Western Grand Canyon Rafting Trips
Visit a working cattle ranch, enjoy a scenic helicopter ride, and go whitewater rafting in the Grand Canyon - all in 3 to 5 days.
White Water Rafting Grand Canyon for 3 to 5 Days
Also called the Grand Canyon raft and ranch trips, the Western Grand Canyon trip covers the final stretch of the Colorado River. The trip provides a multi-activity experience with a visit to a ranch, a 5-minute helicopter ride and 92 miles of river all the way to Lake Mead. Interested in a helicopter ride, you can do a separate helicopter tour of Grand Canyon which we find to be the best helicopter value and experience.
These 3, 4 or 5 day trips are popular for people who have less time and still want to experience the whitewater and scenery in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This trip includes the section run on one and 2-day trips from Diamond Creek to Lake Mead. The 3-day Grand Canyon rafting trip is by far the most common Western Canyon tour.
No Mandatory Hike
There is no requirement to do the hike in or out on a Western Grand Canyon rafting trip, making this trip more accessible.
Where to Start
Not sure what we mean by a mandatory hike or motorized versus non-motorized trips. Check out our Grand Canyon rafting overview page or give us a call. We’ll answer your questions and guide you through the process to help you find your perfect Colorado river rafting trip. Since 1987 our service has been free and we work with all 16 Grand Canyon outfitters. The cost is guaranteed to be the same rate you would get booking your trip directly with an outfitter.
$1,595 - $2,342 per person
Western Canyon Facts
Length: Motor Trips 3–4 days
Oar Trips 4 days
Price: Motor Trips $1595 – $2160
Oar Trips $2343
Begin: Whitmore Wash (mile 188)
*Helicopter Ride to the River
End: Pearce Ferry (mile 280)
Season: April – October
Min. Age: Motor Trips – 8 years
Oar Trips – 12 years
Western Grand Canyon Rafting Trips Details
All Western Canyon expeditions 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 for the “Grand Canyon raft and ranch trip”. 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.
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.
Video: 3 Day Grand Canyon Rafting Trip
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 Colorado River
This stretch of the Colorado river includes several mild to moderate rapids (class II-III), tranquil flows and plenty of opportunity to get wet. The Western section of Grand Canyon has about a dozen rapids, which are predominantly moderate (Class III). Glen Canyon Dam controls the water flow, which comes from far beneath the surface of Lake Powell. The water is cold (48 to 54°F), and can be emerald green or chocolate brown depending on the season. The good news is that due to Glen Canyon Dam the river always has enough water for rafting.
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.
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