Drive times to Peach Springs from neighboring cities are as follows:
- Grand Canyon South Rim, AZ: 2.5 hours, 133 miles
- Las Vegas, NV: 3 hours, 155 miles
- Kingman, AZ: 1 hour, 50 miles
- Seligman, AZ: 35 minutes, 37 miles
- Williams, AZ: 1.5 hours, 80 miles
- Flagstaff, AZ: 2 hours, 110 miles
We recommend staying at the Hualapai Lodge the night before (more information about where to stay below) as the day begins early.
Overnight Rafting Itinerary
On the day of your trip, check-in at approximately 6:30 a.m. in the lobby of the Hualapai Lodge. Pick up your dry bags here to back your overnight gear. From the Hualapai Lodge, a 1-hour bus ride 20 miles down the scenic dirt Diamond Creek Road takes you to the put-in on the Colorado River.
Once at put-in, you’ll receive an orientation and safety briefing. After your briefing grab a paddle and get ready to meet the Colorado river! Your trip begins in a paddle raft running eight whitewater rapids within the first ten miles. You will get wet! The II and III+ rapids make for a fun roller coaster ride of wave trains.
During the day, you will hike and explore a beautiful side canyon with a waterfall called Travertine Falls, run more rapids, and enjoy a picnic lunch on a sandy bank. Lunch consists of deli-style sandwiches with chips, fruit, cookies, and trail mix. In addition the guides bring snacks, water, and soft drinks.
After the whitewater, you change boats, running the flat water portion on a 22′ inflatable, motorized pontoon raft.
Soak in the experience of being a mile deep in the earth all afternoon. Relax, explore and connect with your fellow passengers and guides. The trip camps at Spencer Canyon, where the origin of the Hualapai story begins. Settle in for an evening which includes a hearty dinner of steak, salad, corn-on-the cob, and baked beans. Savor the experience of camping beneath the stars. (Please note that alcohol is not allowed on the Hualapai Reservation and therefore not during the trip.)
Wake up to a hot breakfast and breathtaking views of the Canyon walls. You have the opportunity for a short morning hike to explore historic sites. From here the motorized pontoon rafts takes you the remaining stretch of the river. Enjoy lunch on a sandy river bank before arriving at the first optional take-out point, Quartermaster Canyon, where a helicopter lift will take many of you to the rim above.
Read more: Raft clucker
At the end of your two days, you will have traveled 35 miles down the Colorado River!
Option 1: Helicopter Out
If you choose to add-on the helicopter lift out expect to arrive at Quartermaster Canyon around 1 p.m. From here a quick 6-7-minute helicopter flight takes you back to the rim of the Grand Canyon. A covered waiting area allows you to stay out of the sun as the helicopter transports four people to the rim at a time.
After the helicopter flight to the rim, wait in an air-conditioned building for the entire group to arrive, including the Skywalk group. Once everyone arrives, a 2-hour shuttle takes you back to the Hualapai Lodge. Expect to arrive back between 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. depending on the group size.
A Note About the Helicopter
If, for your safety, the helicopter is grounded due to weather (wind, rain, severe heat) you will raft down river for an additional two hours to Pearce Ferry. From here a bus takes you back to the Hualapai Lodge. You will receive a refund for the helicopter portion of your expedition and Skywalk if applicable.
Option 2: No Helicopter
If you forgo the helicopter, you will continue rafting for approximately two more hours. Enjoy the scenery of Grand Canyon for 19 additional river miles and arrive at Pearce Ferry. Here you will take a 2-hour bus ride back to Peach Springs. You will arrive back at the Hualapai Lodge between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
The Skywalk is not available with this option. We recommend taking the helicopter out of Grand Canyon, especially in the summer months, as the additional hours on the river make for an extra-long day.
Grand Canyon Skywalk
The Skywalk is the only place where visitors can step out onto a glass walkway nearly 4,000 feet above the floor of the Grand Canyon. If you choose to add the Skywalk option to your rafting adventure at our discounted rate (see above), you will be helicoptered to the rim first and have approximately a 30-minute visit at the Skywalk.
