8-9 Day Lower Grand Canyon River Rafting

About This Trip

This Lower section of the Grand Canyon is characterized by its granite gorges, punctuated by massive whitewater adventure. All the legendary rapids reside in this lower portion of the canyon; those that hang off the tips of river-rafters tongues, the rapids of folklore… Hermit, Crystal, Lava Falls… are heard echoing from the beginning to the end of this river trip. Hold on to your hats because not only will this be a wild, (yet safe) ride but those shady hats will come in hand for the many epic side-canyon hikes peppered throughout the lower gorge. This trip has every ingredient to make a memorable trip, all its missing is you!

The lower canyon trips involve a 9-mile hike from the South Rim to the Colorado River and are only recommended for those in good physical condition. You can choose between being a passenger or a participant on these whitewater river trips with both Oar Raft and Paddle Boat trips offered. Reservations should be made well in advance as demand for this world-class adventure is high. Grand Canyon trips are run by Holiday River Expedition’s affiliates who are authorized Grand Canyon concessionaires.

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This Lower section of the Grand Canyon is characterized by its granite gorges, punctuated by massive whitewater adventure.  All the legendary rapids reside in this lower portion of the canyon; those that hang off the tips of river-rafters tongues, the rapids of folklore… Hermit, Crystal, Lava Falls… are heard echoing from the beginning to the end of this river trip. Hold onto your hats because not only will this be a wild, (yet safe) ride but those shady hats will come in hand for the many epic side-canyon hikes peppered throughout the lower gorge.  This trip has every ingredient to make a memorable trip, all it’s missing is you!

The lower canyon trips involve a 9-mile hike from the South Rim to the Colorado River and are only recommended for those in good physical condition. You can choose between being a passenger or a participant on these whitewater river trips with both Oar Raft and Paddle Boat trips offered.  Reservations should be made well in advance as demand for this world-class adventure is high. Grand Canyon trips are run by Holiday River Expeditions’ affiliates who are authorized Grand Canyon concessionaires.

We Meet for your trip:  On the evening prior to your hike into the canyon, you will meet the Outdoors Unlimited hiking escort, (Holiday River Expedition’s affiliate in the Grand Canyon) at 8:00PM in the Maswik Lodge cafeteria for an orientation meeting.  

After the trip:  A jet-boat will meet the trip at Separation canyon and shuttle you across the flat water of Lake Mead to an awaiting motorcoach for transportation to McCarran Airport and Las Vegas hotels.

Medical emergencies:  Outdoor Unlimited guides are trained in first aid and carry first aid supplies only. REMEMBER to bring your own prescription medicines. ALERT your guides to any medical problem you might have such as diabetes or allergic reactions. Wilderness expeditions are a long way from hospitals, doctors, and pain-relieving medicines. Evacuations to modern medical care are uncertain, and protracted. In case of evacuation and/or medical treatment beyond first aid, expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participant.

Cancellation Policy: A cancellation fee will be charged in the event that you need to cancel your Grand Canyon Rafting trip for any reason. You may consider purchasing travel insurance which, in most cases, will recover costs or fees due to cancellation. Cancellation fees are as follows:

  1. Up to 120 days prior to your trip starting date there is a non-refundable $350/person cancellation fee.
  2. Within 120 days of your trip there is NO refund unless Outdoors Unlimited can resell the cancelled spaces. If space is refilled, then all monies will be returned less a 30% cancellation fee.

Outdoors Unlimited reserves the right to cancel any trip due to inclement weather or water conditions, insufficient reservations or other factors beyond our control. A full refund will be made immediately if they cannot provide an alternate trip that is satisfactory to you.

Insurance: Medical Evacuation and cancellation insurance on a vacation plan can be obtained from numerous insurance companies. You should be aware that medical evacuations in the backcountry can easily cost $10,000 and up.  You are responsible for these potential expenses and we strongly encourage all guests to have this coverage. We offer plans by TRAVEL GUARD that cover evacuation, baggage and cancellation claims. It is available to American and Canadian citizens, as well as citizens of another country as long as you have a U.S. address. For a quote or questions give us a call or include Your Names, Birth Dates in an Email and we will send a quote.  Also, if you are bringing expensive cameras, binoculars, or other items we suggest you have insurance coverage for them (commonly available through Homeowners Policies). In the event of a loss, our insurance will not cover those items.

Trip Size:  To ensure the quality of your experience and to protect Grand Canyon resources  the National Park Service regulates the total yearly usage in the canyon including group size. Paddle trips have a maximum of 24 passengers, high season trips a maximum of 21, and spring and fall trips a maximum of 18-19.

Tipping the guides: Tipping is optional and a personal decision on your part. If you feel that your guide’s contribution to your trip was outstanding a tip of not more than 10% of your river trip fare would be adequate to show your appreciation.

Beverages: Outdoors Unlimited cannot provide alcoholic beverages, however, they are allowed to bring your beer and wine for you. With your reservation packet you will receive an order form for a selection of beer and wine available through a local retailer. Once you place your order it is delivered, packed for your trip, and made available to you on the trip. Drinking alcoholic beverages prior to making camp in the evening is discouraged.  On the river there will always be fresh drinking water available, as well as powdered drink mixes (such as Gatorade) to flavor and otherwise enhance your drinking water. Water is the preferred choice when it comes to maintaining proper hydration and in such a dry environment your health and happiness depend on it. For those of you who do not wish to order beer or wine an equal amount of soda of different varieties will be on hand as well.

