White Water Rafting Arizona – Top Rafting Locations in Arizona

White Water Rafting Arizona

The best white water rafting in Arizona is quite easy to find. Arizona is an amazing place where nature’s slow grind forms some of the world’s most stunning vistas. Traversing these river systems is an amazing experience and when white water rafting, the experience of communing with nature while getting an adrenaline rush is unmatched.

How to Find Top White Water Rafting in Arizona

In Arizona, it seems all one needs to do is look around for some of the most stunning vistas and rivers. Whether it is the massive Colorado River going through the Grand Canyon or some smaller rivers, there’s much to see and do.

The key is finding white water rafting experiences that match up with all the buzz. The last thing new rafters want is to be on a gushing river and thrown about the raft. Similarly, experienced rafters don’t wish to paddle a lazy river.

The key is trusting the white water rafting experts to match up rafters with the right challenge level. Few things are more enjoyable than an exhilarating day on the water where folks work as a team to navigate some of America’s great rivers. Arizona white water rafting is unmatched throughout the country.

White Water Rafting Basics

There are six different classifications of white water rafting. The classifications are ascending, meaning that as the number gets higher the level of danger increases along with the level of expertise required to navigate the river.

Class I rivers are considered flat and easy to navigate while Class VI rivers are impossible to navigate. For a good example of a Class VI system, think of Niagara Falls. No one is getting in a raft there.

For rafting, it’s important to remember the rafts are inflatable and while they’re sturdy enough to stand up to what nature throws at them, they can be punctured. This is why it’s important to not bring sharp objects on a rafting trip.

Also important is not to drink alcohol before rafting. While this would be common sense, there are many rafting accidents caused by people who imbibe alcohol before getting in a raft. Depending on the classification of the river system, parents should use good judgement about bringing young children. Rafts can bounce, and young children are especially vulnerable to injury in the more advanced rafting categories.

For many companies, guides are wilderness trained and have EMT certifications. Good rafting companies put their passengers in the hands of qualified guides. These guides know the terrain very well and can handle adverse situations with the cool preparedness necessary for success. Ensuring that guides are certified to handle injuries and other wilderness events is a very important thing for white water rafters to take stock of.

The last thing to consider when rafting is the scenery. If canyons are something striking the heart’s fancy, there are many places in Arizona fitting the bill. From saguaros to striking sunsets, white water rafting in Arizona is a question of what there is to see. With many different river systems traversing different desert systems, there is something for all types of nature enthusiasts. Setting up camp is one of the best ways to enjoy a river excursion. Though the nights can get cool, it’s very easy to be comfortable especially when the right river rafting company has been selected for the journey.

Our Favorite Spots for White Water Rafting Arizona

1. Salt River Rafting

White Water Rafting Arizona
Photo Credit: @SaltRiverRafting via Facebook

The Salt River Canyon is a great canyon to visit for many reasons. The views are scenic and there’s much to do. The canyon itself is amazing, but what’s better is the rafting on the Salt River. The canyon walls are quite high – nearly 2000 feet. Rafting through these amazing scenes is the perfect way to spend one to five days.

About the rafting, Salt River Rafting offers the family friendly Class III experience or the Class IV rafting for more experienced rafters. The good news is the professionals at Salt River Rafting are ready to help rafters get into the right experience.

All Salt River Rafting patrons meet at the main office in Globe, AZ. At this point is where rafters get their instructions and supplies. Supplies include gear such as life vests, helmets, and first aid supplies. Wet suits and other clothing items are available at no extra charge. This is a great way to help people who may not be experienced white water river rafters get in the flow of things.

Recommended attire includes swimsuits and old tennis shoes. Your clothing is going to get wet, so valuable items are not recommended for this type of excursion. That Salt River Rafting is so upfront about what you need to bring, which is a major plus. This company is open and honest about what it offers and advises.

As for the rafting itself, the different types of trips are perfect for all levels of rafters. For people who enjoy camping out, the multi-day excursions are a great way to commune with nature in the company of friends and family. Furthermore, the views are absolutely majestic. It’s impossible to be on one of these excursions and not come away feeling in awe of all that nature is able to produce.

After a day on the river, it’s refreshing to build a fire and have a nice evening. Because the guides are so knowledgeable and are there to make sure all the supplies are in the right place, it makes set up hassle-free and easy. In fact, the guides at Salt River Rafting are so adept at what they do it’s impossible to feel anything but safe in their hands.

Finally, with a wealth of different activities and proximity to Phoenix, Salt River Rafting is the perfect day trip or long getaway if in town to visit. Locals enjoy these services, so for people not from around the area, this company is the perfect way to get a taste of natural Arizona. Whether looking to spend a day on the water or a week, Salt River Rafting has everything novice and experienced rafters need for the perfect day in the wilderness.

