Rafting Trips

Rafting trips on the Colorado River, in the Grand Canyon, will make your vacation complete. You do need to be aware that the water can get a little rough at times.The Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is one of the wildest stretches of white water in the United States. You will understand the power and majesty of nature after this trip.


Rafting the entire canyon from Lees Ferry to Lake Mead is 275 miles and takes about 17 days. Due to time constraints many people elect to walk down from from the South Rim to Phantom Ranch and raft for 7 days through the biggest rapids of the Grand Canyon.

Rafting trips run from April to October and last from 3 to 17 days depending on the type of craft that you choose. Motorized rafting trips are definitely shorter than rowing trips.

You have a choice of three different ways to go rafting.

white water rafting

First is the oar powered raft . They offer a mixture of safety and thrills. It is a smoother ride and tipping is rarely a problem. This is a good way to go if you not sure you're up to a really wild ride.

whitewater rafting

Second is the Dory Boat which are boats that are paddled only by the guides. They require more skill to maneuver. It reminds you of being on a roller coaster and they can flip over. If you're into excitement this is the way to go.

colorado rafting

Third is the motorized J-Rig. They are the biggest and most stable boats on the river. They can carry up to 20 people and have the ability to speed through the canyon faster than the non-motorized boats. This would be a good choice for your first trip.

Some rafting companies specialize in hiking as well. If you love hiking, they will take you hiking on the side canyons which can be a lot of fun.

The price of rafting trips usually include meals, non alcoholic beverages, and your camping gear. There are companies that also offer pre and post trip transportation, meals and pre trip lodging. Be on the lookout for the best values for your money.

You should be in good physical condition although most rafting companies are able to accommodate people with special needs. Children should be at least 7 yrs old to take part in a motorized trip and 10 yrs old for an oar trip. Check with the companies as they may have their own age requirements.

You can choose to raft the Upper Canyon which has 19 Class 4 or above rapids.

Or you can raft the Lower Canyon which also has class 4 or above rapids. These rafting trips offer many falls and side creeks to explore.

Smooth water rafting trips are called float trips because they don't encounter any rapids. You can take this trip with children as young as 4 years old. You have the option of a half day trip from Page, Arizona or a full day excursion from the Grand Canyon South Rim, Flagstaff or Sedona. You can learn more at www.rafthecanyon.com or by calling 1-888 5526644.

Most expeditions includes meals, non-alcoholic beverages and your camping gear. Some companies also include pre and post trip transportation, meals, and pre trip lodging, so check carefully for your best values.

All participants in Grand Canyon White Water Rafting Trips should be in good physical health. However, most Grand Canyon companies pride themselves on accommodating special needs passengers.

Children must be at least 7 to take part in a motorized trips, or 10 to take part in an oar or dory trip.  Check with the outfitter because each sets their own age requirements.

If your time is limited for a rafting trip the Hualapai River Runners offers a one-day excursions from the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs. This trip technically does not take place within Grand Canyon National Park, however the rapids are smaller than those upriver. This is a very enjoyable and memorable excursion for individuals and children 8 years old and up.  For more information call Hualapai River Runners at 1-800-216-0076.

For information on trip schedules and prices contact one or more of the following tour outfitters:

  • Aramark-Wilderness River AdventuresP.O. Box 717, Page, AZ 86040(800) 992-8022; (928) 645-3296; FAX (928) 645-6113

  • Arizona Raft Adventures, Inc.4050-F E. Huntington Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86004(800) 786-RAFT; (928) 526-8200; FAX (928) 526-8246

  • Arizona River Runners, Inc.P.O. Box 47788, Phoenix, AZ 85068-7788(800) 477-7238; (602) 867-4866; FAX (602) 867-2174

  • Canyon Explorations/Canyon ExpeditionsP.O. Box 310, Flagstaff, AZ 86002(800) 654-0723; (928) 774-4559; FAX (928) 774-4655

  • Canyoneers, Inc.P.O. Box 2997, Flagstaff, AZ 86003(800) 525-0924; (928) 526-0924; FAX (928) 527-9398

  • Colorado River & Trail Expeditions, Inc.P.O. Box 57575, Salt Lake City, UT 84157-0575(800) 253-7328; (801) 261-1789; FAX (801) 268-1193

  • Diamond River Adventures, Inc.P.O. Box 1300, Page, AZ 86040(800) 343-3121; (928) 645-8866; FAX (928) 645-9536

  • Grand Canyon DoriesP.O. Box 216, Altaville, CA 95221(800) 877-3679; (209) 736-0805; FAX (209) 736-2902

  • Grand Canyon Expeditions CompanyP.O. Box 0, Kanab, UT 84741(800) 544-2691; (435) 644-2691

  • Hatch River Expeditions, Inc.P.O. Box 1200, Vernal, UT 84078(800) 433-8966; (435) 789-3813; FAX (435) 789-4126

  • High Desert Adventures, Inc.P.O. Box 40, St. George, UT 84771-0040(800) 673-1733; (435) 673-1733; FAX (435) 673-6696

  • Moki Mac River Expeditions, Inc.P.O. Box 71242, Salt Lake City, UT 84171-0242(800) 284-7280; (801) 268-6667; FAX (801) 262-0935

  • O.A.R.S.P.O. Box 67, Angles Camp, CA 95222,(800) 346-6277; (209) 736-2924; FAX (209) 736-2902

  • Tour West, Inc.P.O. Box 333, Orem, UT 84059(800) 453-9107; (801) 225-0755; FAX (801) 225-7979

  • Western River Expeditions, Inc.7258 Racquet Club Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84121(800) 453-7450; (801) 942-6669; FAX (801) 942-8514
All of these companies are licensed by the National Park Service and have excellent reputations for safety and service.

To save yourself some legwork,  you can book your trip through Flagstaff-based Rivers & Oceans, who work with most (if not all) commercial river outfitters in the Grand Canyon.  They will do this service for free and help you with the logistics surrounding your trip.

 For more information on their services, visit www.rivers-oceans.com or call 1-800-473-4576. Rivers and Oceans is an adventure travel agency, and charges the same amount as the outfitters for booking a trip.

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