Although there are several ways to experience the Grand Canyon, one of the wonders of the world, seeing it from a raft on the Colorado River is an unforgettable whitewater rafting in Arizona experience. Trip lengths can vary, and the weather conditions also vary during the year, making it important to do some research.
Trips lasting between three and 13 days are offered by several local operators, although many of these begin from Page, AZ or from the floor of the canyon, after a memorable hike down. Lake Mead or Diamond Creek are the popular ending points for the longer whitewater rafting trips, and many trips include the added excitement of a helicopter ride out of the canyon. You can choose a trip where oars are used to propel the boat, or a motorized boat trip.
Weather conditions in and around the Grand Canyon should also be taken into account, and temperatures of around 110F during July are not uncommon. Whitewater rafting trips in Arizona’s Grand Canyon typically take place during May to October, but be prepared for changes in the weather and the canyon’s dry and hot climate. Regardless of when you go rafting, a trip on the Colorado can be the trip of a lifetime and the unique chance to see the fantastic colors of the canyon up close.
A lesser known option for whitewater rafting in Arizona is the Salt River, located just over two hours drive from Phoenix. There are actually more rapids on the Salt River, according to experienced rafting guide James Wilkes, who has been guiding rafters here for over 16 years. Wilkes also points out the advantages of the river being more accessible, and that rafting trips on the Salt River commence during late morning, eliminating an early start.
Trips vary in length from a half day to five days and include a delicious lunch, as well as the opportunity to experience over a dozen class 3 rapids. The best time of year to experience the power and beauty of the Salt River is during march or April.
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