Grand Canyon rafting help

Old Nov 14th, 2019, 06:48 PM
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Grand Canyon rafting help

I am trying to plan a trip to the GC that includes a rafting option for myself and my husband. We are fit and healthy 69/70 y olds and would like to experience the canyon from the water as well as from the rim. I am interested in a 3- 5 day option, but there are so many outfitters to choose from it's hard to know how to begin. We want to go in spring of 2020, not in the summer. Suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old Nov 14th, 2019, 09:36 PM
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To raft through the Grand Canyon National Park takes a minimum of 1 week (motorized) or 2 weeks (float/non motorized) as the river through the park is over 200miles long. Any shorter trips are NOT through the National Park part of the Canyon.

I did a 2 week float trip a few years ago with AZ Raft and loved it.

Grand Canyon Rafting - paddle, oar, or motorized
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Old Nov 15th, 2019, 07:46 AM
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Last Friday morning I saw a truck and a van loading up for a rafting trip at the Days Inn in Flagstaff. The company name on the big truck was proriver.com They seemed to be well organized with about a dozen people that were ready to head to the Page area for a trip down the river. The company is Professional River Outfitters Inc. The CEO Bruce has been down the river about 200 times since he was 13 years old.
They provide the shuttle service, food for the trips and several other services. I would trust their judgement on rafting trips.
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Old Nov 15th, 2019, 04:02 PM
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thanks for the responses; there are so many options listed with various companies, from 3 days to 4 weeks, it's hard to know where to begin. Some do end at Phantom Ranch, so I assume those are in the National Park. Not knowing the canyon, is it going to be dramatically different to be on another section of the river vs through the National Park?
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Old Nov 15th, 2019, 04:32 PM
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Yes, some end at Phantom Ranch, which is basically the half way point through the National Park. You can get off the raft at Phantom Ranch, but then you have about a 10mile hike, will all your personal gear, up and out of the canyon. Elevation gain 5000'. So think of climbing the Empire State Building with a full pack on your back, five times. You have to both be very strong hikers to do that, and you 'll need to carry a gallon or more of water + food as the hike out can take fast hikers half a day, slow hikers an entire day. You can also join some treks starting at Phantom ranch, but you have to hike the same 10miles and 5000' elevation drop to get TO the river.

And yes, the canyon is dramatically different downstream from the park. That's why the section in the park is preserved for all eternity as a park.

There are youtube videos of rafting the river through the canyon on fast forward. Look for one of those if you want a glimpse. The entire river through the park can also be seen on google maps street view, just like any neighborhood street. I'll try to look up some links of some amazing spots in the park that you won't see anywhere else.

But bottom line is that if you don't have the time to do a full river trek then some of the options that start downstream from the park, where you can helicopter or combo bus/trek in are not necessarily a bad thing. I don't konw anything about those so can't reco any. The canyon downstream from the park is still grander than just about anything you'll see anywhere. In spring the water temps at that part of the river 250mi downstream from Lake Powell should be up to the mid 50's.

Another option is a 1/2 day float from Page AZ to Lee's Ferry, through the lower Glen Canyon. You'll see a bit if the river / canyon that was not submerged and lost to us when they built Lake Powell.
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Old Nov 16th, 2019, 11:36 AM
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thanks for the thoughts. I don't think the trek up or down is a good idea for us, although I love the idea of doing it, probably not the smartest thing to do. I know I've read about mule rides, but assume it would be complicated to co-ordinate with a raft trip. I'm also thinking maybe we should do a raft trip that brings us in and out ( and seems to be round trip to Las Vegas) and then rent a car in LV, return to the rim of the Grand Canyon, explore and hike from there for a few days, then continue on driving to flagstaff and /or Sedona, and to Phoenix and return Las Vegas car in Phoenix and fly home from there. Does anyone have any experience with doing any of that? Or have any thoughts on it, knowing the terrain and distances better than I?
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Old Nov 18th, 2019, 04:26 PM
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imgwiz,
Unless you are willing to either hike in or hike out, 3-5 days on the river is not really an option. If you want to raft the whole canyon you need at least 7-8 days minimum - and that means going on one of the big motor rigs (I call them baloney boats). Not my idea of a "wilderness" experience, but lots of people choose motor trips.
I have just finished my 6th trip with Grand Canyon Whitewater (and have #7 planned for next year) 13-15 days oar trips only for me.
Grand Canyon Whitewater and their sister company Arizona River Runners run 7 and 8 day trips. 7 days will begin and end in Las Vegas, helicoptering out at Whitmore Wash. 8 day trips will begin and end in Flagstaff, the river trip ending at Diamond Creek.
The longer you can spend on the river, the better the experience. Trust me, you won't want the trip to end!!
All the companies are good - choose one that works with your preferred dates and departure point.
Don't leave it too long to decide, specific dates are already booked.
If you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask.
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