Friday, December 10, 2010

Selecting Your Grand Canyon Rafting Trip with Arizona River Runners

The Grand Canyon is one of the most powerful and awe-inspiring landscapes in the world. Every year, thousands of people experience whitewater rafting through the grand Canyon, and explore the it’s natural beauty and wildlife. For most it’s the adventure of a lifetime, but before you head out on the water, Arizona River Runners feels there are a few important things to consider.

First of all, unlike many other rivers, the Colorado River has a fairly consistent water flow throughout the year and from year to year. The Colorado River through Grand Canyon is controlled by Glen Canyon Dam; the water is released from Lake Powell consistently based on seasonal electric demand to provide power to much of the Southwest. This means you do not need to be concerned with trying to time your trip during the spring run-off like other river systems.

Taking some time to learn about all the different trip options can help ensure that you have an experience that matches your personal tastes and expectations. With over 277 miles of canyon to explore, having a few of the facts can help make your decision a bit easier.

Arizona River Runners' rafting trips can range anywhere from 3 to 13 days depending on how much of the Canyon you’d like to experience. We have a variety of watercraft options ranging from motorized rafts to human-powered oar boats. 70% of the travel on the Colorado River is done in motorized rafts that move at a speed of 8-10 mph and allow a person to experience the heart of the Canyon and the biggest white water in North America in a week’s vacation time. Choosing oar-powered or paddle boats can extend your vacation to nearly two weeks and some trips require a hike in or out of the Canyon, allowing you to experience half the canyon in about a week.

All trips allow time for hiking and side-canyon exploring. Outfitters also organize and arrange their trips differently. Arizona River Runners, for example, provides a “trip host” in additional to the full river crew, for all their 3-day trips. The host meets the group on day one and stays with them to the end of the trip handling all transportation details so passengers can just kick back and enjoy the adventure.

All professional outfitters are regulated as Concessioners by the National Park Service. ARR offers Colorado River trips from April through October. If you’re excited about lots of off-river hiking, you might consider booking your trip for the spring or fall months when the weather can be cooler. April and early May trips also lend themselves to great viewing of the spring bloom in the Canyon. Most people experience the Canyon during the summer months and enjoy the equalizing balance between the hot, dry Arizona climate and the chilly, refreshing Colorado River water splashing on your skin.

In general, it’s best to book your trip as soon as possible as the National Park Service does limit the number of Grand Canyon rafting trips available each year and historically demand exceeds supply. You should particularly consider booking in advance if you have a large group or plan to travel during the prime time of June to mid-August. Researching and planning out your trip is an important step ensuring a safe and memorable adventure that meets your personal wants and needs.

If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-477-7238, we'd love to talk to about our trips!