Grand Canyon weather: Temperatures in the Grand Canyon range from lows of around 60 degrees to highs around 100 degrees in May and September. It is warmer in June, July and August, with temperatures ranging between 75 degrees and 115 degrees. Humidity is very low and the sun is very intense. The rainy season usually begins around the middle of July and lasts 4-6 weeks. Afternoon temperatures are generally lower at this time and rain showers can materialize suddenly and disappear just as suddenly. It is best to prepare with good rain gear no matter what time of year you visit as the water temperature of the river is about 48-50 degrees at Lee’s Ferry and only slowly warms as it flows through the Canyon. Fleece or other insulating layers (not made of cotton!) are strongly recommended for trips in April, early May and September. In June, July, and August mid-weight polypropylene should be all you need.

Bugs, snakes, etc: The Grand Canyon is a very user friendly place to go camping. Snakes are rarely seen and generally stay away from campsites and other places frequented by people. Insects are seldom bothersome and those that are common are easy to avoid. Insect repellent is very rarely necessary, though it is listed as an optional item to bring. However, anyone who knows that they are very allergic to certain types of insect stings or bites should definitely bring any medications that they have for just such a situation.

Hiking:  Hikes are always optional and they vary in difficulty from a simple walk to occasional short vertical climbs to the more ambitious treks. Most guests are capable of handling all the hikes, but on the longer, more strenuous ones, pre-conditioning will pay off.

Fishing: Among trout fishing circles it is widely known that some very good fishing is to be had in the Colorado River! The river has been stocked by Arizona Game and Fish and the fishery is thriving. You will need an Arizona Fishing License which can be purchased at  Phantom Ranch. During the rainy season fishing is not as dependable. If fishing is a passion you should avoid late July and August; you may also consider our Upper Grand Canyon trip as the fishery is best between Lee’s Ferry and the Little Colorado River.

Things to see in the area:  Taking a few extra days on the front-end of your trip is well worth some of the great hiking opportunities around the Lee’s Ferry area. There’s all kinds of great hiking in the Cockscomb area of highway 89, the famous “Wave” hike, Buckskin Gulch, the Spencer trail directly above Lee’s ferry (if it’s not too hot).

Outside of the immediate vicinity you can also check out The town of Old Paria, or Antelope Canyon outside of Page, AZ. There  The is also a myriad of National Parks north towards Kanab. If you’re into Damns, you can check out both Glen Canyon Dam on the front end or Hoover dam on the back end of your trip.

Reading material, you may enjoy:

Exploration of the Colorado River – Powell ………………………………………… $12.95
Beyond the Hundredth Meridian – Stegner…………………………………………..NA
The Monkey Wrench Gang – Abbey …………………………………………………… NA
The Emerald Mile – Fedarko………………………………………………………………..NA

Children’s Books:

Downriver – Hobbs…………………………………………………….NA

If you are flying into the area: Choose from any of the listed airline carriers and book round-trip tickets to and from the Las Vegas Airport (LAS).  Plan to arrive no later than 8:00AM on the day before your trip.  Your return flight should be scheduled no earlier than 5:00PM on the day your trip ends.

Commuter flight from Las Vegas to South Rim Village: You can use either Grand Canyon Airlines or Scenic Airlines to get to the Grand Canyon airport on the day before your trip.  A shuttle or taxi is available from the airport to the Rim and will stop at the lodge or motel where you have pre-booked overnight accommodations.

Room accommodations at the South Rim for the evening prior to your hike into the Canyon**: For Booking contact Xanterra at (888) 297-2757 or Contact Grand Canyon Lodges . These reservations are becoming difficult to get so you should call immediately after reserving space on the river trip.

Motorcoach transportation from Pearce Ferry to Las Vegas***: This service is included in your trip cost. If you do not want this included you must call the Outdoor Unlimited Reservations Office at least 30 days prior to your trip date.

If you are driving to the area:

  1. Room accommodations at the South Rim for the evening prior to your hike into the Canyon, (**for booking see above)
  2. Shuttle Service delivers your vehicle from South Rim Village to Pearce Ferry (***for details see above)

Major Air Service into Las Vegas Airport (LAS):

Southwest Airlines
Delta Airlines
United
American Airlines
US Airways
Alaska Airlines
Jet Blue
Virgin
Hawaiian Airlines
Frontier

Charter / Scheduled Flights:
Grand Canyon Airlines
Scenic Airlines

Vehicle Shuttle Services:
River Runner’s Shuttle Service

Alternative Transportation:
Trans-Canyon Shuttle: (928) 638-2820

Bus from Las Vegas to South Rim Village:
(800) 222-6966;
salesdesk@grandcanyontours.com

Trip Overview

Location: Colorado River – Grand Canyon National Park
Type: Rafting
Length: 8- 9 Days Lower
Dates: May – September
Meet At: Maswik Lodge Cafeteria, South Rim
Rating: Advanced
Age Min: 16
Deposit: $700

Trip Prices

8-9-Day from $2,725 – $3,055

Departure Dates

May through September

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