Grand Canyon

  • Note: This alumni adventure is sold out.

  • September 18th through October 5th, 2007
  • Registration deadline: May 1st, 2007
  • Capacity: 16
  • Cost: $4670.00 (plus airfare)

Join philosophy professor Perry Mason and geologist Beth Schwarzman ’66 on the trip of a lifetime. From Lee’s Ferry in northeastern Arizona to Pearce Ferry in Nevada, this 18-day, 280-mile trip will follow in the historic wake of John Wesley Powell, famous explorer of the Grand Canyon. Enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Colorado River as it meanders between red cliffs then thunders through some of the most exciting whitewater in North America.


The name itself reflects the awe that this special place engenders. We will experience the Grand Canyon from an extraordinary point of view, in beautiful wooden dories, rowed by the most experienced boatmen/guides, with enough time to begin to get a sense of the place.


We will ride some of the biggest white-water rapids in North America, hike intriguing side canyons, camp on beaches along the river, and be free of many of the distractions of modern life—no couches, cars, phones, TV, or e-mail. Instead we will spend our time with more elemental things: the river, weather, plants and animals, rocks, and each other. We will be outdoors 24 hours a day, camping, hiking, running the river, and living in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Do note that it will be hot, that there is little protection from the sun, that it may be rainy or windy, that the shoreline is rough and rocky, that the rapids may be rough, and that the river water is cold. No unusual skill, strength, or experience is needed beyond ordinary ability to move about on uneven terrain and the willingness to take things as they come. While not recommended for children under 12, there is no upper age limit. This trip fills quickly.


At night, stretched out on a white sand beach, you will fall asleep to the music of the Colorado River under the brilliant canopy of stars.


Perry Mason, the John E. Sawyer Professor of Philosophy and Liberal Learning, emeritus, has taught at Carleton since 1968. An outdoor enthusiast—a fly fisherman, backpacker, distance runner, and sailor—Mason will discuss environmental ethics and our understanding of the many important environmental issues that come to the fore in the Grand Canyon. He also participated in our 2004 Grand Canyon trip.

Geologist Beth Schwarzman ’66, leader of our seven previous Grand Canyon trips, will serve as guide. Schwarzman is a geologist and naturalist, a hiker, paddler, and blue-water sailor. As we travel through the better-than-textbook landscape, Schwarzmann will help to explain the “naked geology” that creates the scenery of the Grand Canyon.


$4670 Price of trip per person

$ 800 Non-refundable deposit due per person upon registration

$2000 2nd payment due February 15, 2007

$1870 Final payment due May 1, 2007

NOTE: All payments are non-refundable. You can make your deposit by credit card but the second and third payments must be made by check.


* Flight from Las Vegas, NV to river

* All meals on river from launch to take out

* Dinner at Marble Canyon Lodge (but not breakfast the next morning)

* Lodging at Marble Canyon Lodge (one night)

* The river trip itself in beautiful dories with excellent and experienced guides

* Camping gear (Complete list to be sent after registration)

* Waterproof bags

* Boatmen/Guides

* Expertise of geologist Beth Schwarzman and philosopher Perry Mason

* Return transportation from river to Las vegas, NV

* Study materials and waterproof river guide/map

* Packing and reading lists

* Gratuities to boatmen


Please contact Beth Schwarzman '66 at 508-540-5432 or