All Western Canyon trips begin in Las Vegas, NV with a 50-minute flight to the Bar 10 Ranch in Arizona. Depending on the trip you select, you may stay overnight at the ranch. A scenic helicopter ride will take you from the ranch to the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Your river adventure begins at Whitmore Wash at river mile 188 and ends 92 miles downstream at Pearce Ferry. Hike side canyons and enjoy a fun, whitewater experience. Camp out on beaches in the bottom of the Grand Canyon under a blanket of stars. After the trip, you will be transported back to Las Vegas.
A flexible, open attitude is a necessity. You will be immersed in the varying elements of nature. There is no set daily itinerary. There is no Wi-Fi, electricity, or indoor plumbing. There is plenty of adventure, camaraderie, good food, and beautiful Grand Canyon scenery.
Our team has been booking rafting trips in Grand Canyon for 30 years. We have solid relationships with all the outfitters and personally know each type of trip offered. At no additional cost, we will not only find the best trip for you, but also walk you through your travel logistics and arrange regional reservations associated with your expedition (something the river outfitters don’t provide).
Visit our Grand Canyon Rafting Made Easy site for an in-depth series of informational guides created by veteran river guides to give you all the information you need about Grand Canyon Rafting trips. These experts are also on standby to answer all your questions and find your perfect trip.
All trips begin in Las Vegas with a 50-minute scenic flight to the Bar Ten Ranch in Arizona. Depending on the outfitter you may spend one night at the ranch or you may go directly to the river. A spectacular ten-minute helicopter ride will take you from the ranch to the beach below where you meet the boats. The Western Canyon trip covers the final stretch of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon and offers travelers a journey of nearly one hundred river miles from Whitmore Wash to Pearce Ferry.
On your last day you will exit the Canyon on a 1.5-hour speedboat ride to Pearce Ferry. Transportation from Pearce Ferry back to Las Vegas is provided by the outfitter.
All camping and river-related safety equipment. Plenty of fresh food, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks. The flight from Las Vegas to the Bar Ten Ranch, helicopter flight from the ranch to the river, jet boat ride out of the canyon to Lake Mead and the return ride to Las Vegas are also included. If you have selected a trip that includes a night’s stay at the Bar Ten Ranch, this will also be included in your package.
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 95-115°F. Monsoon season starts in July, 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.
The river alternates between short sections of rapids and long calm stretches. There are about thirty rapids in the upper section, but our introduction is gentle as the rapids start out small and gradually increase in size. Rapids range from predominantly moderate (Class III) to a couple of large rapids (Class IV). Glen Canyon Dam controls the water flow, which comes from far beneath the surface of Lake Powell. The water is cold (48°F), and can be emerald green or chocolate brown depending on the season.
Your boat will depend on the outfitter and the type of trip you select. There are two types of trips for the Western section of Grand Canyon: Oar and motorized. Oar rafts can carry up to 4 people and a guide who maneuvers the boat with a pair of oars. There is also a motor raft, which is 36-38 feet long depending on the outfitter and powered by four-cycle motors, which enable them to traverse the canyon in a shorter amount of time. The environmentally friendly motors are low-emissions and quiet (one can even sit next to the motor and have a conversation using a normal tone of voice). There are trip options for those who wish to have a more active role (hybrid, all paddle) and there are a couple of outfitters who offer dory trips (hard hulled boats).
Oar trips will have 5 to 7 boats, each carrying up to 4 participants with no more than 22 in the group. Motor trips will have 1 to 2 boats, each carrying up to 14 participants with no more than 28 in the group.
Whether you’re an experienced camper or it’s your first time under the stars, our outfitters are specialists in facilitating an enjoyable and relaxing camping experience. You will be provided a full sleep kit with sleeping bag, inflatable pad and ground tarp. Tents are available in case of rain, and some outfitters provide cots and camp chairs for additional comfort. Everyone participates in setting up and breaking down camp. A clean, private camp toilet is set up first thing upon arrival at camp and it is the last thing to be dismantled the next morning.
One thing is certain on a Grand Canyon rafting trip: There will be plenty of food! A full, hearty breakfast with cowboy coffee gets the day going. A riverside picnic sets the scene for lunch where you create your own sandwich. Dinners can be anything from a New York steak, grilled filet of salmon, or a Mexican feast followed by a hot, Dutch oven dessert. There are plenty of snacks and beverages offered throughout the day. Alcoholic beverages are not included, but you are welcome to bring your own. With advance notice, all outfitters are able to accommodate for special dietary requirements.