Group bookings are available, with a minimum number of guests needed to charter a rafting trip. The type of raft has some bearing on the number of people required. A motor raft requires 24 to 28 people. A non-motor rafting trip requires 18 to 22 people. Reservations and prices vary. Advantage Grand Canyon will accommodate if the desired dates are available.
Prices depend on the number of days, the area of the Colorado River, and the type of raft.
Grand Canyon river rafting season is from April to October. Every month has a beauty of its own. Temperatures are milder, and sleeping conditions are cooler and more comfortable in the spring and fall. A June to August Grand Canyon river rafting trip is among the most popular choices.
It is not unusual for canyon temperatures to be between 100 and 110 degrees during the day between June and August although very low humidity makes these temperatures more comfortable, not to mention the 45-50 degree water you are constantly being refreshed with multiple times per day. Monsoon season starts June 30 and goes through September 30. Storms peak between the middle of July and the middle of August. Occasional showers can be anticipated. Sporadic rain showers and cloud coverage in July and August provides relief from the strong sun making monsoon season very popular.
The cold river water and occasional showers that come and go are refreshing in the high temperatures. Those who wish to make an extended hiking and rafting trip are advised to book a Grand Canyon river rafting trip in the spring or fall when temperatures are cooler.
Traveling in any undeveloped and primitive environment presents some degree of risk. Situations can arise. All river trips carry gear to communicate with the Grand Canyon National Park emergency service. The river guides have advanced first aid and emergency medical training. In the rare case of an emergency, guests are evacuated by helicopter.
Common mistakes people make include wearing new shoes that have not been broken-in. They can cause sores and blisters. Not protecting your skin from sunburn causes discomfort for days ahead. Do not overpack—plan on washing clothes at lunch or camp. The heat and low humidity will dry items in minutes.
Do not underestimate how quickly you can dehydrate. Drink plenty of water, preferably with electrolytes. The Canyon's dry environment makes it seems you are not sweating. As you sweat, it quickly evaporates, giving the sensation of not sweating. Do not wait to drink water until you are thirsty. By that time, it is too late.
Whether you are on a motor or non-motor raft, the river trips are active. Elective side canyon hikes take place every day. On these hikes, you cross streams and step on large rocks. It is recommended to get some exercise before river trips.
Prevent blisters by breaking-in new river sandals by walking around in them for a handful of times. Take walks around your neighborhood or perhaps use a stair master or elliptical machine for a couple of weeks before the trip. If you plan a partial canyon trip that requires hiking 7.5 to 9.5 miles in and out of the Canyon, a more taxing workout program for at least two months in advance of the trip is recommended.
There are four types of non-motor raft trips. They are Dory, Oar, All-Paddle, and Hybrid, which is also called Classic Adventure where you can take turns in a paddle raft among passengers but not have to paddle 100% of the time. The only option that does require fit passengers to paddle 100 percent of the time are paddle raft trips. They are recommended for rafters with previous multi-day raft experience.
It is a matter of conditioning rather than skill. Guides will lead and direct the team. Muscle fatigue and soreness can quickly set in if the paddler is not prepared or used to paddling. Oar rafts and Dory boats are powered by the guide, who may, from time to time, let guests take the oars. Hybrid trips are paddle raft and oar raft combinations that are used to rotate among the guests. It is a great way to experience paddling the Colorado River without committing to 100 percent paddling as on an All-Paddle trip.
Fitness level and previous ailments and injuries determine which hikes are the easiest. Upper Canyon trips that include hiking in and out require greater stamina and endurance. They are more demanding on the lungs and heart. The Upper Canyon rout is easier on the joints but requires muscular strength.
An advantage is being acclimated to the Canyon's dry environment while rafting. As you ascend out of the Canyon, you also hike out of the heat. At the rim, the temperature is approximately 20 degrees cooler than the canyon bottom. It is highly recommended to use trekking poles. They significantly reduce the stress on lower leg muscles and joints by distributing the weight to the upper body.
You are encouraged to supply beverages for personal use. There are some specifics. Only canned beverages are allowed, no glass. If hiking into the Canyon, carrying liquor can be cumbersome. Advantage Grand Canyon provides a form to use to order alcohol. It will be waiting on the raft. Everyone is asked to drink responsibly.
Similar to choosing between the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, you have to pick a side of the Canyon. There are North and South Rims that are likely visited on separate trips. There is not a road across the Canyon. It is a mile deep and 18 miles wide.
The North Rim is 90 miles south of Kabab, Utah. The South Rim is four hours from Las Vegas, Nevada, 3.5 hours from Kanab, Utah, and 1.5 miles from Flagstaff, Arizona. The only lodging available below the rim of the Canyon is Phantom Ranch. It is on the Colorado River's north side, tucked beside Bright Angel Creek. Phantom Ranch can be reached on foot, by mule, or rafting on the Colorado River.
The Grand Canyon National Park South Rim opens May 15 to May 18 with limited access to day-use. Due to the COVID-19 health concerns, the North Rim is closed until further notice. Incoming traffic is accepted from six to ten AM.
You have access to No Name Point, Thor's Hammer, Duck on the Rock, Twin Overlooks, Pipe Creek Vista, and Navajo Point, along East Desert View Drive. The park service will direct you to turn around at Navajo Point. Picnic areas are available at Buggein picnic area, Thor's Hammer, and east of Yaki Road.
Full operation will be phased in. Services may be limited. There are currently plans for visitor access over Memorial Day Weekend. Entrance station hours, and access to more viewpoints, hiking trails, and roads will be extended. Visitors who drive on US Route 89 between Flagstaff or northern Arizona and Cameron will travel through Navajo Nation. Face masks are required at public businesses and facilities to slow the COVID-19 spread.
The Buggein picnic area, the picnic area east of Yaki Road, and a location by the South Entrance Grand Canyon National Park sign have restroom facilities. The following areas remain closed to guests.
Commercial services in the park are closed. Guests exploring the South Rim need to be self-sufficient. Bring enough water and food for the trip as well as hand sanitizer. The park service recommends arriving no later than nine or nine-thirty AM in case there is a traffic backup entering the park.
Guests who enter the park are allowed to stay throughout the day. There are no overnight accommodations. Grand Canyon National Park extended the suspension of commercial, private, research, or administrative Grand Canyon river rafting trips through June 13. When trips resume, there will be a 30-day advance notice to allow private boaters and companies to make travel arrangement adjustments and prepare for the journey.