Best of the Grand: Motorized or Oar

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 Pearce Ferry on 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 is available as a 5-day or 6-day trip on a motorized pontoon boat or as a 9-day trip on exclusively oar rafts. 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 Pearce Ferry on 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 at Pearce Ferry 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.
  • 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; 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 Pearce Ferry on 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

2019 Dates and Rates

Trip dates are Tuesday.

  • May 14
  • June 18
  • July 9, 30
  • August 13
  • • $2,027 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

2019 Dates and Rates

Trip dates are Monday.

  • May 6, 20, 27
  • June 3, 10, 24
  • July 1, 15, 22
  • August 5, 19, 26
  • • $2,320 cost per person
  • • $400 deposit per person


Best of the Grand Oar Rafts Trip — CanyonOars

Rowed inflatable raft in Grand Canyon rapids

Follow the river trail in our 18′ exclusively oar rafts, 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 taking extra time for longer side canyon hikes.

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 Sandra, the original, fully restored cataract boat built by Norm Nevills in 1947, accompanies the 2019 June and September trips. Experience how the pioneers of yesteryear ran the Grand! The historic Sandra DOES NOT accompany the 2019 July trip.

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 Oar 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.
  • 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, & 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.
  • 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.
  • For the 2019 June and September trips ONLY: Accompanied by historic Sandra cataract boat

9-Day Best of the Grand Oar General Info

  • Lower 2/3 of canyon
  • Exclusively oar rafts
  • 8-1/2 days, 8 nights on river
  • 1/2 day hike (9.5 miles) into canyon with guide
  • 135 river miles
  • 70 rapids
  • Pipe Creek to Diamond Creek
  • The Sandra, 1947 historic cataract boat accompanies the 2019 June and September trips ONLY

9-Day Best of the Grand Oar

2019 Dates and Rates