Lower Grand Canyon Rafting Trips
About This Lower Grand Canyon Rafting Trip – 9-Day
This lower section of the Grand Canyon is characterized by its granite gorges, punctuated by massive whitewater adventure and makes for a great rafting trip. 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 it's missing is you!
Rafting the lower Grand Canyon on our trips involves 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 the option of both Oar Raft and Paddle Boat trips. Reservations should be made well in advance as demand for this world-class adventure is high. Grand Canyon trips are run by affiliates who are authorized Grand Canyon concessionaires.
Location: Colorado River - Grand Canyon National Park
Length: 8- 9 Days
LowerDates: May - September
Meet At: Maswik Lodge Cafeteria, South Rim
Age Min: 16
We Meet for your trip: On the evening prior to your hike into the canyon, you will meet the Outdoors Unlimited hiking escort, (a Holiday River Expedition’s affiliate in the Grand Canyon) at 8 PM in the Maswik Lodge cafeteria for an orientation meeting.
Day 1 of your Lower Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip begins with a hike down the beautiful Bright Angel Trail from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to Pipe Creek Beach (one mile below Phantom Ranch), where you'll be served lunch at the river. The whitewater rafting trip starts with a whirlwind of rapids on this section beginning in the heart of the ancient rock of the Upper Granite Gorge. You will plunge through the mountainous waves of Horn Creek, Granite, and Hermit rapids on your first afternoon. The Infamous Crystal rapid and the rest of "The Gems" await us in the next morning and beyond, featuring Deubendorff, Upset and Lava Falls.
Whitewater rafting is only part of the story on this lower stretch of the Grand Canyon. The Canyon is criss-crossed with hundreds of side canyons, each with its own personality and attraction. While it would be obviously impossible to explore each and every one, even in a lifetime, we make the most of our time to visit some of the most outstanding little corners on earth. Typical stops include the fern covered intimacy of Elves Chasm, hiking above Deer Creek Falls, and winding our way up Matkatamiba. Conditions permitting, we will swim in the turquoise pools of Havasu Creek and hike the talus to where Thunder River gushes out of a rock wall, several miles and 1,000 feet above the Colorado River. Check the Photo Gallery for a sample of what these places hold!
Downstream, basalt outcrops alert us to our proximity to Lava Falls and soon we hear its thunder reverberating from the canyon walls. Passage here always demands a good long look before dropping into one of the biggest of the "Big Ones". Below Lava Falls the river takes a breather and opens up to big skies and further vistas, but this is only temporary as some miles below the walls close in one last time as we descend into the Lower Granite Gorge. As the first explorers learned to their dismay, the sheer walls of resilient bedrock create large rapids and we get a great last set of rapids bracketed by highly polished walls.
Our last night's camp lies deep in the Lower Gorge where the river meets the upper reaches of Lake Mead. On our last morning a large jet-boat takes us safely and swiftly through the rest of the Canyon, past the Grand Wash Cliffs where the Canyon comes to a dramatic end on Lake Mead. At that point an air-conditioned motor coach provides transportation to the Las Vegas area.
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.