Wet and Wild: Grand Canyon Rafting Adventure
June or July 2020
Rafting the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River
Witness the magnificent panoramas of the Grand Canyon. Experience the ride of a lifetime on dazzling whitewater rapids. Hike secluded canyons to mighty waterfalls. Enjoy the quiet of the wilderness and the roar of the river.
- Unwind in gorgeous, cascading waterfalls.
- Behold remote trails and canyons rarely traveled by most of the visitors to the Grand Canyon.
- Splash your way down whitewater rapids, like Lava Falls and Soap Creek, on a 14-person motorized raft.
- Relish gourmet food prepared by first-rate outfitters.
- Hike to the astonishingly fascinating ruins at Nankoweap.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
Take a wild, whitewater ride through history
Few places in the world invoke the word ‘frontier’ as much as the Grand Canyon. It is indeed epic in scale and beauty. The Colorado River cuts through 2 billion years of history. Millions of visitors see the park but very few make way into the depths of the canyons.
Our exciting adventure takes us down the full 280 miles of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. You’ll plunge through whitewater rapids on a motorized raft to keep us moving when the water is calm. There is no paddling involved so you can take it easy and enjoy the incredible vistas always changing around us. We’ll leave the water to explore hidden canyons. We’ll hike through incredible multicolored rock sculptures. We’ll witness and immerse ourselves in several waterfalls and swimming holes.
At night we’ll visit with new friends over a delicious dinner then sleep under the stars.
Optional Tour Choices (available at the shopping cart):
$260 Single Supplement (for solo travelers who want to have a private bedroom/bathroom instead of a shared suite while in Las Vegas)
$170 Upgrade to a studio for couples while in Las Vegas
Deposit is available: $1000 – call 800-825-9766.
- Excellent accommodations in a Las Vegas hotel on first and last nights. Usually, they are 2 bedrooms, 2 bathroom suites.
- A reception in Las Vegas on the first day and a happy-hour party with appetizers after returning from rafting.
- Professional, experienced river guides and our personable Out West Adventures Tour leader.
- A comfortable ride from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and back.
- One week floating the length of Grand Canyon National Park on a 14-person motorized raft.
- Camp by the river in 2-person tents with comfortable sleeping bags for 7 nights.
- Belknap’s Waterproof Grand Canyon River Guide book.
- Meals, beer, wine, and soft drinks during the rafting trip.
- Out West Adventures provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our tours for guests who do not have other coverage.
- Contribution to the Grand Canyon Conservation Fund.
- Airfare to and from Las Vegas.
- Transfers between Las Vegas airport and hotel.
- Dinner on day of arrival.
- Gratuities for guides.
You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself in Las Vegas.
BTW – The activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends.
This tour starts and ends in Las Vegas, Nevada. Please plan to arrive in time to join the group for the 6pm orientation.
No rowing, paddling or other special skills are required for this trip, and we can accommodate most physical limitations. Guests will be hopping on and off of a large raft from the shore or water level, and a helping hand is always available. The raft stops several times every day for lunch and hiking opportunities…these range from easy walks over gravel and sand to challenging climbs with steep drops. Most participants will enjoy going on these hikes, which range from 10 minutes to an hour or two in length. But you can always stay by the raft and relax if you prefer.
As for bathroom breaks: We’re always close to the shore, and the guides are happy to pull over if you need an extra break in between regular stops.
You won’t be in it all the time. A typical day will include just four or five hours of rafting. There will be sections of flat-water during which you can relax and enjoy the scenery, as well as over a hundred whitewater rapids. The rest of the time we’ll be exploring the side canyons that are rarely seen by most visitors, hiking, swimming, or fishing.
No. You don’t need to swim unless you want to, and everyone will be wearing a life preserver while on the boat. Lots of non-swimmers take this trip.
You may find rainbow and brown trout when the River is running clear. You must purchase a fishing license in advance, and we are happy to send you more information upon request.
We suggest bringing a small folding rod, for easy storage. You must bring your own fishing supplies, or get them in Las Vegas; there is no opportunity to pick up supplies after that point.
Emergency Communications – the river guide carries a satellite phone to make medical calls out. If there were a true medical emergency, Life Flight would be called and a basket dropped down to the raft. However, the guide’s phone is not available for client use. You could rent a satellite phone if you had an urgent need to be in touch with someone back home, but it would be very expensive, and would certainly detract from the joy of being so remote.
Getting out of the Canyon before Lake Mead – there are two ways to get out of the canyon during the rafting, both at about the half-way point. At Phantom Ranch the trail winds down from the South Rim, crosses the river, and goes on to the Ranch. It is about a full day hike from the bridge up to the South Rim, and certainly not recommended, since you will be equipped for rafting, rather than for a long hike. The other way isn’t really practical either – there is a helicopter pad downstream from Phantom Ranch, but you would have to arrange your own helicopter in and out, and it is mighty expensive. And of course the problem with both of these options is that it will take 3.5 days to get there after we start rafting, and once you pass each point, that option is gone. Therefore, there is no practical way to leave the trip mid-stream. If you have an urgent matter back home that might require your signature, you might want to talk with a professional about the use of a Limited Power of Attorney, to grant someone the power to execute documents for you while you are gone, in accordance with your instructions.