Read more: Cossatot river white water rafting
Whether you’re an experienced camper or it’s your first time under the stars, your guides will facilitate an enjoyable camping experience. You camp on a shoreline near the Colorado River with the starry sky overhead. Everyone participates in setting up and breaking down camp as well as loading and unloading the rafts on sandy and sometimes steep sandy beaches.
Bring your own camping gear or request to use the tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pads included in the price of the trip. Be sure to reserve them when you sign-up for the trip.
Urination during the day, while not near a port-a-john, takes place in the river or wet sand next to the river as ordered by the National Park Service. A composting, private toilet will be available at your campsite.
Where to Stay
We recommend staying at the Hualapai Lodge the night before and the night after your expedition. The trip starts early and this is the only lodging option in Peach Springs. While trips typically get back between 5:30 and 7:30 pm, they sometimes return later. Train tracks run near the hotel, so for light sleeper we recommend bringing ear plugs.
We have discounted rates for the lodge and are happy to book your rooms for you. Our discount rate varies throughout the season and can be seen through our online booking portal by selecting a desired date.
Your lodging reservation can be cancelled up to 3 business days before your check-in date in order to receive a refund. Cancellations within 3 business days of your check-in date cannot be refunded.
Please know that space in the Hualapai Lodge is limited. If we cannot secure a room, there are other lodging options nearby.
Historically speaking, weather patterns in Grand Canyon are as follows:
- March, April and May have cooler temperatures and can bring strong winds.
- June through August are the hottest months with temperatures between 95°F – 115°F.
- Monsoon season is July thru September and can bring afternoon clouds and rain showers. (See more about monsoon storm related cancellations below.)
- September and October have cooler temperatures.
Read more: Seat cut rafter
The Colorado River water ranges between 50°F – 55°F year round. With the size of Grand Canyon’s whitewater expect to get wet and the water will be cold!
What to Bring
We’ll provide you with this detailed packing list when you book your overnight trip. No matter what time of year, we highly recommend you bring waterproof rain gear (jacket and pants). There will be times when you’re in the shade and if you’re wet – even in the summer – it can get uncomfortable. If you’re rafting in the spring or fall, you’ll want to bring layers to keep warm. This trip requires sun protection since you’ll be spending full days in the Arizona sun. If you want to get an idea of what gear we recommend, visit our recommended gear page (please note this gear pertains to all our river trips and not just for the 2 day trip).
Payment and Cancellation Policy
Payment in full is required at the time of booking your 2-day Grand Canyon Rafting adventure. Cancellations received 30 days or more prior to the original trip date will forfeit $75 per person with the remaining amount being refunded. Cancellations received within 29 to 1 day prior to the trip date and/or no shows will forfeit the total amount paid.
Please know that Rivers & Oceans is subject to the outfitter’s policies and cannot make exceptions for any reason to their cancellation policy. We are also subject to any changes made to the trip itineraries, departure dates, prices, and/or their reservation policies at any time.
After reserving the trip, you may change your trip date one time by paying an additional $35 per person date change fee up to 2 days prior to the trip date. Date change requests received within 2 days of the trip date will be treated as cancellations and will forfeit the total amount paid. Please note, if you change your trip date and need to cancel your trip, the total amount paid will be retained and no refunds will be issued.
Monsoon Storm Season: Rafting in July, August, or Early September
If there is an intense rainstorm the night before your rafting trip the dirt road down to the river may be washed out. If this occurs the Hualapai River Runners will do their best to clear the road allowing you to raft that day. This could delay your launch by one to two hours, which will affect the pacing of your trip. If the road is unable to be cleared your trip will be cancelled and you will be given the opportunity to reschedule. If you are unable to raft on different days you will receive a full refund.
We have more information about variations in the river during the rafting season.