river trip grand canyon

Colorado River Rafting Trips and Tours

Papillon has operated tourism helicopters in the Grand Canyon since 1965. We also have decades of experience helping our customers make memories that last a lifetime with your specialized tour packages, including the most exciting and affordable Colorado River rafting trips at Grand Canyon National Park.

Most of our Colorado River river rafting trips bundle a few exciting sightseeing highlights into one package. See more of canyon country by letting Papillon arrange your next adventure tour.

With Papillon, you can explore the Eastern Grand Canyon, see Antelope Canyon, float through Horseshoe Bend, and take a Colorado River boat tour that floats through Marble Canyon all the way to Lee's Ferry.

Talk about an exciting day of adventure! This is Colorado River rafting at its finest!

colorado river rafting

Colorado River Raft Trips

If you are looking for leisurely and scenic Colorado River Raft Trips Papillon offers the best one day trip available on the market!

This 15.5-mile smooth water rafting trip stops at all the top Glen Canyon National Recreation Area sites before it heads into Grand Canyon National Park.

A top highlight is Horseshoe Bend - Colorado River's perfect colorful curve - where you can disembark for photos and exploration.

You'll eventually make your way through Marble Canyon, into Grand Canyon National Park, and see Navajo Nation on your return trip from Lee's Ferry.

colorado river boat tour

Colorado River Boat Tour

Of the entire 277-mile length of river in the National Park, Grand Canyon West offers the best choice for fast and affordable Colorado River boat tours.

This is also the closest part of the National Park to Las Vegas and Papillon has a number of Grand Canyon Tours from Las Vegas that operate to West Rim daily.

Colorado River rafting trips offered at the West Rim also combine helicopter rides and tickets to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

After a thrilling helicopter ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, you'll board a pontoon boat that will transport you down the most famous river in the American West. You'll have time to capture photos, videos, and see wildlife. When you return to the Grand Canyon rim, your trip continues with VIP access to the world-famous Skywalk.

There are a variety of lengths to our Colorado River boat tours that are part of our Grand Canyon tours packages.

If you have more time, enjoy a luxury bus ride from Las Vegas through the Southwest desert scenery. You'll arrive at Grand Canyon West and take a thrilling helicopter ride to the canyon floor, relax on a boat ride along the Colorado River, and even walk on the glass Skywalk bridge back at the Canyon's rim.

colorado river rafting trips

Colorado River White Water Rafting

If you are looking for a more intense experience on the river, and wish to combine it with the adrenaline rush or flying down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in a helicopter, our river rafting with a helicopter tour included package is for you!

This fast and furious Colorado River white water rafting trip takes you through a section of Lower Canyon that contains a number of big water rapids aboard a motorized raft.

Your trip terminates at Grand Canyon West where a helicopter will be waiting for you to transport you back to the Grand Canyon West Airport, and then onto Las Vegas.

colorado river white water rafting

FAQs About Colorado River Rafting

How much does it cost to go rafting on the Colorado River?

The cost of your Colorado River rafting  rip will vary greatly depending on a few factors. First, how many days will you spend on the river? Second, is your Colorado River Boat Tour a commercial or private trip?

What time of year is best for white water rafting in Colorado?

The most popular time of year to raft the Colorado River is between April through September. At this time, the weather is pleasant and  the water is a bit warmer.

Is it safe to raft the Colorado River?

No tour of the Colorado River is 100% safe. While extremely rare, drowning deaths do happen on the Colorado River. Also, the water of the Colorado River can be extremely cold even on hot summer days so you have to beware of hypothermia.

Where are the best rapids on the Colorado River?

The biggest and perhaps the most famous rapid on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon is Lava Falls. This massive rapid drops nearly 40 feet quickly and churns river runner for nearly a half minute.

Is it difficult to raft the Colorado River?

The National Park closely regulates the commercial rafting companies that offer trips on the Colorado River through the 277-mile park. Most trips are moderately strenuous but very safe.

What type of rafts can you use on Colorado River rafting trips?

The most common types of rafts on Grand Canyon river rafting trips include motorized rafts (fast, stable), oar-powered (slower paced), and paddle rafts (more physically intensive).

How do I choose a company for a Colorado River rafting trip?

Grand Canyon National Park licenses and certifies Colorado River tour operators and grants them specific concession contracts for different sections of the river. Once you select your Colorado River whitewater rafting route, choose your outfitter and obtain river trip permits from the National Park list of approved tour operators.

How much does it cost to go rafting in the Colorado River for 1 day?

If you are pressed on time and money, then a single day Colorado River rafting trip is best for you. These 1-day whitewater rafting trips take place on the Hualapai Indian Reservation. Single day adventures start at $399.

Where do you go rafting on Colorado River in Grand Canyon?

When you choose your Colorado River rafting trip, you’ll also decide what section of the 277-mile river to travel on.  A variety of routes with different lengths are offered.

The full Colorado River Grand Canyon route begins at Lees Ferry and ends at either Whitmore Wash or Lake Mead. 

Popular sections include Upper Canyon which runs from Lees Ferry to Phantom Ranch (88 miles, 28 big water rapids) and Lower Canyon which runs from Phantom Ranch to Whitmore Wash or Lake Mead (100 miles ) and contains a number of colossal rapids such as Lava Falls.

Can you raft the entire Colorado River?

Some National Park approved outfitters offer trips that raft the entire 277-miles of the Colorado River.. This trip takes between 7-21 days, depending on the type of boat.

How many rapids are on the Colorado River?

With 277 river miles through the Grand Canyon, the whitewater on the Colorado River is non-stop and extensive. There are more than 80 named, intense and big rapids and 160 sets of rapids total. The Colorado River’s rapids are so unique in the Grand Canyon they have their own rating system!