The ultimate Arizona family trip – whitewater rafting in the Grand Canyon

Experience AZ | 23 Mar |

The Grand Canyon is a place like no other, not just offering wonderful sceneries to enjoy from one corner but also providing adventure-seeking guests hours of fun and excitement. In fact, taking a bus or a car ride and just visiting the viewing platform does not do this National Park justice. There are so many things to discover and see in the entire Grand Canyon that the only way to truly say you have seen it is to explore it.

Rafting The Grand Canyon

While hiking is also a way to see more of the area, there is nothing like seeing it from the river. You get around faster and easier. You do not have to carry a heavy backpack all the time, and the views from the river are nothing less than impressive. 

You will also be able to really view the various crevices and cliffs and wonder at the power of nature that created this natural phenomenon. The history and the folklore of the area are truly interesting to learn. 

Plus, the wild waters will keep the adrenaline pumping. While some parts are quieter, you can expect some exciting adventures while rafting the Grand Canyon.

Planning A Rafting Trip

Unless you are a professional, rafting trips need to be organized with a tour organizer. They will secure all the necessary permits and preparations for the trip. They are quite popular, though, and tend to be fully booked one year in advance!

1. Duration

Guides have different packages to offer, from half-day rafting adventures to tours lasting a few days. Naturally, you can see much more of the area when you book a longer stay but if you are pressed for time, you can have a taste of the beauty that is the Grand Canyon.

· Short Trips

These usually last between half a day to 2 days. Smooth water trips are available at Page, Arizona, around 140 miles north of the South Rim and at Grand Canyon West.

· Half-Canyon Trips

These trips last about 4 to 9 days, covering half the canyon. This is another good option for those who do not have more time but still want to explore a bit of the canyon. However, you will need to hike at least one way, because it will either start or end in the middle of the canyon. 

· Full-Canyon Trips

While they may last at least 6 days (for motorized trips), they can be as long as 14 days or longer (if desired). This is the best option, naturally, if you want to really discover and experience the Grand Canyon fully. You will get to see its hidden wonders, go on some hikes in between, and cover the full 280 river miles from Lees Ferry to Lake Mead.

Different outfitters have their own packages, so you can compare them and find the best one for you and your companions. In some cases, when the group is big enough, you can book a whole trip for all of you and plan with your guide exactly where and what to do.

2. Mode Of Transportation

The next big choice is how you want to travel, which can affect the duration of your trip. The experience in the rapids will not differ, and you will always enjoy the thrill when passing by the 80 big water rapids of the Colorado River.

· Motor Rafts

This is the most popular raft type, plus it accommodates more people (15 people per raft) and has much more space. Plus, you can travel further in a day compared to non-motorized modes of transportation. 

· Oar

While they are smaller, they can still fit 6 to 8 passengers. The good thing is that passengers will not have to paddle, and they are quite closer to the water and the rapids. This means being fully sprayed by the rapids, though!

· Paddle

They are the smallest, though they can still seat 6 to 8 people. The huge difference is that passengers receive a paddle and need to help out for the whole duration of the trip. Through the rapids, they will be led and instructed by the guide, which means it is the most exhausting of all trips.

Some outfitters have hybrid options (oar raft with paddle raft) where passengers take turns on the paddle raft. For smaller groups, there are dory rafts, which can seat 4 passengers. They are small but agile and much faster than oar raft. They are quite rare, however.

What To Expect

There are obvious advantages to booking your trip with an expert guide. You will learn so much about the Grand Canyon, be able to ask your questions and simply figure out the best places to go. But beyond that, they will take care of all the planning and logistics of the trip.

Guests, depending on your boat and trip, will mostly just sit and enjoy the trip. You might be required to help out in setting up camp or cleaning up, but in general, you are there to take in the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Guides take care of the food, so you would not have to wonder how to feed yourself during the trip.

Thus, the huge advantage of booking with an outfitter is a well-organized, expert-led trip without any headaches, so you can focus on exploring the area. You will even get to go on side hikes and other excursions to see the hidden corners you can only visit by raft. 

The Perfect Holiday For Families

Whitewater rafting in the Grand Canyon is not at all a boring trip, and it is one every single family member will love. You will learn more about the park and the Grand Canyon, plus spend time out in nature. You will also be surprised at how much your kids love it and how adventurous you all are! You will be building family memories that will never be forgotten.

To start planning your Grand Canyon rafting trip, head over to AdvantageGrandCanyon.com, where you can find details on all outfitters and their packages. Comparing and finding the best one has never been easier.

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