A Grand Canyon river
rafting adventure will surely award visitors with memories
that will last a lifetime. If you have never gone
river rafting before, you are in for a big thrill, especially
if your first time sees you flowing down the Colorado
River in the heart of the Grand Canyon. Most, if
not all, of the Grand Canyon river trips offered by the
numerous companies are all-inclusive deals, meaning once
you have applied for and received the right to book your
trip, all you have left to do is show up. Grand
Canyon river trips can be done on their own, or they can
be conveniently paired with Grand
Canyon hiking adventures or other Grand Canyon tours.
When perusing the multitude of Grand Canyon tours out there, you will find plenty that include Grand Canyon bus tours, helicopter tours and/or Grand Canyon mule rides, in addition to the river rafting opportunities. The package you decide to go with will undoubtedly take into consideration the size of your group, the amount of time you have and the price you are willing to pay. Grand Canyon river rafting trips can last anywhere from half a day to a week, and obviously the price increases with the more days you add. Most of the tame, smooth water Grand Canyon rafting trips last a week or less due to the fact that there is a limit to the stretches of river where larger rapids don’t come into the picture. If you want a river rafting trip that lasts more than a week, you’ll likely have to tackle powerful rapids and it could include going out without a guide. While you can apply for and attempt self-guided Grand Canyon river trips, it is best to go with a licensed company, as the experience of qualified Grand Canyon river guides can prove invaluable.
While the Colorado River’s run through the Grand Canyon includes plenty of opportunities for whitewater enthusiasts to get the rush of a lifetime, this article primarily concerns the more tame river floating. The tame Grand Canyon river trips are a bit more ideal for those with mobility issues or for the younger members of your group. Generally, kids ages 4 and up can enjoy the more relaxed Grand Canyon river rafting experiences, while Grand Canyon whitewater rafting is usually reserved for ages 8 and up. At Grand Canyon National Park, any of the river rafting day tours, both whitewater and smooth water, can be arranged through the park’s main concessioner ahead of time, or at the transportation desks of the park’s different lodges. During the busier summer period of Grand Canyon travel, it is a good idea to plan any rafting excursion well in advance, as waiting to book your trip once you arrive at the Grand Canyon National Park lodges could be a bit risky as far as availability goes. Among the more popular family Grand Canyon river trips offered at the park is the one-day smooth water trip. This is among the more affordable Grand Canyon river trips, starting at under $100 for both adults and children.
The Grand Canyon National Park smooth water trip begins
in Page, Arizona, near the Utah
border. After securing their own transportation
to Page, guests embark on the 15-mile rafting trip between
the Glen Canyon Dam and Lees Ferry. Lees Ferry is
known as the gateway to the Grand Canyon, and it serves
as a starting point for many of the more intense whitewater
rafting trips. From March 1 through April 30, and
from October 1 through November 30, the smooth water trip
features one daily departure that leaves at 11 a.m.
From May through September, two daily smooth water trips
are offered, the first leaving at 7 a.m., followed by
the second which embarks at 1:00 p.m. As you work
your way downstream on a motorized pontoon boat, you will
be rewarded with stories from the qualified Grand Canyon
river guides that accompany you. Learn about area
history and about the native wildlife you might encounter
along the way. The trip also includes a scheduled
stop to view historically valuable petroglyphs left behind
by the ancient Puebloan peoples. After reaching
Lees Ferry, guests on the smooth water Grand Canyon river
rafting daytrip will board a luxury van or luxury motorcoach
for the short drive back to Page.
The lower 100 miles of the Grand Canyon also presents
excellent waters for tame Grand Canyon river trips.
Many of the smooth water Grand Canyon river rafting trips
offered from Las
Vegas feature this stretch along their routes.
Grand Canyon river rafting trips can also be arranged
from other Arizona tourist destinations, such as Flagstaff,
Phoenix and Sedona.
If you are looking for a trip that lasts longer than 1
day, then you might consider a 3 or 7-day trip through
the western corridor, where you can camp along the way.
With these extended rafting trips, the experienced Grand
Canyon river guides will not only help you navigate the
river, but will also prepare your meals. As with
any of the numerous Grand Canyon river trips offered,
all of the smooth water rafting excursions start with
an orientation and introduction session which is provided
by your Grand Canyon river guides. Safety is always
the main rule, and Grand Canyon river guides take it seriously.
You will encounter some rapids along the western runs,
but they are moderate when compared to some of those found
upstream. As with most extended Grand Canyon river
trips, various stops will be made along the way to go
hiking or swimming. Extended Grand Canyon river
cruises can get quite pricy, but there are affordable
options out there. Seasonal discounts and online
discounts can often help curb the cost, however, and after
all, it’s hard to put a price tag on the life-changing
experience that you will walk away with.