White Water Rafting Grand Canyon | Best Locations for Rafting

White Water Rafting Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most mysterious and beautiful natural wonders. When glancing at the endless glamor of the Grand Canyon, one of the most immediate desires of visitors is to raft down the Colorado River through the canyon. Of course, there are many other activities you may consider like horseback riding, hiking, camping, and so on. Regardless, this page will serve as a resource to help you get started with planning your white water rafting Grand Canyon trip.

White Water Rafting Grand Canyon: Necessary Background Information

Before you start making plans for your white water rafting Grand Canyon adventure, there are certain pieces of background information that you will need to be aware of. Accordingly, let’s spend some time breaking down some basic information that you need to know before you book your Grand Canyon white water rafting trip.

How Much Should You Expect to Pay?

If you are lucky, you will have all the equipment and permissions to start boating down the Colorado River on your own. Most likely, this will not be the case. In many cases, people who want to have the most enjoyable experience possible will simply hire a guide who knows what they are doing and where they are going. If you do this, you should expect your budget to be anywhere from $500 – $5000 per person. Of course, this price range is so broad since it depends on what you want to do exactly.

How Many Days Do You Want to Raft?

The number of days that you want to raft will have an impact on the price of your rafting trip. After all, the longer you are out on the water the more supplies and gear that you will need. However, having a longer trip also implies that you will be able to see more parts of the canyon and have a more extensive journey in general. Since the Grand Canyon is so massive, it is recommended to at least spend a few days on the river so that you can see a nice portion of it.

What Part of the Year do You Want to Go?

The Grand Canyon isn’t going to have perfect weather all year. As those who live in the area already knows, it can get below freezing and even snow during the wintertime. Accordingly, one of the first things that you need to consider is when you want to do your rafting trip. A winter trip is definitely possible (and maybe even preferable to certain people), but a summertime trip will definitely provide you with the best possible weather on the river.

What Gear Do You Need to Bring?

In order to have a successful trip, you need to be adequately prepared. If you go with a guide, they will likely provide you with many of the small things that you can easily forget. This includes things like cooking tools and extra camping supplies. However, there are certain things that anybody will be expected to bring.

  • Cash for entering the Grand Canyon, tips, and to spare
  • Snacks and extra water
  • Warm clothing
  • Toiletries and medicine
  • Swimming gear
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Extra pillows and blankets
  • Any necessary electronics

If there is a certain item that you need, make sure to keep it with you. This is especially relevant for things like prescription pills and medicine, or any sort of item that fulfills a special need of yours. For example, those who want to drink a beer or two on the river should bring their own beer. Keep this list of items handy as a frame of reference to assist you in the process of packing after you figure out the other logistics.

Do you Know the Regulations for Noncommercial Rafting Trips?

In the event that you are picked to be on a non-commercial private white water rafting Grand Canyon trip, there are certain regulations from the National Park Service that you should be aware of. For starters, a trip can have a maximum of 16 people, cannot be profited upon by the group leader, and requires a leader who is at least 18 years of age. The leader needs to be fluent with white water navigation, have adequate supplies, and find a way to split the cost among the passengers without profiting.

White Water Rafting Grand Canyon: Best Tours and Guides to Consider

With some of the most basic information out of the way, we are ready to now break down some of the best means of booking and reserving your white water rafting Grand Canyon adventure. The following section will review the top companies that facilitate tours and white water rafting Grand Canyon trips. As you look through the following options, consider if the company will suit your needs and expectations for the perfect white water rafting Grand Canyon trip.

1. Grand Canyon Whitewater

Grand Canyon white water rafting
Credit to grandcanyonwhitewater.com

Intro

If you want your white water rafting Grand Canyon adventure to be with a professional company that knows the area very well and will optimize each second of your trip, Grand Canyon Whitewater is one of the best companies to consider. With many tour prices and price ranges to suit many different needs, a tour with this company will prove to be well worth your time.

Prices

Right off the bat, it’s important to note that the price of Grand Canyon white water rafting for each person with this company will likely not be the most affordable option. However, if your budget isn’t quite as important as your appetite for fun and adventure, this may not be relevant.

Service Highlights

This is one of the best companies to see the Grand Canyon with since they have so many different packages and options. This allows you to customize your experience a tad more than you would be able to with some other companies. Additionally, this company will cover basic needs like food and water for you.

Starting and Ending Locations

Typically, those who book a trip with this company will need to be fit and capable of hiking long distances. The Grand Canyon white water rafting excursion will begin with a 10-mile hike down into the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon from the South Rim. The ending location depends on where you want to go and can be in the same place that you started.

