4 Day Upper Canyon Motor Raft Trip

  • Canyon Route: Lees Ferry to Phantom Ranch ( 88 river miles)
  • Meet: Page, AZ OR Las Vegas, NV
  • Return: Not Included - Trip ends upon hike out at South Rim
  • Transportation: Ground transportation form Page, AZ to put-in point (Lees Ferry) is included - Return via ground transport to Page, Las Vegas, Flagstaff or Marble Canyon available -not included - Shuttle your car from Page to South Rim to await you upon hike out - not included

  • Lodging: Lake Powell Resort (not included in price) Will need to be in Page, AZ for an orientation meeting the evening prior to trip's start.

  • Rapids: 19 major rapids rated 5 or above (1-10 rating scale)
  • Group size: 14 passengers per raft. 2 raft maximum
  • Minimum Age: 8 years old
  • Included: Camping gear w/ chairs & sleeping cots
  • Required Hike: Strenuous 9.5 mile hike ascending Bright Angel Trail at trip's end
  • Raft: S-Rig
  • Price: $1550  Deposit: $300
  • *$1,550/person is the pay it now rate (not available June/July launches): Pay in full for your trip at the time of booking. No refunds, transfers or substitutions
    *$1,630/person is the regular price
    *$1,470/person is the child rate (8-16yr)

Trip Logistics:

You will need to arrive to Page, AZ the night prior to attend a 7pm meet & greet at the Lake Powell Resort and Marina. Lodging is not included in the price. On the morning of day 1, you will meet in front of the lobby of the Lake Powell Resort at 7:30am to board a bus for the 45 minute drive to the put in point at Lees Ferry. On the morning of day 4, you will begin your guided hike up the Bright Angel Trail and your arrival at the south rim in Grand Canyon village will conclude your raft trip. There are shuttle options to Flagstaff and air/ground transport options to Phoenix and Las Vegas. Transportation options listed below.

Hotel Reservations/Transportation To & From

Hotel at Trip’s Start in Page, AZ: 

  • We can book your hotel room at the Lake Powell Resort & Marina at a discounted rate (2020 rates below). You may indicate on your reservation form if you would like them.
    • April 1 - May 20    1-2 ppl $141.49
    • May 21 - July 7      1-2 ppl $186.17
    • July 8 - Sept 15      1-2 ppl $242.03
    • Prices include taxes and resort fees - 48 hour cancellation notification to receive full refund
  • We also recommend checking Expedia as their pricing is competitive.

Hotel at Trip's End South Rim, GC: 

  • Flying out after a day’s rest is highly recommended.
  • Majority of guests stay at the South Rim after the hike. Lodging is not included and must be arranged separately. We recommend calling Xanterra 888-297-2757, as soon as your reservation is confirmed. They accept reservations up to 13 months in advance. 
  • If there is no availability at the South Rim, Tusayan Village is a 10 minute drive outside the park. Click here for options.
  • There is a complimentary shuttle that circulates from the South Rim to Tusayan Village every 20 minutes during summer (mid-May to early-September) from 8am - 9:30pm.
  • You can also arrange a Taxi between South Rim and Tusayan Village through Xanterra 888-297-2757.

Transportation (trip’s start):

  • You may arrive to Page, AZ by plane, airport code PGA. We recommend Contour Airlines from Phoenix and Las Vegas. Bar10Transport (800-582-4139) is also an option to consider.
  • Car rental is also an option from Las Vegas or Phoenix:
    • If planning on renting a car round trip, you are able to rent with any company.
    • If Planning a one-way drop off in Page, AZ (as some trips end with an included flight to Las Vegas) this rental must be arranged through the local Avis Car Rental Company in Page, AZ (928-645-2024). More transportation information is attached.

Transportation (trip’s end):

  • Trip ends after your hike out of the canyon at the South Rim
  • Optional flight to Las Vegas is available (Bar10transport
  • Ground Shuttle to:
  • If you left the vehicle at the start of the trip you have three option:
    • Have your car shuttled from Page, AZ to the South Rim while you’re on your river trip to be awaiting you upon arrival  Lake Powell Shuttlehttp://www.lakepowellshuttle.com (928-614-4130) or  Grand Canyon Shuttles (928-863-1239)
    • At trip's end use Trans-Canyon Shuttle to drive you back to Marble Canyon to retrieve your vehicle. Departure times are 8 am and 1:30pm so you would need to spend the night at the south rim the day complete your hike out and shuttle back the next day.
    • Contact either  Lake Powell Shuttle (928-614-4130) or  Grand Canyon Shuttles (928-863-1239) for a ride back to Page, AZ from the South Rim.

