Rafting in the grand canyon day trip

Rafting in the grand canyon day trip

Getting to Peach Springs

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 below) as the day begins early. In addition, round trip transportation from Las Vegas is available for an additional fee. Read about travel from Las Vegas to Peach Springs.

Your Whitewater Experience

The raft will be a 22-foot, motorized inflatable pontoon carrying 6-8 people. Typically 6-8 boats travel down river in a group.

Grand Canyon Rapids

The action begins with eight whitewater rapids within the first ten miles. You will get wet! The rapids are rated II and III+, which makes for a roller coaster ride of wave trains. If you have back issues, please know the rafts have metal benches. Going through the rapids is a rough ride. After the rapids, 25 miles smooth water provide incredible Grand Canyon views.

River Stops

During the day, you will hike and explore a beautiful side canyon with a waterfall called Travertine Falls. Then 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, snacks, water, and soft drinks are always available. Dietary restrictions due to allergy or medical conditions can generally be accommodated.

River Bathrooms

Urination during the day, while not near a port-a-john, must take place in the river or in the wet sand next to the river per Grand Canyon National Park Service regulations.

Transportation out of the Canyon

If you choose the express helicopter lift out of Grand Canyon, you will arrive at your take-out point, Quartermaster Canyon having rafted 35 river miles. Otherwise, you will raft an additional 19 miles to take out at Pearce Ferry. Either way, you will have had an exciting day rafting the Colorado River.

Option 1: Helicopter Out

Read more: White water rafting near whitefish montana

If you choose to add-on the helicopter lift you will arrive at Quartermaster Canyon between 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. From here a quick 6 to 7-minute helicopter flight takes you back to the rim of the Grand Canyon. Patience is a must as the helicopter can only take four people at a time. There is a covered waiting area located at the helicopter pad.

After your helicopter flight to the rim, you will wait in an air-conditioned building for the entire group to arrive, including the Skywalk group. Once everyone has arrived, you will take a 2-hour shuttle back to the Hualapai Lodge. Expect to arrive back between 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. depending on the group size.

Option 2: No Helicopter

Alternatively, 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. At this point a 2 to 3-hour bus ride will take you back to Peach Springs. Expect to return to 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 and see 3,610 feet down into the Grand Canyon. You can add the Skywalk option to your rafting adventure at our discounted rate (price is at the top of the page). Rafters who choose to do the Skywalk will be helicoptered to the rim first and have approximately a 30-minute visit at the Skywalk. Unfortunately, the Skywalk option is only available if you choose the helicopter lift out of Grand Canyon.


Hualapai Lodge

We recommend staying at the Hualapai Lodge the night before and/or the night of your expedition as it is an early start with a full day of activity. This is the only lodging option in Peach Springs. For light sleepers we recommend bringing ear plugs to minimize the sound from the nearby train tracks.

Discounted Rates

Read more: White water river raft

We have discounted rates for the lodge and are happy to book 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 the Hualapai Lodge has limited space. If we cannot secure a room there are other lodging options nearby.


Typical Grand Canyon weather patterns:

  • 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, July thru September, brings afternoon clouds and rain showers. (See more about monsoon storm related cancellations below.)
  • September and October have cooler temperatures.

We have additional information about variations in the river during the rafting season.

Monsoon Storm Season: Rafting in July, August, or Early September

When an intense rainstorm occurs the night before a trip, the dirt road down to the river may wash out. In this situation 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 or you have the option of a full refund.

Water Temperature

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The Colorado River water is around 50°F – 55°F year round. You will get wet on this whitewater rafting trip and the water will be cold!

What to Bring Rafting

We provide a detailed packing list once you book your trip. No matter what time of year, we highly recommend you bring waterproof rain gear (jacket and pants) to protect you from the splash of the rapids, rain and wind. There will be times when you’re in the shade and if you’re wet – even in the summer – it can get uncomfortable.

For spring or fall rafting you’ll want to bring layers to keep warm. Sun protection is a must as you’ll be spending a long day out in the Arizona sun. We have more gear information here (please note this gear is for all river trips and is not specific to the 1 day trip).

Payment and Cancellation Policies

Payment in full is required at the time of booking your 1-day Grand Canyon Whitewater Rafting adventure. More than 30 days prior to the original trip date it is possible to cancel by forfeiting $75 per person. The remainder of the total amount paid will be 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. We are also subject to any changes made to the trip itineraries, departure dates, prices, and/or their reservation policies at any time.

Date Changes

After reserving the trip, you may change your trip date one time by paying an additional $35 per person 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.

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 a different take-out point where you will take a bus back to the Hualapai Lodge. You will receive a refund for the helicopter portion of your expedition and Skywalk if applicable. See pricing listed above.


Lake Powell lies just upstream of Grand Canyon and has to release water to Lake Mead for use by Las Vegas, Phoenix and California. Even in drought years, this will provide raftable flows for the entire season (March-October). Read our article about how drought is affecting rafting in the west.

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