Grand Canyon rafting trips range from 1 day all the way to 18 days depending on what stretch of river you wish to raft and what type of boat you travel on (motorized boats cover more miles in less time).
A Grand Canyon rafting trip can be broken down into sections, which are known as Full, Upper, Lower, and Western. The sections are defined by what river mile (RM) the river trip starts (puts in) and what river mile the trip ends (takes out).
Full: Raft the full Length of Grand Canyon
The Full Grand Canyon rafting adventure begins at Lees Ferry (RM 0) and goes through Grand Canyon to one of three take out points depending on the trip: Whitmore Wash (RM 188), Diamond Creek (RM 225), or Pearce Ferry (RM 280).
Upper Section: Raft the Start of Grand Canyon to the Middle
Upper section Grand Canyon rafting trips begin at Lees Ferry (RM 0). All trips take out at Phantom Ranch (RM 88), the deepest part of the Canyon, and require a hike out of Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail.
Lower Section: Raft from the Middle to the end of Grand Canyon
Lower section Grand Canyon rafting trips start in the middle of the Canyon at Phantom Ranch (RM 88) and require you to hike into the Canyon via the Bright Angel Trail. Trips will end at one of three take out points depending on the trip selected: Whitmore Wash (RM 188), Diamond Creek (RM 225), or Pearce Ferry (RM 280).
Western Section: Raft the tail end of Grand Canyon
The Western Grand Canyon rafting trip begins with a helicopter ride from the rim to the Colorado River at Whitmore Wash (RM 188) and ends 92 miles downstream at Pearce Ferry (RM 280).
There are a variety of different rafting trips to choose from in Grand Canyon. Finding the best trip for you will depend on how many days you want to be on the river, what season you’d like to raft, how much time you have, and your price point. Our advice has always been to spend as much time in the Canyon as possible but whichever trip you choose, rest assured that the experience of rafting the Colorado through Grand Canyon is one that will leave a lasting impression on your heart
The price of rafting trips in Grand Canyon depends on how many days you wish to raft. Longer trips cost more than shorter ones. A 1-day Grand Canyon rafting trip starts at $399 per person and the longest trip (18 days) starts at $6,000 per person. The average price for a 7-day rafting trip in Grand Canyon is $2,800 per person.
Every season in the Grand Canyon comes with its own beauties and challenges. April and May have cooler temperatures, which require extra layers, but allow for longer hikes while the wildflowers are in bloom. Spring can bring strong winds. June through August are the hottest and busiest months to raft Grand Canyon with temperatures ranging from 95-115°F. Monsoon season starts in July and goes through August, bringing afternoon clouds and rain showers to cool things off. As the rafting season winds down in September and October, you can expect cooler weather, longer hikes, and shorter days.
There are 15 commercial outfitters that offer whitewater rafting trips in Grand Canyon. We do the legwork for you, contacting all 15 Grand Canyon rafting outfitters and presenting you with a list of available trips that fit your time-frame and budget.
All the Grand Canyon commercial river rafting outfitters are pros and we’ve been working with them for over 30 years. Since demand for rafting trips in Grand Canyon is high, in our experience the choice of trip comes down to what is available that fits your timeframe and budget rather than what outfitter you’ll be rafting with. While there is some variance in price point and camping gear, the outfitters in Grand Canyon are all operating at a high level.
It’s quite common for people to inquire about chartering a rafting trip, preferring to raft with their friends and companions. A charter river trip in Grand Canyon is an amazing experience that also requires consideration of several additional factors. If you’d like to learn more, click here.