See our transportation page for additional information

Motor Raft Trip

Motor trips are the most popular of all trip types. There are more motor trip launches than any other combined, among all of the outfitters. Typical launches include 2 rafts, and group sizes between 22-28 depending on the outfitter. There are upper, lower, western and full canyon trips offered on motor rafts. Some full canyon trips continue straight through with the same group of passengers, while others will make a pit-stop to let off upper canyon passengers, and allow for lower canyon trip passengers to join the group for the rest of the trip.

  • Most popular of all raft types, offered by 11 of 16 outfittersMotor Raft Trip
  • Most comfortable seating positions of all raft types and great for guests who seek a sense of security with a larger raft type
  • Covers more distance per day compared to non-motor trips
  • Action packed trips – will see more in a day and get form one attraction to another more frequently compared to non-motor
  • Popular choice for those looking to see more of the canyon while having ample time for off raft exploration
  • Largest percentage of people choose this raft type
  • Popular choice for any age especially children/teens who seek more activities Minimum 8 years old 
  • Group sizes between 12-14 per raft, 2 raft maximum/trip
  • Rafts may vary slightly from sample image
 

Hiking from River to Rim

At the end of your Upper Canyon adventure, this trip will conclude with a mandatory hike out of the canyon via the bright angel trail up to the south rim. On average, ascent time from river is 6-8 hours.

This is a strenuous hike, especially during the summer months between June-August, and should be considered only by those who are fit and healthy as you will be carrying all of your gear with you on your hike up.

 

Google Earth Video

Click play for an actual look at the trail from a bird’s eye view. You will see where the hike will begin and end, as well as the location of toilets and drinking water facilities.

 

 

 

Elevation

The elevation from river to rim is 4,830ft and has an average grade of 10% along its entire length. The upper four miles of the trail has the steepest changes in elevation mostly due to the switch backs, however does flatten out considerably as it nears Indian Gardens. As the trail approaches Devil’s Corkscrew it will once again steepen, and due to the lack of shading at this part of the trail, can be very taxing especially during the summer months. This is one of the reasons that hikes begin very early in the morning, to pass this section before temperatures peaks. From the Pipe Creek/River Rest-house to Bright Angel Campground, (over 1 mile distance) the trail passes over sand dunes until reaching the Bright Angel Suspension Bridge (also known as silver bridge) which crosses over the Colorado River.

3-mile-rest-house

Water/Rest-houses

Be sure to take advantage of the water sources and rest-houses during your hike, as it is imperative to take breaks regularly. Between rim and river, there are three composting toilet locations (1.5 mile, Indian Gardens, river rest-house) and three water sources along the trail (1.5 mile, 3 mile, Indian Gardens). Please note there is never potable water at river rest-house and due to occasional pipeline breaks, these water sources are never guaranteed. For this reason, it is recommended that you carry enough water (3 quarts minimum) for the entire hike.

Ascending the Bright Angel Trail

Upper Canyon trips/hiking up and out requires greater stamina/endurance and is more demanding on the heart and lungs. This route is easier on the joints but requires more muscular strength. An advantage is that you will already be acclimated to the dry canyon environment from your rafting adventure, and as you ascend you’ll be hiking out of the heat. The temperature at the rim is about 20 degrees cooler than at the bottom of the canyon. Trekking poles are highly recommended as they can significantly reduce the stress on your lower leg muscles/joints by distributing the weight to your upper body muscles.

Hiking-Bright-Angel-Trail1

Preparation for hiking the Bright Angel Trail

At least 2 months prior to your trip’s start date, begin using the stair master and hiking or using the treadmill with a slight incline. Slowly begin adding weight to your backpack in order to simulate what it will actually feel like on the hike. Keep in mind that you are traveling 1 vertical mile or close to 5,000ft in elevation gain/loss. 500 flights of stairs is equivalent to approx. 5,000 ft.

