double clickGrand Canyon Whitewater Rafting Trips
Epic Expeditions
In the Grandest Canyon on Earth
Rafting at the Grand Canyon with towering cliffs and boat floating

Grand Canyon River Rafting

Trips Feature:
  • Departures from Las Vegas
  • Three to seven-day options
  • Moderate to world-class rapids
  • Patented J-Rig river raft
  • Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon Rafting Trips

Endless in scenic wonder, rich in Native American history, and loaded with fun and adventure, Western River Expeditions' Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trips are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Exploring the Grand Canyon by river is an experience unlike any other. Discover hidden waterfalls and paradise-like side canyons - areas of Grand Canyon National Park that are accessible only by river. Listen to the sound of the mighty Colorado River as you lie down under a blanket of countless stars each night of your Grand Canyon rafting vacation. Watch the morning sun cast its warm glow through towering canyon walls. Discover the rush of excitement from legendary Colorado River whitewater in an experience that will change you forever.

Choose your Grand Canyon rafting trip:

The Best Way to Experience Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a truly awe-inspiring natural wonder. Each year, millions of visitors gaze upon its grandeur from the rim, but only a select few have the opportunity to explore its depths by traveling down the river. The intimate and unique perspective of the canyon from the river allows one to fully appreciate its vastness and discover hidden gems that cannot be seen from the top. From cascading waterfalls, to secluded side canyons, lush oases, and historical landmarks, a trip down the Colorado River through Grand Canyon truly allows one to experience the magnificent grandeur of the Grand Canyon in all its glory. Will you be one of the few to experience these hidden wonders?

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Grand Canyon Whitewater Rafting Expeditions

View of the river at Grand Canyon from Nankoweap ruins

Grand Canyon 6 or 7-Day Rafting Expedition: The Ultimate Rafting Vacation

Experience the ultimate Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip. Our 6-7 day rafting trip takes you on a journey through nearly 200 miles of the Grand Canyon, from Lee's Ferry to Lava Falls, concluding with an unforgettable helicopter flight out. Each day offers unique experiences, from hiking to side canyon waterfall grottos to conquering world-renowned whitewater rapids. Our exclusively designed J-Rig rafts offer comfortable seating options for all, plus luxuries for a comfortable camping experience. Join us for a journey that will change you forever.

River Trip Length
188 miles

Las Vegas or
Marble Canyon

Trip Begins
Lees Ferry (Entrance to Grand Canyon)

Minimum Age
12 years

Viewing the Grand Canyon by horseback

Grand Canyon 4-Day Rafting Expedition: The Perfect Ranch & River Tour

Combine a stay on the rim at Bar Ten Ranch before joining Western River Expeditions the next morning by helicopter. Enjoy skeet shooting, horseback riding, western-style food, and entertainment at this remote working cattle ranch on the North Rim. Our 3-day whitewater rafting trip takes you on a breathtaking journey through nearly 100 miles of the lower third of the Grand Canyon, from Whitmore Wash to Lake Mead, concluding with a thrilling jetboat ride out. Saddle up for a wild western adventure in the Grand Canyon!

River Trip Length
89 miles, 3 days
Plus 1 ranch day

Meets & Returns
Las Vegas

Trip Begins
Whitmore Wash
Grand Canyon NP

Minimum Age
9 years

Couple sitting on river raft in Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon 3-Day Rafting Expedition: The Best 3-Day, 2-Night River Trip

Begin the ideal 3-day, 2-night Grand Canyon river trip with an exhilarating flight from Las Vegas to the canyon rim followed by a helicopter ride into the heart of the Grand Canyon. Take on rapids aboard our patented j-rig raft - the perfect introduction to whitewater rafting. Raft nearly 100 miles of the Colorado River from Whitmore Wash to Lake Mead and explore side canyon waterfall grottos and geologic wonders rising 2,000 feet from river to rim. Conclude with a thrilling jetboat ride to our takeout at Pearce Ferry on Lake Mead.

