*Price includes a suggested donation of $1/day to the Grand Canyon Fund
*Historic Dory Boat accompanies the Oar Rafts and can be used on rotation among passengers
You will need to arrive in Flagstaff, AZ the night prior to attend a 6pm orientation meeting at the Holiday Inn Express. Lodging is not included in the price. On the morning of day 1, you will enjoy a buffet breakfast and be ready to board a bus for the 2.5 hour drive to the put in point at Lees Ferry. On the morning of day 6, 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, AZ through Arizona Shuttle (not included). There is also air/ground transport options from the South Rim to Phoenix and Las Vegas.
Hotel (trip’s start):
Hotel (trip’s end):
Transportation (trip’s start): Flagstaff, AZ
Transportation (trip’s end): Trip ends after your hike out of the canyon at the South Rim
Oar raft trips are the second most popular of all raft types. Consisting of 5 passengers in total, these rafts are powered and navigated by your guide, however if you are interested in rowing in between rapids and at their discretion, you are welcome to grab the oars. A typical oar trip will consist of 5-6 rafts or floatilla. Oar trips travel at speed of the river 3-4 mph, more slowly and essentially doubling the trip duration when compared to a motorized trip. This slower pace offers a great opportunity for an intimate experience with the river while listening to your guide's extensive knowledge of the Grand Canyon. 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.
Dory boat trips are offered by 5 of 15 outfitters. Consisting of 5 passengers in total, these rafts are powered and navigated by your guide. Often times Dory boats will be added to Oar trips making for a great opportunity to experience both vessels on the same trip. Dory trips travel at speed of the river 3-4 mph, more slowly and essentially doubling the trip duration when compared to a motorized trip. This slower pace offers a great opportunity for an intimate experience with the river while listening to your guide's extensive knowledge of the Grand Canyon. There are upper, lower, western and full canyon trips offered on non-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:
Trip cancellation Insurance - Highly Recommended
On the morning of day 1, you will meet and board a bus for the 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!
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.
You will raft a short distance this final morning to the drop off point to begin your 7.5 - 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. 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.
"We had no idea how lucky we were. Having gone down the river and seeing all the other boats, I feel really blessed to have gotten to travel with them. Given the comfort of the boat, the food, and the different hiking options at each stop, I can comfortably say that anyone, young or old can do this trip. I'll never forget this trip and I'll definitely be back for another trip"
-Oak Park, IL
"WOW !!! what a trip to take..... we did the whole river over a week. these people are wonderful to guide your trip. dont expect to lose any weight on this trip.. youll eat like a king(riverside) if you have the adventure bug in ya... i highly recommend this trip and outfit. its truly epic and life changing."
"I took the 7 day trip through the Grand Canyon. This company was exceptional. The proffesionalism of the guides to the outstanding food, I have only great things to say. I highly reccomend this outfit."
"They made everyone comfortable with camping, going to the bathroom, and riding class 10 rapids in the canyon while keeping the stories and humor flowing like the river. We saw other companies and the way they camp, ride on the boat, and visit side attractions, and I think we had the best of it all"
"The rafting crew expertly negotiated the river as well as the many soakings we got going thru the rapids. They entertained us with canyon-lore from the past as well as educating us on geology and history"