The Grand Canyon rafting trip is one of the most famous rafting trips globally. The experience of traversing down Colorado RIver's grandest canyon is a sight for your eyes to behold, offering something new with each trip.
The Grand Canyon keeps changing to reveal nature's beauty to rafters. You find some spots that seem narrow and dark, while other sites boast spectacular waterfalls like Deer Creek Falls in magnificent free fall.
A Grand Canyon rafting vacation typically covers 188 miles in 6 or 9 days over more than 60 rapids. Our distinctive J-Rig rafts offer maximum excitement, satisfaction, and comfort while you venture into sparkling streams, pools, glens, and ancient Anasazi ruins.
We organize the six and 9 day trips from April to September. It's because the longer daylight hours give you more time to spend rafting and to run rapids. Though rewarding, these expeditions are also very physically demanding. We recommend them to tourists who are more capable of going on extensive hikes to explore the beauties of the canyon.
The week spent outdoors on these 6 or 9 day trips is indeed a transformative and life-changing experience for all participants. Besides, planning a rafting trip can be challenging, with more than 100 Colorado River rafting options available.
That is why most participants agree that the quickest and easiest way to choose the best trip is by turning to raft companies like us for assistance. We are the number one place with office staff offering more than 600 trips with 15 top outfitters in one place for you to search for. We will help narrow down your options and find available Grand Canyon rafting trips that best fit your schedule.
Colorado River Rafting Tips Worth Knowing
Colorado river rafting trips take you through towering cliffs, travertine falls, exciting rapids, and colossal sand beaches, offering an experience like no other. The Colorado white water rapids have some of the most challenging rapids found globally.
Our outfitters make the experience more exciting and memorable by sharing their extensive knowledge of the area's natural and human history with you. You will find each day of the vacation offering something different to behold with its adventurous blend of rapids and soft aqua blue waters, hikes, waterfalls, and ancient artifacts from neighboring ancient Native Villages.
The opportunity to capture the outdoors under the overwhelming canyon walls overlooking the Colorado River lets you experience the canyon's mesmerizing beauty from an entirely different and spectacular angle.
The Ultimate Grand Canyon Raft
The raft plays an essential part of your vacation while rafting down the Grand Canyon. You undoubtedly will have to repeatedly get into and out of the raft every day while hiking and visiting the various sites. So the raft should offer convenience and be relaxing and comfortable.
That's why we use the patented J-rig raft for all Western River Expeditions to provide our guests with a comfortable whitewater trip. The rig offers more than enough space to relax and stretch out during the river's calm, smooth water sections and prove exciting in the whitewater rapids.
In short, this raft ensures you have a comfortable ride throughout our Grand canyon whitewater expedition. It's spacious enough to relax in some of its cozy spots. Besides, the rafts come with ample seating choices for you.
If you seek some thrills and actions, we even have a seat up front ready for grabs for you to best experience the intense action. Then again, if you just want to relax, you can always ride lower or higher and enjoy a calm, relaxing ride.
The Colorado River Length
The Colorado River flows more than 277 miles across the Grand Canyon National Park spanning from Lee's Ferry, Arizona, to Pearce Ferry, Arizona ( at Lake Mead). You can typically raft across 35 miles in one day or take a maximum of 18 days to raft across more than 225 miles if you go on a trip anywhere between April and October.
We have different packages divided into various categories based on the number of days of the trip. We recommend tourists looking for a full float trip take an 6-9 days motorized trip or opt for a 12-18-day trip in dories, paddle rafts, and oar boats.
Rafting Down the Grand Canyon in One or Two Days
Peach Springs, Arizona, is the meeting location for whitewater rafters before launching from Diamond Creek in case of our three to five days river trips. These river trips float down the lower canyon to Pipe Creek and finish at Pearce Ferry.
We take you on a paddle and then motor raft after spending a night camping at the Grand Canyon base during our 3-5 days trips. However, if you want to bypass the last hours of flatwater on the river, then you can always take the option to helicopter out of the canyon.
You can also plan a stop at the Grand Canyon West Skywalk if you opt for the helicopter ride. All of this, of course, comes at an additional cost. This expedition is a better choice for those who just want to enjoy the rafting experience and have no idea of hiking in or out of the canyon.
Best time of year for Grand Canyon whitewater rafting
The Grand Canyon has something unique to offer its visitors in the different seasons. April and May are the cooler months, which means you need to carry along extra layers for warmth. But it also means that the weather is ideal for longer hikes and an opportunity to see wildflowers when in full bloom. But also bear in mind that spring brings with it up-canyon solid winds, which can make your trip chilly and adventurous.
June and August are the hottest and busiest months for Grand Canyon whitewater rafting. This is when the temperatures can reach anywhere between 95 to 115 degrees F.
The monsoon season starts in July at the Grand Canyon and can extend through August, bringing afternoon clouds, cooler temperatures, and rain showers. Thanks to the rains, the canyon undoubtedly cools down, giving the biggest whitewater. So don't be surprised to find the river running at its highest level during these months.
The rafting season tends to slowly wind down from September to October, with tourists opting to go on longer hikes thanks to the cooler weather and shorter days.
