In 1987, Edie Crawford founded Canyon Explorations with a mission to provide extended wilderness river trips through Grand Canyon focusing on education, participation, healing and adventure.
Soon after the first season of river trips she was joined by her children Laurie Lee Staveley and Garrett Schniewind to share in the vision and run the company. Laurie’s passion is customer service and providing the best experience possible from making a reservation through the end of the river trip. Garrett is an active guide with over 30 years of experience taking people down the river and sharing his vast wealth of the canyon and its surroundings.
In 1996, Laurie Lee and Garrett acquired Expeditions (another long-standing Grand Canyon River Outfit) to expand Canyon Explorations operations in Grand Canyon. Today, Laurie Lee and Garrett manage Canyon Explorations/Expeditions’ day-to-day operations continuing to share the vision of a participatory adventure based on exploration and education in today’s changing world.
CanX trips provide opportunities that are especially meaningful in our fast paced, technologically dependent world. It is important that we create time for ourselves to reconnect with the more basic elements of the human experience. The more complex our society grows, the more significant this need is, making places like Grand Canyon so valuable to our health and wellness.
When we spend time in a wilderness setting, we separate ourselves from the distractions of cell phones, computer screens, cars, traffic, and work stresses. It is then that we are able to focus on core life values like exercise, food, shelter, camaraderie, learning, and the beauty of the natural world. The opportunity and time to think differently about ourselves and our life is created. Canyon Explorations/Expeditions offers technologically free trips to preserve the essence of the Grand Canyon Experience.
Our Role As Stewards
Our role as stewards of the Canyon’s majesty and its fragile river environment is of vital importance. We have developed resource protection practices specifically to minimize river running impacts to the Canyon’s fragile and precious river environment—from Leave No Trace (LNT) principles to on river recycling and composting practices that allow us to separate our recycling from our trash upon returning from the river.
CanX guides educate trip participants in resource protection practices and methods designed to minimize impacts to the resource that can occur during a river trip. These practices are consistent with National Park Service regulations and with Leave No Trace camping ethics.
We are careful to leave beaches, camping sites, and other places we visit cleaner than we found them. Camping, cooking, and eating practices minimize the amount of food scraps or liquid food waste that enters the sandy beach system (e.g., we place tarps under the food prep table and under the “can smasher” and recycling bags). We survey our campsites and cook areas carefully for microtrash and foodscraps. Guides and participants do not set up sleeping areas in the fragile desert zones. All trash is carried out of the Canyon. Dutch ovens and fire pans are elevated off the ground so as not to scorch the beach sand. A fire mat is placed beneath the grill to catch fine charcoal ash.
Our experienced guides lead all group hikes to avoid any multiple trailing. Side stream habitats are protected, and backcountry rules are followed on all hikes. No soap is allowed in, or near the confluence of, side streams.
Guides also educate clients about archaeological site etiquette and the federal laws and regulations prohibiting disturbance or removal of archaeological remains on federal lands.
Our Commitment To The Environment
We are dedicated to minimizing our environmental footprint in the world at large and to stewardship of the Canyon’s fragile environment.
Our on river programs include:
- Designing an on-river menu featuring organic and natural foods including: Natural beef and chicken (no hormones or antibiotics); locally & naturally raised shrimp; Preservative-free GORP (trail mix) and dried fruits; Shade grown coffees; jams, spreads and marmalades; salsas; granola bars; blueberries; ravioli; salad dressings & marinades; green peas; yogurts; locally & naturally produced honey; beans, spices, and veggie burgers.
- Using environmentally friendly products and recycled-content supplies.
- Recycling on-river.
Our buying programs include:
- Buying from local and green vendors including Annie’s Naturals, Newman’s Own, and Brown Cow
- Minimizing packaging waste by buying items in bulk.
Our building programs include:
- Recycling in the office/warehouse.
- Printing our brochure on recycled paper.
- Using environmentally friendly products and recycled-content supplies: recycled toilet paper & paper towels; green dishwasher soap & cleaning products; energy efficient light fixtures and light bulbs; and washable mugs, plates and utensils negating paper use/trash.
- Our 15 kilowatt solar installation generates 59% of our facility’s energy use.
- Conducting energy and water use audits, implementing energy conservation measures and updates throughout the office and warehouse including purchasing water conservation appliances and tools.
Our Commitment To Each Other
Interpersonal Code of Conduct:
Canyon Explorations / Expeditions is committed to ensuring that every guest and staff member has a respectful, inclusive, and enjoyable Grand Canyon river experience. We ask that guests and staff treat each other with dignity, integrity, respect and kindness. In order to preserve this experience we ask that everyone commit to:
1) Respectful interpersonal behavior that includes but is not limited to
- honoring each individual’s identity including: ability, age, ethnicity, gender identity, immigration status, political beliefs, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or class
- communicating your own boundaries and respecting others’ boundaries, including
- asking permission to take photographic portraits of others
- considering appropriate picture and video taking and posting of other trip participants
- giving each other discretion during the many private moments on a backcountry adventure such as urination, clothing changes, and bathing
- smoking far away and downwind from non-smokers, while avoiding brush and other fire-hazards.
2) Avoiding disrespectful behavior, which includes but is not limited to
- sexual solicitation
- profane, obscene, or abusive language or behavior
- any other acts of harassment, bullying, or discrimination.
- abusing alcohol and/or drugs, or exposing other participants to intoxicants.
In wildness is the preservation of the world.
-Henry David Thoreau