Rafting trips in the lower Grand Canyon mean granite gorges, side-canyon waterfalls, and exhilarating whitewater. This is where the legendary rapids reside: Granite, Hermit, Crystal, Bedrock, and the biggest of them all, Lava Falls. Hold on to your hats—not only will this be a wild ride, but you’ll want those shade hats when you’re exploring the countless side canyons that feed into the lower gorge.
The lower Grand Canyon begins at Pipe Springs Beach (a mile downstream from Phantom Ranch), nearly 5,000 feet below the canyon rim. Black, polished rocks with pink granite intrusions jut up from the river bank. This incredibly hard, billion-year-old rock constricts the river and contributes to the size and character of the rapids. Get your feet wet with Horn Creek Rapid and The Jewels. Wander up Blacktail Canyon and put your finger on the Great Unconformity, the place where more than 200 million years of geologic history does not exist.
The lower Grand includes the opportunity to visit famous side canyon waterfalls such as Elves Chasm, Deer Creek, and Thunder River. The amount of water that is present in the bottom of this desert canyon is truly astonishing. There’s a reason why this trip is considered the ultimate river trip, why it’s on so many bucket lists. Believe the hype. The Grand Canyon is just that: grand, in every way imaginable.
Holiday River Expeditions is proud to work with Outdoors Unlimited, an authorized Grand Canyon concessionaire, to offer motor-less Grand Canyon trips; choose to ride in an oar raft or help propel a paddle boat. These trips sell out quickly; it’s a good idea to make your reservations well in advance. Check our current Grand Canyon trip availability here.
Upper Grand Canyon trips involve a strenuous, 9-mile, downhill hike into the canyon from the South Rim; therefore, we recommended this trip only for people who are in good physical condition.