raft trips grand canyon national aprk

Guide to Grand Canyon Rafting Trips

Of the 4.5 million people who visit the Grand Canyon each year only a very small percentage get their feet wet in the 277-mile-long Colorado River.

This majestic waterway cuts a 6,000 foot deep geological marvel through ancient layers of the Colorado Plateau. The river forms the Grand Canyon, which ranges in elevation from 2,400 feet to more than 7,000 feet.

On your visit to the eighth wonder of the world, be sure to book a Grand Canyon rafting tour on America's second longest river. If you are an intrepid traveler who wants to really experience the canyon, this is the way to do it! Looking up at the mile deep, 18 mile wide canyon as you charge through a whitewater rapid is unforgettable!

Grand Canyon National Park offers commercial river trips of varying length (3-18 days) with concessioners through different parts of the canyon. You can choose large motorized rafts, oared rafts, or self-paddle options.

If you are lucky enough to run a section of the Colorado River, it's certain to be the trip of a lifetime.

grand canyon rafting

Grand Canyon Rafting Trips

Papillon's roots are intricately linked with the start of tourism in the Grand Canyon.

We have transported adventurers into the depths of America's most majestic National Park for decades!

Our top Grand Canyon river rafting trips combine a number of exciting activities into one perfect trip package.

You'll start with a sightseeing airplane tour to Page, Arizona, which is the gateway to the eastern portion of the Grand Canyon.

On your flight, you'll see all the beautiful aerial sights of the Grand Canyon East and the Colorado River including Horseshoe Bend and the majestic expanse of Lake Powell.

Upon landing in Page, you will be transported to the world-famous Antelope Canyon for a guided tour.After venturing through the most beautiful slot canyon in the Southwest, your exciting day of rafting begins!

Your trip starts near Glen Canyon Dam where you’ll board a motorized river that floats an awe-inspiring 15-mile stretch of the Colorado River that includes world-famous Horseshoe Bend, Petroglyph Beach, Marble Canyon, magnificent side canyons, and much more.

You'll travel all the way to historic Lee's Ferry and then, on your bus trip back to Grand Canyon South, explore Navajo Nation.

grand canyon rafting tours

Rafting Grand Canyon

If you are looking for just a rafting tour Grand Canyon, our day-long smooth water rafting adventure along the Colorado River is the perfect trip for you!

This 15.5-mile rating tour takes in all the sites and stops of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area before it heads into Grand Canyon National Park.

This smooth water raft trip floats through Horseshoe Bend - one of the most photogenic spots of the entire Colorado River - and then paddles through Marble Canyon which is where Grand Canyon National Park begins.

white water rafting grand canyon

Grand Canyon Raft Trips

From Grand Canyon West, the closest part of the National Park to Las Vegas, river runners have the choice of a few whitewater rafting adventures on the Colorado River.

Grand Canyon raft trips offered at the West Rim are a great way to experience the river without committing an extraordinary amount of time and money.

One of the memorable experiences of a rafting adventure from this remote outpost is the ability to combine a helicopter ride with rafting the Grand Canyon.

Also, Grand Canyon rafting trips from the West Rim give you an opportunity to combine your experience with other popular tourist attractions in the area.

The rafting Grand Canyon tour at the West Rim includes an exciting helicopter landing on the very bottom of the canyon floor.

After this thrilling ride, you'll board a pontoon boat that will transport you down the most famous river in the American West and give you 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 Grand Canyon rafting tours. 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.

national park rafting

FAQs About Grand Canyon Rafting

Is it difficult to raft the Grand Canyon?

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 Grand Canyon rafting trips?

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

How do I choose a company for a Grand Canyon rafting trip?

Grand Canyon National Park licenses and certifies tour operators and grants them specific concession contracts for different sections of the river. Once you select your Grand Canyon 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 Grand Canyon for 1 day?

If you are pressed on time and money, then a single day Grand Canyon 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 in the Grand Canyon?

When you choose your Grand Canyon 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 from outfitters permitted to offer Grand Canyon rafting trips. 

The full 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 Grand Canyon?

Some National Park approved outfitters offer trips that raft the entire 277-mile stretch of river through the entire Grand Canyon. This trip takes between 7-21 days, depending on the type of boat. The fastest way to raft the Grand Canyon is with motorized boats that can cover the distance in about 7 days, depending on how many stops you make. For those in oar boats, plan for up to 21 days.

What is the best time of year to raft the Grand Canyon?

The most popular months to raft the Grand Canyon are between April through September.