White Water Rafting For The Disabled

White Water Rafting For The Disabled

Whitewater rafting is undoubtedly one of the most challenging extreme adventure sports. It is also a popular recreational therapy everyone enjoys. While those with severe disabilities struggle to find such activities to partake in, they are able to take part on raft trips on the Colorado River, on smooth water float trips through Glen Canyon.

Thanks to adaptive equipment, and the guidance and skills of efficient guides, people with limited mobility can now experience a Colorado river trip.

Read on to learn more about these trips.

What is an adaptive rafting trip?

With a bit of extra planning, capable guides and volunteers, and the right gear, trips for people with disabilities is possible. Abilty360 is a great organization that comes together to empower people with disabilties and have sucessfuly taken a couple trips down the Canyon.

Essential equipment for river trips


Motorized boats

These large, 30+ ft long rafts are powered by a motor and steered by guides. This is the most popular option and currently the option that has been used for the adaptive trips.

General supplies

There are some general resources all passengers need to carry while going on a rafting adventure. Like any adventure water sport, you need to wear a life jacket. In addition to this, you will also have to bring sunscreen and wear appropriate clothing for sun protection. This includes long-sleeved pants, shirts, sunglasses, and a hat.

You can wear a bathing suit under loose, quick-drying long-sleeved clothes. And depending on when you go, you may require a waterproof jacket for added warmth if you get wet. Don't forget to wear some closed-toed athletic or water shoes.

Portable access path

We meet many people in wheelchairs who want to go on a raft trip every day. Accomodations may include upgraded tires for the terrain and an access path set up to allow for an easier route on the terrain.

Our multiple rafting trip options

So far, Abilty360 has taken people through a full canyon trip and a 3-day trip. As the years pass, we hope to see a variety of other options available.

Popular Colorado river rafting spots

1. Fisher Towers section

You will enjoy the incredible sights you see while floating, swimming, or paddling down this section of the Colorado River. The sweeping views of fiery canyon walls are a sight to behold, including snow-capped mountains and Fisher Towers' sandstone spires. You also have the moderate rapids Ida, Cloudburst, White's, and Professor providing enough whitewater adrenaline excitement.

2. Ruby & Horsethief Canyon

This class II stretch of the Colorado River is known for its unique geology, history, and wildlife. It starts near Loma, Colorado, outside the Utah border, and is home to birds of prey like Red Tail Hawks and Bald Eagles.

The Black Rocks Campsite is famous for its geological phenomenon, the highly polished, unique, and ancient black rock schist. Rafting enthusiasts can run this stretch on either a raft or canoe on 3-4 day trips that start at the Ruby & Horsethief Canyon, ending at Westwater Canyon.

3. Westwater Canyon

This is perhaps the most exciting stretch of the Colorado River. The trip starts with a swift float past the historic 'Miner's Cabin. While you get to view the Canyon's wildlife and majestic scenery, the excitement builds as you approach the Little Delores rapids.

The river narrows as you move forward, and you end up surrounded by towering granite cliffs and black gneiss. You also get to experience the thrill of ten Class III-IV rapids like Funnel Falls and Skull, offering the utmost white-water action experience in the last six miles.

Are you now interested in riding the rapids with your disabilities? If yes, all you need to do is callt us at Advantage Grand Canyon


Here are the most commonly asked questions disabled people ask us about rafting trips.