Multi day rafting trips in the Grand Canyon are perfect for those who want to experience this unique adventure for an extended period of time. These multi day trips range from 6 to 9 days and are available in motor and non-motor (oar/paddle/hybrid/dory) options. Non-Motor raft trips navigate the upper and lower canyon routes requiring a hike via the Bright Angel Trail. Motor raft trips which navigate the full canyon (6-8 days) do not require this hike as you will raft both the upper and lower canyon sections on this route.
The Grand Canyon National Park (located in Arizona), is one of America's most popular holiday destinations. As the second most popular national park in the US, it's no wonder that tackling the whitewater rapids of Colorado River is on everyone's bucket list. Maintained to perfection by the Colorado National Park Service, the Grand Canyon boasts more than 80 whitewater rapids and some of the country's most beautiful traditional Native American sites.
A 6-9 day Colorado River rafting trip offers something for everyone, whether its thrill-seeking or a simple vacation. Read on for our best 6-9 day Grand Canyon rafting tour options.
There are multiple 6-day to 9-day Grand Canyon river route options that suit the abilities of any keen rafter or inexperienced vacationer. All three route options have positive and negative aspects — we recommend thoroughly exploring all three alternatives before committing to a trip.
A full Grand Canyon AZ trip can cover up to 280 river miles, starting at Lees Ferry (a vehicle accessible location near Marble Canyon), and concluding at one of three take-out points below. Take-out points will be determined by the outfitter and the trip duration.
Some notable highlights of a full Grand Canyon tour include day trips to hidden sites such as Elves Chasm and Redwall Cavern, or the brilliant turquoise blue water at the confluence of the Little Colorado River. Furthermore, an abundance of thrilling class rated rapids await passengers during this trip, including Lava and Crystal Falls to name a few.
1. Lees ferry (river mile 0) to Whitmore Wash (river mile 188)
This is the shortest full Grand Canyon rafting trip, commencing from Lees Ferry near Marble Canyon. From day one, our outfitter river guides take charge, steering and directing passengers all the way through to Whitemore Wash at river mile 188. Whitmore Wash is one of the most exciting take-out points in the Grand Canyon. At the trip's conclusion, a helicopter will be waiting to transport passengers back to Bar 10 Ranch. This short helicopter ride offers passengers unrivaled views of the towering Grand Canyon walls and the surrounding National Park. From Bar 10 Ranch, passengers can either take a charter plane to Las Vegas NV or be transported back to the South Rim or Marble Canyon to extend their holiday.
2. Lees Ferry (river mile 0) to Diamond Creek Road (river mile 225)
Looking to tackle more whitewater rapids? Consider our full Grand Canyon tour from Lees Ferry to Diamon Creek Road at river mile 225. At trips end, air-conditioned ground transport takes passengers back to Flagstaff airport or Las Vegas.
3. Lees Ferry (river mile 0) to Lake Mead (river mile 280)
Complete the full 280 river miles with a Grand Canyon trip from Lees Ferry to Lake Mead. While it may be more exciting to take a helicopter ride out of the Canyon at Whitmore Wash, we highly recommend considering the full 280 river mile raft trip. The Colorado River saves the best for last, with some of the river's highest-rated rapids lying at the mouth of Lake Mead. Individuals who have come to the Grand Canyon for white water rapids should consider this take-out point.
At river mile 240, passengers will swap from rafts to a jet boat, terminating the river adventure with a thrilling boat ride across the lake. From river mile 280, ground transport will take passengers back to Marble Canyon, the South Rim, or further on to Las Vegas.
All upper Grand Canyon AZ trips begin at Lees Ferry (river mile 0), a vehicle accessible site near the majestic Marble Canyon. From Lees Ferry, river guides will transport all passengers to their rafts, where they'll spend the next 6-7 days cruising through the upper Colorado River.
Some notable sites of the upper Grand Canyon include some of the region's most well-known geological formations. The Kaibab and Toroweap formations are particularly spectacular, showcasing the Grand Canyon's iconic vermillion walls. Another exciting part of the upper Grand Canyon is the 19 class rated rapids, all rated 5 or above on the river rapid scale.
All upper Canyon trips conclude at river mile 88 near Phantom Ranch. At the end of the river trip, passengers are required to hike the 9.5-mile Bright Angel Trail up and out of the Canyon to the South Rim. From the South Rim, passengers can arrange transport back to Marble Canyon or to Las Vegas NV.
The Bright Angel Trail is a strenuous hike that requires passengers to carry their own packs and equipment. It is important that all passengers undertaking this trip are prepared, fit, and healthy before committing to this trip. For more information on the fitness requirements for the Bright Angel Trail hike, contact our team at email@example.com.
