The Grand Canyon is a place that was carved by nature about 6 million years ago, when geological activity and erosion by the Colorado River created one of the most fascinating landscapes in the world, full of fossil records and a variety of geologic features. Located only a few hours away from Las Vegas and Phoenix, the Grand Canyon offers plenty of fun and unique rafting experiences.
If you are visiting the Grand Canyon for one day only, you should know that there are some options for rafting. Some businesses offer one day Grand Canyon rafting trips, and the experience is great for people who are short on time and want a taste of the fun that the Grand Canyon whitewater rafting has to offer.
The whitewater rafting adventure begins in Peach Springs, and goes through the lower Grand Canyon. It is a motorized rafting trip that goes from Diamond Creek down to Lake Mead. It is operated by the Hualapai River Runners, which are part of the Hualapai tribe, a recognized Indian Tribe located in Northwestern Arizona.
However, you should know that the one day Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trips sell out quickly, so you ned to make reservations for months before you decide to visit the Grand Canyon National Park.
What Is Whitewater Rafting?
Whitewater rafting is one of the best ways to experience the fun in the river miles across the Grand Canyon. The term “white water rafting” got its name because the raft is an inflatable boat that you ride to paddle through the rough waters and rapids. Here, “white” comes because the rapids of the river make the water appear white.
The Grand Canyon white water rafting experience is one of the most exciting journeys in a popular destination. Some travelers say that the one day rafting trip is like no other, and they highly recommend this kind of experience.
Hualapai River Runners Rafting Trip
The Hualapai River Runners offer rafting trips on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. The options include a one day whitewater rafting trip, or a two-day paddle rafting adventure.
If you choose the one day trip, the adventure begins with a drive to Diamond Creek. Once you are in the raft, you will be taken to 12 river miles of whitewater rapids before reaching Travertine Falls, which is a nice location with a natural waterfall where you can stop to have lunch along the Colorado River. The rest of the tour includes smooth river rafting where the experienced Hualapai River Runners will share stories about their history, culture, and the Grand Canyon. There are also options for half day tours with transportation organized by the guide at one stop of the rafting trip. You can decide your trip length by communicating with the guide.
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In the two-day paddle raft trips, you can enjoy roaming through the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. On one day, you will travel to Travertine Falls before you continue to Spencer Canyon where you will camp for the night and enjoy dinner by the campfire.
Both the one day and two day trips end with an option to have a helicopter ride back to Peach Springs, as well as optional day trip to the Skywalk, Eagle Point, and the Guano Point viewing areas.
Hualapai Lodge In Peach Springs: The Place Where Your One Day Grand Canyon Rafting Trip Begins
The one day Grand Canyon rafting trip meets at the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs. The town (Peach Springs) is located at:
- 3 hour drive (155 miles) from Las Vegas, NV
- 2.5 hour drive (133 miles) from the Grand Canyon South Rim
- 1 hour drive (50 miles) from Kingsman, AZ
- 35 minutes (37 miles) from Seligman, AZ
- 1.5 hour drive (80 miles) from Williams, AZ
- 2 hours (110 miles) from Flagstaff, AZ
If you are driving yourself, we recommend staying at the Hualapai Lodge the night before, mostly because the one day Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip begins early.
About Peach Springs & The Hualapai Lodge
Peach Springs is the capital of the Hualapai nation, and a great place for your once-in-a-lifetime rafting experience. You can stay the night in the famous Hualapai Lodge, or choose the Cave Room which is one of the most popular unusual places in the world to sleep.
Peach Springs is also a gateway to the Grand Canyon Skywalk – a glass-bottomed bridge that hovers 4,000 feet above the canyon floor. This experience can get your heart pumping and can be taken as a quick 1-hour excursion from your one day raft trip.
The one day white water rafting adventure takes place on the Hualapai Tribal Reservation and is guided by the Hualapai River Runners, which gives you a unique opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon with people who know it best and have a rich history of living there and calling it home. The tour departures from Peach Springs.
From the Hualapai lodge, there is a scenic drive through the Hualapai Reservation that is down Diamond Creek Road (which is the only road into the Grand Canyon) which takes the tour to the Colorado River. This is the location where the guides and motorized rafts are waiting for the travellers.
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Permits ar required for the one day Grand Canyon rafting trip,which is why you can’t do it on your own and must book a tour. While on the river, you can discover the rich tradition that the Hualapai people have and travel downstream with a native guide. You can also hike in or out of the Grand Canyon, or use helicopter ride up to the rim which can be a great final highlight of your day.
