THINKING OF GOING?

Nineteen commercial outfitters offer trips down the Colorado River. You can go via motorized pontoon boat, oar-boat, wooden dory, paddle-boat, or kayak. The latter two require more physical strength and ability, because you - not an oarsman or motor - provide the power.

Prices range from about $500 for a three-day trip through part of the canyon on a motorboat, to about $1,900 for a 14-day canyon trip on an oar-boat. Your outfitter will provide food, tents, sleeping bags, and "drybags" for your gear and a list of personal items you'll need to bring.

Clothing that dries out quickly is essential - polypropylene, nylon, and light cotton work best. It's also a good idea to use clothing as sun protection instead of having to use a lot of sunscreen lotion. Light cotton pants and shirts, such as hospital scrub suits, work well.

For a list of commercial tour companies, contact:

Grand Canyon National Park, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023-0129. Telephone: (602) 638-7888.

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