Grand Canyon Multi-Day Whitewater Rafting Trips

Multi-Day Rafting through the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon’s Colorado River is one of the top ten whitewater destinations in the world. Far more than just a rafting trip, the Colorado River offers unparalleled beauty while you journey through the world’s grandest Canyon! From Lee’s Ferry to Grand Wash Cliffs, the Colorado River flows 277 miles through Grand Canyon National Park and the Hualapai Indian Reservation, offering a variety of rafting options. Along with the thrills of huge rapids, you’ll also experience hidden side canyons, beautiful waterfalls, ancient ruins, backcountry camping, and meals that rival your favorite restaurant. Read the guide below to learn more about rafting the Grand Canyon.

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Multi-Day Rafting Trip Options

The most popular time to raft the Grand Canyon is May through September due to the warmer weather. Although spring and fall offer ideal temperatures for hiking & backpacking trips, the cold water of the Colorado makes rafting less comfortable. A Grand Canyon rafting trip is a wilderness experience, so you will be camping each night. However, great meals, comfortable pads & tents, and the sound of the river as you drift “figuratively” off to sleep, makes this a much less rustic camping experience.

The Colorado River through Grand Canyon is usually split into three sections, and you can choose to raft one or all of them, depending on the amount of time you have and the level of adventure you are looking for.

Upper Grand Canyon Rafting Trip (River Miles 1-88)

An Upper Colorado River rafting triup begins at Lee’s Ferry in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. From there, your boats sink deeper and deeper into the earth with every river mile and you’ll watch the walls of the canyon grow higher above you every day. The Upper has some large rapids but not the concentration of them that the Lower has. Highlights of the Upper include: Redwall Cavern, Vasey’s Paradise, Nankoweap ruins, the Little Colorado River, and Phantom Ranch. If you choose to do only the Upper, you’ll be hiking to the top of Grand Canyon from Phantom Ranch; there is no helicopter service available inside the national park. 

Lower Grand Canyon Rafting Trip (River Miles 88-226)

The Lower begins at Phantom Ranch so if you’re just starting your rafting trip, you’ll have to hike to the bottom of the canyon to meet your boat. The Lower is an exhilarating whitewater trip and it begins immediately—once you get in your boats at Phantom Ranch you’ll descend through several Class 7-9 rapids within the first hour. The Lower is a longer section of the river and includes: Phantom Ranch, Elves Chasm, Deer Creek Falls, Havasu Creek, and Lava Falls. Passengers can get out at Diamond Creek and be shuttled back to their vehicles or you can continue on the Diamond Down.

Diamond Down Rafting Trip (River Miles 226-279)

This trip begins at Diamond Creek, on the Hualapai Indian Reservation. Shuttles will drive you down to the river to meet your boats. While you’ll encounter some rapids on the trip, you’ll also have plenty of time to enjoy the more mellow sections to take in the scenery as the river becomes wider and wider until it eventually meets Lake Mead. This trip includes: Travertine Falls, Separation Canyon, and Grand Wash Cliffs. At the end of the trip you can either take a shuttle or helicopter back to where you started.

Rapids on the Colorado River use a Big Water scale of Class 1-10, with a Class 10 rapid being similar to a Class V rapid on other rivers.

Average Trip and Price Option List

Lee's Ferry to Lake Mead Whitewater Rafting

  • Length: 286 river miles
  • Rapids: Class 1-10
  • Prices Start At:
    Motorized Raft(J-Rig) for 6-8-9 days – $2,275-$2,340-$2,510 per person
    Oar Raft for 14 days - $3,570 per person

Lee's Ferry to Diamond Creek Whitewater Rafting

  • Length: 226 river miles
  • Rapids: Class 1-10
  • Prices Start At:
    Motorized Raft(J-Rig) for 8 days – $2,340 per person
    Oar Raft for 14 days - $3,570 per person

Lee's Ferry to Whitmore Wash Whitewater Rafting

  • Length: 190 river miles
  • Rapids: Class 1-10
  • Prices Start At:
    Oar Raft for 12 nights - $3,485 per person

Lee's Ferry to Phantom Ranch Whitewater Rafting

  • Length: 88 river miles
  • Transportation Requirements: 9.5 mile hike out the Bright Angel Trail (mule rides available with advanced reservations)
  • Rapids: Class 1-10
  • Prices Start At:
    Oar Raft for 6 days - $1,820 per person

Phantom Ranch to Lake Mead Whitewater Rafting

  • Length: 199 river miles
  • Transportation Requirements: 7 mile hike in the South Kaibab Trail (mule rides available with advanced reservation)
  • Rapids: Class 1-10
  • Prices Start At:
    Oar Raft for 9-10 days - $2,690 per person

Phantom Ranch to Diamond Creek Whitewater Rafting

  • Length: 138 river miles
  • Transportation Requirements: 7 mile hike in the South Kaibab Trail (mule rides available with advanced reservation)
  • Class I to X Rapids   (Rapids on the Colorado River use a Big Water scale of class I-X, with a class X rapid being similar to a class V rapid on other rivers)
  • Prices Start :
    Oar Raft for 9 days - $2,690 per person

Whitmore Wash to Lake Mead Whitewater Rafting

  • Length: 97 river miles
  • Rapids: Class I-9
  • Transportation Requirements: Helicopter Ride
  • Prices Start At:
    Motorized Raft(J-Rig) for 3 nights - $1,295 per person
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