Length of Rafting Expeditions

If you want to do a short Grand Canyon white water rafting trip, this may not be the company to go with. Tours start with a minimum of five days long and extend over two weeks if you want the most immersive experience possible. Accordingly, those who want to have a long trip full of fun and adventure will definitely love the longer options that are offered.

Gear to Bring & Gear to Leave at Home

One thing that you won’t have to worry about when you go on a Grand Canyon white water rafting trip is the food. When it comes to having plenty of high-quality and nutritious meals, Grand Canyon Whitewater is a great tour company to use. Simply bring personal necessities like the ones described above and the proper clothing.

Overall

This is a great company to consider booking a Grand Canyon white water rafting excursion with since they provide some of the most extensive and enjoyable tours around. Best of all, you have the opportunity to see most of the Grand Canyon up close for over two weeks. In other words, this is a great company to help you really effectively knock out this part of your bucket list.

2. Grand Canyon West

Grand Canyon white water rafting
Credit to grandcanyonwest.com via Facebook

Intro

If you want to see the Grand Canyon both by air and on the water, this company will provide you with some of the most comprehensive options really see and soak up the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon. With river tours, a skywalk, zip line, and even helicopter tours, anybody who wants the best experience possible will like this company.

Prices

The prices that this company has for their many different tours and activities are one of the reasons that they stand out from their competition. For the price of what may only let you for a white water rafting Grand Canyon tour for a few days or so with other companies, you can experience all the amenities this company has.

Service Highlights

Outside of offering a Grand Canyon white water rafting tour, this company also has a skywalk, zip line, and helicopter tours for you to also consider taking advantage of. In other words, this is one of the companies to use if you want the most complete and comprehensive Grand Canyon experience possible.

Starting and Ending Locations

Grand Canyon West has a lodge which will be one of the most comfortable means of seeing the Grand Canyon without having to camp. It is located on the Hualapai Native American Reservation, which is about 3 hours away from Las Vegas, and 1.5 hours away from Kingman, AZ. You will probably need a vehicle to reach the reservation.

Length of Rafting Expeditions

If you are very limited on the amount of time that you have to see the canyon and do your Grand Canyon white water rafting tour, you should go with a company like this one that specializes in jam-packed short tours. To put this in perspective, a one-day tour with this company could mean that you go Grand Canyon white water rafting at dawn before seeing the sunset in a helicopter in the afternoon.

Gear to Bring & Gear to Leave at Home

Since the canyon is located right next to the searing desert heat of Las Vegas, summer travelers should bring the appropriate clothing. Just keep in mind that this company requires you to be fully dressed in typical clothing like shirts and shoes. It’s also important to note that you cannot bring outside food and beverages to Grand Canyon West. Bring bare essentials and basics only.

Overall

This may be the overall best means to go on a Grand Canyon white water rafting tour that optimizes each second for those who have time constraints, especially if you want to do other fun things like a skywalk, helicopter tour, and zip line over the canyon. This is also a great company to use if you want to experience the culture of the Hualapai Native Americans.

3. Grand Canyon Expeditions Co. (GCEX)

Grand Canyon white water rafting
Credit to gcex.com via facebook

Intro

With over 50 years of experience in the white water rafting Grand Canyon industry, GCEX provides you with the opportunity to experience the benefits that come with having endless knowledge of the waters in the Grand Canyon. This is definitely one of the best companies to use for a white water rafting Grand Canyon trip if you want to experience as much as possible.

Prices

The prices for this company depend on how many days you want to spend on the water, the type of motor (if applicable) your boat has, and so on. Usually, the price goes up in the most predictable manner for those who want long trips on the water. Additionally, this is probably not the best option for those on tight budgets.

Service Highlights

If you want to have a long and extensive trip out on the water, this is definitely one of your best white water rafting Grand Canyon excursion choices. Typically, this company requires you to delegate anywhere from 8 to 16 days in order to see everything that is on the itinerary.

Starting and Ending Locations

One of the biggest hassles that face those who wish to go on a white water rafting Grand Canyon adventure is getting to the canyon. GCEX is especially an attractive option for those based in Las Vegas, or for those who intend to start their vacation in Las Vegas. This is where all tours will start and end.

Length of Rafting Expeditions

Anybody who has lots of time to kill for their white water rafting Grand Canyon trip will make this one of their top options since it offers some of the longest and most extensive tours. If you book a Grand Canyon white water rafting trip with GCEX, you will need to spend 8, 14, or 16 days on the water.

