Hey River Rats! We just opened a new launch date for one of our most popular rafting trips, the 8-day motorized trip, which can be split into a 4-day upper-canyon tour or a 5-day lower-canyon trip. These trips fill fast — all of our other April, May, June and July motorized split trips are either fully booked or going quickly — so we’re really excited to be able to offer this new launch! If you wanted to get on an 8-day motorized full-canyon white water raft trip, a 4-day upper-canyon tour, or a 5-day lower-canyon trip in late May but were disappointed to find all the seats taken, jump online or call us and book the May 27 trip now!
“Eight-day motor split,” “4-day upper” and “5-day lower” sound complicated, but they’re not. The Grand Canyon is long (nearly 300 miles) and deep (more than 1 mile, at some points) and there are only a few spots where boats and people can get in and out of it. One of those spots is at the launch point for most of our trips, Lees Ferry. The ferry is at the far northern, or upper, end of the canyon, where the rock walls aren’t yet very high. Getting on the Colorado River at Lees Ferry is as simple as walking down the boat ramp and stepping onto a raft. Our 7-, 8- and 4-day motorized trips start here, along with our 13- and 6-day oar trips. (But, to keep this simple, let’s just talk about motorized trips in this blog.)
The next place you can get in and out of the Canyon is deep within the Inner Gorge, at Phantom Ranch, nearly 90 miles downstream from Lees Ferry. Rafters who want to get on or off the river here must hike 9 miles into or out of Grand Canyon, on Bright Angel Trail. Guests who take our 4-day upper-canyon tour end their journey here and hike up through the steep canyon walls to the South Rim. Conversely, passengers on our 5-day lower-canyon tour hike INTO the Canyon here, and BEGIN their adventure at Phantom Ranch.
For passengers on our 8- and 7-day full-canyon trips, Phantom Ranch is just a stopover. Think of the 4-day upper and the 5-day lower as the two pieces that fit together to make a whole 8-day full-canyon trip. You can either do the first part, the whole thing, or the tail end. And that’s what we opened up with our May 27 split trip: You can book seats on an 8-day full-canyon tour, a 4-day upper-canyon tour or a 5-day lower-canyon tour (which “launches” from Phantom Ranch May 30).