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Guiding Principles & Mission Statement


Grand Canyon River Guides is a grassroots non-profit 501(c)(3) organization of individuals who care deeply about the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River; a community of river guides and fellow travelers. Since our inception in 1988, our organization has sought to preserve, protect and defend the canyon, the river, and the magic it bestows on us all. Our journal, the Boatman's Quarterly Review, provides an open forum for environmental education, we organize annual Guide Training Seminars, foster dialogue and negotiation with the National Park Service, preserve oral histories of river runners, and assist the river outfitters and National Park Service to manage canyon resources. We will act whenever a canyon natural resource is threatened or the quality of the Grand Canyon experience is compromised. Our goals, simply stated are:


  • Protecting Grand Canyon
  • Setting the highest standards for the river profession
  • Celebrating the unique spirit of the river community
  • Providing the best possible river experience


It is Grand Canyon River Guides' belief that the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River offer an experience of wildness and connection between the human spirit and the land that can be equaled in few places on earth today.


The Grand Canyon has the ability to change people's lives in lasting positive ways - providing confidence, awareness, understanding and peace in its silence, beauty, and the mystery of the unknown. We see with the passing time of a river trip that people leave more of the unnecessary concerns of their lives behind, and begin to connect with what is truly important for them. We watch people learn to accept the canyon on its own terms, take responsibility for their own actions, and leave happier, stronger and healthier than they came. We believe that these experiences stem directly out of separation from the trappings, rules, conditions and technology of the outside world. They come from the ability to take mental and physical risks, to immerse oneself in the natural world, rather than being protected from it. And we believe ourselves to be caretakers of this experience for the river visitor.