Gear to Bring & Gear to Leave at Home

If you are an unorganized and even potentially forgetful packer, this company will be very helpful for you. Since they offer all-inclusive trips, most of the camping gear that you might forget in the first place will be provided. Most Grand Canyon white water rafting tours even come included with a hotel room in Las Vegas to rest in the night before and on the light night of the trip. Simply reference the provided checklist, and you will be prepared.

Overall

This is a great choice for people who are nearby Las Vegas, want a long and extensive white water rafting Grand Canyon experience, and don’t want to worry about packing a bunch of gear. Although this is not the most affordable option around, it offers one of the most well-rounded Grand Canyon white water rafting experience, extensive services, and necessary gear for each person.

4. Wilderness River Adventures

Grand Canyon white water rafting
Credit to riveradventures.com via facebook

Intro

If you are limited on the time you can spend on the water and the money you can spend while on your white water rafting Grand Canyon adventure, Wilderness River Adventures may end up as your top option. With opportunities for shorter and more affordable prices, this company is great for those who want to spend less time and money on their rafting trip.

Prices

If you are looking for short and reasonably priced Grand Canyon white water rafting experience, this company will provide you with one of the best possible experiences to accommodate your needs. The longer you spend on the water, the more that you should expect to pay for the excursion. It’s important to note that there are also longer and slightly more expensive trips for those who want to spend over a week on the water.

Service Highlights

When you book a white water Grand Canyon tour with Wilderness River Adventures, you won’t be required to do any sort of physical work on the water since the raft will have a motor. Some of the potential tour highlights include seeing ancient ruins, wildlife, and hearing the ancient mystic folklore of the region from the guides.

Starting and Ending Locations

This is a great tour to use if you are already in Northern Arizona or Southern Utah. Starting at Lees Feery, the tours start at the northernmost part of the Grand Canyon National Park and ends further west at Whitmore Wash. In total, you will go at least 80 miles down the river while experiencing more than 30 white water rapids.

Length of Rafting Expeditions

As mentioned, this is one of the best companies to consider using if you want a short trip that is less than a week on the water. Since many Grand Canyon white water rafting excursions are at least a week long, anybody who is tight on the budget will enjoy one of the three or four-day tours offered by this company. If desired, you can also find longer excursions that are over a week long.

Gear to Bring & Gear to Leave at Home

A white water rafting Grand Canyon excursion with this company will be very simple for those who don’t want to pack a ton of gear. All materials like food, water, and camping supplies will be provided by the company. Personal items like the ones described above, a camera, hiking gear, sunscreen, and so on, will not be provided though. There is also a complete packing list to reference if you are interested in this company.

Overall

As a whole, those who want to spend less than a week on their white water rafting Grand Canyon experience will definitely make this one of their top options since they offer great excursion and price packages for those who are limited in these areas. This is also a great company to use if you are also interested in seeing  the Glen Canyon or Cataract Canyon by raft.

5. Canyoneers Grand Canyon River Trips

Grand Canyon white water rafting
Credit to canyoneers.com

Intro

If you want a high-quality white water rafting Grand Canyon tour with a company that knows what they are doing, where they are going, and how to show their guests a good time, this is another top-quality company to consider using. This is also a great company for those who need special accommodations for their diet.

Prices

If you want to have a shorter white water rafting Grand Canyon excursion, you can end up receiving a pretty great deal from Canyoneers. Of course, the longer the trip you want, the more you should expect to pay. The price of the tour includes basic necessities like food, water, and camping supplies.

Service Highlights

If you want to eat well and have plenty of water and camping gear to use while on your trip, this is one of the best services to consider. Included with a tour with this company are basic necessities like food, water, and camping gear. If you have special diet needs (like vegan or vegetarian), this company can even prepare special meals for upon advance request

Starting and Ending Locations

Typically, the meeting point for Grand Canyon white water rafting tours with this company start and end in Flagstaff, AZ. As a result, this is one of the best options for those who are located in Arizona or want to travel to Arizona first. To get to Flagstaff, there are shuttles, plains, trains, and it can also be reached easily if you have a vehicle.

Length of Rafting Expeditions

One of the highlights of this company is the fact that they have a wide range of potential lengths for you to consider. Anybody who wants to spend between 3 to 14 days on the road for their white water rafting Grand Canyon trip will find a package to match their needs with this company.

Gear to Bring & Gear to Leave at Home

As briefly mentioned, this company will provide you with all the food, water, and gear you need for a comfortable night’s sleep. These are the main things to leave at home. Any sort of necessary toiletry and personal hygiene item, sunscreen, snacks, cameras, and similar personal items are what you should bring with you.

