*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 Flagstaff the night prior to your trip's start date. Lodging is not included in the price. You will meet in the main lobby of the Courtyard at 6am for the 2.5 our ride to the put-in point, Lees Ferry. An orientation meeting will commence upon arrival at Lees Ferry. 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. The included shuttle to Flagstaff, AZ will depart at 5pm and arrive approximately at 7pm in Flagstaff.
Hotel (trip’s start):
Hotel (trip’s end):
Transportation (trip’s start): Flagstaff, AZ
Transportation (trip’s end): Flagstaff or South Rim (included)
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 (12-14 per raft), 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. Sometimes the orientation meeting is the night before, earlier this morning or even at the launch point depending on your given itinerary. 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 Flagstaff. We strongly suggest not making any outbound flights the same day of your hike. Many guests choose to stay in Flagstaff or even the south rim this evening and travel the following morning.
"Wonderful 3 day trip! Not only the spectacular Colorado River and the Grand Canyon sites, but also hiking in the Canyon. Got to hike 3 trails, including Travertine Waterfall! Food was plentiful, healthy and delicious. Something for everyone. Guides were helpful and had great knowledge of geology, history, etc. Can not imagine a better experience!"
"I recently returned from an 8-day trip on the Colorado River with this outfitter, which was set up by Advantage Grand Canyon. I highly recommend both companies. Advantage Grand Canyon did a perfect job in all aspects of setting things up. And, they follow-up. Their video were extremely helpful in preparing and packing (although I did not use everything I had brought)."
"We have gone with this outfit on trips to Grand Canyon, Cataract Canyon, and Salmon River. Each time was a fantastic experience. Guides are fun, safe, knowledgeable, and respectful of the environment. The food is amazing (don't expect to loose weight on the trip). Highly recommend the trips and the company."
"I cannot speak highly enough about this outfit! We just completed our 8 day trip through the Grand Canyon and it was perfect. Our guides - now forever friends - are wonderful human beings! They did everything in their power to make sure we were all taken care of. Dave, Nate, Ryan and Danielle are the dream team! The river, the people, the food, the hikes, the rafts, the whole experience was exceptional and I will go with them again! My love for the Colorado River has grown even deeper because of this experience. Thank you, Friends!"