Frequently Asked Questions

Since our trip is an outdoor activity with exposure to the elements, we consider our trips to be moderately strenuous. You should be an active and healthy person to best enjoy this trip. You are responsible for carrying your personal bags to your campsite and setting up your camping gear. Our guides will give instructions the first night to demonstrate how the camping equipment works. 

As with all aspects of the trip, we encourage guests (with no medical restrictions) to participate in as many activities as possible. This includes helping the guides load and unload the rafts at camp. Some of the hikes off the river require more effort than others. The guides will try and give you a brief overview of the hike. If you would rather not participate on any hikes you may stay back at or near the rafts. You will enjoy the trip more if you have prepared with some cardio exercise and are in better physical shape.

 If you book a trip with us that requires a hike-in or hike-out of the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail, the difficulty of the trip will increase dramatically. 

If you have any medical questions consult your own doctor and call our office so that we may help answer your questions.

We take portable toilets, which are clean and comfortable. These facilities are available morning and night while in camp. During the day, the main toilet will be stowed away, however, we do have a “backpacker’s bag” system we can use during the day if the need arises. 

Please never hesitate to ask the guide if you need the facility during the day. The National Park Service asks that all guests urinate in the wet sand or into the river, due to the arid climate. For this reason, we recommend two-piece swim suit or shorts for women.

We take pride in offering well-rounded meals that are in generous quantities to satisfy everyone’s appetite. Our menus have been crafted through years of satisfied guests. 

Each morning brings a different menu of classic breakfast items. You’ll wake up to freshly prepared breakfasts such as egg omelets or pancakes and sausage. Fresh fruit, orange juice, shade-grown organic coffee, and an assortment of teas, and hot chocolate accompany each breakfast. 

Lunches are a favorite for many with its variety of deli meats, with all the fixings. There are always cookies, pickles and chips to round out the meal. 

At the end of an activity filled day, it’s good to recharge with a hearty meal. You’ll enjoy a variety of tasty dinners such as salmon and wild rice, build your own chicken fajitas, spaghetti, and grilled rib-eye steaks. There are always an array of side dishes and salads to fill your plate. After an active day, you can enjoy our scrumptious desserts guilt-free. An assortment of snacks (candy bars, fruit, trail mix, cookies), as well as water, sodas, and electrolyte replacement powders are available at all times on the trip. 

We feel that our meals are nutritious and will accommodate the majority of guests. If you have a medically or ethically mandated special diet, please inform us so that we can determine if we can accommodate you. We happily accommodate all vegans, vegetarians and pescatarians. Please note your needs in your trip participation form, being sure to include helpful details, such as if eggs and dairy are okay. 

In the dry hot climate of the canyon, with elevated exposure to the elements and physical exertion, we recommend you abandon restrictive diets that you may follow at home which are purely voluntary such as low fat or low carb. If you have any severe food allergies please contact our office with plenty of time before your trip to come up with a plan of action for your trip.

We have 7 different trips to choose from. A 3 day motor trip with a day at the Bar 10 Ranch, 6 and 7 day motor, which ventures through the heart of the Grand Canyon, 8 day full canyon motor, 6 or 8 day oar which require a hike-in or hike-out and a 13 day, full canyon, oar trip.

We also have a number of Hiker's Special trips during the cooler and more hiker friendly month of April. 

The simplest answer is that most people book their Colorado River rafting trip during the peak periods of the summer, (June-August). If you have flexibility in scheduling your trip and want to take advantage of the great Arizona weather, Arizona River Runners suggests booking your rafting trip from May to early June or in September.

Arizona River Runners offers two modes of transportation and each has its unique advantages. Our motorized trips are our most popular. Our guests have told us that they like the comfort of the motor trip and the ability to see more of the Grand Canyon is less time. Oar powered trips are for those who want to experience their river rafting trip in a more intimate way.

For most of our guests, this is their first river trip. Arizona River Runners provides all the equipment and expertise; you just come along for the fun.
One myth is that reservations must be made years in advance. The larger your group or more restricted your time period, the more it pays to plan ahead. For the most part, we will be taking reservations right up to the start of the season so give us a call or check our website to find out what is still available.

Being a desert environment, mosquitoes and flying insects are virtually nonexistent. Snakes and scorpions are seldom seen, but your guides will be well equipped to deal with any visitor. If you’re lucky you might have your camera ready when a Desert Big Horn Sheep or Great Blue Heron happens by.

Partaking in a trip through the Grand Canyon should not be a dream for the few. At Arizona River Runners we are committed to making the Grand Canyon accessible to everyone, including those with mobility or sensory impairments. 

Ultimately, your safety and well-being are the key ingredients to making your outing a successful one. We have experience helping persons with disabilities in both our regular scheduled trips and trips that are custom-designed for people with disabilities. Call our office at 800-477-7238 and let us see if we can help make your trip a reality.

As young as 8 years old on our 3, 6, 7 & 8-day motor trips and 12 years old for our oar powered trips. Above the minimum age requirements, limitations are only decided by your desire for adventure.
Like many outdoor activities, there are a number of risks that should be considered and whitewater rafting is no exception. However, Arizona River Runners has an outstanding safety record. Just remember, our first priority on any trip is your safety.

Once you have reserved your trip we will send you a complete information packet full of useful information including a detailed packing list. Keep in mind that Arizona River Runners provide all your camping gear as well as all your meals on the trip.

It is not necessary to know how to swim and everyone must wear Coast Guard approved lifejackets provided by Arizona River Runners, at all times, while on the river.

Most rivers are rated on the International Scale of 1 to 6, with a 6 meaning the river is impassable. However, the rapids in Grand Canyon use a different scale. The Colorado River is one of three rivers in the world rated by individual rapid on a 1 to 10 scale. 

This system of rating arose due to the variety of rapids and volume of water in the Canyon. Grand Canyon rapids are formed in a pool-drop system, which means after every rapid, there is a flat, calm section of water. On the 1 to 10 scale, flat water is rated a 1 while more technical rapids in Grand Canyon, like Lava Falls and Crystal, can be rated a 10 depending on water level.

CRMP stands for Colorado River Management Plan. The National Park Service re-writes a plan every 10 years that determines the use of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park. Your future access on the Colorado will be determined by this plan. 

We recommend you review the latest information found on the Grand Canyon National Park Service website.

Arizona River Runners highly recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to protect you and your trip investment. We have a number of guests that use it each year. Consider travel protection for Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more…

Each participant must: 

  1. Be 8 years or older for a motorized trip or 12 years or older for an oar-powered trip and accompanied by an adult if under the age of 18.
  2. Be able to properly wear provided coast-guard approved personal flotation device.
  3. Remain seated and balanced on raft, with the assistance of hand-held straps, through rapids.
  4. Board and exit the raft independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  5. If on an Partial Canyon trip, be able to hike or otherwise ascend/descend 10 miles on the Bright Angel Trail with a personal backpack containing all personal gear and all food and water for the hike and be able to properly maintain personal health and hydration levels.
  6. Be able to assist in self rescue in the event of a capsized raft or being thrown from the raft.
  7. Be able to comprehend and follow instructions.