Upper Grand: Motorized or Rowed

Upper Grand Canyon overlooking the Colorado RiverOur Upper Grand trip starts at Lees Ferry, or river mile 0, and continues downstream for 87 miles. It ends at Bright Angel Beach where you’ll leave the boat and hike out of the canyon with our professional guide to the South Rim Grand Canyon Village. This is the shortest trip if your time is limited.

Initially, the canyon is wide at the Colorado River, but very soon the polished limestone sheer rock walls of Marble Canyon are jutting up at the river’s edge. We’ll journey through Marble Canyon’s 60 miles of majestic and colorful cliffs. We’ll pass under the Navajo Bridge that is 470 feet above for Highway 89 traffic.

The river is smooth and calm in the beginning, and in less than a mile we’ll experience our first riffle at the Paria River. On the Upper Grand trip you’ll ride through 36 rapids that range from minor to significant.

There are many wonders to see and experience including the ancient granaries in the cliff above Nankoweap, Redwall Cavern, Vasey’s Paradise, Nautiloid Canyon, natural rock arches and bridges, wildlife, and desert plants. We’ll stop for short day hikes, lunch breaks and to play in the Little Colorado River which is known for its turquoise blue and warm water.

As we go deeper into the canyon, our interpretative guides will entertain you with tales about the area’s history, notorious river runners, Grand Canyon geology, and much more.

OPTION: This trip is available as a 3-day or 4-day tour on a motorized pontoon boat or as a 6-day trip on a rowed, human powered inflatable boat. See details and options for both below.

Bright Angel Trail from South Rim Grand CanyonPRECAUTION: The 9.5 mile hike out is strenuous and is an important factor to consider. Your hike goes up only with very little downward 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 out 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.


Upper Grand Motorized Pontoon Trip: With or Without Phantom Ranch

Motorized pontoon boat in Upper Grand rapidOur motorized Upper Grand trip is the quickest way to enjoy whitewater rafting on the Colorado River and experience the vastness of Grand Canyon. You’ll see firsthand the stairstep pattern of steep vertical cliffs with rocky slopes at their bases and the layer cake effect of the different colored rock formations.

The motorized trip gets you down river quick and that gives ample time to stop for day hikes and spend more time at the natural wonders along the way.

On the morning of the 3rd day you’ll leave the boats at Bright Angel Beach and hike out of the canyon with our hiking guide to South Rim Grand Canyon Village. The hike is 9.5 miles, going up 5,000 feet in elevation.

Phantom Ranch cabins in Grand CanyonOPTION: Rather than immediately hiking out at the end of your river trip, you might want to include the Phantom Ranch option which gives you part of day 3 and one night at the historic guest facility along the Colorado River. Then you’ll hike out on the 4th day.

You must attend an orientation meeting in Flagstaff the night prior to your trip date. Early on the morning of your trip date, we will transport passengers to the launch site at Lees Ferry where you will board the boat. Most of our trips are two boats traveling together, sometimes with passengers doing a full canyon trip.

You are responsible for reserving a transportation shuttle from the South Rim Grand Canyon Village back to Flagstaff at the end of your hike out.

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

Hear the string quartet on whitewater rafting trips

 

We’re offering a special Upper Grand Motorized with Phantom Ranch trip in August 2018 that will be accompanied by the Skylight City String Quartet at no additional cost. See complete details.

Included in Trip Price

  • Transportation from Flagstaff to the put-in point at Lees Ferry.
  • Full buffet breakfast on the morning of trip departure.
  • Professionally guided hike from the river out of the canyon.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Thick foam sleeping pad.
  • Tent and ground sheet.
  • NEW  Folding camp chair with legs.
  • 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; bring your own.
  • 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.
  • Video orientation program.
  • Luggage and car storage.
  • Map of Bright Angel Trail.

Also Included in Trip Price for 4-Day Motorized With Phantom Ranch

  • Part of day 3 and that night at Phantom Ranch.
  • Sack lunch, dinner, and breakfast at Phantom Ranch.
  • Duffel service for clothing and personal gear so you don’t have to carry it out of the canyon.

Upper Grand Motorized General Info

  • Upper 1/3 of canyon
  • Motorized pontoon boat
  • 87 river miles
  • 36 rapids
  • Lees Ferry to Bright Angel Beach
  • 9.5 mile hike out of canyon with guide

3-Day Upper Grand Motorized WITHOUT Phantom Ranch

  • 2 days, 2 nights on river
  • 1 day hike out of canyon with guide

2018 Dates and Rates

Trip dates are Sunday.

  • May 13
  • June 17
  • July 8, 29
  • August 12
  • • $1,195 cost per person
  • • $300 deposit per person

4-Day Upper Grand Motorized WITH Phantom Ranch

  • 2 days & part of a 3rd day, 2 nights on river
  • Remainder of day 3 & that night at Phantom Ranch
  • 1 day hike out of canyon with guide

2018 Dates and Rates

Trip dates are Sunday.


Upper Grand Rowed, Oar Powered Trip — CanyonOars

Rowed inflatable boat in Grand Canyon rapid

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!

OPTION: The 6-day June and August trips 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 6-day July trip DOES NOT HAVE a motorized support boat.

You must attend an orientation meeting in Flagstaff the night prior to your trip date. Early on the morning of your trip date, we will transport passengers to the launch site at Lees Ferry where you will board the boat and begin the trip.

You are responsible for reserving a transportation shuttle from the South Rim Grand Canyon Village back to Flagstaff at the end of your hike out.

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

Included in Trip Price

  • Transportation from Flagstaff to the put-in point at Lees Ferry.
  • Full buffet breakfast on the morning of departure.
  • Professionally guided hike from the river out of the canyon.
  • Sack lunch for hike out.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Thick foam sleeping pad.
  • Tent and ground sheet.
  • NEW  Folding camp chair with legs on rowed trips with motor support. Rowed trips without motor support may have the Crazy Creek Chair because space is limited.
  • 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; bring your own.
  • 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.
  • Video orientation program.
  • Luggage and car storage.
  • Map of Bright Angel Trail.

Also Included in Trip Price for 6-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.

Upper Grand Rowed General Info

  • Upper 1/3 of canyon
  • Rowed, oar powered inflatable boat
  • 87 river miles
  • 36 rapids
  • Lees Ferry to Pipe Creek
  • 9.5 mile hike out of canyon with guide

6-Day Upper Grand Rowed WITH Motor Support

2018 Dates and Rates

  • June 20 (Wednesday)
  • August 30 (Thursday)
  • • $2,130 cost per person
  • • $400 deposit per person

6-Day Upper Grand Rowed WITHOUT Motor Support

  • NO motor support pontoon
  • 5 days, 5 nights on river
  • 1 day hike out of canyon with guide

2018 Dates and Rates