Grand Canyon Colorado River Trip Highlights

Rafting Grand Canyon comes with 160 sets of rapids and the constant prospect of going for a swim.
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Drive up to the banks of the Colorado River via Lees Ferry.

Drive up to the banks of the Colorado River via Lees Ferry.

Rafting Grand Canyon comes with 160 sets of rapids and the constant prospect of going for a swim.

Lees Ferry

River Mile 00: Named for John D. Lee, who operated a ferry across the Colorado River in 1872, the "boat beach" here is the launch site for most Grand Canyon river trips.

Vasey's Paradise

Mile 31.9: A lush spring pours from the Redwall limestone formation and nourishes an oasis of ferns and other plant life.

Red Wall Cavern

Mile 33: This deep alcove, called a "river cave," with its broad, sandy beach is a favorite stopping point on river trips where people stretch their legs and marvel at the sloping sandstone ceiling.

Little Colorado River

Mile 61.5: The confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers is marked with a large beach at the mouth of the deep Little Colorado River gorge. The Beamer Trail ends here and extends west along the river to the Tanner Trail.

Hance Rapid

Mile 76.5: One of the biggest rapids on the Colorado, with the largest single drop (30 feet).

Phantom Ranch

Mile 87.5: Wander up Bright Angel Creek from the boat beach and mail the mandatory post card from Phantom Ranch.

Crystal Rapid

Mile 98: Churning water and unseen rocks make this the most technically challenging rapid in Grand Canyon to run without flipping.

Lava Falls Rapid

Mile 179.5: The biggest rapid on the river, this granddaddy of all runs drops a total of 37 feet and provides a gut-twisting roller coaster ride.

Diamond Creek

Mile 225: This is the starting point for shorter "Diamond Down" rafting trips through the Hualapai tribe's section of Grand Canyon (page 49).

Mile 240: Grand Canyon trips end here, if not sooner. Motor boats take passengers to the take-out point at South Cove on Lake Mead.

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