Overall

Those who want to have a short trip to the Grand Canyon will love the 3-day option provided by this company. It is also great if you are located in Arizona since it starts and ends right in the middle of the state. There are also reasonable prices for the many different white water rafting Grand Canyon tours offered by this company.

6. Arizona River Runners

Grand Canyon white water rafting
Photo Credit to @ArizonaRiverRunners via Facebook

Intro

With decades of experience in the white water rafting Grand Canyon touring industry, anybody who wants to book a Grand Canyon white water rafting excursion with a knowledgeable guide will make this one of their top choices. The experience and knowledge of this company, along with all the included amenities are what will make a tour with Arizona River Runners attractive.

Prices

The prices that this company offers are right around the average market price. However, they also have plenty of extra amenities. To put this in perspective, a 3-day Grand Canyon white water rafting tour with this company also features horseback riding, skeet shooting, an optional ATV tour, and a helicopter ride into the canyon.

Service Highlights

Often times, those who do a Grand Canyon white water rafting tour of any sort don’t intend on seeing the canyon again anytime soon. Accordingly, those who fit this category should consider going with an expert guide who can provide you with the most information and overall best experience possible to suit your time constraints. This company is very transparent on the qualifications that your guide will have before you ever book the tour.

Starting and Ending Locations

Although the Grand Canyon white water rafting excursion itself will start in Marble Canyon, Arizona, those who are based in Las Vegas or would have an easier time reaching this city can also add in an optional set of round-trip flight tickets with this company. Best of all, the end of the 6, 7, or 8-day tour features a helicopter ride back out of the canyon once you are finished rafting.

Length of Rafting Expeditions

Typically, the tours offered by Arizona River Runners are anywhere between 3 and 8 days long. Accordingly, this is another great white water rafting Grand Canyon excursion company to consider if you have a week or less to spend touring and rafting around the Grand Canyon.

Gear to Bring & Gear to Leave at Home

All meals, water, snacks, sodas, and even electrolyte drinks will be provided by the company. Additionally, any sort of camping gear you need you will have. This even includes items like a cot (so you don’t sleep on the ground), a camping chair, your sleeping bag, and sleeping supplies. Simply bring bare essentials and proper clothing. Make sure to also bring gear for rain.

Overall

Although this might not be the most affordable option you can find for a white water rafting Grand Canyon tour, it is a wonderful option for those who want other amenities like a helicopter ride over the canyon. It is also a wonderful choice if you less than to see and raft the Grand Canyon since it still will allow you to have a wonderful and luxurious experience.

7. Grand Canyon Custom Tours

Grand Canyon white water rafting
Credit to @GrandCanyonCustom Tours via Facebook

Intro

Anybody who wants the full Grand Canyon experience that allows you to see as much as possible will love this company. Although this is not the best company to consider if you are completely sold on going rafting, this is a great option to consider if you want to go down the road less traveled.

Prices

If you want to see the Grand Canyon at a reasonable price, this is definitely one of the best options to consider. Since the tours offered by this company are usually only for one day, those who need to save time and money will definitely make this one of their top options. However, just remember that this is not a rafting tour.

Service Highlights

Those who visit the Grand Canyon are usually restrained to staying within a certain area. Sadly, very few people who visit the Grand Canyon are ever able to reach the bottom of the canyon. If you wish to see the bottom of the canyon, this company provides a very affordable means of doing so efficiently within a day.

Starting and Ending Locations

One thing that is really nice about this company is that they offer very flexible starting locations. You can choose to go to Williams, Flagstaff, or Peace springs in order to be in the proper place. Best of all, you can even be returned to the same chosen location at the end of the tour.

Length of Rafting Expeditions

For starters, it’s important to understand that a tour with this company does not include a white water rafting expedition. However, you will have the opportunity to see the bottom of the canyon, which is really what makes this company stand out as a great way to experience the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon.

Gear to Bring & Gear to Leave at Home

If you wish to take pictures or videos while on the road, definitely bring the appropriate gear. However, keep in mind that you won’t need to bring much when you go on a one-day tour in the first place. Accordingly, only bring bare essentials and items like sunscreen, rain gear, or a coat, depending on what the weather forecast looks like and the time of year.

Overall

Anybody who wants to go down a path that is less traveled and see the beautiful views that are not typically experienced needs to see the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This company offers you a fast and affordable means of getting this done within a day.

8. Hatch River Expeditions

Grand Canyon white water rafting
Credit to @HatchRiverExpeditions via Facebook

Intro

With jam-packed Grand Canyon white water rafting tours that last a week or less, anybody who wants a complete tour of the Grand Canyon, or one that focuses on the north or south part of the canyon may choose this company as their top option. There are also hiking tours for you to consider if you have the extra time.

