Top Ten All-Time Classic Whitewater Rafting Trips

Colorado River/Grand Canyon, Arizona
Gorp.com

Difficulty: Class IV+

Season: All year

Trip Length

The trip of legends—from John Wesley Powell to Colin Fletcher—the Grand Canyon has it all: soaring scenery, ancient ruins, riotous whitewater, and periods of deep peace. Some have said that floating the Grand Canyon is the closest thing this culture has to a tribal initiation rite.

If you want to run the river privately, it takes ten years to get to the top of the waiting list. Book a trip with an outfitter and you can go this year. You have three trip options. If you have just a week, you can take the five-day float from Lees Ferry to Phantom Ranch—and then hike up out of the canyon. The trip from Phantom Ranch to the end at Lake Meads usually takes ten days. Since this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, try to do the whole three-week shebang, and take time out for side hikes to experience the canyon's astounding natural features and Anasazi ruins.


Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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