Lower Grand Canyon

WHY WE LOVE THIS ADVENTURE

Looked at various “outfitters” and became somewhat confused. Noted reference to Rivers and Oceans who act as information and booking service. Found them extremely helpful by phone and internet. They arranged booking and accommodation at South Rim prior to commencing. Highly recommended.

-Anonymous

START AT THE MIDDLE

All Lower Grand Canyon rafting trips begin at river mile 89, and trips end at varying locations 100 or more miles downstream giving you the chance to soak in more Canyon.

DEEP CONNECTION

No Wi-Fi means you are able to connect to something greater – the earth, your loved ones, new friends, yourself.

BIG WHITEWATER

On day one, you’ll immediately plunge into some of the Colorado’s most famous rapids and by the end of the trip you’ll have run the biggest, navigable rapids on the North American continent.

GREAT GUIDES

Accomplished, educated guides share their knowledge of the Canyon, amplifying the quality of your experience.

HIKE IN

Your adventure begins by hiking into the deepest part of Grand Canyon via the famous Bright Angel Trail.

LOWER GRAND CANYON

Lower Grand Canyon Inquiry Request

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After hiking into the Canyon, your adventure begins near Phantom Ranch at river mile 89 and ends 100 or more miles downstream. This stretch of the Colorado river includes numerous large rapids (class II-IV), tranquil flows, archaeological sites, and other side canyon explorations. You will camp out on beaches in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. After the trip, you will be transported to the designated ending point.

This is not a tour; it’s an expedition!

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.

Hiking In Is Mandatory

Lower Grand Canyon rafting expeditions require a strenuous 7.5 mile hike into the Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail where you meet your trip. If you are considering a Lower Canyon rafting expedition, please read the following information about hiking the Bright Angel Trail to see if this is a good fit for you. Read more...

Grand Canyon Experts

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).

Want to know more?

Visit our Grand Canyon Rafting Made Easy site for an in-depth series of informational pamphlets 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.

Beginnings

All Lower Canyon trips begin from the Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park and require a 7.5-mile hike to the river via the Bright Angel Trail (please click here to learn more about hiking the Bright Angel Trail). You will need to arrive at the South Rim the day before your trip and spend the night in order to get an early start on your hike the following morning. We can help you with South Rim lodging reservations. A guide will meet your group and together the group will hike down to the river near Phantom Ranch.

Endings

Depending on outfitter and trip selected, Lower Canyon trips may end at either: Whitmore Wash (mile 188), Diamond Creek (mile 225) or Pearce Ferry (mile 280). Transportation from the take out point back to the start city is provided by the outfitter.

Price Includes

ll camping and river-related safety equipment. Plenty of fresh food, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks. Transportation to Lees Ferry. Depending on the outfitter and trip selected, additional transportation may be included.

Weather

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

The river alternates between short sections of rapids and long calm stretches. Rapids range from predominantly moderate (Class III) to a couple of large rapids (Class IV). The Lower section of Grand Canyon has the biggest, navigable rapids on the North American continent including Horn Creek, Granite Falls, Hermit, and Lava Falls, the largest rapid on the Colorado. 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.

The Boats

Your boat will depend on the outfitter and the type of trip you select. The most common is the oar raft, which can carry up to 4 people and a guide who maneuvers the boat with a pair of oars. There is also the possibility of 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).

Group Size

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.

Camp Life

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.

Meals

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.

QUICK FACTS

LengthMotor Trips 5 – 7 days
Oar Trips 7 – 12 days
Price: Motor Trips $1,361 – $2,295 per person
Oar Trips $2,600 – $4,723 per person
Season: April – October
Min. Age: Motor Trips – 8 years
Oar Trips – 12 years
Activity: Whitewater Rafting
Adventure Level: Strong

Overview of Lower Canyon

Hiking the Bright Angel Trail

Temperatures in the Canyon

Temperatures in the Canyon

A Glimpse Into The Canyon

Photos: Paxon Woelber, John Andrew Rice, Robb Hannawacker

Grand Canyon Rafting Comparison Chart

 

Length: 1 day

Price: Starting at $451

Season: March – October

Hike In/Out Required: No

Length: 2 days

Price: Starting at $795

Season: March – October

Hike In/Out Required: No

 

Length: 3-5 days

Price: Starting at $1,283

Season: April – October

Hike In/Out Required: No

 

Length: 3-8 days

Price: Starting at $1,159

Season: April – October

Hike In/Out Required: Hike Out

 

Length: 5-12 days

Price: Starting at $1,361

Season: April – October

Hike In/Out Required: Hike In

 

Length: 6-18 days

Price: Starting at $2,550

Season: April – October

Hike In/Out Required: No

 

Photos: Paxon Woelber