2. Arizona River Runners

White Water Rafting Arizona
Photo Credit: raftarizona.com

The Grand Canyon is the perfect destination for any lover of nature or enjoyer of adventure. The relentlessness of the water cleaved one of the most amazing vistas in the world. Standing atop the Grand Canyon is a reminder of how massive the world is and how small we are in comparison. To be in the presence of the Grand Canyon is to experience the awesome power of nature.

But, what about its location at the bottom of the canyon? Chances are if one is at the bottom of the canyon, they will be wet because the Colorado River takes no prisoners. One of America’s great rivers, the Colorado River forms the border of Arizona and California. This river brings fresh water to a parched arid landscape. For adventure seekers, the Colorado River offers a different way to see one of America’s most storied landmarks in all its glory.

Arizona River Runners understand the beauty of the Grand Canyon and the unique perspective provided by a view from the bottom of the canyon. The steep sides of the Grand Canyon are a record of nature’s erosive power. The clean lines showcase deposition of materials. More than that, when on a white water rafting Arizona excursion, experiencing the Grand Canyon is the perfect way to infuse a vacation with adventure.

Arizona River Runners provides everything rafters need and more. Since 1970, this small business has become the pre-eminent name in rafting at the Grand Canyon. Their guides have amazing experience and an appreciation for nature that’s second to none. There are several types of trips including 8-day motor trips. These trips are the perfect way to spend an extended time in the wilderness.

By providing camping gear and a well-organized way of heading down the river, rafters can enjoy the Colorado River in all its resplendent glory. Furthermore, the early morning rafting is the best way to enjoy the river while it is still cool.

Rafting while the river is shaded is the best way to enjoy the day. Once arriving at camp, the team does a great job at making sure the right provisions are available. With open air or tent camping, it is easy to enjoy the scenes along the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.

By providing a high level of service, Arizona River Runners does a great job ensuring the satisfaction of guests and an unforgettable experience.

3. Grand Canyon Whitewater

White Water Rafting Arizona
Photo Credit: grandcanyonwhitewater.com

White water rafting in Arizona is incomplete without excursions going through the Grand Canyon. With massively steep walls and straight lines showing millions of years of sediment deposition, the Grand Canyon is a natural wonder and a living geology classroom. As one of America’s foremost national parks, it’s easy to see why folks flock to this site and choose to do so via river.

Grand Canyon Whitewater has made a business out of taking folks up and down the river with minimal fuss and maximum excitement.

Thanks to their team of exceptionally trained guides, tourists are in good hands regardless of whether they’re planning a day trip or a multi-day excursion. As a business owned by a couple of river rat friends, it’s easy to see how the personal touch is so deftly applied in all transactions.

The number one goal of Grand Canyon Whitewater is making the guest experience stand out.

The variety of offerings also sets apart Grand Canyon Whitewater. Whether using motorized boats and hikes or using oar-power, the trips all have different sights and experiences. It is possible for someone to book multiple trips with Grand Canyon Whitewater and never experience the same trip twice!

Perhaps the most compelling reason folks choose Grand Canyon Whitewater is that they offer associated hikes with boat trips. For people who are more adventurous, the hikes are a great way to commune with nature and get a true feeling of the landscape.

The Grand Canyon is massive and hiking the canyon is something to be done by experienced hikers. With exceptional guides that understand the terrain and how to help guests navigate a unique environment, it’s a safe bet that a boat trip and hike is perfect for a getaway. Recharge your batteries by getting acquainted with one of America’s greatest natural treasures thanks to Grand Canyon Whitewater.

4. Grand Canyon West

White Water Rafting Arizona
https://www.grandcanyonwest.com/helicopter–aerial-tours.htm

Depending on who you talk to, the east or west rim of the Grand Canyon is going to be quite the debate. For people who love the West Rim, Grand Canyon West provides an assortment of activities to truly appreciate one of nature’s most scenic vistas. Grand Canyon West prides itself on offering excursions over land, sky and water. Perhaps the Skywalk is intriguing, but the reality is people really love the water.

Located on the Hualapai reservation, Grand Canyon West provides a unique experience because the tribe itself runs the tourist attractions. Long before Westerners discovered the Grand Canyon, the Hualapai people were stewards of this great natural monument.

Their ancestral home is along the canyon and the Colorado River. The people know more intrinsically about this landmark and are eager to pass that knowledge along to tourists. Visiting the Hualapai and taking part in their tours provides a spiritual experience that other companies are not as easily able to match.

This is true for the white water rafting in Arizona with Grand Canyon West. The Hualapai have traversed the Colorado River for centuries, they know the river’s quirks. The Hualapai River Runners are especially skilled at showcasing the different hiking and other experiences.

