*Extended trip lengths provide ample time to explore remote, less visited side canyons. Designed for hiking enthusiasts - anticipate daily multi-hour hikes
*Price includes a suggested donation of $1/day to the Grand Canyon Fund
You will need to arrive in either Las Vegas or Marble Canyon the night prior to your trip’s start date. Lodging is not included in the price. If starting in Las Vegas, you will meet a representative at the Desert Rose Resort at 5am on the morning of day 1 for the air conditioned bus ride to Marble Canyon (approx. 5 hours) to meet your group. There will be an orientation meeting upon arrival at Lees Ferry, the put-in point. On the final morning 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. Return from South Rim to Marble Canyon or Las Vegas is not included in price listed.
Hotel (trip’s start/end):
Hotel (trip’s end):
Transportation (trip's start):
Transportation (trip’s end): Trip ends after your hike out of the canyon at the South Rim
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Payment and cancellation policies:
Purchase trip cancellation Insurance - Highly Recommended:
You will be driven to the launch point, Lees Ferry in Marble Canyon in the morning to meet your river guides. You will have your orientation this morning at the launch point. Guests will have dry bags provided as well as a life jacket, and shortly after you will be underway to begin your journey!
Each day you will be on and off the raft multiple times. Each itinerary regardless of the outfitter, includes daily side canyon hiking opportunities to some of the most beautiful scenery the Grand Canyon has to offer. 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. You will be entertained with fascinating information on the history, geology, and ecology of the canyon. Often, there is another stop after lunch before arriving at camp for the evening. Tents are always available however depending on the season, many opt to sleep under the stars each night.
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. This trip ends with transportation from the south rim to Marble Canyon or Las Vegas. We strongly suggest not making any outbound flights the same day of your hike.
"Our trip was the last outing of Sept 2017. It was very warm and we slept under the stars. The guides were great, the gear provided was great,the food was awesome - the checklist and expectation information are spot on for the trip .The usual TA questions to check off when writing a review are kind of funny - did this place have restrooms? Facilities are provided, but read the material and understand the nature of packing EVERYTHING in and out of the canyon. LOL. We loved it."
"Don't do this trip unless you want an experience of a lifetime. Joe and the Boys (our guides) safely navigated the river, cooked great food, helped us adapt to the river life, kept wild animals at bay (a raven absconded with a special food pouch) and somehow managed to arrange perfect weather. Each day started with a fresh cup of coffee and ended with a cocktail at rivers edge."
-Las Vegas, NV
"This trip is worth every penny and more! The scenery is absolutely amazing! Waking up every morning to new sights and new river adventures is awesome. I would re-take this trip every year if I could. The food is great! The guides are great! The trip is great! Don't wait! GO NOW!"
This was a much needed time of beauty and adventure! We were together with no phones and so much to see and experience. The river guides and organization made it seamless. All expectations were met and exceeded. Shad, Keifer and Austin led us on a super fun and informative trip. Our kids got to be just that and they encouraged them to let it all out:))) Thank you for a life changing time together.
"We took the River and Ranch tour. Guides Roni and Jeff were incredible and worked their tails off. Great history on the geology and prior rafting expeditions added to the experience. Meals were top notch and plentiful. So many opportunities for first time experiences. No words describe the grandeur. Book it!"