Rafting Grand Canyon comes with 160 sets of rapids and the constant prospect of going for a swim.
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.
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.
Mile 76.5: One of the biggest rapids on the Colorado, with the largest single drop (30 feet).
Mile 87.5: Wander up Bright Angel Creek from the boat beach and mail the mandatory post card from Phantom Ranch.
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.
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.