The 1 Day Grand Canyon rafting trip is perfect for those who are short on time and want a taste of a true whitewater experience a mile deep in Grand Canyon. Run rapids on the Colorado River, hike to Travertine Falls, have lunch on the river bank, and take a helicopter ride to the rim – all in one day. Some call it the express Grand Canyon rafting experience.
Discover the rich traditions of the Hualapai people and travel down river with a native guide. There is no requirement to hike in or out of the Grand Canyon. For those who want a bird’s eye view, the helicopter transport up to the rim is an added highlight to your Grand Canyon rafting trip.
Price Includes: all taxes and fees, transportation from the Hualapai Lodge to the Colorado River and back, picnic lunch, beverages and snacks.
Optional Helicopter Add-On: $106 per person - Not Available
Optional Skywalk Add-On: $63 per person - Not Available
Minimum Age: 8 years
Meeting Place: Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, AZ. Transportation: Round Trip Available, ask for details.
Meeting Time: Between 7:00 - 7:45 a.m. Return Time: Between 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Rapids: Class II-III+ depending on water levels - River Miles: 35 miles
Click map to view a full size version of the 1-Day Grand Canyon Rafting Map
The one day trip begins at the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, Arizona. We offer roundtrip transportation from Las Vegas for an additional fee. Please inquire for more information.
Drive times to Peach Springs from neighboring cities are as follows:
Grand Canyon South Rim, AZ: 2.5 hours, 133 miles
Las Vegas, NV: 3 hours, 155 miles
Kingman, AZ: 1 hour, 50 miles
Seligman, AZ: 35 minutes, 37 miles
Williams, AZ: 1.5 hours, 80 miles
Flagstaff, AZ: 2 hours, 110 miles
If you are driving yourself, we recommend staying at the Hualapai Lodge the night before (more information about where to stay below) as the day begins early.
Your rafting adventure takes place on the Hualapai Indian Reservation and is guided by the Hualapai River Runners. This is a unique opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon with people who have a rich history within the Canyon and still call it home. Being mindful of cultural differences and keeping a flexible outlook will enrich your adventure.
On the day of your whitewater trip, you will check-in at 7:00 a.m. with the Hualapai River Runners in the lobby of the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, Arizona (Grand Canyon West). From the Hualapai Lodge, you will travel by bus 1-hour down a scenic dirt road into the Grand Canyon. Trips launch from Diamond Creek at the confluence with the Colorado River.
Your raft will be a 22-foot, motorized inflatable pontoon, which carries 6-8 people. There are typically 6-8 boats traveling down river in a group.
The action begins right away with eight whitewater rapids within the first ten miles. You will get wet! The rapids are rated II and III+, which makes for a wild roller coaster ride of wave trains. If you have back issues, please know the rafts have metal benches and the going through the rapids is a rough ride. After the rapids, the next 25 miles of river will be smooth water and incredible Grand Canyon views.
During the day, you will hike and explore a beautiful side canyon with a waterfall called Travertine Falls, run more rapids, and enjoy a picnic lunch on a sandy bank. Lunch consists of deli-style sandwiches with chips, fruit, cookies, and trail mix. Snacks, water, and soft drinks are always available. Dietary restrictions due to allergy or medical conditions can generally be accommodated.
A note about bathroom breaks: urination during the day, while not near a port-a-john, must take place in the river or in the wet sand next to the river as ordered by the National Park Service.
If you choose the express helicopter lift out of Grand Canyon, you will arrive at your take-out point, Quartermaster Canyon having rafting 35 river miles. Otherwise, you will raft an additional 19 miles to take out at Pearce Ferry. Either way, you will have had an exciting day rafting the Colorado River.
If you choose to add-on the helicopter lift out you will arrive at Quartermaster Canyon between 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. From here you will take a quick 6-7-minute helicopter flight back to the rim of the Grand Canyon. Patience is a must as the helicopter can only take four people at a time. There is a covered waiting area located at the helicopter pad.
After your helicopter flight to the rim, you will wait in an air-conditioned building for the entire group to arrive, including the Skywalk group. Once everyone has arrived, you will take a 2-hour shuttle back to the Hualapai Lodge. Expect to arrive back between 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. depending on the group size.
