The Grand Questions: Philosophy in the Grand Canyon, on the Colorado River
The Grand Questions
A river trip focusing on the philosophical questions inspired by the Grand Canyon.
This is the ultimate philosophy on the river trip. For shorter trips that require less planning time, see all of our philosophy on the river trips.
Everyone says a river trip through the Grand Canyon is a life-changing experience. This trip is for those who want to take this moment seriously, to reflect on the experience and discuss it with new, like-minded friends.
8 - 14 days on the Colorado River inside the Grand Canyon.
From Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek (226 miles) or Lees Ferry to Pearce Ferry (277 miles).
Daily philosophical discussions will focus on our place in this natural wonder; a place that forces us to inquire into who we are, and what we are doing here.
A place of sublime philosophical wonder, and a life-changing adventure.
This trip is guided by professional river guides plus one of our philosophy guides who will be with you for the entire trip for both one-on-one and group discussions with the other participants.
Everything is included in this trip: all meals while on the river and camping/rafting equipment are supplied.
Every raft is operated by an expert river guide.
No prior rafting or camping experience necessary.
This adventure is not about conquering a place. It is about discovering yourself.
Sign up now to reserve a seat for 2018 or 2019!
As soon as we have enough people to fill a trip we will identify possible dates. We will first try to get a date for summer 2018. Otherwise, the first available date may be in summer of 2019.
We will contact you regarding available date options. To secure your seat, a $400 deposit will be due 30 days after the date and cost are finalized. The full amount is usually due approximately 6 months prior to the trip date.
Motorized trips are usually 8 days, and usually cost between $3500 – 4500, depending on the specific company and tour that is available.
Health requirements for the motorized trip (click to expand):
While most generally healthy, active people can do this trip without any trouble., many disabilities can also be accommodated The most strenuous activities include getting in and out of the raft, moving gear off and on the raft, walking through deep sand (sometimes up steep hills) on the beaches where we camp, and hiking with some light bouldering through side canyons during optional day hikes. In addition, there can be serious fluctuations in weather and temperature conditions. The days can be very hot with lots of sun, the rapids will completely douse you with very cold water, and the nights can also get rather cold depending on the time of year.
Paddle/0ar-powered trips are usually 12-14 days, and usually cost between $4500 – 5500, depending on the specific company and tour that is available.
Health requirements for the paddle/oar-powered trip (click to expand):
Greater consideration of your health and abilities are required for this trip. These trips will include all of the same activities and conditions as the motorized trip. Plus, all participants will be expected to paddle most, if not all, of the complete river. This requires strength, endurance, and more skin protection. In these rafts you will be closer to the water level which assures you will spend more of your day wet than you would on a motorized trip.
Distance: Our goal is to always go the full distance, 277 miles, but depending on the company that is available this may not be possible. 226 miles is the shortest river trip we will reserve.
What is the difference in distance and why do we prefer longer trips? (click to expand)
277 miles is the official length of the full Grand Canyon from Lees Ferry (the nearest put-in point to Lake Powell) to Pearce Ferry (the nearest take-out point to Lake Mead). Some companies go only from Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek. The 50 miles missed on these trips includes a section heavily damaged by the high water reach of Lake Mead and a section that is heavily travelled by tourist boats and helicopters carrying tourists from Las Vegas. It is not the most pristine part of the canyon, yet it helps us realize the degree to which the canyon is perhaps being loved to death by us.
We think a philosophy trip like this requires the full distance. It takes a few days to start to get your bearings down there. It also takes time to get our minds away from our daily activities and to have the leisure to think about the big questions. Finally, we will all get to know each other very well in the first few days (we will all be, literally, in the same boat, helping each other out in our daily routine), and doing philosophy requires this kind of respect, friendship, and camaraderie.
When we have enough people we will notify everyone on the list of the first available dates and the total cost.
A $400 deposit is due 30 days after the date is set to secure your seat.
The full amount (announced when dates are set) is usually due approximately 6 months prior to the trip date.
Email Matthew, or call: 1-928-433-2284.
100 world-class white water rapids of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
We launch from Lee’s Ferry and take out at either Diamond Creek, 225 miles downstream, or Pearce Ferry, 277 miles downstream. Professionally outfitted and guided by licensed concessionaire of Grand Canyon National Park.
All meals, all boating, and all camping equipment provided.
Organized by professional philosophers for philosophers, students, family, and anyone from any discipline, with any background—anyone who is interested in participating in deep discussions deep inside the marvelous Grand Canyon.
Philosophical discussions scheduled daily before and after dinner focus on our place in this natural wonder, a place that forces us to inquire into who we are, and what we are doing here.
Serious, thoughtful conversation with like-minded people and lots of shared fun on white water rapids!
Daily Philosophical Discussions in the World’s Greatest Classroom
- What is philosophy?
- What wonder inspires philosophy?
- What does it mean to live a good life?
- How should we face mortality?
- How should we behave?
- Is wild nature still possible?
- What is a stewardship ethic?
- What is beauty?
- What is sublime?
- What is friendship?
- What is love?
- And whatever else comes to mind in this majestic place!