8 Day Grand Canyon Rafting Expeditions (No Rowing Required!)
An out-of-this-world adventure, rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon ranks up there with a safari to the Serengeti Plain or a trek through the Himalayas. The experience is definitely unique. In eight memorable days, you will cover approximately 277 river miles, negotiating nearly 200 exciting white water rapids in safety and first-class comfort. We travel the river differently than Major John Wesley Powell and his small band of explorers did in 1869, but just like Powell and those that followed him, the river and the canyon will be an awe-inspiring spectacle.
"Away to the west are lines of cliff and ledges of rock — not such ledges as you may have seen where the quarryman splits his blocks, but ledges from which the gods might quarry mountains...and not such cliffs...where the swallow builds his nest, but cliffs where the soaring eagle is lost to view ere he reaches the summit" -- John Wesley Powell
The Grand Canyon offers the most spectacular geological extravaganza on earth. It stretches for 277 miles, measures from four to 18 miles in width, and averages a mile in depth. Encompassing more than 1.2 million acres, the semi-arid canyon consists of raised plateaus, steep-walled canyons, desert basins at lower elevations and forests at higher elevations. The canyon walls provide an excellent record of three of the four eras of geological time, diverse fossil specimens, a vast array of geologic features and rock types, and numerous caves containing extensive and significant archeological, biological, geological, and paleontological resources.
Even though the Grand Canyon is a desert, it abounds in plants and wildlife. Cactus and wildflowers dot the riverbanks, as well as cool glens with tumbling waterfalls and ferns. Raft passengers might catch a glimpse of bighorn sheep, mule deer, coyotes, and ringtail cats along the riverbanks and in tributary canyons. Visitors may also see numerous species of birds flying overhead, including hawks, golden eagles, falcons, great blue herons, and egrets. In total, the Grand Canyon contains over 1,500 plant, 355 bird, 89 mammal, 47 reptile, 9 amphibian, and 17 fish species.
Since a Grand Canyon river rafting trip is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, it should be an unhurried experience. Our eight-day excursions traverse the entire 277 miles of the canyon, beginning at Lees Ferry, Arizona (in Grand Canyon National Park), and ending at Pearce Ferry on Lake Mead.
To many, the most thrilling event on a Grand Canyon white water rafting trip is riding the rapids. The exhilaration you feel as your raft plunges through the waves is a hard-to-describe experience. Only after passing through such rapids as Soap Creek, Hance, Sockdolager, Hermit, Crystal, and Lava Falls can you appreciate the achievements of Major Powell and other early river explorers.
Life on one of our Grand Canyon rafting tours is pleasant. Eight days of exciting rapids, exploration, and sleeping under the stars will pass much too quickly! Most people sign up for our standard eight-day expeditions. However, we do offer special trips for those with particular interests in history, geology, photography, ecology, or archeology. On these expeditions, which follow the same course as our regular eight-day trips, experts in these disciplines share their specialized knowledge about the canyon. Click here to view our brochure.
The design of our boats enables us to carry several hundred pounds of ice, which will last the entire trip. We prepare every meal with fresh meats and produce. Although eating is not the reason people come to Grand Canyon, many of our guests comment that our meals were one of the highlights of their trip. (See Boat Diagram)