The Ultimate Guide to Grand Canyon River Rafting

Grand Canyon river rafting is one of the most popular activities in the area. At a staggering length of 277 miles, the river in the Grand Canyon is an impressive site, and a must see place for any explorer or adventurer. With stunning scenery, rock and geological formations that are billions of years old, there is plenty to see and do. The Grand Canyon sees almost 5 million visitors each year, and there are many different ways to explore the canyon from river rafting through to on horseback. If you are planning a rafting trip, there are some top tips to make the most of your visit.

#1 Fitness

Combining rafting with trekking means that you need to be in peak fitness. This is because the Grand Canyon river is one of the most technical rivers to navigate, so a high level of fitness is required. Also, rafting trips often require a considerable amount of hiking which takes you through steep terrain, so both cardio and strength are important.

#2 Guided or Going it Alone

Many explorers will have to decide whether they would like to go on a guided tour of the Canyon or head out alone on a self-guided tour. Although your own tour does allow you to explore on your own terms and provides you with more freedom, there are some things to be mindful of. Firstly, a commercial trip doesn’t require you to obtain a rafting permit, and you don’t need to worry about acquiring the right kit to go rafting. Secondly and perhaps most importantly, a commercial river rafting guide will have the specialist expertise of the Grand Canyon which will help you navigate the terrain and river more safely, which is especially important if you are a beginner to the area.

#3 Deciding the Route

Once you have decided to take a trip to the Grand Canyon, you need to determine what areas of the river you would like to visit. There are 277 miles of river to explore and to cover the entire course will take approximately 15 days. Depending on the time you have available and of course your budget, rafting trips can cover the full 15 days, or they can be as little as 4 days long. Visitors are always reminded however that the timeline can vary considerably depending on a number of factors including the weather and conditions of the water.

#4 Permits

If you are planning a self-guided trip, you will need to obtain a Grand Canyon river rafting permit. When applying for permits, at least one member of the group must have rafting experience, ideally gained on the Colorado River. Applications must be made online, and there is no guarantee that you will be granted a permit for your trip.

#5 The Right Kit

Lastly, the right kit is important when venturing out into the Grand Canyon, especially if you are planning a self-guided trip. It is crucial that you check what equipment you will need before you set out including the essentials. At the very least you will need rafting kit, camping equipment and water resistant bags to carry your equipment and supplies. It is also advised that you take with you photographic identification and a credit card.