Lower Canyon: Motor or Oar

Hermits Rapid from South Rim Grand CanyonOn our Lower Canyon Trip you’ll join our boats near Phantom Ranch after hiking into the canyon with our professional guide. This trip covers 193 miles, or 2/3 of the lower portion of the canyon, and takes out at Pearce Ferry on upper Lake Mead.

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.

View and wonder at Grand Canyon’s beauty during the smooth and tranquil stretches between the whitewater rapids. 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, including Deer Creek Falls, turquoise waters of Havasu Canyon, Elves Chasm, and other slot canyons. We’ll see desert plants, lush green ferns, and wildlife along our way.

This is available as a 6 Day or 5 Day trip on a motorized pontoon boat or 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.


6 Day Lower Canyon Motor Trip with Phantom Ranch

Motorized pontoon boat in Lava Falls rapid Grand CanyonLower Canyon 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.

Lower Canyon has a mandatory written orientation. 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 Phantom Ranch. We provide a mule duffel service for your heavy clothing and gear for an easier hike in. You’ll spend that evening and overnight at the historic guest facility along the Colorado River. The following morning you’ll meet us at the boats.

Our 5 Day Upper Canyon trips in 2019 do not include Phantom Ranch. You’ll hike in on Day 1 and meet our boats.

From 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 6 Day Lower Canyon Motor Trip with Phantom Ranch Packet (pdf) or 5 Day Lower Canyon Motor Trip Packet (pdf)

Included in Trip Price

  • Duffel service for clothing and personal gear so you don’t have to carry it into the canyon.
  • Professionally guided hike to Phantom Ranch for the 6 Day Lower Canyon motor trips. Guests on the 5 Day Lower Canyon trips will hike with our guide to the river and meet our boats.
  • Day 1 overnight stay at Phantom Ranch for the 6 Day Lower Canyon motor trips.
  • Day 1 Dinner and Day 2 breakfast at Phantom Ranch for the 6 Day Lower Canyon motor trips.
  • Transportation from the take-out point at Pearce Ferry on upper Lake Mead back to the South Rim Grand Canyon Village.
  • Sleep kit: Sleeping bag, foam sleeping pad, ground sheet, and tent.
  • Folding camp chair with legs.
  • Dry bag for clothing and sleep kit.
  • 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.
  • Professional guides and camp service complete with Grand Canyon interpretive programs.
  • Luggage and car storage.

General Info

  • Lower 2/3 of canyon
  • Day 1 hike 9.5 miles into canyon with guide
  • Stay at Phantom Ranch that evening and night
  • Day 2 join our boats
  • 5 days, 4 nights on the river
  • Motorized pontoon boat
  • 193 river miles
  • 70 rapids
  • Bright Angel Beach to Pearce Ferry on upper Lake Mead

2019 Dates and Fares

Trip dates are Monday unless otherwise noted.

  • April 29*
  • May 6, 14* (Tuesday), 20, 27
  • June 3, 10, 18* (Tuesday), 24
  • July 1, 9* (Tuesday), 15, 22, 30* (Tuesday)
  • August 5, 13* (Tuesday), 19, 26
  • • $2,320 cost per person
  • • $400 deposit per person

* 5 Day Lower Canyon Trips: Phantom Ranch is not available on these dates.

  • • $2,027 cost per person
  • • $300 deposit per person

2020 Dates and Fares

Trip dates are Monday unless otherwise notes.

  • April 28 (Tuesday) — 5 Day Botany Special Trip. Phantom Ranch is not available on this trip.
  • May 4, 18, 25
  • June 1, 8, 22, 29
  • July 6, 13, 20
  • August 3, 10, 17 — August 10 is a 6 Day String Quartet Special Trip.
  • 2020 prices will be based on 2019 prices plus a standard of living increase – historically an increase of 3-5% above the prior season’s fares.


9 Day Lower Canyon Oar Trip

Rowed inflatable raft in Grand Canyon rapids

Follow the river trail in our 18′ oar rafts, moved by the river, at the river’s own pace. A longer trip length allows us to travel fewer miles each day and provides extra time for longer side canyon hikes and additional interpretive talks.
The Sandra, the original, fully restored cataract boat built by Norm Nevills in 1947, accompanies our oar trips. Experience how the pioneers of yesteryear ran the Grand!

Lower Canyon has a mandatory written orientation. 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. We provide a mule duffel service for your heavy clothing and gear for an easier hike in.

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 9 Day Lower Canyon Oar Trip Packet (pdf).

Included in Trip Price

  • The Sandra historic cataract boat.
  • Duffel service for clothing and personal gear so you don’t have to carry it into the canyon.
  • Professionally guided hike to the river.
  • Sleep kit: Sleeping bag, foam sleeping pad, ground sheet, and tent.
  • Folding camp chair with legs.
  • Dry bag for clothing and sleep kit.
  • 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.
  • Professional guides and camp service complete with Grand Canyon interpretive programs.
  • All Hualapai Tribe fees for the Diamond Creek take-out.
  • Transportation from the take-out point at Diamond Creek back to the South Rim Grand Canyon Village.
  • Luggage and car storage.

General Info

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

2019 Dates and Fares

  • June 24 (Monday)
  • July 23 (Tuesday)
  • September 3 (Tuesday)
  • • $3,045 cost per person
  • • $500 deposit per person

2020 Dates and Fares

  • June 22 (Monday)
  • July 21 (Tuesday)
  • September 1 (Tuesday)
  • 2020 prices will be based on 2019 prices plus a standard of living increase – historically an increase of 3-5% above the prior season’s fares.