A lower Grand Canyon AZ trip usually lasts between 7-9 days, completely surpassing Marble Canyon and the upper Colorado River to begin at the top of the South Rim. Each trip will commence with a 7.5-mile hike down Bright Angel Trail. From there, the Grand Canyon National Park Service maintains three different put-in locations: Pipe Creek Beach, Boat Beach, or Bright Angel Beach. Put-in points will vary depending on the outfitter — river guides will give explicit information on the passenger put-in point during the pre-trip briefing. Highlights of a lower Grand Canyon trip include:
A lower Grand Canyon trip will terminate at one of the three take-out points mentioned above; Whitmore Wash, Diamond Creek Road, or Lake Mead. Each of these take-out points offers passengers the option of traveling back to Las Vegas or sticking around and heading back to Marble Canyon or the South Rim to spend more time exploring the Grand Canyon National Park.
Each of our 6-day to 9-day Grand Canyon river adventures offers guests a unique experience. Contact our friendly staff at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at 888-244-2224 / 928-351-7711 for more information on each of our tour options.
Almost all of our 15 outfitters in the Grand Canyon National Park offer 6-day or greater rafting trips on a motorized or non-motorized raft. Raft selection will be dependent on time availability, prior rafting experience, and trip duration. Note that no outfitters offer 6-9 day non-motorized, full Grand Canyon trips. It would be near impossible to raft the entire length of the Colorado River on a non-motorized vessel within this timeframe. Read on for more information about the different raft options available from our outfitters.
The best way to see both the upper and lower Grand Canyon is to take a motorized rafting trip. As the most popular raft type, 11 out of our 15 outfitters offer multi-day motorized full Canyon trips. As the name suggests, a motorized raft is powered by a motor and steered by river guides — a motorized raft does not require passengers to do any paddling. This is great for families with children, for inexperienced rafters, or for passengers who may find paddling too taxing. Motorized rafts are the largest style of raft available, reaching around 35 feet long. This gives them added stability when traveling through tumultuous rapids, giving nervous or inexperienced passengers some peace of mind. While motorized rafts are family-friendly, note that there is a minimum age requirement of 8 years of age for most outfitters.
A motorized rafting trip is the best way to see the entirety of the Grand Canyon in a 6-day to 9-day time frame. If hidden caves, waterfalls, ancient native ruins, and lots of side canyon exploration are a high priority, our motorized 6-day to 9-day river trip is ideal. A motorized raft will cover more river miles per day, meaning less time spent on the water and more time spent exploring notable sites. We also offer 4-day to 5-day upper or lower Grand Canyon motorized river trips for passengers looking to explore one section of the river.
Taking a non-motorized rafting trip is a great way to explore one part of the Colorado River more thoroughly and have a more authentic Grand Canyon National Park experience. Non-motorized rafting does not necessarily mean that there will be lots of paddling, with many outfitters offering no-paddle alternatives.
When people think of whitewater rafting, they usually picture a paddle raft. A paddle raft generally travels at the same speed as the river current (3-4 mph). This means more time spent out on the water and in the rapids, and less time spent on side canyon day trips.
Holding up to 8 passengers, a paddle raft is powered and steered by its passengers all day, every day. This can be exceptionally tiresome, so having some previous rafting experience is highly recommended. Paddle rafting is not everyone's idea of a fun, relaxing holiday, which is why only 4 of our 15 outfitters offer paddle rafting trips of this length. Note that the minimum age requirement for paddle boats is 12 years of age.
A dory raft is composed of hardwood, making it more responsive and particularly agile when taking on rapids. A dory raft usually takes around 5 passengers, traveling down the Colorado River at a similar pace to a paddle raft. However, unlike the paddle raft, river guides will be steering and paddling from the center of the dory raft for the duration of the river adventure.
Dory rafts are not a common choice for 6-9 day trips, with only 5 out of our 15 outfitters offering dory trips. Often, dory rafts will accompany oar-boat trips in order to give passengers a feel for two different raft types. This addition of other raft styles on a raft trip will depend on the outfitter and is not guaranteed. The minimum age requirement for dory trips is 10 years old and above.
Oar rafts are powered and steered by river guides who sit in the center of the raft with two long oars. Oar-boats are much smaller than a motorized raft, giving passengers a more intimate river experience. As the second most popular raft type for Grand Canyon 6-day to 9-day Colorado River trips, it's an available option from 12 out of our 15 outfitters. Unfortunately, we do not offer full Grand Canyon oar-boat trips for this length of time.