The One Day Grand Canyon Rafting Journey In Detail
If you wish to book a one day Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip at the Colorado River, you can rely on the Hualapai River Runners for a fun adventure in a 22-foot motorized inflatable pontoon, which is ideal for 6-8 people. Typically, you will find around 6 to 8 boats like these travelling down the river in a group.
Experience The Rapids
Booking a one day rafting trip means action at the Colorado River. The action begins right away as there are eight whitewater rapids in the first ten mile journey – so prepare to get wet!
Rated II and III+, these rapids make for a great ride full of wave trains, guided by the Hualapai River Runners. If you have some back issues, you should inform your river guide but keep in mind that going through the rapids is a rough ride. Once you pass the rapids, the next 25 miles of your 1 day raft tour on the Colorado River will be smooth water rafting with some breathtaking views on the side canyon walls.
Exciting River Stops
Hiking and exploring a beautiful side canyon with a waterfall called Travertine Falls is one of the biggest attraction of the one day Grand Canyon rafting tours. During your day rafting, you have the chance to run more rapids and then enjoy a lunch on a sandy bank, where you can freshen up, swim a little, and enjoy the beauty of the nature.
If you need to use the bathroom, urination is only accepted in the Colorado River or in the wet sand next to it, as ordered by the Grand Canyon National Park Service.
Transportation Out Of The Canyon
For transportation out of the Grand Canyon, you can choose the quick helicopter ride out of Grand Canyon. The take-out point is Quartermaster Canyon, located after the first 35 miles of rafting. If you wish to raft more, you can go 19 more miles to take out at Pearce Ferry.
If you don’t want to get the helicopter ride or go back to Pearce Ferry, you can continue rafting for approximately two more hours, where you will enjoy the scenery of the Colorado River. A 2-hour bus ride from Pearce Ferry back to Peach Springs is a common option for transportation out of the canyon.
The Grand Canyon Skywalk
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Many tours offer the Skywalk as part of the adventure, where visitors can step out onto a glass walkway and look 3,610 feet down into the Grand Canyon. Rafters who choose to do this are helicoptered to the rim first and have 30 minutes to enjoy in the Skywalk.
What To Pack For Your One Day Grand Canyon White Water Rafting Trip
As you prepare for your full day trip on the Colorado River, we recommend to include the following gear in your packing list:
- Lightweight shorts with fast drying material
- Lightweight T-shirt with fast drying material
- A hat with a visor and strap
- Rain gear – a jacket or poncho (for use through the rapids)
- Athletic shoes or river-type sandals
- A lightweight jacket or polar fleece sweatshirt
- Lightweight pants (with fast drying material)
- Sunglasses with a strap
- Extra socks and shoes
- Swimsuit (optional)
- A water container
- A bandana
- A towel
- Sun protection
Keep in mind that cameras and phones are not allowed when the raft is in motion. Also, if you are rafting in spring or fall, we recommend bringing layers to keep warm. Sun protection is another must if you are spending a long day out in the sun.
Where To Stay For Your One Day Rafting Journey?
There are some options for stay during your one day whitewater rafting trip. We recommend staying at the Hualapai Lodge the night before or the night of your expedition if you want to rest before the trip or after that. Keep in mind that the full day adventure is an early start with lots of activities.
What are the minimum age requirements for these whitewater rafting tours?
The youngest passengers taking out on the motorized white water rafting experiences are 8 year olds, while the oar-powered journeys have a minimum age requirement of at 12 years old. There is no upper age limit for the Hualapai 1 day Colorado River trip with a motor boat.
About Grand Canyon Weather By Season
- March, April, May: Cooler temperatures with strong winds
- June, July, August: Hottest months, temperatures between 95°F and 115°F.
- July, August, September: Monsoon season can bring afternoon clouds and rain showers.
- September, October: Cooler temperatures
The best time to visit the Grand Canyon and book your one day river rafting trip is spring or fall, where the temperatures are between 27 and 95°F.
Aside from the one day experience, there are many multi-day tours where you have the chance to raft through 188 miles of rapids and slows, or kayak down-river to Lees Ferry as the final point of your adventure.
We highly recommend the one day rafting journey in the Grand Canyon as an excellent way to pump your adrenaline in the rapids, enjoy looking at the canyon massives that are shaping the Grand Canyon, ride back smoothly to the final point, walk on the glass-made Skywalk at 4,000 feet over the canyon floor, or get a kayak to explore the South and North Rim.
Whether you are arriving at the Las Vegas airport or visiting the Grand Canyon from Phoenix, you should know that a one day whitewater rafting tour is a must, and is one of the best ways to experience the unique Grand Canyon rafting trips if you don’t have much time.