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How To Choose

Where to begin?


Rafting the Colorado River is a common bucket list item, but sorting through all of the options to find the right trip for you can seem like a daunting task. Don’t worry – We’re here to help! Give us a call or go through this guide and we’ll direct you to the trips best suited to you.

Keep in mind that all Grand Canyon river trip adventures are physical in nature and the side hikes to tucked-away places are often some of the guests’ fondest memories. It’s important that you pick a trip suitable for your fitness level.

Below are some starter questions to get you on the right track!

ARR owner Bruce scouting a rapid in the 1970s.
ARR owner Bruce scouting a rapid in the 1970s.

We always recommend spending as much time in the canyon as you can. We also believe that some time in the canyon is better than no time in the canyon! Find what works in your schedule and make your dream trip a reality.

3 Day Escape – Travel 50 river miles by raft and 40 miles by jet boat from Whitmore Wash to Pearce Ferry – that’s nearly one-third of the canyon in just three days! Spend one day and night at a lovely, secluded ranch on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. The second day starts with a thrilling helicopter ride across an ancient lava flow before dropping down into the canyon for two days and one night on the river. Enjoy fun rapids, check out a hidden waterfall, and camp under the stars. Round-trip transportation from Las Vegas, NV, or Grand Canyon South Rim is included.

6 Day Motor Trip – Travel 187 river miles from historic Lees Ferry to a scenic helicopter take-out at Whitmore Wash. Spend 6 days and 5 nights rafting, camping, and exploring the heart of the Grand Canyon. End with a thrilling helicopter ride out of the canyon and a fixed-wing flight back to your starting point. You can opt for round-trip transportation from Las Vegas, NV, or meet us in Marble Canyon, AZ.

7 Day Motor Trip – Our most popular trip! Our 6 and 7 day motor trips are exactly the same in terms of logistics and river miles, so you may want to look at both trip types as you consider your adventure. The 6 day trip fits nicely into a week of vacation whereas the 7 day trip allows for a bit more time each day to explore the canyon and/or hang out at camp.

8 Day Motor Trip – Travel 280 river miles from Lees Ferry to Pearce Ferry. This trip is unique as it is our only trip that travels the full length of the canyon. Round-trip ground transportation from Las Vegas, NV, is included.

If you are interested in the 8 mile hike in or out of the canyon, see below for additional weeklong rafting trip options.

13 Day Oar Trip – Travel 225 river miles from Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek. Unplug for two weeks, immerse yourself in the canyon, and enjoy this slower paced trip. Round-trip ground transportation options from Las Vegas, NV, or Grand Canyon South Rim are available.

11 or 15 Day Hiker’s Special Trips – Very similar to the 13 day trips, but with cooler canyon temperatures and extra days on the river, get ready to explore the Grand Canyon more extensively. Motor and oar raft options available.

Our trips are about much more than just rafting. Getting out and exploring the Grand Canyon is a big part of every day. Every trip has daily side hikes but some trips offer more strenuous hikes.

If hiking is your thing, you can consider a rafting trip that includes a strenuous hike into or out of the canyon via the Bright Angel Trail. These trips are a great way to experience the Grand Canyon both on the river and at the South Rim. This hike is rewarding, but it is also very challenging. The hike in or out of the Grand Canyon is approximately 8 miles (13 km) and involves 4,400 feet (1,340 m) in elevation change. This steep trail has very little undulation, so you’ll be hiking either all uphill or all downhill. We recommend these trips for people who are experienced, enthusiastic hikers.

  • Stoked for a hiking/rafting combination? Check out our 6 and 8 Day Oar trips.
  • Need additional date options or looking for a shorter trip? Our sister company, Grand Canyon Whitewater, has similar 6 and 8 day oar trips. They also offer 4 and 5 day motor trip options that include hiking Bright Angel Trail.
  • Our Hiker’s Special trips provide a variety of additional options. These trips are offered in April when the weather is cooler to allow for longer hikes and more time exploring deep within the canyon.