Our oar raft trips are an excellent alternative for passengers looking to have a leisurely river experience without missing out on the best sites of the upper or lower Grand Canyon. Oar boats travel at around the same speed as a paddle raft, giving passengers plenty of time on the river to take in the scenery or learn the region's history from their river guides. Passengers may even take a turn at paddling the raft. However, this is not guaranteed. The minimum age requirement for oar rafts is between 10-12 years of age — check with our outfitters for more information on exact age restrictions before booking.
A hybrid Grand Canyon river trip simply refers to trips that combine both oar and paddle rafts. This is an excellent happy medium for passengers who may wish to give a paddle raft a try, but do not want to commit to paddling for the duration of a multi-day trip. Each of our hybrid trips consists of approximately 4 oar-powered rafts and 1 paddle raft, with passengers rotating between each boat every day. Passengers don't need prior rafting experience to undertake a hybrid raft trip.
Hybrid Grand Canyon river trips are only offered by 4 out of our 15 outfitters, so be sure to book well in advance. The minimum age requirement for a hybrid trip is 12 years old.
The cost of a Grand Canyon trip will ultimately depend on trip length, route selection, and raft type. A 6-9 day rafting trip can cost anywhere between $2,085 and $4275. Read on for more information on specific trip quotes.
When passengers don't want to miss out on seeing the best sites of the upper and lower Canyon but don't have the time to do two separate tours, we suggest a motorized full Grand Canyon trip. A motorized 6-8 day Grand Canyon trip costs between $2,085 - $2,962. This cost includes expenses such as food and camping equipment.
When time isn't an issue, a non-motorized Grand Canyon rafting trip is a much more authentic way to see the Colorado River. Non-motorized rafts allow for a better feel of the river currents and a more intimate river experience. The cost of a non-motorized trip includes food, camping, and activity expenses.
For more information or a specific quote for a 6-9 day Grand Canyon river rafting experience, contact one of our friendly team at email@example.com, or give us a call at 888-244-2224 / 928-351-7711.
When limited by time, exploring one section of the Colorado River may be the best option to see the most of the river without having to rush. Experienced whitewater rafters may have a preferred section of the river. However, both the upper and lower Grand Canyon has plenty to offer in terms of thrilling rapids and awe-inspiring sights.
The best section of the Colorado River depends on what our passengers are looking to get out of the trip. The upper Grand Canyon offers some of the best geological sites of the region — with more varied views, there is a better opportunity to see a wider range of geological structures. Another highlight of the upper Grand Canyon is the 'Roaring 20's' rapids. This quick succession of whitewater rapids is situated at the commencement of an upper Grand Canyon tour. With some of the highest-rated rapids of the Colorado Rover occurring in this region, it's guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.
Looking for a more action-packed rafting adventure? The lower Grand Canyon offers some of the wildest whitewater rapids in the Colorado River and an abundance of secret, hidden caves. Not only is this section of the river longer, but there is also the option of a helicopter ride out of the Canyon at the trip's conclusion.
The best tour of the Grand Canyon will depend on previous experience with whitewater rafting and what our passengers are looking to gain from our trips.
As an experienced whitewater rafter, taking an upper or lower non-motorized Grand Canyon trip is the ultimate way to get the most out of the experience. Not only is there a chance to paddle through some of the world's toughest whitewater rapids, but our Canyon rafting trips also allow for a more thorough exploration of one portion of the river.
Alternatively, individuals who are not keen on paddling or who have limited experience with rafting may opt for a motorized full Canyon tour. This presents the perfect opportunity to spend more time exploring the side canyons and less time paddling in the river. Furthermore, there is still the thrill of riding through the whitewater rapids, just without any of the paddling responsibility.
Yes! it is entirely possible to raft the entire Grand Canyon via the Colorado River. However, we only offer 6-9 day full Grand Canyon raft holidays on a motorized raft. Rafting the entire Grand Canyon is a once in a lifetime opportunity and is the best way to make the most of the ancient ruins, hidden waterfalls, and the natural beauty of the region.
Each upper and lower Grand Canyon trip begins or ends with a hike on the Bright Angel Trail. This 9-mile hike is no easy feat. However, anyone who is fit and healthy shouldn't find this hike too unachievable. If tackling a hike isn't an option, we recommend taking a full Grand Canyon trip. Rather than starting or ending the tour with a hike on the Bright Angel Trail, the trip begins at Lees Ferry and ends at one of the three aforementioned take-out points. Each of these take-out points has a no hike-out obligation.