Grand Canyon River Trips
The Grand Canyon isn’t a place that’s only good for thousand-foot rock walls and dusty trails. In fact, with the Colorado River bisecting the enormous natural landmark, there’s quite a lot to do on the water. For that reason, we’re here to tell you about—and to recommend that you take—the many river trips taking place in and around the Grand Canyon.
You could, for instance, take a half-day motorized pontoon trip down the smooth waters just downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam. While not technically occurring inside of the Grand Canyon, this trip will take you past soaring cliffs, past a set of petroglyphs that were left behind by the Anasazi, and on to Lee’s Ferry, where the Grand Canyon technically begins. Likewise, on the same waters, you could go kayaking, and even navigate your way through the mysterious Waterholes Slot Canyon.
Further downstream and in the Grand Canyon, you can take a motorized boat down the Colorado River, and experience the Grand Canyon for three, five, and even up to seven days. During that time, you’ll cover up to nearly 300 miles of river, from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead, all without lifting a finger—that is, until you encounter some of the big rapids on the Colorado. At that point, we humbly suggest that you hang on for dear life!
Finally, if the power of the whitewater is something you want to experience fully, then we recommend a rafting trip. The Upper Canyon is tamer than the Lower Canyon, which features the menacing Lava Falls Rapid, as well as Horn Creek and Granite Rapids. Nevertheless, whether you decide to do one section or the other, you’ve got some volatile riding and vigorous paddling ahead of you! In general, rafting trips take about twice as long as a motorized pontoon does in order to cover the same distance; in other words, you’re looking at a week to cover half the canyon, or two weeks to span the entirety of it.
Like we said before—and we think we’ve made our case—the Grand Canyon is far from a one-trick pony. So put those hiking boots away, and grab a paddle instead. It’s about time you tackle the Colorado River!
The mighty Colorado is nearly 1,500 miles and winds through the entire Grand Canyon, passing through some of the most magnificent terrain on the planet. Why not come river rafting down the Colorado River and get up close and personal with the unparalleled landscapes of the Grand Canyon? From its headwaters northwest of Denver to its delta in the Gulf of California, and on a stretch of 277 miles, the Colorado winds through the entire length of the Grand Canyon. Although only the Mississippi and Columbia Rivers have higher flow rates than the Colorado River in North America, the Colorado passes through some of the most magnificent and scenic terrain on the planet and is the habitat of a wide array of wildlife. Why not experience the fascinating depths of the Grand Canyon with a river-rafting ride?
There are lots of different ways to experience the Grand Canyon by water. One-day raft trips are popular and appropriate for the whole family (ages 4 and up). These excursions will take you into the Canyon and point out all the sights and sounds of the River.
If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, many partner companies offer longer excursions, lasting from 3 to 18 days, and providing adventures in many different types of vessels, from motorized boats to oared rafts.