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Rafting on the Colorado River


At the bottom of a breathtaking canyon that’s saturated in reds, golds, oranges, and purples and undulates between narrow and wide, lies the Colorado River—the creator of Arizona's best-known natural wonder—the Grand Canyon. One of the best ways to experience this geologic wonder is first-hand from a raft. 

Most raft trips start at Lees Ferry, near the city of Page, Arizona located in the North Central part of the state about 144 miles northeast of the Grand Canyon's South Rim, but you can choose from several options for types and lengths of raft trips. Whatever you choose, book early – waiting lists can be lengthy for these popular voyages.

Full-canyon trips

Both motorized and oar-powered rafting trips are available. Motorized trips are faster and usually take six to eight days, while oar-powered trips are typically 10 to 14 days. Longer excursions are also available.

Half-canyon trips

For a shorter trip, usually four to nine days, a rafting trip through half the canyon may be your best bet. These split trips switch out midway through the canyon, at Phantom Ranch, so you’ll need to plan on either hiking up Bright Angel Trail out of the canyon at the end of your trip, or into the canyon to Phantom Ranch at the beginning.

One-day and two-day trips

Half-day and all-day smooth-water trips on the Colorado River from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry begin at Page, Arizona, about 140 miles north of the South Rim. 

One- and two-day white-water rafting trips are also available at Grand Canyon West on Hualapai Tribal Lands. Trips start in Peach Springs, Arizona (located on historic Route 66 in the North West part of the state) and give rafters an intimate glimpse of the western side of the Grand Canyon. For more information or to plan your adventure, visit Hualapai River Runners

See below for more adventure tours near the Grand Canyon:

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