River Trip Length
89 miles, 3 days

Meets & Returns
Las Vegas

Trip Begins
Whitmore Wash
Grand Canyon NP

Minimum Age
9 years

Complimentary Expedition Guide!

Request your complimentary Expedition Guide download for any rafting adventure. These comprehensive PDF guides include river maps, overview, full itineraries, camping and weather information, details on physical requirements, packing lists and more.

Download Your Expedition Guide
Expedition Guide
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Choosing the Best Grand Canyon Rafting Experience

Still wondering which white water adventure is best for you? Check out our video below to help you compare. You can raft the upper two-thirds (188 miles) of the Colorado River from Lees Ferry to Whitmore Wash on the 6 or 7-Day Grand Canyon rafting trip. Or, explore the lower third (89 miles) of the Colorado River on the 3-Day River Trip. Add an overnight stay at the Bar Ten Ranch to the 3-Day trip and make it a 4-Day Grand Canyon Ranch & River Tour.

3 or 4-Day River Trip6 or 7-Day River Trip
Meets & Returns

Las Vegas

Las Vegas or Marble Canyon

Grand Canyon Section89 miles (lower third) Whitmore Wash to Lake Mead188 miles (upper two-thirds) Lee’s Ferry to Whitmore Wash
Side Canyon Hike OptionsTravertine Grotto, Pumpkin Springs, Three Springs, Pictograph PanelsRedwall Cavern, Saddle Canyon, Nankoweap Granaries, Little Colorado, Elves Chasm, Blacktail, Stone Creek, Deer Creek Falls, Matkatimiba, Havasu, National Canyon, (more)
Whitewater Rapids16 class II-III+ rapids, (milder intensity, great introduction to whitewater)60 Class II-V rapids, (world-renown whitewater rapids: Crystal, Hermit, Lava Falls)
Raft TypeWestern J-RigWestern J-Rig
Group Size Per Raft14 guests, 2+ guides14 guests, 2+ guides
Minimum Age9 years old12 years old
Helicopter (No hike in or out of canyon)Helicopter INTO Grand Canyon at Whitmore WashHelicopter OUT of Grand Canyon at Whitmore Wash
TransportationBus/Flight from Las Vegas > Helicopter > Rafts > Jetboat > Bus return to Las VegasBus/Flight from Las Vegas > Rafts >Helicopter > Flight/Bus to Las Vegas OR Marble Canyon
IncludedAll transportation, meals, camping equipmentAll transportation, meals, camping equipment

What is the Ideal Trip Length for Grand Canyon Rafting? »

Week-long Grand Canyon rafting trips are the most popular - particularly on motorized rafting trips where you can travel much further into the canyon during that one-week time span. Motorized rafts (like Western's J-Rig) are able to cover more miles through the Grand Canyon in one week than an oar-powered craft, which can take a full week to travel only half the distance in the same amount of time as a motorized rig. Some oar-powered trips may take as many as 21 days to row through most of the canyon's 277 miles.

Why do the miles matter in Grand Canyon? No one likes "FOMO" (Fear of Missing Out). Simply put, miles matter when it comes to seeing and exploring all the Grand Canyon has to offer. Some outfitters offer 5 or 6 day trips that only travel 88 miles to Phantom Ranch. This essentially cuts the very heart of the Grand Canyon experience in half. That's sad. :(

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Western's Week Long Trip

Packages in Grand Canyon - How They Differ »

The Perfect Introduction to Grand Canyon Rafting
The 3 Day Expedition is an excellent way to introduce yourself to the Grand Canyon - and even to whitewater rafting in general. Half the length of the 6-7 day trip, milder white water rapids, and fewer, shorter hikes, the 3-day expedition is the perfect introduction to Grand Canyon rafting. The lower part of the canyon is not short on scenery though! Begins and ends in Las Vegas, Includes flight to Bar Ten, helicopter, jetboat, and motorcoach return

The Fully Packed Grand Canyon Tour
The 4 Day Expedition includes all the river trip of the 3 day, but pause for a night at the Bar Ten Ranch after your scenic air tour over Lake Mead and the Western end of Grand Canyon. Enjoy horseback rides, skeet shooting, local beef BBQ dinner, optional ATV ride, an evening of cowboy entertainment (best in the west - or at least for 80 miles around, helicopter ride into the Grand Canyon, and a speedy jetboat ride out! Yeehaw!

