Best of the Grand: Motorized or Rowed

Hermits Rapid from South Rim Grand CanyonOur Best of the Grand trip starts by hiking into the canyon from the South Rim Grand Canyon Village with our professional guide to the boat beach near Phantom Ranch. You’ll join our boats there and begin the river trip. The trip covers 193 miles, or 2/3 of the lower portion of the canyon, and takes out at upper Lake Mead. Best of the Grand is our medium length trip, and it includes the most notable Grand Canyon features.

The whitewater begins immediately at Devil’s Spittoon, Horn Creek Rapid and continues throughout the trip which includes a total of 70 rapids, ranging from minor to major. Towards the end of the trip we’ll ride through the infamous Lava Falls, a short, but big and difficult rapid.

Smooth and tranquil stretches are between the whitewater rapids for you to view and wonder at all of Grand Canyon’s beauty. Our interpretative guides will entertain you with tales about the area’s history, notorious river runners, Grand Canyon geology, and much more.

With each mile we’ll travel deeper into the Gorge through millions of years of history. You’ll see sandstone and limestone pink and red layered cliffs, softer shale and siltstone slopes, dark basalt lava flows and the Inner Gorge’s granite with its craggy cliffs.

There are many side canyons for day hikes, exploring and playing. Some of these excursions are Elves Chasm, Deer Creek Falls, turquoise waters of Havasu Canyon, and slot canyons. We’ll see desert plants and lush green ferns, and wildlife along our way.

OPTION: This trip is available as a 5-day or 6-day tour on a motorized pontoon boat or as an 8-day or 9-day trip on a rowed, oar powered inflatable boat. See details and options for both below.

Bright Angel Trail from South Rim Grand CanyonPRECAUTION: The 9.5 mile hike into the canyon is strenuous and is an important factor to consider. Your hike goes down only with very little upward motion in a rugged, rocky and hot desert environment. You must be hydrated with plenty of water before the hike. It’s very likely that you will be sore the next day. The hike in is not for anyone with conditions related to: heart, breathing, back and lower extremities, balance, heated body, or fear of heights. This hike is not for you if you are overweight, pregnant, a smoker, on prescription drugs, inactive, out of shape, or very young or elderly.


Best of the Grand Motorized Pontoon Trip: With or Without Phantom Ranch

Motorized pontoon boat in Lava Falls rapid Grand CanyonBest of the Grand on motorized pontoon boats is a great way to see the most popular features of Grand Canyon and experience the biggest rapids in only 5-6 days.

On the first day you’ll meet our hiking guide at 5:00 am in the Bright Angel Hotel on the South Rim, and hike 9.5 miles going down 5,000 feet in elevation to the river and our boats.

OPTION: Rather than hiking into the canyon early on the morning of the river trip, you might want to include the Phantom Ranch option. With this option, you’ll hike in one day before joining our boats and spend that evening and overnight at the historic guest facility along the Colorado River. The following morning you’ll meet us at the boats.

You must read a written orientation with park service regulations and tips for a safe and fun trip, and then sign and return the required acknowledgement to us. There is no other pre-trip orientation.

At our take-out location at upper Lake Mead we’ll transport you back to the South Rim Grand Canyon Village, arriving in the late afternoon or early evening.

For complete trip details and information on what to bring, the weather, links to hotels, transportation and more, download our Best of the Grand Motorized Trip Packet (pdf) or Best of the Grand Motorized with Phantom Ranch Trip Packet (pdf).

Included in Trip Price

  • Professionally guided hike to the river.
  • Transportation from the take-out point on upper Lake Mead back to the South Rim Grand Canyon Village.
  • Lunch for the return trip to the South Rim Grand Canyon Village.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Thick foam sleeping pad.
  • Tent and ground sheet.
  • Dry bag for clothing and sleeping bag.
  • Ammo can for camera and miscellaneous day use items.
  • Knife, fork, spoon, plate, and souvenir Canyoneers cup.
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages while on the river, prepared by our professional staff. Alcohol and pop welcome; order it through us so we can stow it on the boat before launch.
  • Professional guides and camp service complete with Grand Canyon interpretive programs.
  • US Coast Guard approved life jacket.
  • Seat cushion.
  • Toilet paper.
  • First aid supplies.
  • Toll-free reservation and information services.
  • Written orientation program.
  • Map of Bright Angel Trail.

Also Included in Trip Price for 6-Day Motorized With Phantom Ranch

  • One night at Phantom Ranch.
  • Dinner and breakfast at Phantom Ranch.
  • Duffel service for clothing and personal gear so you don’t have to carry it into the canyon. Duffels must be delivered to the livery stable the day prior to hiking in.

Best of the Grand Motorized General Info

  • Lower 2/3 of canyon
  • Motorized pontoon boat
  • 193 river miles
  • 70 rapids
  • Bright Angel Beach to upper Lake Mead
  • 9.5 mile hike into canyon with guide

5-Day Best of the Grand Motorized WITHOUT Phantom Ranch

  • 4-1/2 days, 4 nights on the river
  • 1/2 day hike into canyon with guide

2017 Dates and Rates

Trip dates are Tuesday.

