Commercial rafters use the Confluence without regard to cultural significance and sacred status to Navajo and Hopi culture.

Commercial rafters use the Confluence without regard to cultural significance and sacred status to Navajo and Hopi culture.

We have been researching Sacred Sites because there has been so much talk about them by the opponents of the Escalade project. Because the proposed Escalade project is NEAR the Confluence and a prayer/offering site (not on them mind you, just near them) and within a few miles by air from the Salt Trail and the Hopi Sipapu we are told that the Escalade would be a desecration of Sacred Sites.  So we decided to find out what is happening today on these same Sacred Sites.  We already posted that the Sierra Club is guiding hikes down the Salt Trail to the Hopi Sipapu and the Confluence for only $995 a person (click here for link)Sierra Club Leads Hikers To Sacred Sites On Salt Trail Now we find out that the National Park Service issues permits for 24,657 river runners, 16 commercial raft companies, and over 13,000 hiking permits each year.  And 2006 Park Service regulations in effect today allow for motorized rafts, generators and helicopter insertion and extraction at two locations downstream of the Confluence.  So where do 24,657 people go to party?  Why the Confluence of course!  It turns out that this is a primary stopping point, and they don’t stop nearby, they stop right on the Confluence, a Sacred Site.  And what do they do when they stop?  Why, they hike to the Sipapu and use the Salt Trail and Swim in the Little Colorado River.  We keep asking ourselves why there is no outcry by the Save the Confluence folks.  Why isn’t it OK for the Navajo to charge $40 to ride a gondola to a secure site close to the Confluence but its ok to charge $2850 per rafter so they can tie up right on the Sacred Site and party?  I guess that’s why Grand Canyon River Guides oppose the Escalade and has joined with Save The Confluence.  Can’t have the Navajo making any money while they are raking it in.

Let’s Get That Party Started!! And we are led to believe that this is not a desecration of a Sacred Site as long as you’re willing to drop a cool $2,850 to a commercial raft concession. But don’t even think about $40 to ride a gondola.

24,567 commercial raft permits are issued each year and the Confluence Sacred Site is a primary stopping point.

Rafters at the Little Colorado River Slide

The Park Service alllows rafters and reserachers to transport into the Canyon by helicopter.

Commercial Rafters use the Little Colorado at the Confluence as their personal swimming pool.