Motorized or Oar-Powered Trips?
One place to start when Grand Canyon rafting trip planning is to determine whether you prefer a motorized or non-motorized adventure. There are some differences between the two trip types, including group size, boat size and how the boats are propelled down river. Motorized trips consist of 12-14 passengers per raft and have a 2 raft maximum.
The motorized rafts used on each trip can vary depending on the outfitter. The most common motorized rafts in the Canyon are known as S-rigs or J-rigs. These boats range from 32-37 feet in length and are propelled down river by a quiet 4-stroke outboard motor on the tail end, or stern of the boat. Non-motorized trips consist of 4 passengers per oar boat, and 6-8 passengers per paddle raft. Non-motorized trips typically have 4-7 boats per trip. These boats vary in type (dory, oar, paddle) as well as size (14-18 feet).
Non Motorized trip types are offered as All Paddle, Oar, Hybrid (combining both Oar and Paddle rafts), Dory or a mixture of these boats depending on the outfitter. Once you have narrowed down the boat type, you next step is to determine the length of trip while Grand Canyon rafting tip planning.
Take On The Rafting Trip
To raft the Grand Canyon you will need a minimum of 3 days to a maximum of 18 days. The length of trip varies depending on the time of year, type of trip and company you choose to travel with. Motorized trips range from 3-10 days in length. Non-motorized trips range from 5-18 days in length. When Grand Canyon rafting trip planning, those with a shorter travel time frame will need to keep in mind that some trips require a hike into or out of the Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. This hike requires travelers to be in excellent physical health.
Once you have determined the length of trip you would like to do, your next step for planning the best Grand Canyon rafting trip is to look at the route you would like to travel on. There are three main routes in Grand Canyon: Upper, Lower and Full Canyon. Each route varies offering unique highlights specific to that stretch of river. All routes offer exciting whitewater, hiking and beautiful scenic views.
Upper Canyon trips range in duration from 3-4 days for motor trips or 5-8 days for non-motor trips and require a hike out of Grand Canyon on Bright Angel Trail. Lower Canyon trips range from 4-6 days for motor trips and 7-12 days for non-motor trips and require travelers to hike into Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. Full Canyon trips combine the upper and lower segments and are offered from 6-10 days for motor trips and 12-18 days for non-motor trips. Full Canyon trips do not require a hike into or out of Grand Canyon.
Another option which does not require a hike into or out of the Canyon is the Western Canyon route which covers the western most portion of the Colorado river in the Grand Canyon. This 90-mile stretch of river offers a few mild rapids, stunning scenery and some great attractions. West Rim rafting tours are perfect for families with young children, 1st time rafters, or travelers looking for a shorter trip option. Understanding the length of trip available, and whether a hike into or out of the Canyon is involved with the trip can easily eliminate or direct you to the perfect trip for your group when Grand Canyon rafting trip planning.
There are a variety of rafting trips in the Grand Canyon, ranging from as short as a day to a maximum of 18 days. Here are three of the most common rafting trips that you may want to consider if you only have about 1 week for this adventure. The first three are full canyon trips while the last two are partial trips, which feature a combination of whitewater rafting and hiking.