double clickLee's Ferry is Mile 0 - The Start of All Rafting Trips in Grand Canyon
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Grand Canyon
6 or 7 Day Rafting Vacation
Lee's Ferry sunrise

Mile 0 - Lee's Ferry, Arizona

There are only a handful of places where travelers can cross the Colorado River, because of the deep gorges and canyons it has carved into the landscape. The natural geologic boundary between the Echo Cliffs to the east, and the beginning of Marble Canyon to the west make Lee’s Ferry the only crossing for nearly 300 miles upstream or downstream - at least until Navajo Bridge was constructed over Marble Canyon in 1929. Other dams and bridges have also been constructed, leaving Lee’s Ferry obsolete as a river crossing.

Lee's Ferry from Spencer Trail

Unique Geology at Lee’s Ferry »

Note that the Echo Cliffs that rise on the east, the gray “ash-like” Chinle formation, and the chocolate colored “Moenkopi Formation” are the bottom layers of the Jurassic and Triassic periods. In other words, as the Colorado River cuts deeper into the layers that make up Marble Canyon and the Grand Canyon are cutting through layers of rock that were in place before dinosaurs ever roamed the earth. As river runners travel through the Grand Canyon, they see fossils of some of the earliest forms of life, and the oldest exposed rock on Earth.

John Doyle Lee

John Doyle Lee »

Lee’s Ferry is named after John Doyle Lee, who was sent there in 1874 by Mormon leader Brigham Young to help colonize the desert south of the Colorado River. The trail that led to and from Lee’s Ferry became known as the “Honeymoon Trail” because young Mormon Pioneers would make the trek to be married in the only Mormon temples constructed at the time in St. George, or in Salt Lake City, Utah. John D. Lee established the ferry, and homesteaded a small orchard and farmland in the mouth of Paria Canyon. Although Lee had as many as 23 wives at the time, the homestead was named “Lonely Dell”.

Boats ready for an expedition

Mile Marker Zero »

Lee’s Ferry is mile marker “zero” for all Grand Canyon river trips. Rafts are assembled (rigged) on the boat ramp at Lee's Ferry in preparation for an expedition longer than 200 river miles.

Lower Gorge Grand Canyon

Lower Grand Canyon Mile by Mile »

The lower Grand Canyon, as traveled by Western's 3 or 4 day expedition begins at Whitmore Wash (mile 188) and finishes at Lake Mead (mile 277).

See Lower Grand Canyon

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