Grand Canyon White Water and Smooth Water River Rafting Trips

White Water rafting Grand Canyon

Some of the most exciting adventures in the Grand Canyon are the raft trips. There are several different raft trips you can take in the park. There are commercial raft trips you can book with a rafting company and noncommercial raft trips that you can do yourself with a river trip permit.

The different types of Grand Canyon raft trip opportunities include:

1 Day Commercial River Rafting 

Trips are half or full day smooth water or whitewater rafting trips on the Colorado river. The one day river trips occur at the western portion of the Grand Canyon at Quartermaster or Diamond Creek. The northeastern river trips occur between Glen Canyon Dam and Lees Ferry.

* Commercial Grand Canyon Whitewater Raft Trips are offered by the Hualapai River Runners which is a concession of the Hualapai Tribe. These raft trips last all day and take place in the western portion of the Grand canyon. These whitewater raft trips launch at Diamond Creek which is north of Peach Springs, AZ. From the South Rim, it is a drive of 160 miles and takes 4 to 5 hours.

* 1 Day Commercial Smooth Water Grand Canyon Raft Trips are provided by  Glen Canyon Rafting Hospitality, LLC and last from half-day to full-day trips. The smooth water trips start at Page, AZ and float from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry. From the South Rim, it is about a 140 mile drive to Page and takes about 3 hours.

2 to 5 Day Noncommercial River Trips

2 to 5 Day Noncommercial Grand Canyon River Trips at Diamond Creek are located at the west end of the Grand Canyon which is called the Lower Gorge. The 52 mile trip is a mix of whitewater and smooth water. In order to take this trip you must have a Noncommercial River Permit. Two noncommercial Grand Canyon raft trips are authorized to launch from Diamond Creek every day. Each of the raft trips are limited to 16 people.

The National Park Service does not charge any permit fees for this portion of the river, but you will be charged an access fee by the Hualapai Tribe for crossing tribal land. To obtain a permit you will need to complete and submit a Diamond-Down River Trip Application. You must submit the application 1 year in advance and permits are issued on a first-come, first served system.

3 to 18 Day Commercial Raft Trips

3 to 18 Day Commercial Grand Canyon Raft Trips are offered by 16 licensed commercial river outfitters that have been permitted to provide a variety of Grand Canyon raft trips on the Colorado River. A majority of the trips last 7-18 days, but shorter trips are available. Trips can be traditional rafts that are paddled, motorized rafts, and dories.

12 to 25 Day Noncommercial River Trips

12 to 25 Day Noncommercial Grand Canyon River Trips from Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek. These are self-guided private raft trips that are made available to the public through a weighted lottery permit system. Before you apply for these Grand Canyon raft trip permits, you need to know that there are several requirements that must be met because of the level of difficulty involved with this trip.

In Conclusion

These Grand Canyon raft tours that last at least a week are one of the best ways for you to experience the true wildness of the Grand Canyon. You will not only have the thrill of the river, but be able to spend some time exploring the side canyons and sandy beaches.

The advantages of guided raft trips include learning more about the history and environment of the Grand Canyon, stopping at all the best swimming holes, and of course having someone else prepare and cook the meals!

Remember to spend the time visiting the different rafting tour companies to compare services, types of watercraft, and of course price. In order to book a raft trip, you will need to contact the commercial raft companies directly or contact us for help with picking the best one.

Leave a Comment