The Ultimate Grand Canyon Rafting Vacation
Western's upper Grand Canyon 6-7 Day Expedition is, in our opinion, the ultimate Grand Canyon rafting vacation. It traverses the most iconic - or well known - section of the Grand Canyon, which includes popular features like Redwall Cavern, the Little Colorado, Crystal, Hermit, Granite rapids, Elves Chasm, Deer Creek Falls, and Matkatimiba and Havasu Canyons. At the end of this trip, a helicopter takes you up and out of the canyon at mile 188 to the Bar Ten Ranch airstrip for return to Las Vegas or Marble Canyon, AZ.

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Upper vs. Lower Grand Canyon Rafting »

Each of the different Grand Canyon rafting outfitters refer to their trips in terms of "upper vs. lower" Grand Canyon - yet the meaning may be entirely different depending on how they have chosen to divide the canyon at Phantom Ranch (mile 88).

Western River's upper Grand Canyon rafting trips comprise the first two-thirds of the Grand Canyon from Lee's Ferry (mile 0) to the Helicopter pad at Whitmore Wash (mile 188).

Western's lower Grand Canyon rafting trips travel through the lower, or final third of the Grand Canyon from the Helicopter pad (mile 188) to Lake Mead (mile 277).

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Age Requirements and Grand Canyon Rafting »

The minimum age requirement for this upper section of the Colorado River (Western's 6 or 7 day expedition) is age 12. Grand Canyon rafting for families with kids ages 9 and up will enjoy rapids on the lower third of the Grand Canyon on the 3 day or 4 day expeditions.

Learn more about the physical requirements of a rafting trip with our resource page. Age requirements largely coincide with the intensity of the whitewater, the hikes, and the trip length.

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Physical Requirements

When is the Best Time to Raft Grand Canyon? »

APRIL - In the Grand Canyon it's true that "Feb/March showers... bring April flowers." April is best for witnessing the desert in brilliant cactus blooms. Rain and cooler temps are possible, but are generally done by the end of March. Verdant green canyon slopes rather than the dry yellow seen as early as June. Generally clear skies and clear streams.

MAY - Cactus blooms linger as temperatures rise. Generally clear skies and clear streams.

JUNE - Vegetation dries, wildflowers hide, and temperatures rise in June. Days get longer, but that doesn't necessarily equate to more hikes during the days, rather just more sunlight during in camp hours.

JULY - Summer days in the Grand Canyon get warmer in July, making a nice splash in rapids or a side stream dip all the more enjoyable.

AUGUST - Rapids! River flows from Glen Canyon Dam begin to increase in August, which generally means more punch per wave in Grand Canyon.

SEPTEMBER - Sunlight shifts and shadows make the canyon more pronounced than the direct sunlight of summer.

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Helicopter Tours and Grand Canyon Rafting Trips »

There are only a few ways into or out of the Grand Canyon - and a seven-minute thrill ride in a helicopter with Papillon helicopter pilots is the most memorable (and easiest)! The helicopter pad at Whitmore Wash (mile 188) is positioned just within the Hualapai Tribal lands, and right at the river's edge to exchange 6-7 day upper canyon guests for a fresh batch of rafters for a lower canyon 3-4 day Grand Canyon rafting trip. In the early days of rafting Grand Canyon Western partnered with the Hualapai Tribe and the Bar Ten Ranch to make this the ideal exchange between guests flying into, or out from, their Grand Canyon rafting trip.