If you forgo the helicopter, you will continue rafting for approximately two more hours. Enjoy the scenery of Grand Canyon for 19 additional river miles and arrive at Pearce Ferry. Here you will take a bus ride back to Peach Springs. You will arrive back at the Hualapai Lodge between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
The Skywalk is not available with this option. We recommend taking the helicopter out of Grand Canyon, especially in the summer months, as the additional hours on the river makes for an extra-long day.
The Skywalk is the only place where visitors can step out onto a glass walkway and see 4,000 feet down into the Grand Canyon. You can add the Skywalk option to your rafting adventure at our discounted rate (price is at the top of the page). Rafters who choose to do the Skywalk will be helicoptered to the rim first and will have approximately a 30-minute visit at the Skywalk. The Skywalk option is only available if you choose the helicopter lift out of Grand Canyon.
We recommend staying at the Hualapai Lodge the night before and/or the night of your expedition as it is an early start with a full day of activity. This is the only lodging option in Peach Springs. There are train tracks that run near the hotel, so if you are a light sleeper we recommend bringing ear plugs.
We have discounted rates for the Lodge and we are happy to book your rooms for you. Prices vary throughout the season and based upon occupancy between $165 to $230 per room. Your lodging reservation can be cancelled up to 3 business days before your check-in date in order to receive a refund. Cancellations within 3 business days of your check-in date cannot be refunded.
Please know that space in the Hualapai Lodge is limited. If we cannot secure a room there are other lodging options nearby.
Historically speaking weather patterns in Grand Canyon are as follows:
- March, April and May have cooler temperatures and can bring strong winds.
- June through August are the hottest months with temperatures between 95°F – 115°F.
- Monsoon season is July thru September and can bring afternoon clouds and rain showers. (See more about monsoon storm related cancellations below.)
- September and October have cooler temperatures.
The Colorado River water is around 50°F – 55°F all year round. This is a whitewater rafting trip, so you will get wet and the water will be cold!
We'll provide you with a detailed packing list once you book your trip. No matter what time of year, we highly recommend you bring waterproof rain gear (jacket and pants) to protect you from the splash of the rapids, rain and wind. There will be times when you're in the shade and if you're wet - even in the summer - it can get uncomfortable.
If you're rafting in the spring or fall, you'll want to bring layers to keep warm. Sun protection is a must as you'll be spending a long day out in the Arizona sun. We have more gear information here (please note this gear is for all river trips and is not specific to the 1 day trip): https://riversandoceans.com/recommended-gear/
Payment and Cancellation Policy
Payment in full is required at the time of booking your 1-day Grand Canyon Rafting adventure. More than 30 days prior to the original trip date it is possible to cancel by forfeiting $50 per person. The remainder of the total amount paid will be refunded. Cancellations received within 29 to 1 day prior to the trip date and/or no shows will forfeit the total amount paid.
Please know that Rivers & Oceans is subject to the outfitter’s policies and cannot make exceptions for any reason to their cancellation policy. We are also subject to any changes made to the trip itineraries, departure dates, prices, and/or their reservation policies at any time.
After reserving the trip, you may change your trip date one time by paying an additional $25 per person date change fee up to 2 days prior to the trip date. Date change requests received within 2 days of the trip date will be treated as cancellations and will forfeit the total amount paid. Please note, if you change your trip date and need to cancel your trip, the total amount paid will be retained and no refunds will be issued.
If, for your safety, the helicopter is grounded due to weather (wind, rain, severe heat) you will raft down river for an additional two hours to a different take-out point where you will take a bus back to the Hualapai Lodge. You will receive a refund for the helicopter portion of your expedition. Pricing is listed above.
If there is an intense rainstorm the night before your rafting trip the dirt road down to the river may be washed out. In this situation the Hualapai River Runners will do their best to clear the road allowing you to raft that day.
This could delay your launch by one to two hours, which will affect the pacing of your trip. If the road is unable to be cleared your trip will be cancelled and you will be given the opportunity to reschedule or you have the option of a full refund.
We have more information about variations in the river during the rafting season.