News & Updates

Community Partner Spotlight: Colorado River & Trail Expeditions

Faith Overall - September 15, 2021

For nearly 50 years, Colorado River & Trail Expeditions (CRATE) has consistently provided high quality, fully outfitted river rafting adventures through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the west such as the Grand Canyon, Cataract Canyon, Desolation Canyon and Westwater Canyon. CRATE offers unique adventures that take guests beyond the river to hike the surrounding areas and explore canyons that branch off from the the main waterways. CRATE is proud to be one of the few guiding companies that is still owned and operated by the original founders, David and Vicki Mackay.

In the last 50 years, CRATE has served thousands of clients and despite being a small family run business, they have made it a priority to connect with their guests on a personal level. This has included making sure all their guests understand and practice Leave No Trace.

CRATE has been a proud Leave No Trace partner for over 15 years. Recently, Leave No Trace asked them to tell us how they are activating their partnership and more about work they are doing to protect the fragile outdoor areas they take their guests.

Why did CRATE join as a Leave No Trace Community Partner?

We have been a Leave No Trace Community Partner for a long time now! The Leave No Trace mission is near and dear to our hearts and we are proud to be a partner. At CRATE, we are committed to the protection and preservation of open spaces and wild places. We practice and promote low-impact visitation and sustainable choices in all areas of our operation.

How does Leave No Trace add to the well-being of your organization?

Purchasing is one thing we look at closely.  We try to buy more sustainable equipment and gear that will last longer.  We find suppliers and partners who share this mission as well.

What are some ways CRATE is promoting or incorporating Leave No Trace into your work? 

We practice and promote low impact visitation, leaving every site in pristine condition. We value the preservation of this remarkable area and it’s unique cultural and physical features. Additionally, we limit group size to assure that each person has the opportunity to experience the wilderness character of the canyon country. Before our customers come rafting with us, we provide them with written information regarding Leave No Trace and the Seven Principles of Ethical Outdoor Recreation. While on the river, our guides continue to educate and emphasize the importance of these principles so that we are able to preserve the places we love for future generations.

Can you share one or two anecdotes from your work pertaining to Leave No Trace—has there been an interesting/fun moment in training or out in the field you can share with the Center?

We advise our guests to practice Leave No Trace principles at all times while on the river.  We teach them how to properly dispose of liquid waste, such as urine, toothpaste spit, left over morning coffee, which on the rivers we run goes directly into the river.  We want to keep the beaches pristine so it looks like no one has ever been there.  We also encourage everyone to pick up any “micro-crumbs” they encounter or that could have fallen off a sandwich at lunch.  It’s amazing to see guests picking up small chip crumbs and helping out others who might not be as observant.

Thank you CRATE for your 15 plus years of partnership and all you do to educate your guests about Leave No Trace practices! 

To learn more about Colorado River & Trail Expeditions visit

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