Rafting on the Grand Canyon is the trip of a lifetime, combining adventure, excitement, relaxation and beauty to create an unforgettable experience. With 16 Grand Canyon rafting outfitters and over a thousand
trips offered every year, asking the right questions while is important for Grand Canyon rafting trip planning. The top 4 questions to
ask when planning your Grand Canyon rafting trip are: what type of raft do you prefer to travel in?; what is your preferred trip length?; what is the best route to explore?; and how flexible is your travel window?
One place to start when Grand Canyon rafting trip planning is to determine whether you prefer a motorized or
non-motorized adventure. There are some differences between the two trip types, including group size, boat size and
how the boats are propelled down river. Motorized trips consist of 12-14 passengers per raft and have a 2 raft maximum. The motorized rafts used on each trip can vary depending on the outfitter.
The most common motorized rafts in the Canyon are known as S-rigs or J-rigs. These boats range from 32-37 feet in length and are propelled down river by a quiet 4-stroke outboard motor on the tail end, or stern of
the boat. Non-motorized trips consist of 4 passengers per oar boat, and 6-8 passengers per paddle raft. Non-motorized trips typically have 4-7 boats per trip. These boats vary in type (dory, oar, paddle)
as well as size (14-18 feet). Non Motorized trip types are offered as All Paddle, Oar, Hybrid (combining both Oar and Paddle rafts), Dory or a mixture of these boats depending on the outfitter. Once you have
narrowed down the boat type, you next step is to determine the length of trip while Grand Canyon rafting tip planning. To raft the Grand Canyon you will need a minimum of 3 days to a maximum of 18 days. The length
of trip varies depending on the time of year, type of trip and company you choose to travel with. Motorized trips range from 3-10 days in length. Non-motorized trips range from 5-18 days in length. When
Grand Canyon rafting trip planning, those with a shorter travel time frame will need to keep in mind that some trips require a hike into or out of the Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. This hike requires
travelers to be in excellent physical health. Once you have determined the length of trip you would like to do, your next step for Grand Canyon rafting trip planning is to look at the route you would like to
travel on. There are three main routes in Grand Canyon: Upper, Lower and
Full Canyon. Each route varies offering unique highlights specific to that stretch of river. All routes offer exciting whitewater, hiking and beautiful scenic views.
Upper Canyon trips range in duration from 3-4 days for motor trips or 5-8 days for non-motor trips and require a
hike out of Grand Canyon on Bright Angel Trail. Lower Canyon trips range from 4-6 days for motor trips and 7-12 days for non-motor
trips and require travelers to hike into Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. Full Canyon trips combine the upper and lower
segments and are offered from 6-10 days for motor trips and 12-18 days for non-motor trips. Full Canyon trips do not require
a hike into or out of Grand Canyon.
Another option which does not require a hike into or out of the Canyon is the Western Canyon route which covers the western most portion of the Colorado river in the Grand Canyon. This 90-mile stretch of river offers a
few mild rapids, stunning scenery and some great attractions. The Western Canyon trip is perfect for families
with young children, 1st time rafters, or travelers looking for a shorter trip option. Understanding the length of trip available, and whether a hike into or out of the Canyon is involved with the trip can easily eliminate
or direct you to the perfect trip for your group when Grand Canyon rafting trip planning. In addition to trip type, length and route, it is recommended to consider your travel time frame when Grand Canyon rafting trip
planning. The commercial rafting season through Grand Canyon National Park is offered April - October. Due to the high volume of interested travelers and regulated trip dates, it is recommended to narrow down your travel
dates within a travel time frame or travel window. This helps to optimize the success in finding a Grand Canyon rafting trip. When reviewing travel dates, it is important to consider the average
weather conditions and patterns in Grand Canyon.
It is also suggested that travelers plan their vacation around their Grand Canyon rafting adventure, as opposed to planning a vacation and trying to then fit in a Grand Canyon rafting trip. Some additional questions that
travelers may want to consider are age limits, costs and payment policies, time spent on hiking, time spent on rafts, time spent in camp, archaeological sites, geological sites, rapids, the start and finish point of the
trip, guide experience and physical fitness requirements. Grand Canyon rafting trip planning can be a difficult process. Once you are able to narrow down the boat type, trip length, route and time of year you would
like to travel, you will be one step closer to finding the perfect Grand Canyon rafting trip! For more questions to consider when
Grand Canyon rafting trip planning, visit our frequently asked questions page.