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Grand Canyon Rafting! The very name “Grand Canyon” brings to mind unparalleled beauty, and breathtaking whitewater. This grand-daddy of whitewater rafting in Arizona boasts 150 rapids, including some of the wildest whitewater in North America. The two largest, Lava Falls and Crystal Rapid, are awesome to behold, exhilarating to run — the right stuff indeed.
Sparkling clear springs gush from cracks in the cliffs, forming lush oases of ferns, pools and wild flowers. Each of the Earth’s climatic zones is represented in Grand Canyon from alpine forests on the rim to Sonoran deserts in the lower elevations.
Starting at Lees Ferry the Canyon opens to us as we begin the float into its vast interior. It starts as a narrow, sheer-sided chasm, winding through the uplifted Kaibab Plateau. The first 61 miles of Marble Canyon is the most photographed, perhaps the most scenic portion of the Grand Canyon. The rim moves away from view as the Canyon broadens to its full expanse of 13 miles. Then we enter the foreboding inner gorge with its exquisite polished granite. Here the river has exposed rock formed 1.7 billion years ago. Further on we see evidence of past volcanic activity in the diamond black basalt around us, where lava flowed repeatedly and dammed the Canyon only to be worn away by the relentless river. Eventually the lower gorge closes around us as we take the final plunge through rapids to the head of Lake Mead 240 miles and 160 rapids from our starting point.
The entire canyon requires twelve days, and the Grand Canyon reserves its greatest reward for those who make this time commitment. Five, and eight day split trip options offer either the upper or lower section of the canyon. These trips involve a spectacular 9-mile hike into or out of the canyon from the South Rim to the Colorado River and are recommended for those in good physical condition.
Reservations should be made well in advance as demand for this world-class adventure is high. Grand Canyon trips are run by outside affiliates who are authorized Grand Canyon concessionaires.
The last time I had been on a raft, I was a giggly 16 year old. Fast forward 23 years, and I was heading out on the Grand Canyon. I pretended not to be nervous, but I was! As the hours turned to days, and I learned what river time meant, I have never been so relaxed in my life. Your guides took complete care of me both physically with delicious food, and psychologically with calming words of encouragement and expert boat handling skills. Soon, I was wahooing my way through the big rapids of the Grand. Is my life changed? I\'ll say so. Thank you!
You have a very dedicated group of employees who show their love for the Canyon, river and their job in everything they touch. What a pleasure to spend a week with such an incredible team of professionals.
I went in thinking this was a trip of a lifetime. I left thinking that this has to be a trip I need to take every few years. I truly saw myself as a baggage boat captain someday. This is my kind of life, and Outdoors Unlimited is my kind of people. Outstanding job!
The quality of these trips are something to be admired. You see beautiful sites, get helpful and informative facts, guides take extra precautions to keep you safe, and in the end, the only possible downside is if the weather will cooperate. Seriously, these trips are awesome and we tell our family and friends all about them!
Thank you so much for an amazing trip and amazing guides! This trip could not have been any better! The rafting was fantastic, weather perfect, people so much fun, food so tasty, and the canyon itself was just beautiful. I will be seeing you guys again soon!
- Vivian Pang
Major Powell named this first section Marble Canyon for the ocher-stained limestone layers that plunge two thousand feet to the river below. This softer limestone has allowed the river to scoop out the huge expanse of Red Wall Cavern at the river’s edge. Underground springs gush from the porous rock at Vaseys Paradise and side streams carve bowl-like pools at Rider, North, Silver Grotto, and Saddle Canyons. Nautilaus fossils are readily viewed in the stream bed of Nautoloid Canyon and ancient Anasazi granaries await the hiker high above the river at Nankoweap. Float past the confluence of the Little Colorado River where, according to Hopi legend, mankind emerged. The majority of the prehistoric Indian ruins are in this upper section, especially in the transition area between the polished walls of Marble Canyon and the rocky defiles of the Granite Gorge. Nineteen major class IV and above rapids build through this upper section, starting with Badger and Soap Creek on Day 1. House Rock, Kwagunt and other various rapids on Day 2-4. Day 5-6 run Unkar culminating with Nevills, Hance, Sockdolager, Grapevine, and Zoroaster as we enter the upper Granite Gorge. You will disembark from the rafts near Phantom Ranch and hike out of the Grand Canyon on the famous Bright Angel Trail.