Colorado River Temperature
The Colorado River water temperature fluctuates according to the season and location. For example, in Lees Ferry to Phantom Ranch or Lake Mead, the temperature is usually between 48 and 56 degrees F.
However, in the case of the water towards the end of the Grand Canyon, like Diamond Creek, the temperature may be anywhere between 45 degrees F in winter to about 65 degrees F during the hot summer months.
There is the possibility of the temperature temporarily increasing with flash flooding of side canyons. Besides, as the side streams are usually warmer, guests especially enjoy swimming and soaking in them.
So we remind our guests to always pack their gear and clothing according to the season.
Things can get chilly in the cold months, especially with water splashing around. At the same time, you have to pack light and cool to remain hydrated and comfortable during the hot summer months.
Luxury Grand Canyon Vacations
Grand Canyon rafting trips are not a luxury; these are trips meant for roughing things out. So you can't or shouldn't even hope that there be anything like luxury rafting trips. Of course, we make things as comfortable as possible for you by providing chairs while we set up camp. Besides the food we provide is much better than you would expect at a campsite.
We can also make arrangements for cots to sleep on instead of pads while camping under the skies if required. When it comes to lunch, it's usually something like riverside picnics, and our adventures are generally all-inclusive, except for alcohol. At the same time, while we don't recommend drinking while rafting, you can always bring your alcohol or make arrangements through the outfitter.
The luxury seekers can always charter their own customized grand canyon trip based on their personal group schedule and needs. The private charter trip is pretty standard amongst people who want to vacation and have a tailored Grand Canyon experience with their friends and companions.
Our motorized expeditions cover most of the Grand Canyon in a much shorter time than it takes using something human-powered like an oar, paddle, or dory trips. The senior groups are the ones that usually utilize the more comfortable motor rafts for the whole day traveling down canyons.
Then again, some people go on human-powered expeditions but have a motor support group tailing behind for security reasons. It's always better to keep us informed if you want to ensure your Colorado River expedition has a motor support raft following.
Human-Powered Rafting Adventures
We also offer human-powered or non-motorized expeditions. With motor rigs running their engine through most of the journey, there is a high demand for non-motorized alternatives. The demand is highest amongst people who don't want to hear the sound of the motor through the trip.
We have four types of human-powered rafting options: all paddle, oar, dory, and hybrid.
- Everyone participates in all paddle trips. Here all members paddle in a raft and have a guide who does the back steering while calling commands through the flat water and rapids. We also provide additional oar rafts to carry all your gear if required.
- In the case of oar and dory boat trips, the guests just have to hold on. The guide remains positioned in oars in the middle of the boat does the rowing downriver.
- Our hybrid adventures are the most popular amongst the non-motorized Grand canyon trips options. They comprise one paddle and five oar rafts where guests take turns riding in the paddle boat. We also have hybrid trips carrying a dory and guests rotating through the craft.
Varied Number of Days and Guests
Our non-motor rafting trips carry fewer guests in each boat, and there are usually 5 to 7 guests during the day compared to about 15 to 20 guests on a motor raft.
However, no matter which type you choose, you can always spend time going hiking along the canyon.
The only determining factor is how long the trip spans. For example, in the case of a 6-day motorized trip, you have minimal time to go hiking. On the contrary, 9-day motorized expeditions give you ample time to explore and hike to some spots you can't afford to miss, like the hiker's paradise, Redwall Cavern.
Camping & Dining
We take good care of you during your Grand Canyon vacation, and we organize the trip and cater to all your camping and dining needs. With your spending 5 or 6 nights on Colorado river banks, our professional river guides cook delicious meals so that you don't go hungry throughout the trip.
Don't worry. Our focus lies on simplifying the camping process, and we do it by supplying all the necessary camping equipment and supplies required to cook sumptuous meals.
Our Best Grand Canyon National Park Rafting Advice
Here are a few tips we have to offer while selecting your Grand Canyon rafting trip:
- Always look for a journey that gives you lots of time to spend white water rafting in the Grand Canyon. We base this advice on our feedback from all our past clients, and most of them said they enjoyed the trip but only wished to have more time on the river!
- If you aren't sure, you can't go wrong with a 7-day full canyon motor vacation, one of our most popular options.
- If you want more physical excitement and exercise, then you can always go for a human-powered oar or dory trip across the Upper Canyon. These trips are usually 6-days long, where you also get to hike out to the South Rim. Many guests want to experience both types of rafts and opt for the hybrid trip comprising a combo oar, paddle, and dory.
- Even if you have had lots of fun this time, you can always come back another time to try out the Lower Canyon, the famous Bright Angel Trail, and Bright Angel Creek!
- Most important, you may have heard rumors about having to book your Grand Canyon river trip years in advance. While there indeed is a massive demand for our rafting trips, it's surprising to learn that there are many spaces that go unused on trips every year.
Click here to book and sign up for your Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip adventure with the #1 rafting company, where you find all 15 top outfitters in one place. We are licensed by the National Park Service and with an excellent reputation for our services and safety.