  • May 23
  • June 27
  • July 25
  • • $1,900 cost per person
  • • $400 deposit per person

2018 Dates and Rates

Trip dates are Tuesday.

  • May 15
  • June 19
  • July 10, 31
  • August 14
    • • $1,927 cost per person
    • • $400 deposit per person

6-Day Best of the Grand Motorized WITH Phantom Ranch

  • 5 days, 4 nights on the river
  • 1/2 day hike into canyon with guide
  • 1 night at Phantom Ranch

2017 Dates and Rates

Trip dates are Monday.

  • May 8, 15, 29
  • June 5, 12, 19
  • July 3, 10, 17, 31
  • August 7, 14, 21
  • • $2,217 cost per person
  • • $400 deposit per person

2018 Dates and Rates

Trip dates are Monday.

  • May 7, 21, 28
  • June 4, 11, 25
  • July 2, 16, 23
  • August 6, 20, 27
    • • $2,262 cost per person
    • • $400 deposit per person


Best of the Grand Rowed, Oar Powered Trip — CanyonOars

Rowed inflatable raft in Grand Canyon rapids

Follow the river trail in our 18′ rowed, oar powered inflatable boats, moved by the river, at the river’s own pace. We travel fewer miles each day sometimes spending two nights in the same camp or giving extra time for longer side canyon hikes. The Sandra, the original, fully restored cataract boat built by Norm Nevills in 1947, accompanies this trip. Experience how the pioneers of yesteryear ran the Grand!

On the first day you’ll meet our hiking guide at 5:00 am in the Bright Angel Hotel on the South Rim, and hike 9.5 miles going down 5,000 feet in elevation to the river and our boats.

OPTION: The June and August trips are for 9 days and HAVE a motorized pontoon support boat. The support boat carries supplies which allows more room on the rowed inflatable boats. You can also ride on the motorized support boat if you want. The July trip is for 8 days, and it DOES NOT HAVE a motorized support boat.

You must read a written orientation with park service regulations and tips for a safe and fun trip, and then sign and return the required acknowledgement to us. There is no other pre-trip orientation.

At our take-out location we’ll transport you back to the South Rim Grand Canyon Village, arriving in the late afternoon or early evening.

For complete trip details and information on what to bring, the weather, links to hotels, transportation and more, download our Best of the Grand Rowed Trip Packet (pdf).

Included in Trip Price

  • Professionally guided hike to the river.
  • Lunch for the return trip to the South Rim Grand Canyon Village.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Thick foam sleeping pad.
  • Tent and ground sheet.
  • Dry bag for clothing and sleeping bag.
  • Ammo can for camera and miscellaneous day use items.
  • Knife, fork, spoon, plate, & souvenir Canyoneers cup.
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages while on the river, prepared by our professional staff. Alcohol and pop welcome; order it through us so we can stow it on the boat before launch.
  • Professional guides and camp service complete with Grand Canyon interpretive programs.
  • US Coast Guard approved life jacket.
  • Seat cushion.
  • Toilet paper.
  • First aid supplies.
  • Toll-free reservation and information services.
  • Written orientation program.
  • Map of Bright Angel Trail.

Also Included in Trip Price for 9-Day Rowed With Motor Support

  • Accompanied by historic Sandra cataract boat.
  • Motor support to carry more amenities and any passengers who want to ride the motor raft anytime they choose.
  • Transportation from the take-out point on upper Lake Mead back to the South Rim Grand Canyon Village.

Also Included in Trip Price for 8-Day Rowed With NO Motor Support

  • Transportation from the take-out point at Diamond Creek back to the South Rim Grand Canyon Village.
  • All Hualapai Tribe fees for the Diamond Creek take out.

Best of the Grand Rowed General Info

  • Lower 2/3 of canyon
  • Rowed, oar powered inflatable boat
  • 9.5 mile hike into canyon with guide

9-Day Best of the Grand Rowed WITH Motor Support

  • With motor support pontoon
  • With Sandra, 1947 historic cataract boat
  • 193 river miles
  • 70 rapids
  • Pipe Creek to upper Lake Mead
  • 8-1/2 days, 8 nights on river
  • 1/2 day hike into canyon with guide

2017 Dates and Rates

  • June 19 (Monday)
  • August 29 (Tuesday)
  • • $2,815 cost per person
  • • $500 deposit per person

2018 Dates and Rates

  • June 25 (Monday)
  • September 4 (Tuesday)
    • • $2,995 cost per person
    • • $500 deposit per person

    8-Day Best of the Grand Rowed WITHOUT Motor Support

    • NO motor support pontoon
    • NO Sandra, 1947 historic cataract boat
    • 139 river miles
    • 70 rapids
    • Pipe Creek to Diamond Creek
    • 7-1/2 days, 7 nights on river
    • 1/2 day hike into canyon with guide

    2017 Dates and Rates

    • July 18 (Tuesday)
    • • $2,620 cost per person
    • • $500 deposit per person

    2018 Dates and Rates

  • July 24 (Tuesday)
    • • $2,700 cost per person
    • • $500 deposit per person