What kind of raft are you interested in? Motor or Oar-Powered?
GCW offers both motorized and oar-powered Grand Canyon Colorado River trips. Our most popular trips are aboard motorized rafts. For those of you who have more time and are looking for a more leisurely pace, oar-powered rafts are a great choice. Both motorized rafts and oar-powered rafts are made of rubber and designed specifically for whitewater rafting.
Motorized rafts are 35 feet long and hold about 14 passengers and a guide who drives the boat from the back (or stern). A benefit to the motorized rafts is they allow people to see more of the Canyon because they can go about twice the speed of the current. We aren’t talking major speed here; the current averages about 4 miles per hour, so we cruise along at 8 miles per hour. The motor boats give passengers a fun and exciting ride.
Rafters are seated on padded bench seats along each side of the raft facing the Canyon walls. Your feet will be slightly up on the side pontoons with a duffel pile to lean back against. We’ve been told that our motorized rafts are some of the most comfortable in Grand Canyon. Lay back and take in the breathtaking view or close your eyes for a nap while coasting the flat water. If you choose to sit near the front you’ll be right in the action or move towards the back to dry off. Feel free to rotate seat positions and take turns up front. We also highly recommend switching rafts throughout the trip so you can experience the different guides’ interpretative styles and personalities. Passengers must be at least 8 years old to participate in motorized raft trips.
Oar-powered rafts are 18 feet long and carry 4-5 passengers and one guide to row the raft. The guide sits in the middle and has two long oars to maneuver the raft down the Colorado River and through the rapids. The raft will float along at the speed of the current, about 4 miles per hour. For this reason, oar-powered trips are typically longer, unless you choose to do only half of the trip and either hike into or out of the Grand Canyon. The benefit of an oar trip is you’ll have ample time with your guide to chat, hear stories about historic river runners, ask geology questions, and listen to in-depth interpretation of the Grand Canyon. This is NOT a paddle trip. The guides are the ones doing the rowing – guests will not be issued a paddle or an oar. As a passenger, your job is to hang on, enjoy the ride and take in the beauty of Grand Canyon. Passengers must be at least 12 years old to participate in GCW’s oar-powered trips.
Have more questions about whitewater rafting the Colorado River and which trip to select?
Check out our FAQs, give our office a call at 800-343-3121 or take our quick quiz to help you pick the perfect trip. Our office staff members, pictured below, are all very knowledgeable about rafting trips in Grand Canyon. We would love to help you discover which rafting adventure is right for you.