covers the costs of an inner canyon rescue, however ground transport and supporting commercial aero medical transportation is the financial responsibility of the patient. The Trip Leader/permittee will be responsible for the cost if the passenger is unable to pay.
We rent satellite phones and texting devices:
The sat phones are Global Star (GSP-1600) that use the Inmarsat system. They have 3.75 hours of talk time, 19 hours of stand by, and come with an extra battery. Charges are $2.00 per minute for satellite phone airtime.
We also rent Garmin inReach devices for 2-way texting. Charges are $0.50 per text for the inReach device.
Both systems have been tested thoroughly in the deepest sections of Grand Canyon.
Sat phones and inReach devices are not required by the NPS (or Ceiba) but are strongly recommended. Hopefully you will never have to use the device for emergencies. But, if by chance you do need it, we can guarantee you will be glad you have it. At certain places it may not feel like Grand Canyon is backcountry, but overall the river is a backcountry expedition. We also recommend communication devices during the monsoon in case Diamond Creek flashfloods. That way, you may contact Ceiba to arrange an alternate take out if the rains have affected your initial take out plan. Having a communication device is just one more way to be prepared for anything that floats your way. As the saying goes ‘Better to be safe than sorry!’
U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD Type I, III or V
Definitely! We recommend talking with all commercial and private groups that you see on the water. Commercial boat people are human too. They have a good understanding of the river, the camps, the great hikes, and are often willing to pass on that knowledge. Commercial boat people can be an excellent resource, especially if you are flexible and friendly.
Sharing the adventures and beauty of Grand Canyon while being friendly and flexible will only add to the success of your trip. Not to mention the amount of river karma that will float your way! Good communication is the key to victory on a Grand Canyon trip.
It is great to have a plan, but it is even better to be open to change, understanding that each day is a dynamic situation. Communication with other trips is key. Many times, not getting the camp you planned on can provide you with the opportunity to experience different camps and hikes in Grand Canyon. Plus, didn’t we all go to kindergarten where we learned to share so nicely?
There are innumerable places to hike. We recommend using river & hiking guides as a resource. Our friend Tyler Williams has put together one of the best Grand Canyon Hiking guide books out there. We also carry several different guides here at Ceiba. In addition, finding good hiking spots is another great opportunity to chat with other folks on the river. Or, give us a call at Ceiba prior to your trip and we’d be happy to share a few of our favorite places with you.
For sure!!!!!! Water levels will fluctuate throughout your trip, unless there is the occasional constant research flow. Depending on the camp, the water will rise or lower as the night progresses. Boat management before going to sleep is crucial so you don’t have to worry about it throughout the night. Always make sure your boats are tied securely to a rock or tree. Sand anchors are not permanent overnight anchors. A tide chart on your trip is an effective tool when trying to understand the water levels.
Here is the Boatman's Almanac: A compilation of monthly sunrise & sunset times for campsites & cool places in the Grand Canyon.
Phantom Ranch can be an interesting and useful stop along your trip through Grand Canyon. Bright Angel Creek is the tributary and Mary Colter, Grand Canyon’s most noted architect, designed the small assortments of structures dotted along the creek. Most people head straight for the Canteen where they serve cold beer, lemonade, sunscreen, and do take credit cards! This is also a great place to send out postcards to family and friends that couldn’t make it on the trip. Each card gets a “Mailed by mule from the bottom of Grand Canyon” stamp. Note: As of 2019, there is no pay-phone at Phantom Ranch anymore.
Canteen Hours of Operation:
Open to the public 8:00am to 4:00pm and 8:00pm to 10:00pm (April 1 – October 31)
Open to the public 8:30am to 4:00pm and 8:00pm to 10:00pm (Nov. 1 – March 31)
Yes, a fishing license is required. You can get one at:
Marble Canyon Lodge (Marble Canyon, AZ) 928.355.2275
Babbit Fly Fishing (Flagstaff, AZ) 928.779.3253
There is no limit on sport fish species, which includes all species of bass (including sunfish and stripers), all species of catfish, all species of trout, and walleye.
There are five species of protected native fish found in the park today. They are off limits to fishermen.
Here are a few helpful tips when fishing on your trip:
- Cut barbs off hooks
- Never handle fish unless your hands are wet
- If you are going to clean and eat the fish you catch be sure to kill the fish ASAP!
Both Diamond Creek and Pearce Ferry are the 2 take-out options. Each site has its pros and cons, and we are happy to discuss the options with you. Just give us a call or check out our website.
Typically we suggest 10:00 am, but we are happy to work with whatever works best for your group. During the monsoon months of July, August and September, we recommend the earlier the better! From March 15th to November 1st, you are not allowed to de-rig at Diamond Creek between 7:00 am and 10:00 am. This time is allotted for the Hualapai River Runners to rig and launch their trips at Diamond Creek.
The Diamond Creek road is a very bumpy, rocky, dirt road that takes approximately one hour to drive. During heavy rains it can become washed out.
The Pearce Ferry take-out is straightforward but far (goes through Kingman, roughly 4.5 hours from Flagstaff).
The Hualapai Diamond Creek Take Out Permit Fees: The Diamond Creek take out is on the Hualapai Reservation. The Hualapai Indians charge a fee per person and per vehicle to use the access road to the river. We can calculate this fee into your invoice, and take care of the charges from our end. If the Hualapai send you any notices showing that you still owe fees, we suggest you call 928-769-2636 and let them know that Ceiba is taking care of the fees for your group.
The Hualapai River Access Permit: A separate optional fee that is not associated with your take out at Diamond Creek. It is an access fee that allows for sightseeing and or camping on Hualapai Tribal lands (from RM 165 to 278 on river left) during the duration of your river trip. Ceiba does not get involved with this fee at all. It is strictly your trip leader's choice as to whether or not to pay it. You can contact the Hualapai Game & Fish department at 928-769-2227 or firstname.lastname@example.org There are discussion groups to help on your decision at the Grand Canyon Private Boaters and Grand Canyon Rafting Facebook pages.