grand canyonCOLORADO RIVER

Colorado River Grand Canyon Travel

 Colorado River Grand Canyon

The Colorado River is the beating heart of the Grand Canyon. Starting at its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, this mighty river flows 1450 miles to the Gulf of California, 277 miles of which flow through the Grand Canyon.  The Colorado is the major tool in the creation of the Grand Canyon, and one of the major sources of life sustaining water for many western states. The Inner Grand Canyon is basically any area below the Canyon Rim to the Colorado River.  With 277 River Miles and over twice that distance along both Rims, this is a fairly vast area and most places in the inner canyon are only accessible via foot or boat. 

The average visitation to the Grand Canyon is only a couple hours and few visitors ever venture below the Rim.  Although the Views from the top are unsurpassed, you just don't get a true Grand Canyon experience without getting below the Rim. Stepping below the Rim gives you a totally new perspective of the Grand Canyon.  This perspective changes as you make your way to the Colorado River, where there are vast stretches people cannot even see the top of the canyon. Whether you hike from the rim, hop in a raft, hop on a mule, take a flight, or drive out to a scenic overlook to get a view of the Colorado River, make sure you spend a little time taking in this awesome force of mother nature. Read the guide below to learn more.

Colorado River Activities and Tours

Colorado River by Raft

Rafting the Colorado River is a great way to explore the inner Grand Canyon and
rafters are able to visit places at the bottom of the Canyon no one else gets to see. 
Rafting Trips on the Colorado River are among the best in the world with huge whitewater rapids, stunning scenery, and great side hikes many of which can only be accessed while you are on the river. 

Colorado River by Foot

The extensive trail system within Grand Canyon National Park covers a lot of ground and hiking the Inner Grand Canyon is one of the most popular Grand Canyon activities. Grand Canyon Hikers main goal is usually reaching the Colorado River from the rim, or crossing the river via one of two suspension bridges to get to Phantom Ranch, or hiking all the way across the canyon from the North Rim to the South Rim. 

Colorado River by Mule

Mule rides within Grand Canyon National Park are limited to the Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, and North Kaibab Trail.  You can also take a mule to Havasu Falls, or get below the Rim at Grand Canyon West on the Hualapai Reservation. 

Colorado River by Air

There are limited helicopter flights into the Canyon, but both the Hualapai (Grand Canyon West) and Havasupai Reservations offer helicopter flights that will get you into the inner Grand Canyon. 

Colorado River by Road

Only two scenic drives that actually go into the Grand Canyon all the way to the Colorado River.  One is the road is to Lee's Ferry, where boaters start their journey through the Grand Canyon.  The other road which actually carves its way through the Canyon starts near Peach Springs, AZ and follows Diamond Creek to the Colorado River through the Hualapai Reservation.

Colorado River Lodging and Services

Take a look at our list of Colorado River hotels, tour guides, activities, restaurants, shopping and services on our Map and Listing Guide at the bottom of this page or get even more detailed information by following the links below.

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