Some river outfitters just raft half the Grand Canyon. If you start or end the trip halfway down, there’s no way out of the canyon except with a long hike. We raft all the way from Lee’s Ferry, Arizona to Lake Mead, with easy access at each end.
It’s virtually unknown for rafters to experience seasickness. The rapids are exciting but short, and the up-and-down motion of the raft is too brief to bother most people. Most of our trip is spent on calm water, where you can relax and enjoy the ever-changing scenery.
Thousands of people have safely rafted down the Colorado River, but a trip of this nature inevitably involves some risks. Emergency evacuations are possible, and we provide insurance to help cover the cost if such an occasion arises, but we recommend you check your own insurance policies as well, as ultimately costs of such aid are your responsibility.
No, the water is controlled by the Glen Canyon dam, upstream, so the rapids stay about the same year around. Water levels fluctuate 6-12″ some daily, you may not even notice until it is pointed out to you.
Typical temperatures in the Canyon, in Fahrenheit, are:
March, November: 60-70 degrees daytime, 40-50 at night
April, October: 70-85 daytime; 50-70 at night
May, September: 80-90 daytime, 60-70 at night
June to August: 90-110 daytime, 60-80 at night
While the numbers are high, the dry air, combined with opportunities for swimming or hopping under a waterfall, will help keep you comfortable.
The water is cold (55 degrees) at Lees Ferry, at the start of the canyon, because it’s being released from the bottom of Lake Powell, behind the Glen Canyon Dam. It gets only slightly warmer as you travel down the canyon.
Not much! We supply all the camping and sleeping equipment; waterproof river bags; portable toilets (always set in a private part of the campground, and probably featuring the best view of any bathroom, ever); and all meals. We’ll send you a suggested packing list a month or two before the trip. Don’t worry about investing in a fancy duffle bag, as the only luggage permitted on board is the waterproof gear provided by the outfitter. You can also leave a suitcase at the hotel with any items you want with you in Las Vegas, but will not need in the Grand Canyon.
The first and last nights are spent at a hotel in Las Vegas. On the river, we’ll camp outside; everything you’ll need is supplied. Tents are available, but except for the rare evenings when it rains most people prefer to sleep under the stars, enjoying the distant twinkle of the Milky Way as they fall asleep.
Here are some comments about the sleeping arrangements by a recent participant in this trip:
Sleeping on a cot becomes so insignificant in terms of the rest of the grandeur and adventure and camaraderie that the trip offers. For the first night in camp you get a bed-roll that becomes yours for the week. Included is a very nice sleeping bag, a blue tarpaulin for ground cover and a self-inflatable air pad, which is about an inch and a half thick.
All the campsites are on beaches, so you are generally camping on sand. Of course sleeping on a cot can never be as comfortable as sleeping on a bed. But the UPSIDE is that sleeping alongside a rapid provides some of the most soothing ambient noise that and best relaxation that you will ever find and the view of the stars is magnificent!
You’ll be amazed what our guides can prepare over the campfire! A typical dinner will include a meat course, fresh vegetables, salad, biscuits, soup, and dessert. Moreover, unlike most companies, we supply beer and wine with dinners, as well as fruit juice, soft drinks, and water throughout the day. (We carry several hundred pounds of ice along, just to keep everything cold!) The sublime beauty of the Grand Canyon, and friendships you form on the voyage, will undoubtedly be your best memories of this trip. But the superb food is likely to be a close second.
Many special dietary needs can be accommodated, and our pre-trip questionnaire will ask you about any such needs. If you have unusual requirements, we’ll be happy to supply storage space for food that you bring along.
If they provide good service, then yes, a gratuity at the end of the trip is customary and appreciated. We’re confident that you’ll be so impressed by the helpfulness, knowledge, and culinary skills of the guides, that you’ll be eager to show your appreciation. We suggest a 5-10% tip at the end of the trip, which will be divided between the captain and swamper. Because there are no ATMs on the river, you should bring cash for tipping the crew on board with you.
Out West Adventures Tour Director
Tipping your Out West Adventures tour director is at your discretion. Rest assured that he or she works hard behind the scenes to ensure that your vacation is a wonderful, adventurous, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Your host is there to deal with any snags or hiccups so that you can enjoy your well earned holiday. We suggest $10-12 per day depending on the level of service you receive.
Our first evening is fully scheduled, with a welcome reception and meal, and orientation. Guests then adjourn to their rooms to pack their things into the waterproof bags provided. The next morning is a 4:20am departure.
If you want to enjoy a show or the other delights Las Vegas offers, we recommend additional nights in Las Vegas. We are happy to help you arrange hotels for the duration of your stay.
We usually arrive back to our hotel by 4:30 or 5:00pm; construction or other delays can affect that. All of our guests really value a hot shower upon arrival, and many like to do a load of laundry rather than packing their suitcases full of dirty camp clothes. We walk to dinner together tonight and our hotel for this evening is included. You will find yourself more comfortable if you book your flights the next day (shown as the final date of the tour).
That said, if you must fly home early, book a flight AFTER 8:00pm.
For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174