The raft trip starts with a hike down the Bright Angel Trail from the South Rim Village to Phantom Ranch. Once you board the rafts a whirlwind of rapids introduce you to this section, beginning in the heart of the ancient rock of the Granite Gorge. Eighteen major class IV and above rapids are on this lower section starting with Horn Creek, Granite, Hermit and Crystal (biggy) on Day 1-3. Day 4 run the Gems; Sapphire, Turquoise and Ruby. Day 5-6 various rapids. Basalt outcrops warn us of our proximity to Lava Falls (biggy) on Day 7, and soon we hear its thunder reverberating from the canyon wall. A long look and then a taste of the ultimate. Day 8 takes us through Bedrock, Deubendorff, and Upset. Throughout our journey the Granite Gorge is fissured with side creeks, each a delight to explore. We’ll probe Elves Chasm which has waterfalls and grottos, and hike Deer Creek waterfall. We may hike through the smooth gray limestone of Matkatamiba. Conditions permitting, we make our way to the turquoise pools of Havasu Creek and hike the talus to gushing Thunder River, several miles above the Colorado River.
Holiday River Expedition's Travel Agents - Mateja Harrington & Cindy Swenson with Cruise and Travel Masters are happy to assist you with your travel plans. Contact Mateja or Cindy to take the work out of "Getting Here".
Toll Free - 800-264-0557 (You must ask for Mateja Harrington or Cindy Swenson) Or, do it yourself, we can help… Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC) or Denver (DEN) TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM SALT LAKE CITY to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah Once in Salt Lake City most of our guests rent-a-car and drive to our meeting points. Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles Shuttle Service to Green River or Blanding, Utah from Salt Lake City (Vernal is on a Charter basis only) TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM DENVER to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah Air Service to Moab (CNY) (52 miles south of Green River), Utah from Denver, Colorado
Email Attention Mateja or Cindy: email@example.com">
Colorado and Utah Rivers
Gateway - Salt Lake City, Utah OR Denver, Colorado
All rental cars are located in both terminals of the Salt Lake City Airport.
Salt Lake City to Blanding 300 miles
Salt Lake City to Vernal 180 miles
Air Service to Vernal (VEL), Utah from Denver, Colorado
Or, do it yourself, we can help…
Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC) or Denver (DEN)
TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM SALT LAKE CITY to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah
Once in Salt Lake City most of our guests rent-a-car and drive to our meeting points.
Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles
Shuttle Service to Green River or Blanding, Utah from Salt Lake City (Vernal is on a Charter basis only)
TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM DENVER to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah
Air Service to Moab (CNY) (52 miles south of Green River), Utah from Denver, Colorado
PROVIDED BY HOLIDAY RIVER EXPEDITIONS
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There is a greater chance of inclement weather on these trips which otherwise offer many advantages to the well-prepared river traveler. Polypropylene, fleece, pile, bunting, capeline, etc. are a few examples of trade names for a class of synthetic materials that retain their ability to insulate when wet (please note, cotton does not.) Your comfort on the trip starts with finding the right type of synthetic under and outer-wear and quality rain gear. We recommend Backcountry.com for your additional river trip needs. Backcountry.com offers a wide variety of gear to help you dress for success the for your river trip no matter what the weather decides to do. A prepared traveler is a happy traveler.
ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT HOLIDAY'S ONLINE STORE: www.HolidayExpeditions.com/store or at our accessories stores in Green River and Vernal; the meeting points for our Cataract, Westwater, Ranch, Desolation, Labyrinth, Fisher Towers, Lodore and Yampa trips.
ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT BACKCOUNTRY.COM: www.backcountry.com