FREEFLOW

GRAND CANYON

REBECCA SOLNIT | CRAIG CHILDS

DR. LEN NECEFER | BRENDAN LEONARD

APRIL 2025

 

FIRST-ROUND APPLICATION WINDOW IS NOW CLOSED

 

Freeflow Grand Canyon 2025

This course is currently full - if you would like to be added to the waitlist, please reach out to us at [email protected]

Category:

WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS MADE OF?

What would our stories sound like if we could hear a billion-year-old roar from deep within the Earth?
How might listening to this geologic song change how we approach our writing, how we understand urgency, how we orient our narratives in the hyperspeed of today?   

 

Join us for the most ambitious Freeflow course yet. In April 2025, we’ll float the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s most renowned expedition-style river trips. Few other experiences can prepare you to metabolize the scale of the Grand Canyon, an animate shimmer of river and rock sustained over a deep immersion away from all distraction.
 
You can choose to spend 8, 10, or 17 days on the river, meandering (and sometimes crashing) through billions of years of Earth history, a journey burrowing through epochs of time. You’ll learn about the geology, natural history, and Indigenous lifeways oriented to this landscape. You'll sink deeper into your own core while scrambling up slot canyons and sleeping under stars atop sandy beaches that touch 1.8-billion-year-old Vishnu schist. You'll feel the power the most iconic whitewater rapids on the continent, and you'll be in the capable hands of some our country's most talented river guides.
 
You'll be guided in the arts of observation, communication, and storytelling by some of the greatest place-based writers, activists, teachers, and thinkers of our time. Rebecca Solnit and Craig Childs will be our instructors on the Upper Canyon; Dr. Len Necefer and Brendan Leonard will join us for the Lower Canyon. There will be discussion, workshop, and expansive, generative thinking in focused community, between Canyon walls. 
 
This experience is open to everyone. We are committed to building a cohort of humans who will bring depth and curiosity to the evolving narrative around the Colorado River and the Colorado Plateau - people who find joy in learning, observation, humor, science, and, importantly, the creative act. No prior experience in rafting, writing, or backcountry camping is necessary. We just ask that you bring to the river your whole, complex self and a beautifully open mind. 
 
 
Can you hear that billion-year roar now?  
 

 

FREEFLOW GRAND CANYON 2025 

Choose from three different trip lengths and two unique instructional teams:

OPTION 1 | 8-DAY UPPER CANYON

WITH REBECCA SOLNIT + CRAIG CHILDS

Lee's Ferry to Phantom Ranch | 8 - 16 APRIL 2025

 

OPTION 2 | 10-DAY LOWER CANYON

WITH DR. LEN NECEFER + BRENDAN LEONARD 

Phantom Ranch to Diamond Creek | 15 - 25 APRIL 2025

 

OPTION 3 | 17-DAY FULL CANYON

WITH REBECCA SOLNIT + CRAIG CHILDS and DR. LEN NECEFER + BRENDAN LEONARD 

Lee's Ferry to Diamond Creek | 8 - 25 APRIL 2025

 

 

PRICING + DEPOSITS

SOME REALLY GOOD NEWS: A beloved and generous Freeflow Institute alumnus is sponsoring this course at a level that allows us to subsidize pricing for ALL PARTICIPANTS.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: You pay for the outfitting / guide services at the base industry price, and all costs associated with the Freeflow course itself (instruction, administration, etc.) are covered by the sponsorship. You get the full Freeflow course, and all its associated goodness, for free.

The sponsorship-subsidized cost includes:

  • daily discussions, workshops, and generative sessions with our guest instructors + Freeflow faculty
  • professional river guides
  • all camping, river, and safety gear
  • transportation from Flagstaff, AZ to the river and back
  • delicious, nutritious meals from lunch on April 9 through dinner on April 25 (no cooking on your part!)
  • pre-course logistical support + thoughtfully curated media list
  • the full, university-accredited curriculum - whether you take it for credit or not

The course also serves as an introduction to the Freeflow galaxy of writers, leaders, and thinkers. Our alumni also receive discounts on future Freeflow courses.

Guide gratuities are not included in the cost, nor is lodging (or camping, if you choose!) in Flagstaff before or after the trip. 

To account for industry-wide price inflation in 2025, please plan to pay a total of the 2024 prices listed below, plus an increase of 3-7%:

8-DAY UPPER CANYON | $3785 
10-DAY LOWER CANYON | $4650
17-DAY FULL CANYON | $6500

 

 

Space is extremely limited on this adventure. Please follow this process to participate:

  • Click APPLY NOW on this webpage. In your application, share your ideas and questions with us. Share a bit about yourself. Let us know why this experience is important to you, at this very moment in your life.
  • Once you are accepted into the field course, Freeflow will notify you and you'll be on our roster. The week of March 5, 2024, a staff member from our outfitting partner, Canyon Explorations, will reach out to learn more about you and discuss next steps.
  • To save your space, Canyon Explorations will ask you to submit a $1000 deposit the week of March 5, 2024. (While this deposit is non-refundable, it is transferable to another participant, or to another 2025 Grand Canyon launch with Canyon Explorations.)
  • The final balance for the trip is due 6 months prior to our April 9, 2025 launch. All payments will be made directly to Canyon Explorations. 
  • Freeflow Institute will send you everything you need to prepare, including a rich, comprehensive reading + media list, a logistics map, some suggestions of physical preparation, and everything you need to know to feel good about the adventure. The cohort will convene at least twice over Zoom in the months and weeks leading up to launch. We will be here to support you every step of the way. 

 

CLAIM YOUR SPACE

Send us your questions and we’ll get in touch right away. If you know you’re ready to apply, click the APPLY NOW button at the top of this page.

All of the images on this page were captured by the magnificent Tom Spatig

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