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Interview with Ariana Lowe

Offbeat Interview Series with Ari

Ari ‘Wanda’ Lowe


Born in a tree house in the redwood forests of Northern California and raised in Colorado, Ariana was introduced to the river at the young age of 6. It became a family tradition to float the San Juan River or the Colorado River at whatever opportunity presented itself. In high school, she joined the kayak team while attending Colorado Rocky Mountain School. As a freshman in college at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Ari’s friend Nico gave birth to the idea of being a river guide in the summertime. She was instantly hooked (for life by the looks of it). She worked for Sheri Griffith River Expeditions for 9 years before deciding to try on some new rivers. In 2005 Ari joined Team Canyons. In 2006 she also started guiding trips in the Grand Canyon for Canyon Explorations, in the spring and fall. Today Ari guides a handful of trips each season but has taken on the role of Managing many aspects of Canyons.

In her free time, Ari likes to embark on adventures of all sorts with her husband Josh. Some of their favorites are kayaking, mountain biking, pop-topping, skiing, hiking, traveling and more. You name it, she probably likes it or will at least try it once. She currently calls Moab her home but feels like McCall, Idaho is becoming just as much of home too. Ari’s creative spirit keeps her painting, playing the guitar, singing, and gardening. If you find yourself talking to her on the phone (she woman’s our office), she might just be weeding the Canyons Warehouse Garden.

The Interview

If you could be a river superhero, what would you be?   The snatcher and destroyer of GREED. Greed makes people do awful things, to one another, to animals and to the planet.

What is your favorite dress up theme?   ALL of them, however, my favorite THING to do is change outfits several times throughout the party!

What is your ‘go to’ crazy hat night creation?   The artist in me likes to do something different every time. 

What brought you to Canyons?   The desire to run new rivers 

How many years have you worked here?   Since 2005   

What is your favorite thing about Canyons?   The genuine love present

If you could describe Canyons in 3 words?   Love Small Crafts

When you hear the word Idaho, what comes to mind?   Wilderness, Ponderosa Pines, Hot Springs, Rivers

What are your top three favorite camps?   Lower Grouse (MF), Cliffside (MF), Alder (MN)

Your favorite hike?   I love getting a good vista view. If I had to choose one, ‘The Castle’ up from Trail Camp (MF)

Top three favorite rapids?   Powerhouse (MF), Cutthroat (MF), Big Mallard (MN)  

Currently, what is your nemesis rapid?   Top of Hell’s Half Mile at low water

What river do you want to run that you haven’t yet?   Zambezi, Alsek, all of the ones I haven’t run yet.

What do you consider a ‘real’ job?   A job that makes you happy and gives you a quality of life!

If you could only have one kayak in your quiver, what would it be and why?   Zet Toro. It is fun to paddle, can handle big and small volume, and I can self support out of it.

What is your favorite thing to cook on the river?    Migas, big cookie and bacon

If you could take a musician or band down the river today, who would it be?   Willie Nelson and John Prine. I think they would be very interesting people to hang out with and would probably even play music WITH me.

What is your most memorable swim in a river?   Little Niagra in Cataract Canyon at 50,000 cfs

What is one of your river rituals or superstitions?   Thanking the river, places that we camp and places that we visit, for sharing their space with us

What is the most valued non-river-related item that you bring with you on every trip?   Music and my pillow

What is your favorite groover spot?   Rabbit (MN) downstream, nestled next to the rock with the really cool root banister arm

About Ariana Lowe

Running rivers is one of the greatest passions in Ari’s life. Ari’s warm demeanor, kind spirit, sense of adventure, and endless creative talents are a huge part of TEAM CANYONS. Ari is an avid kayaker, skilled oarsman and talented watercolor artist.

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