No worries! We have lots of options that do not require hiking into or out of the canyon. Our 3 Day Escape, 6 Day Motor, 7 Day Motor, 8 Day Motor, and 13 Day Oar do not require an 8-mile hike in or out of the canyon, but do include side hikes.

What is the best month to go on a Grand Canyon river trip?

This question is commonly asked, but you’ll honestly get a different answer depending on which staff person you talk to! Our season runs April through September which coincides with the ideal time to raft in the Grand Canyon. Many of our guests raft in June, July, and August when school is out. Others with flexible schedules take advantage of milder weather in April, May, and September. Here is some information about water levels and general weather trends you can consider:

  • The Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon has minimal water level fluctuations due to the Glen Canyon Dam’s consistent water releases. This results in excellent rafting throughout the season.
  • Average highs throughout the season range from 90 – 105°F. Average lows range from 60 – 75°F. Storms can cause these temperatures to drop significantly.
  • Don’t let the triple-digit temperatures in Arizona scare you, as we like to say “If you’re hot on a rafting trip – You’re crazy!” The cold river water is released from the bottom of Lake Powell and typically ranges between 50-70°F depending on the time of year, so if you feel hot on the trip, just jump in!
  • April and May tend to be sunny with the potential for late-winter storms. This is a great time for hiking and camping in the canyon. Rafting can be cold paired with the lower temperatures.
  • June through mid-July is characterized by dry, hot, and sunny days. The longer days combined with lack of clouds can make this time of year feel the hottest, but the cold river water is refreshing and always nearby for a quick dip.
  • Mid-July through mid-September is typically hot and partly cloudy. There is a greater chance of afternoon thunderstorms to cool things off and create spontaneous waterfalls or maybe even a rainbow.

Weather is unpredictable, so you need to be prepared for a variety of conditions on your trip regardless of when you come rafting. Our packing list will help you be ready for whatever the canyon throws your way. The truth is, there really isn’t a bad time to be in the Grand Canyon, so go whenever you have the time!

April: 82 (high) – 56 (low) °F
May: 92 (high) – 63 (low) °F
June: 101 (high) – 72 (low) °F
July: 106 (high) – 78 (low) °F
August: 103 (high) – 75 (low) °F
Sept.: 97 (high) – 69 (low) °F
Oct.: 84 (high) – 58 (low) °F

Monsoon clouds behind the canyon walls
Monsoon clouds behind the canyon walls.
Covering up with sun shirts in the Grand Canyon.
Covering up with sun shirts in the Grand Canyon.

How much do Grand Canyon rafting trips cost?

You can quickly compare prices for our motor trips, oar trips, and Hiker’s Special trips. In general, the cost varies depending on the length of the trip and ranges from $1,500 – $4,500 per person. It can sound like a lot, but our guests say the experience is worth every penny.

“The trip was well planned and the staff was experienced and responsive to our needs and safety at all times… Great hikes and scenery is a highlight of the trip too. It’s not only the rapids. The camaraderie and friendships made on the trip are another bonus that will last too… Well worth the cost and I am planning on doing it again. Take a chance and do it. You’ll love it!” – Brett, Fremont, CA

A lot of planning goes into rafting through the remote wilderness of the Grand Canyon. We provide experienced guides, arrange transportation, prepare fresh meals, and supply camping equipment. All you have to bring is a duffel bag with personal items and your sense of adventure!

Group having fun in the canyon.
Group having fun in the canyon.

Why choose Arizona River Runners?

The ARR owners are former Grand Canyon river guides and their passion for providing professionally guided rafting trips is reflected through the rest of the staff. We take pride in our level of customer service and we believe you’ll notice the difference, but don’t take our word for it. Check out reviews from previous guests.

“Words cannot express my appreciation for the professionalism, knowledge, and friendliness of this crew. They were incredible. This was our third trip and the guides get better every time.” – Tracy, Warrenton, VA

“I wanted to write about my pre trip experience… I travel a lot and deal with lots of travel companies… these guys put them all to shame… Arizona River Runners value their customers and really do care. I have never experienced customer service like it!” – Emma, Eastbourne, UK

We can’t wait to take you on the adventure of a lifetime! Remember, what happens in the canyon…stays with you forever.

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