Price includes optional round-trip transportation from Flagstaff, AZ
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Hiking enthusiasts rejoice! This 5-day/4-night trip is perfect for those who’ve always wanted to raft and hike Grand Canyon. This whitewater vacation, only run once a year, is an extra day longer than our standard itinerary and allows ample time to hike in the canyon. Find yourself immersed in the extraordinary landscape on side hikes to places like Redwall Cavern or ancestral Puebloan granaries. On your voyage, you will pass places like the Little Colorado River and Vasey’s Paradise through stunning Marble Canyon and into Grand Canyon. Some of the bigger rapids on this rafting trip include House Rock and Hance rapids.
Grand Canyon Whitewater provides experienced guides, great food, rafting and camping gear, and a detailed trip information packet with a packing list. This is an active, outdoor expedition; it is recommended that guests prepare for the physical nature of the river trip, train for the required hike, and bring a sense of adventure.
On the morning of the fifth day, the adventure comes to a close with the final and most grand 8-mile hike, from the Colorado River to the South Rim, with all your personal gear loaded into your backpack. You’ll climb about 4,400 ft. (1,340 m) on your uphill trek through millions of years of geological history.
GCW’s motorized rafts are 35-feet long, seat 14 people per raft and have one guide driving from the stern. We always run two rafts per trip so you can expect 28 passengers on your adventure. The type of motorized raft we run is called an S-Rig and guests say we have the most comfortable set-up in the Grand Canyon.
- 8 miles at an average grade of 10%
- 6-8 hours to hike out for a physically-fit and prepared hiker
- Nearly one vertical mile in elevation change, ending at about 7,000 feet
- You will be carrying your loaded backpack with you on the trail
- Often the trail is in full Arizona sun — the weather and heat can make the hike even more extreme
- Very challenging for people who aren’t regular hikers, are out of shape, overweight or have a history of heart problems, heat-related illness or exercise-induced asthma
The Bright Angel is the park’s most beloved trail due to it’s three water-refill stations and four resthouses. Though the trail is well-maintained in Grand Canyon terms, guests have described it as very rugged. There are many large log steps and switchbacks. The trail gets steepest as you approach the South Rim.
Because of the difficulty of this mandatory hike out of the canyon, you must call us to book — online reservations are not allowed. We’ll want to talk to you, and everyone in your group, about your hiking experience, your current fitness level and routine, how to train and prepare for this hike, and any medical conditions that might affect your ability to get the most out of this experience. We do not recommend this trip for people with a history of heart problems, high susceptibility to heat-related illness or exercise-induced asthma. Other factors, including being out of shape, overweight, or a smoker, also may negatively impact your hike.
Our optional round-trip transportation for this trip is included in the prices listed above. We’ve found this is the most convenient way to start and end your trip. However, we are happy to remove your transportation fees and connect you with alternative options. A common alternative is to stay the night at the South Rim after the hike out of the canyon. Give us a call to learn more!
If you do use our round-trip transportation, you will need to spend the night before your trip launches in Flagstaff, as we will pick up passengers early the morning of the trip and travel 2.5 hours through scenic northern Arizona to the launch point. On the last day of your expedition, a charter bus will carry you from the South Rim back to Flagstaff.
Pre- and Post-Trip Lodging
We recommend spending both the night before your river trip and the night your trip ends in Flagstaff. We will notify guests of the designated Flagstaff hotel.
What is included
Grand Canyon Whitewater provides the following:
- Round-trip ground transportation from Flagstaff, AZ (optional)
- Custom made rafts and experienced guides
- Coast Guard approved whitewater personal flotation device (PFD)
- Meals – prepared by guides and snacks on the rafts
- Kitchen facilities, dishware, and a mug
- Camping toilet facilities, toilet paper, and supplies
- Beverages – unlimited water, assorted soda, electrolyte mix are always available – coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are available at breakfast
- First-aid kit
- Sleeping bag, sheet, and small pillow
- Sleeping cot
- Two-person tent and ground tarp, sharing not required
- Large dry bag for the provided sleeping gear and your backpack
- Personal daytime dry bag (accessible at all times) ~ 7″ diameter and 14″ tall when sealed
- Camp chairs
- Community dry bag for hiking shoes (accessible before side hikes)
- There are no taxes on this trip
What Is Not Included
You will be responsible for the following:
- Hiking backpack
- National Park entrance fee
- Personal travel insurance
- Alcoholic beverages (passengers can bring their own)
- Suggested post-trip gratuity for guides
Passengers must be 8 years or older to participate in this trip.