The West Rim is perfect to experience the unspoiled natural Grand Canyon. Because this area lies within a reservation, it is a protected area different than that of the federal land. Thanks to the tribe’s commitment to keeping the land pristine, tourists can experience the Grand Canyon in an unspoiled way. The whitewater rafting is the same type of unspoiled experience.

Spending time on the West Rim is a great way to experience the canyon in a different way than most tourists.

5. Canyon Rio

White Water Rafting Arizona
Photo Credit: canyonrio.com

Instead of specializing in one particular area, a smart rafting company understands that there are so many places to take advantage of white water rafting Arizona. Therefore, these companies are especially wise because what they do is take the time to find the best locations and ensure their customers have an amazing experience in the American Southwest’s many natural wonders.

Canyon Rio is a company that does white water rafting in all the four-corner-states – Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. Using standardized practices, Canyon Rio has built a business demanding respect in the region and providing tourists with amazing experiences in the natural world. This company is adept at selecting the best places to go white water rafting and has built their empire upon the cornerstones of service and splendor.

Few vistas provide the splendor of Arizona’s Salt River. Canyon Rio has built an impressive operation along this river located nearby to Phoenix. With a variety of trips, the perfect Salt River excursion awaits all types of river rafters.

The Salt River has amazing vistas and the three-day trip ends in Lake Roosevelt. The guides know the best hiking spots and are renowned for their professionalism. Spending time in the throes of wild Arizona is the perfect weekend retreat for Phoenix residents or those visiting from out of state, or even out of the country.

Unless visitors are from warm weather climates, the Salt River doesn’t feel cold to the touch. Canyon Rio sports some of the newest equipment ensuring that clients head down the Salt River in only the safest rafts and life vests.

Instead of just offering well-trained guides, Canyon Rio created a guide school that’s quickly turned into one of the most respected in the industry. Therefore, using Canyon Rio for a white water rafting Arizona trip is easily one of the best and safest ways to experience the natural wonders of Arizona.

The location’s proximity to Phoenix is just one of the many reasons to choose the Salt River. When comparing it to other, more well-established rafting locations, the Salt River holds up quite well. The rafting isn’t too intimidating, and the service is above and beyond expectations.

6. Advantage Grand Canyon

White Water Rafting Arizona
Photo Credit: @Advantage Grand Canyon via Facebook

Touring the Grand Canyon is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list and when touring the Grand Canyon, by far the best way to do so is on a white water rafting in Arizona trip.

The steep walls of the canyon are imperious but also provide a perspective on the human experience that is impossible to match in other places. To be inside the Grand Canyon, on a river raft, is to be in a small crevice of the Earth only to realize the planet is far more massive and we are just simply a speck of dust.

This experience can’t be manufactured, but it can be nurtured. That’s the success of Advantage Grand Canyon. This river rafting company understands the unique nature of a Grand Canyon adventure and how appreciation of nature’s beauty is the cornerstone of such an experience.

With highly trained guides, this company sets river rafters on a fantastic voyage that can last part of a day or several days. Either way, the experience changes the rafter in a profound nature.

Advantage Grand Canyon is all about the rafting experience. Unlike other Grand Canyon tourism companies, they don’t do anything else. Their focus is solely on rafts. This company even offers trips up to 18 days. For people who love to get in touch with nature, these are the trips that will shift the axis of their lives. All trips include hiking and other amenities.

The arrangement of different resources also sets apart Advantage Grand Canyon. Simply put, if one has a question about how to get around within the Grand Canyon, it is impossible to not find the answer. Advantage Grand Canyon seemingly has a detailed answer for every query.

The bottom line is river rafters are fully prepared for their adventure thanks to this company’s diligence. Furthermore, clients are fully informed of what they will experience. This is a net positive for all people involved and why Advantage Grand Canyon is an excellent company to use for river rafting.

7. Canyoneers

White Water Rafting Arizona
Photo Credit: canyoneers.com

There’s an old saying that there’s no substitute for experience. All the theoretical knowledge in the world has no match for having been there and done something. In terms of Grand Canyon white water rafting Arizona, there is no match for the experience of the Canyoneers – river rafting aficionados who have been traversing the Colorado River since the 1930’s.

Family owned since the company was founded in 1938, the Canyoneers believe strongly that all trips should have a personal touch. Their efforts are rewarded by clients coming back for tours regularly and posting amazing personal stories. The reality is the Canyoneers have a dedication to doing great work and are innovators in the river rafting space.

Unlike several other Grand Canyon river rafting services, the Canyoneers offers a variety of different tours within the massive national monument. The full canyon is a sight to behold and it is quite long to navigate. Therefore, it is imperative that folks touring the Grand Canyon understand that to see the whole canyon correctly, it will take days. The full canyon is nearly 300 river miles.

This means there will be several days taken. The good news is with many top-notch amenities the Canyoneers make camping along the banks of the Colorado River the perfect adventure. In fact, what they offer for camping doesn’t seem like something a family owned, and operated business can do!

