What Your 2021 Trip Will Look Like

What Your 2021 Trip Will Look Like:

Last year marked a watershed change in many of our lives; wearing masks, socially distancing… you have likely hard-wired many new habits into your daily routine.  We are hoping that with the 2021 season we won’t need such a level of vigilance, but in an effort to always be prepared for anything, we are planning ahead like we will. We will of course continue to follow all  local, state, and federal guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our entire team, and our wonderful guests. Here are the amendments you can likely expect for your 2021 season!

In addition to our usual health and safety protocols, we’ve developed new procedures to take every feasible step to keep our guides and guests safe and healthy on all of our trips. Please review the following new requirements and procedures closely; we hope they will help you feel comfortable and confident in choosing to join a trip with Holiday this summer.

The most important part of all of these protocols is you. Keeping each other safe means putting the health of our community and river family first. We’re counting on you, our guests and dear friends, to be conscientious, considerate, and cautious. Like mom always says, “make good choices!” Self-monitoring and open, honest disclosure of any health issues is imperative. Please help us in this important work of keeping everyone safe while still enjoying the thing we love the most: the river.

We feel strongly that wilderness, rivers, and open spaces are an important part of healing, recovery, and living joyfully. And that is why we welcome you to read through these updates & then check out our full list of 2021 season trip offerings!

Be well, and be safe. We can’t wait to see you out there.

Our standard cancellation policy applies.



Health Requirements


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Seven to ten days before the trip, guests will be required to fill out a questionnaire about symptoms and contact with sick individuals. Anyone who is currently experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or has been in recent contact with a symptomatic or c-19 positive individual will not be allowed on the trip.

In week or two before a trip we are asking guests to limit their exposure, as much as possible to decrease the chance of transmission.

Smaller Group Sizes


The backcountry areas we operate in have put limits on group sizes since the 1970s in an effort to minimize the human impact on these wild places. We will be taking that ethic to the next level. In an effort to encourage as much social distancing as possible on our trips, we have amended our group sizes this season from a typical maximum of 25 people to 20 people. There will be the possibility of increasing to 25 people as the summer progresses.

We have also increased our guide-to-guest ratio from a previous maximum of 1 guide per 5 guests, to a new maximum of 1 guide per 4 guests, allowing for more space to physically distance on the rafts.

Face Coverings


Plan to pack your own mask for those moments when physical distancing isn’t possible. Although you won’t be required to wear a mask all of the time, there will be certain contexts when they are required. These times include when riding in the vans to the put-in or take-out, or around the kitchen area. Please utilize your mask as needed to make your trip safe and comfortable.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Procedures


We have implemented additional sanitizing measures at our bases of operations, in our vans, and on the river. Our meeting places at our warehouses will be cleaned before and after each trip arrives and departs. Bathrooms and high-touch surfaces will receive extra attention. Vans will be fully disinfected after each trip. Our guide staff will also be using gloves and masks and will practice physical distancing according to current CDC and local health department guidance.

Physical Distancing in Rafts and Vehicles


We’ll be making full use of our fleet of vans and rafts, adding extra vans and rafts to each trip in order to create more space for us all to spread out. Everyone must wear face coverings while traveling in the vans. Groups traveling together will ride together in vans and on rafts when possible. On the river, the open air and relative physical distancing with added boat spacing should make it safer for us to breath freely and comfortably, but guests may choose to wear face coverings while on the boats or in camp as well. The exeption to this guideline would be in active whitewater where masks can become a hazard not a helper.

Hand Washing and Sanitizing


If you’ve been on a trip with us before, you know we’re sticklers about hand washing—we’re about to get even stricter. Hand sanitizer and hand washing systems will be available throughout the day. Washing hands thoroughly will be the first thing that we all do before unloading the boats at camp, and the last thing we do in the morning before pushing off. Hand sanitizer will be available on the boats all day, although we also recommend bringing your own small container of sanitizer to keep in your day bag.

Outdoor Food Service


Maintaining a safe, clean kitchen on the river is nothing new to us. Our guides are certified food handlers, and we are frequently inspected to ensure that we’re maintaining the highest possible level of safe food service. In addition to our already existing protocols, guides will wear face masks during all meal preparation and service. We’ll also be implementing new serving procedures during all meals to minimize the amount of contact that guests have with serving utensils and other kitchen items. You can be sure that our outdoor kitchen will meet and exceed the requirements currently demanded of restaurants operating around the country.

On-River Medical Response


All of our guides are trained in first aid and CPR in a wilderness context. In addition to practicing our normal level of caution, we have also developed specific protocols to respond to any guests who develop Covid-19 symptoms while on the river, including strategies to quarantine anyone who is ill. All of our staff and guides are trained to respond to a variety of emergencies while on the river, and they will address any issues related to this new challenge with the same clear thinking and problem-solving skills that they’ve honed over years of running trips in the backcountry.

Covid Conscious Packing


In addition to our existing packing checklist, bringing the following items will help us all keep each other happy and healthy:

  • Personal face covering or mask (required)
  • Personal hand sanitizer (optional)
  • Personal sanitizing wipes (optional)

The Great Outdoors: Better Than Ever


A river or biking trip offers abundant sunshine, open space, and fresh air. Not only do these contribute to an environment for safe recreation, they could also be the best possible antidote to the stress of these challenging times. With plenty of UV light as disinfectant and the canyon breeze to disperse harmful droplets, we hope you’ll feel good about joining us for a trip into the wilderness, and trust that, along with Mother Nature’s natural healing power, we’ll do everything in OUR power to keep us all safe and healthy.

A Culture of Care


We ask that guests participate in our ‘culture of care’. Our guide team spent the 2020 season working harder than ever to provide our guests with a quality wilderness experience, while limiting potential for transmission. When we are out on the river or trail we become a team; and it is incumbent upon all of us, guest and guides alike, to share in caring for one another.  By adhering to these protocols and doing your best to socially distance from anyone outside our own household unit, we can all look forward to another incident free season!

Things to Consider When Making Your Decision to go on a Trip with us


It is the recommendation of the National Park Service that people at higher risk for severe illness from Covid-19 should consider not going on backcountry trips. High risk individuals include, but are not limited to, people with the following conditions:

  • Over 65 years of age
  • Chronic lung disease or moderate-to-severe asthma 
  • Severely obese 
  • Diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or undergoing dialysis 
  • Liver disease 
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Other immunocompromised individuals (HIV, undergoing cancer treatment, or other underlying medical conditions) 

If you or anyone in your party falls into these high risk demographics and you still wish to participate, contact our office and check in with your reservationist.