Choosing The Right Rafting Trip For Your Grand Canyon Adventure

Grand Canyon Adventure Trips Options

Exploring the Grand Canyon can be done in a variety of ways. For the more adventurous individual, you can take your camping gear and explore on a  hiking journey through its' many trails. For those wanting a less active experience but wish for a shorter trip with a bird's eye view of the Grand Canyon, a helicopter ride is optimal. And for those who would like to relive the history of how this canyon was carved by the mighty Colorado from the view point of the river, there is only one ideal option - Raft the Grand Canyon.

Motorized or Oar-Powered Trips?

grand Canyon rafting

For those who will be exploring the Grand Canyon River and its tributaries, the question as to which kind of raft to use is just a matter of determining how much time you have and how much of the Grand Canyon you want to see.

For those who have limited time and want to explore as much of the Grand Canyon as possible, a motorized rafting trip is recommended. For individuals who have unrestricted time, an oar or paddle-powered, (Oar, Dory boat, Paddle Raft, Hybrid Raft) trip is a sensible choice as it allows you to really travel slower, about 3-4 mph in a smaller vessel.

If bringing your children along with you (highly recommended), the minimum age allowed on a motorized rafting trip is 8-9 years old depending on the outfitter, while on an non-motor rafting trip is 12-16 years old.

Take On The Rafting Trip

There are a variety of rafting trips in the Grand Canyon, ranging from as short as a day to a maximum of 18 days. Here are three of the most common rafting trips that you may want to consider if you only have about 1 week for this adventure. The first three are full canyon trips while the last two are partial trips, which feature a combination of whitewater rafting and hiking.

  • 8-Day Full Canyon Motorized Rafting Trip - this is the motorized equivalent of the 12-18-day full Canyon non-motor rafting trip. Because it runs faster, the entire length of the canyon can be explored in just 6-8 days.
  • 6-7 Day Upper Canyon Oar-Powered Rafting Trip with Hike-out at trip's end - This 6-7-day raft trip takes you from Marble Canyon, river mile 0 to river mile 88 from Lees Ferry on a whitewater raft. On the final morning, you will be on the trailhead bright and early, around 7am, to begin the 7.5 mile (if starting from pipe creek beach) or 9.5 (if starting from Phantom Ranch or Boat Beach)  hike ascending the Bright Angel Trail towards the top of the South Rim. An incredible experience to go from a desolate, wilderness environment for days, to civilization atop of the south rim.
  • 7-9-Day Lower Canyon Oar-Powered Rafting Trip with Hike-in at trip's start - an excellent trip for individuals who are looking for an adventure both in whitewater rafting and in hiking. Bright and early on day 1, your guided hike will start around 5am and should last between 4-8 ours in length depending on your hiking speed. This hike will take you from the top of the south rim, to the ground floor of the canyon, 1 vertical mile stretched over a 7.5 to 9.5 mile trail, to meet your guides and rafts.  From River Mile 88, you will then travel either 100, 136 or 192 river miles depending on the take out location of your specific itinerary.

Immersing yourself in the beauty of the Grand Canyon can be fulfilling by itself. When enjoyed with your family and loved ones on a rafting trip that is especially designed for your needs, the trip itself becomes all the more meaningful. Search for your trip now!