Prices

Although this company has pretty average prices, they also offer you one of the best possible experiences. With guides that have an above average level of experience compared to many other companies, you can be sure that your guide will have lots of places to show you and information to share all throughout the journey.

Service Highlights

If you wish to see the northern part of the canyon, the southern part, a receive a complete tour, this is one of the best companies to guide you through where you want to go. You can choose to go an oar or motor-powered boat, and you can even go hiking for 12 days and have a helicopter ride back to the starting location with the right package.

Starting and Ending Locations

If you consider doing your Grand Canyon white water rafting expedition with this company, one thing you will need to double check is where the starting location is at. Since it changes depending on what type of tour you want and the part of the canyon that you wish to see, simply make sure you are aware of this information before you go. Typically, the ending location of a white water rafting Grand Canyon trip can be customized according to your needs. Just ask for the proper flight tickets.

Length of Rafting Expeditions

The Grand Canyon white water rafting trips that are offered by this company are one of the most jam-packed options to consider if you have a week or less to spare. If you want to see as much as possible and have plenty of time, you can simply book a 12-day motorized tour and cover close to 200 miles of space and explore as many sites as possible.

Gear to Bring & Gear to Leave at Home

Like many other Grand Canyon white water rafting tour companies, just about all the basic necessities will be covered by the guide. This includes meals (including desserts and vegan/vegetarian options), water, a cot and sleeping gear, and emergency first-aid supplies. However, you should still bring any personal necessities like prescription medicine, sunscreen, jackets, or whatever your circumstances require you to do.

Overall

If you have your heart set on seeing a certain part of the Grand Canyon, you might consider doing a tour which focuses on the northern or southern part of the canyon that this company has. There are also complete tours that last longer than a week and even additional hiking options. As a whole, this is a wonderful company to book if you want a wonderful Grand Canyon white water rafting experience with all the necessary amenities along the way.

9. Rivers & Oceans

Grand Canyon white water rafting
Photo Credit: @RiversandOceans via Facebook

Intro

Rivers & Oceans stands out from the competition as one of the tour companies with the most potential types of trips and packages that they offer. Although this company doesn’t necessarily specialize in Grand Canyon white water rafting trips, this is a great company to book with if you are looking for a certain type of trip within a certain budget range.

Prices

If you are on a limited budget but still want to see a particular portion (or all) of the Grand Canyon, this company will provide you with one of the most diverse ranges of prices and packages. Best of all, there are various options which are suitable for people on tight budgets and large budgets alike.

Service Highlights

This company works directly with expert guides with plenty of experience in the field. Accordingly, this is a great company to book with if you are concerned with having an expert guide with plenty of knowledge on the sites to see, navigating the grounds, and so on, while still having many of the amenities that you expect to receive. As briefly mentioned, this also one of the best services in terms of the diverse packages that they offer.

Starting and Ending Locations

Since there are many different packages to choose from with this company, and they don’t all visit the same areas, the starting location is heavily dependent on which package that you select. Lower canyon tours start a river mile marker 89, but the upper Grand Canyon tour, full tour, western tours, and one or two-day tours can start at different locations. Be sure to double check this information before booking your trip.

Length of Rafting Expeditions

Whether you want a short and sweet tour that lasts a day long, two days long, or a week or longer, you will probably be able to find a tour to accommodate your time constraints. Ranging up to 12 days in length, you can definitely receive a full and satisfying Grand Canyon white water rafting experience with this company.

Gear to Bring & Gear to Leave at Home

Since are so many potential packages, trip dates, and locations, the exact gear that you need to bring will be dependent on your individual circumstances. Although basics like food, water, and sleeping supplies are normally covered when applicable, you should always expect to bring items like your personal prescriptions, sunscreen, rain and cold weather gear, and so on.

Overall

Whether you want an all-inclusive one-day tour complete with a helicopter ride, or want to have a longer and more extensive tour, this company will probably have a Grand Canyon white water rafting package to suit your requests. This is also a great company to consider if you have a particular part of the canyon in mind that you want to explore since they offer various packages targeted all parts of the Grand Canyon.

White Water Rafting Grand Canyon: Major Points Summarized

If you want to have a wonderful Grand Canyon white water rafting experience, then you will need to first consider your budget, the number of days you can spare, what items you need to bring with you, where you need to go to start the journey, the amenities that are offered, and the weather. Out of the many different Grand Canyon white water rafting companies reviewed above, one in particular for you to consider is Grand Canyon Whitewater since they have a nice set of tours, reasonable prices, and plenty of extra amenities to take advantage of while on the trip.

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