With tours going all the way from Lake Mead to Lake Powell, seeing the Grand Canyon will fill the eyes with wonder and the spirit with unbound admiration for nature’s capacity to move the soul. Whether it is a rafting trip with oars or on a motorized vessel, seeing the canyon with the people who have navigated the canyon for generations is an unmatched experience.

Service on a river rafting tour is immensely important. Therefore, when deciding on what service to use it is a best practice to check out the different reviews and information provided by the many services.

Usually what happens is folks see the story of the Canyoneers and their enduring commitment to being stewards of the river. Impressed by their dedication, many clients find their expectations have been exceeded after finishing the tour.

8. Arizona Raft Adventures

White Water Rafting Arizona
Photo Credit: @ArizonaRaftAdventures via Facebook

Finding things to do at the Grand Canyon is not especially hard, in fact, for people who know where to look the Grand Canyon is perhaps the easiest place to get in touch with the outdoors while having something new to do every day.

Therefore, it is imperative for any company that works the Grand Canyon to have a variety of activities. In the case of Arizona Raft Adventures, the only thing restricting the ability to enjoy the Grand Canyon is a lack of imagination.

Arizona Raft Adventures offers several types of raft services including hiking tours that accompany the rafting excursions. Whether going out on a motorized watercraft or using oars, once one is out on the Colorado River the uniqueness of the sights combined with the amenities of the tour make the rafting experience truly a once in a lifetime event.

There are several ways Arizona Raft Adventures sets themselves apart. One of the best ways customers notice is the experience of the guides. The river rats at Arizona Raft Adventures have on average 14 years of experience.

This is especially important because rivers are quite unpredictable. Some days the currents are especially strong so having a savvy guide proves to be important when considering all the different things that may occur.

For motorized transport, the guides are equally important. The river bed has all sorts of different objects and depths. Guides must move through these waters with great care while keeping the tour interesting.

Once out of the water, the service of Arizona Raft Adventures keeps going. From making a great breakfast, lunch, and dinner to leading amazing hikes, this crew keeps things interesting and always engaging.

With the experience of the guides, they can show you some amazing places to take pictures or just hang out. The guides at Arizona Raft Adventures know all the hidden secrets in the Grand Canyon. Because the river system within the canyon is long, there are lots of different nooks and crannies for the guides to show off.

As the boats continue to glide down the river, the stuff dreams are made of becomes apparent. For people looking to have a romantic time with a partner to adventurers, Arizona Raft Adventures offers the right program for all types of people. Their guides are their strength, and the variety of experiences offered by the company make them one of the best in the region.

Why Choose White Water Rafting in Arizona?

There are many folks who are naturally skeptical about putting themselves in an inflatable raft and propelling down a river. This is not an absurd idea – in fact it shows how safety conscious you are. The good news is all the companies profiled above have excellent safety records.

For many, safety concerns keep them off the waters of the Colorado and Salt Rivers. This is a shame – there’s so much to experience and when done in a safe environment few things match the rush of rafting along with the surrounding natural beauty.

Multi-day trips are among the best reasons to choose these different companies. One day trips are fun but spending several days on the river allows for an even more immersive experience. Though cell service isn’t quite up to what most folks from the city are used to, cutting the cord and being alone with nature is a great way to re-center the mind.

Camping out under the stars in the Grand Canyon is a great way to truly get in touch with the natural world. Thanks to the different services offered by these companies, there’s not much to worry about in the way of getting food and water. Everything is easily available.

The bottom line – choosing to go on a rafting excursion is one of the best ways to spend a vacation. The landscape of Arizona offers some of the best photos and may serve as one of the great memories of a person’s life.

Conclusion

Selecting the right Arizona rafting company is not too complex – in fact when looking at the different reviews combined with prices, selecting the right service often sorts itself out. The key is to find a service that gives all the preferred amenities at the right price for your budget.

For many, the Grand Canyon is a once in a lifetime experience and there’s no price that can be affixed to it. The Salt River is different because it’s not as widely known as the Grand Canyon. That said, it’s the perfect place to go if spending some time in Phoenix. Whether choosing the Salt River or Grand Canyon, a great river rafting experience is easily achievable.

For all the reasons to go on a rafting excursion, possibly the most compelling is the serenity. Imagine after a day of heading down a river and arriving at a river bank. The guide gets everyone set up with their duffels and their tents. Dinner is made, and as people look up, the sky starts to slowly darken. The sun is finishing up its duty and handing its baton to the moon.

There are no streetlights, so the only thing illuminating the sky are stars. Lots of stars. In this moment, anyone can get lost with their thoughts as they notice the handle of the Big Dipper. These are the small moments reminding us how lucky we are to have an amazing natural world. These moments are best experienced when white water rafting Arizona.

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