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Grand Canyon White Water Rafting and Rapids Classification Levels »

The upper two thirds of the Grand Canyon from Lee's Ferry (mile 0) to just below Lava Falls (~mile 188) contains class III - V rapids and is popular among able-bodied beginners ages 12 or higher. Rapids in the lower third of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon are much milder (class II - III), and perhaps more suited to Grand Canyon rafting for timid beginners, or families with younger children ages 9 and up. If you are concerned about the level of adventure involved in Grand Canyon rafting you will be interested to learn more about the design of Western's exclusive J-Rig raft.

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What a Grand Canyon Packing List Should Include »

Your packing list, provided by Western River Expeditions has been carefully compiled over so many decades of running these Grand Canyon rafting trips. Some will say the list was "spot-on", while others may say they "never used this item or that". Often the difference comes down to what the weather did that week in the canyon. There is no underestimating the value in being prepared, with the right gear. That said, there is a balance in how much your one duffle bag can carry - and whether you can carry that duffle bag up the beach or not! Each trip has a packing list specific to it, so once you pick a trip, you'll know what to pack!

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Learn More About Packing

Grand Canyon Rafting and Camping »

So many of our guests in the Grand Canyon have never been camping a day in their lives. It's true! But every single one of them does us proud. It's pretty easy to be a happy camper when your outfitter and guides provide top of the line camping equipment like cots, sleeping bags, river dry-bags, and meals that just don't stop - and keep you on vacation! There is some work involved in unloading the boats in our famous "fire-line", and we show you how to set up your tent and cots, but there's a reward in feeling free and capable of setting up your own little camp each night.

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Camping with Western

Grand Canyon Rafting and Hiking Trips »

Rafting trips in the Grand Canyon allow access to waterfalls, secret grottos, caverns, slot canyons, fossils, native ruins, and geologic wonders that casual hikers from the rim will simply never see. Yes! Rafting trips include plenty of hiking into side canyon discoveries that backpackers dream for days about, and rim visitors will simply never know about. Some rafting outfitters that exchange guests at Phantom Ranch (mile 88) have their guests hike 7 miles or more to/from the rim a mile above to begin/end their rafting trip. This is a highly strenuous day of hiking that is not a part of any Western River Grand Canyon itinerary.

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Seeing the Grand Canyon vs. Experiencing the Grand Canyon »

Nearly 5 million tourists visit the rim of the Grand Canyon each summer, to look over the edge and witness how immense it is, take a few photos, visit a gift shop or two, then grab an ice cream cone and wander away to some other viewpoint. Seeing the Grand Canyon is a very popular thing to do. It’s the iconic American Road Trip to the Grand Canyon! But there's more to it than that.

There really is a river down there in the bottom of the canyon! Yes, you can go white water rafting on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon! On the river, you'll get a perspective that only an elite group of people experience and know about - places you never would have guessed are down there deep in the canyon like hidden waterfall grottoes you never would have guessed were there, and of course there’s the white water rapids to experience! The difference between seeing the Grand Canyon and experiencing the Grand Canyon is obvious once you try interacting with it.

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How Much Does it Cost to Go White Water Rafting in the Grand Canyon? »

For 3-4 days in the various sections of Grand Canyon, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1800 - $2,200. In the upper sections of Grand Canyon you can expect to pay between $3,500 - 4,500 for 5-7 days. Some non-motor (human -powered) trips can take as long as 21 days to row the 188 or 226, or 277 miles from trip beginning to trip end; at a cost upwards of $5,000 or more.

The value of your time and money is a real question, so consider the length of canyon you want to experience, what you want from that experience, and what you value most from your time and money. Western River Expeditions has carefully crafted the experience of rafting the Grand Canyon since 1961 into what we consider the very best way to maximize your time, the value, and the experience of a lifetime in the Grand Canyon.

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About Western

Are there one day rafting trips in Grand Canyon? »

The Hualapai Tribe operates a one day excursion from Diamond Creek through the lower gorge of the western (or lowest) part of Grand Canyon (mile 226 to 265). The Hualapai Tribe created the SkyWalk tourist attraction on the western rim of Grand Canyon, with helicopter tours as well.

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