Whitewater Rafting On The Colorado River – Grand Canyon National Park is the second most popular national park in the United States. Thousands of tourists and families visit the Grand Canyon each year to experience stunning scenery, world-famous hikes and, of course, white water rafting. The Grand Canyon National Park Service hosts hundreds of rafting trips along the Colorado River, and commercial supply stores offer a variety of safe and easy trip options. A Grand Canyon river trip is a great introduction to rafting and the best way to experience the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon.
Depending on the outfitter’s itinerary and designated take-out locations, the full length of the Grand Canyon River can reach up to 280 river miles. The full length of the Grand Canyon is accessible by car close to both Glen Canyon and Beautiful. It starts at Leeds Ferry, which is a great place. Marble Canyon. From Lee’s Ferry, travel along the Grand Canyon and exit the river at one of the three locations below.
Whitewater Rafting On The Colorado River
This is the most exciting takeaway point on the Grand Canyon River Expedition. Upon arrival at Whitmore Wash, take a short helicopter ride away from the Grand Canyon and experience stunning panoramic views of the national park before landing at Bar 10 Ranch. From there you charter a flight back to Las Vegas or your departure point.
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If you want to see as much of the Grand Canyon as possible, the Diamond Creek route is the way to go. From Diamond Creek, AC buses will take you to Flagstaff Airport or on to Las Vegas.
The Grand Canyon tour from Leeds Ferry to Lake Mead offers another exciting takeaway experience. Leave the raft at River Mile 240 for an exciting jet boat ride across Lake Mead to River Mile 280.
Whitewater Rafters in Grand Canyon National Park offers whitewater rafting trips on motorized and non-motorized rafts. Which raft you choose depends on availability for that day/time and how much you want to see the Grand Canyon. See below for a comprehensive overview of the five types of rafts used in Grand Canyon river tours.
Electric rafts are the most popular raft offered by Grand Canyon Rafters. Electric rafts are powered by extremely quiet motors and do not require passenger assistance to paddle or steer. These features make electric rafting a good choice for families with children, inexperienced rafters or individuals who find paddling physically demanding. Larger (electric rafts are typically about 35 feet long), giving you more stability as you move through the water. This is an added comfort, especially for passengers who are nervous about the first rafter or swimming.
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If you’re on a tight schedule and want to see as much of Grand Canyon National Park as possible, an electric rafting adventure is for you. Motorized rafts can cover several miles of river per day and transport between larger locations faster than non-motorized rafts. For example, if you want to explore hidden caves, ancient Native American heritage sites, and fascinating waterfalls, you can spend less time on the water and more time sightseeing with a motorized Colorado River tour.
Electric rafts are very child friendly, but most outfitters have a minimum age of 8.
As the name suggests, oar-powered rafts are steered and powered by two long oars in the middle of the raft. Paddle rafts are smaller than motorized rafts and usually seat six passengers, including river guides. Like motor rafts, you don’t need to row all the time. If you are interested, there may be an opportunity to try paddling as the raft travels down the calmer part of the river, but this is at the discretion of the river guide and is not guaranteed.
If you have time for a slow and relaxing journey through the Grand Canyon, a whitewater raft is the way to go. Moving at 3-4 miles per hour, the speed usually corresponds to the current of the river. This is roughly double the time it takes to travel from the Upper Canyon to the Lower Canyon compared to traveling by car. The small size of the paddle raft gives you a better feel for the twists, turns and bumps of the Colorado River. This makes negotiating whitewater rapids an even more exciting experience.
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The minimum age for paddle rafting is 10-12 years. Whitewater rafting is the second most popular option for whitewater rafting in the Grand Canyon. As a result, we see that 12 out of 15 outfitters offer paddles for rafting trips.
Whitewater rafting is what most people think of when they imagine a Grand Canyon whitewater rafting experience. Rowing boats have 6-8 passengers, who each drive a small oar to steer and propel the boat. Because consistent paddling is physically demanding, it is recommended that you have a few days of paddling experience before embarking on your Grand Canyon raft.
Paddle rafts typically move at a leisurely pace similar to the currents of the Colorado River. That means you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the Grand Canyon’s towering vermilion walls. The paddle raft’s smaller size makes it more agile, but can be a noisier ride when navigating rapids.
Rafting is not recommended for children under 12 (or for those who find a multi-day paddle trip too strenuous). White water rafting is offered by only 4 out of 15 outfitters operating along the Colorado River.
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Hybrid rafting simply refers to a combination of rowing boats and rowing rafts, with passengers alternating between about four rowing rafts and one rowing raft each day. Hybrid rafting is a great option for those who want to try paddling but aren’t ready for the full Grand Canyon paddle rafting experience. You don’t need a lot of rafting experience to go on a Grand Canyon hybrid river trip since you just paddle every other day. If you are unsure of your paddling ability, we can arrange for the paddler to start the turn on the paddle raft.
Hybrid river rafting in the Grand Canyon. Also note that children under the age of 12 are not allowed on hybrid rafting.
Unlike previous rafting options, dolly rafts are made of hardwood, so they respond more quickly to rapids than inflatable rafts. Slightly faster than rowing boats, dolly boats are slower than motorized boats. This means you have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery of Grand Canyon National Park during your Dolly Raft ride.
Dolly rafting down the Colorado River does not require paddling. In most cases, five people share the boat, with a river guide steering from the center of the boat, like a paddle-powered raft. Dolly Raft accompanies paddle-powered rafts during a full Grand Canyon tour, allowing passengers to experience the river on a different type of rafting boat. This is not guaranteed and varies by outfitter. When booking your trip, be aware that only 5 of the 15 Grand Canyon outfitters currently support Dolly Raft tours.
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The Complete Grand Canyon Tour covers both the Upper and Lower Grand Canyon and is the best way to see all that Grand Canyon National Park has to offer. Just off Lees Ferry you enter the Roaring 20s, a famous rapids system that includes some of the most formidable rapids on the Colorado River. This is the first time you will actually experience Class V rapids on the Colorado River. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy rafting throughout the Grand Canyon trip. If intense whitewater river rafting isn’t enough, there are many other highlights to look forward to, from the turquoise waters at the confluence of the Little Colorado Rivers to the towering canyon systems of Elf Chasms and Redwall Caverns. If you have any questions during the tour, the river guides are knowledgeable and always happy to share what they know about the ecology, geology and history of the Grand Canyon.
All meals and camping equipment are included in the price of the tour, making it one less worry when planning your adventure. While you choose a place to set up your camping gear, your river guide will be busy cooking a delicious meal. After dinner, you and your rafting partner can settle down with a hot drink
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