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Recomended Rafting Companies

Melbourne, Australia
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Recomended Rafting Companies

I am thinking of rafting down the Grand Canyon from Lees Ferry to Lake Mead. Since there a lot of rafting companies there can any one recomend a good company that they have rafted with?

Bob

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: Recomended Rafting Companies

All of the companies are good. Your choice will probably boil down to dates and time available. Go to oceansandrivers.com to compare them all

Flagstaff, Arizona
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2. Re: Recomended Rafting Companies

Hi ozbe,

You cant go wrong with any company, all will run a quality trip and all are regulated very strictly by the National Park Service. You first should decide what kind of trip you want. How much time do you have, how active of a trip and where the start and end is. And the price, is the transportaion logistics provided (or in some cases extra cost). Also, is there even a trip in your time frame? I work in the industry and I can tell you most companies are booking up quickly for next year, so dont hesitate looking for a trip if you want to go next year.

Probably the majority of the people that go down the canyon every year go on motorized trips, these are shorter trips in length, cover more miles per day and you travel on a bigger raft powered by a motor. There are also, non-motorized trips, which can be oar raft or dory boat (where the guide does the rowing) or paddle raft (where you do the paddling). Only three companies regulary offer the extremely active All Paddle trips and only a couple regulary offer what is a combination of both, where you can choose between the guide doing the work or going in the paddle raft, a nice option IMO, especially if you want a longer and more active trip. Motor trips offer a feeling of more secuity, it is rare to fall into the river from one of these rafts and they very very rarely flip. The smaller non-motorized craft regulary have people fall into the river every season and every company will have atleast a few flips throughout the season. While many non-motorized trips never have anyone fall in, there is always the possibility of ending up in the river, especailly if on a paddle raft, so your own personal thrill factor may be important here as to what kind of trip to chose.

Motor trips average a week in length and non-motorized are two weeks, to do approximatly the full length of the canyon. You can do half trips on either type, which if you are tight on time will shorten a trip, but the drawback is you only see 1/2 of the canyon and you would need to be able to hike in or out of the Grand Canyon. IMO if you are only going to do the GC once, choose a full length trip and the longer the trip (whether motor or non motor) the better! Compare number of days on river to milage covered. The more days in the same amount of milage will allow for more time off the raft, that means more time for the amazing hikes and a more leisurly pace overall. The trips that do longer distances in shorter time frames will have the least amount of time off the raft. There is only one place to launch and start a raft trip, that is Mile 0 at Lees Ferry, but there are 3 places for a client to end a "full length" trip, these are trips that have traversed the heart of the canyon. The 3 "take outs" are at Mile 188, where you can only helicopter out, Mile 225 with a drive out of the bottom of the Grand Canyon and at Mile 280 on Lake Mead. The last 50 miles in this section are bascially a "run out" on the lake. Each company uses only one of these take out points and have different travel logistics and starting and ending locations..

You have about 15 licensced outfitters to chose from, some only do motor rafts, some only do non-motor rafts and most companies operate both types of trips. Only a few do paddle, dory or a combination of those craft on a trip.

So figure out what kind of trip you want first, how much time you have and then start from there. You will have a great time no matter which outfitter you go with, but it you will have a superlative experience, if you pick the trip that fits your own personal thrill and activity level the best!

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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3. Re: Recomended Rafting Companies

Nice to see you again CW. Thanks for posting. I apologize for my brief reply. I'm away and mostly posting on my phone

Flagstaff, Arizona
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190 posts
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4. Re: Recomended Rafting Companies

Hi RR, I have been too busy the last year to do much TA, glad to see you are still here offering great advice! CW

Melbourne, Australia
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65 posts
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5. Re: Recomended Rafting Companies

Hi RR. The web page that you gave, oceanand rivers.com, is a is a Mind-Body wellness practice to support women - Oceans & Rivers. Was this a typo.

Bob

Wimberley, Texas...
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6. Re: Recomended Rafting Companies

Very nice reply on finding an outfitter to fit one's needs.

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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7. Re: Recomended Rafting Companies

http://rivers-oceans.com/

Sorry about that. This is the site iwas referring to. It is run by rafters and gives a full overview of rafting options. Decide how much time you have. Choose motor or oar, and then look at dates. Also pay close attention to rendezvous points and departure and return locations. All boats go in the water at Lees Ferry, but few trips begin there. Different providers start the experience anywhere between Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Page or Marble Canyon. Getting to and from those places can make a huge difference in your timing, planning and transportation requirements.

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Recomended Rafting Companies

Thanks for your great advice RedRox. I have made up a spread sheet of all the rafting companies and the duration and where the get on and off points are and this has helped sort out my options. I have one further question though, since I will be arriving at Phoenix airport and renting a car to take me to the put in point, is there a car rental at Marble Canyon that I can drop off a car and pick one up at the end of the trip? I notice that Page has an Avis at the airport that I can use.

Thanks

Bob

tucson az
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for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
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9. Re: Recomended Rafting Companies

You need to consult the rafting company you choose on transportation arrangements. There is no car rental dropoff near Lees Ferry (Marble Canyon). If you dropped your car in Page, you would then have to get transportation to Lees Ferry.

The rafting company may provide transportation from Flagstaff airport for example. I would look but riversandoceans website does not appear to be working properly right now.

MA
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10. Re: Recomended Rafting Companies

I've done several rafting trips with different companies, and I'll agree with previous posters that you can't really go wrong with any of them. It's more important to figure out exactly what trip options you want and which dates are available.

Concerning the logistics of getting to and from the river, I don't think anyone rents a car for a one-way drive from Phoenix to Lee's Ferry. The NPS requires all the companies to quote the price of just the river trip, which launches from Lee's Ferry. But all of the companies offer some kind of transportation package that makes it convenient to get to and from an airport.

For 4 of the companies (AZRA/Discovery, CanEx, Canyoneers, OARS/GC Dories), you meet them in Flagstaff where a bus takes you to the river. After the trip, another bus takes you back to Flagstaff.

Most of the other companies assume that most passengers will be flying into Las Vegas. They either provide a bus from Las Vegas to the river or they arrange air transportation to Marble Canyon, where the company bus will take you to the river. After the trip, a bus or plane ride gets you back to Las Vegas, or back to Marble Canyon for people who have left cars there.

There are variations on this. You can look up the details on each company's website.

Depending on how many people are in your group and how long your trip is going to be., it may be cost effective to rent a car at the weekly rate, drive to Marble Canyon, and leave the car there during the whole rafting trip

If you opt for one of the "half" trips, where you hike in or hike out, things get more complicated. I've never done one of those.