Hiking Tips

  • Hydrate the night prior – drink 6 to 8 glasses
  • Drink plenty of water w/electrolytes during your hike – You will sweat ½ to 1qt per hour
  • Take breaks and elevate your legs – do this to avoid lactic acid build up
  • Wet your hat/bandana/shirt – cotton stays wet longer, evaporation will keep your body temperature cooler
  • Eat snacks/food even if not hungry – essential for energy
  • Foot care – Break in your shoes prior to hiking. Bring extra socks as keeping your feet dry is essential. Use moleskin on hot spots and bring corn pads for existing blisters.

Payment policy:

  • After your payment, you will receive an invoice and additional forms that need to be completed
  • $300 nonrefundable deposit per person required to reserve your space(s)
  • Final payment is due 60 days prior to trip start date
  • If booking within 60 days prior to trip start, full payment is due
  • *Pay It Now Rate:
    • Pay in full at the time of booking to be eligible for the discounted pay it now rate
    • No refunds, transfers or substitutions
    • Trip insurance highly recommended

Cancellation policy

  • Deposits are nonrefundable
  • Final payments are nonrefundable
  • In the event you have to cancel you may wish to consider:
    • Changing your trip date or type to another available trip in the same year:
      • Not eligible if you opted for the “pay it now” rate
      • Not eligible 60 or fewer days to departure
      • $50/person fee
  • File your trip insurance claim with your personal provider more information below

Trip Cancellation Insurance - Highly Recommended:

  • Insurance can help reimburse you in the event of illness or unforeseen circumstances
  • Most popular option listed below - click on link to view different levels of coverage with an immediate quote:

 

Additional Trip Dates

IconFirst Day

On the morning of day 1, you will meet at 7:30am to board a bus for the 50 minute drive to the put in point at Lees Ferry. You will meet your guides as they provide additional instruction and your life jacket.  Shortly after you will be underway to begin your journey!

IconEvery Day

Wake up every morning to the smell of freshly brewed cowboy coffee and the sound of the running water echoing off of the canyon walls. A hot breakfast is served shortly after. Each day you will be on and off the raft multiple times as every day includes daily side canyon hiking opportunities to some of the most beautiful scenery the Grand Canyon has to offer. You'll be entertained and enlightened with fascinating information on the history, geology, and ecology of the canyon. In addition, you will see gorgeous waterfalls and streams rarely accessible outside of these multi-day raft trips. After enjoying the excitement of fun rapids, you will stop for lunch which is prepared river-side on a beautiful sandy beach. Lunch will be served and you can build your own sandwich with chips, cookies, fruit while taking in the breathtaking scenery, reading a book riverside or even fishing. Often, there is another stop after lunch before arriving at camp for the evening.  While your crew sets up the camp kitchen for everyone, you can find your ideal camp spot and set up your "home" for the night. While dinner sizzles on the dinner on the grill, you'll have time to get better acquainted with your fellow river companions and relax with a cool drink by your side. After dinner, watch the sun set, and listen to the beautiful sounds of the river while you nestle into your sleeping bag under a sky full of stars. Tents are always available however depending on the season, many opt to sleep under the stars each night. 

IconLast Day

You will raft a short distance this final morning to the drop off point to begin your 9.5 mile hike ascent up the bright angel trail to the top of the south rim (view video of hike ascent at trip's end) . Your raft trip concludes upon the completion of this guided hike There are shuttles daily, to Flagstaff as well as Phoenix however we strongly suggest not making any outbound flights the same day of your hike. Many guests choose to stay at the south rim this evening and travel the following morning.

"Just a great experience in nature, with people, and the company.  Of all of the times i've rafted the Colorado on commercial trips this was the best one!"
-Mountain View, California

"We got under way and had fun immediately. There were rapids enough to get us wet and cold keeping us cool and comfortable. Every time we stopped, it was in another beautiful place and the food they provided was very good for camp food."
-Seattle, Washington

"Best vacation ever!  We were a total of 24 family members and had the adventure of a life time. Can't say enough great things.  Our 7 day tour was flawless with the an amazing crew of boatmen/boatwomen taking care of our every need around the clock."
-Boston, Massachusetts

"What a great organization and outfit! From start to finish, everything worked like clockwork day in-day out. The guides were super fun and knowledgeable! Loved all the stories and the camaraderie with the crew and everybody floating down the river!"
-Madison, Wisconsin

"The trip of a lifetime. Just got off the river two weeks ago and I’m ready to go again. The guides were incredible, the food was awesome and the views were amazing. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe this trip."
-Liverpool, England