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Seattle
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Rafting in the Grand Canyon- Questions

Hi everyone

The posts here were really useful to help me decide on a white water rafting trip. But I still have questions and I hope you all can help me out.

I've deceided on a 6-8 day rafting trip through the lower canyon. Are there any outfitters than have trips that include:-

1. A nights stay at Phantom Ranch after the hike into the canyon?

2. A mix of oar and motorized (40hp) boats?

Also 3. I'm thinking of going mid/late May (2009). Is this a good time to raft? Would the water in the river be cold?

Thanks!

Sam

Seattle
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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1. Re: Rafting in the Grand Canyon- Questions

Mid to late May should be a great time to go, but the water will be cold. (Actually I think it is always cold; they take it out of the deep water at Lake Powell).

I doubt you will find a mix of boat types on the same trip, as motorized and oared boats travel at different speeds and would have different camping spots.

As for including Phantom, unless someone here actually knows that information, you can run through the list of outfitters and check their trip itineraries:

nps.gov/grca/…whitewater-rafting.htm

Aubrey, Texas
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2. Re: Rafting in the Grand Canyon- Questions

May is a great time to go. It isn't hot yet and wild flowers will still be in bloom.

I've never heard of a mixed trip as you describe, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. Don't know about the Phantom Ranch question, either.

The Colorado is a cold water river now for the reason Enzian gave. Your baths in the river will be short and hurried!

Seattle
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3. Re: Rafting in the Grand Canyon- Questions

Thanks for the reply. :) I've been researching the trips and it does look like there arent any outfitters that do the hybrid one I was describing.

I would love to do the whole river trip in 7-10 days but that means I must opt for the motorized ones. My questions here would be:

1. Would the motorized tours offer a similar (yet easier I guess) experience? (In terms of side hikes/stops, going over the white water, sound of the motor etc)

2. Would doing the whole length of river in 7-10 days be hectic? (or is it just faster because of the motorized boats?)

3. The actual white water- What classes are they? I'm used to Class IV and a little Class V. I hear there are rapids in the lower canyon at Class VIII, is that true? Would I need any expertise to go over such rapids? (Is it scary?) :)

Thanks again!

Sam

Flagstaff, Arizona
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4. Re: Rafting in the Grand Canyon- Questions

Typically when I guide river trips in Grand Canyon I work for Canyoneers.

Canyoneers does offer both motor and oar trips. The oar trips are "motor supported" meaning that there is a motor boat along on the trip. You could ride on the motor boat for part of the trip, and the oar boats for part of the trip. Although, the entire trip stays together and camps together.

Canyoneers also offers an option with a stay over at Phantom.

The river is the same temp all year round (dam release). It is cold - in the 40s. Grand Canyon rapids are rated on a special 1-10 scale. (Most of the rapids are Class III, with a few Class IV and V exceptions on the AWA scale).

You don't need any special experience.

I hope that helps, Sam. Have a good trip.

Flagstaff, Arizona
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5. Re: Rafting in the Grand Canyon- Questions

I forgot to mention that a complete list of all the Grand Canyon river outfitters can be found at: http://www.gcroa.org/Pages/outfitters2.htm

Sedona, AZ
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6. Re: Rafting in the Grand Canyon- Questions

We did our motorized raft trip in the full canyon with Canyoneers. It was probably the best trip of my life - anywhere!. I would recommend them in a minute. And I'd be glad to answer any other specific questions. may would be a great time. We did ours in August.

Whatever you decide, I would strongly urge you to do a full canyon trip. I think it's a shame to make all those plans and take as much time as you do anyway, and not see the entire length of the GC.

West Palm Beach...
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7. Re: Rafting in the Grand Canyon- Questions

A full river trip would be the best, motorized or oars. You don't even notice the motor. It is so quiet going through the canyon. You just gaze at the gorgeous canyon for miles and miles in awe of the sights. You don't move fast. I went on a 6 day full river trip from Lee's Ferry to Whitmore Wash with a heli ride out. That was enough for me, but I enjoyed all of it. It is not hectic at all. There is time to go on hikes, swim and also relax. If you go on a longer trip there will be more time to hike, or paddle, whatever way you choose. Call and talk to the company you decide on. The hikes can vary based on the guide. I loved it. It is the trip of a lifetime.

Evanston, Wyoming
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for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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8. Re: Rafting in the Grand Canyon- Questions

I went with Wilderness River Adventures back in 1998 for 8 days (motor) and LOOOOOOOOOVED IT. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Like other posters have said, the water will be cold whenever you go; also, there are no companies (that I'm aware of) that offer mixed oar or motor trips; and there are quite a few companies out there that offer Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trips. All the companies (there are about 15) are good, competent outfitters with excellent safety records. Who you choose to go with will probably come down to who has the trip offering that best fits your schedule. A company that can save you a lot of time and legwork is Rivers & Oceans, who are based in Flagstaff, and they work with most (if not all) of the river outfitters. Try www.rivers-oceans.com or call 1-800-473-4576.

9. Re: Rafting in the Grand Canyon- Questions

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