Whitewater rafting is a thrilling way to experience the Grand Canyon, and whitewater rafting at Grand Canyon West is truly an experience like no other. Hualapai River Runners offer one- or two-day rafting experiences, led by experienced river guides.
In addition to exciting rapids, hiking at Travertine Cavern Falls, local wildlife viewing, lunch along the banks of the river, and the option to take an exciting helicopter ride from the river up to Grand Canyon West, participants will learn about the Hualapai Tribe and their connection to the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River.
Not only do rafting trips with the Hualapai River Runners provide thrills, incredible views, and a deep connection with nature, but they are also the only Grand Canyon whitewater rafting experience that offers true insight into the people who call the Grand Canyon home.
The Hualapi people have a long history of living along the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. Here are just some of the things you can expect to learn about on your whitewater rafting experience with Hualapai River Runners:
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Gam’yu? (Hello, how are you?) The Hwal’Bay Ba:j, People of the Pines, welcome you. Thank you for your interest in Hualapai RIver Runners’ whitewater rafting trips.
Raft trips depart from the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, about two hours from the West Rim. When visiting please keep in mind that Grand Canyon West is in Mountain Standard Time. Be sure to leave early enough to arrive on time for any scheduled tours.
Your trip begins with an hour long bus from Peach Springs to the Colorado River. Travel on this maintained dirt road is somewhat rough, but despite the rugged ride you can expect beautiful scenery and occasional wildlife. Nothing quite beats the natural wonder of the Grand Canyon coming into view as you make the gradual descent down to the river.
If you’ve booked a one day whitewater rafting trip, you will be traveling along 40 miles of the Colorado River with an experienced guide. You’ll experience rapids within the first 12 miles. These rapids are adventurous enough for thrill seekers, yet those who may be a little timid no need to worry. Your guide will have your safety and enjoyment in mind. Your first stop will be at Travertine Cavern Falls for a moderate hike and short climb up into the cavern. After your hike you will enjoy lunch along a sandy beach area. We also provide water, soda, juice, and snacks along the way. If you have any dietary needs, please let the concierge know upon making reservations.
After a nice lunch in the canyon, the last 25 miles of the river trip will be a smooth float. Each of our rafters will take a memorable helicopter ride (weather permitting) up 4,000 feet to the Grand Canyon West terminal and enjoy a unique view of the Grand Canyon. Once all rafters are up at the terminal, those who have purchased the Water Walk Tour will depart on a shuttle bus to Eagle Point and the Skywalk. Your bus driver will let you know where to meet and how much time you have at Eagle Point and The Skywalk. Once the tour is complete the group will head back to Peach Springs.
On your return, you will travel by bus 121 miles to the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs. Three-quarters of the drive back is on maintained dirt roads through a Joshua tree forest and Red Lake, a dry lakebed. The return trip will take around 2.5 hours.
The Hualapai River Runners’ two day rafting trip will also depart from and return to Peach Springs, but the itinerary is a bit different from the one-day trip.
Check-in at the Hualapai Lodge on Route 66 in Peach Springs, AZ.
4pm trip briefing at Hualapai River Runner front desk.
6:30am Check-in at the Hualapai River Runner Front Desk and loading of gear and busses. Trips will depart from Peach Springs. After an hour drive into the Grand Canyon, you’ll arrive at the launch point and begin your whitewater rafting adventure.
Your first stop is Travertine Falls. Enjoy a short hike to this beautiful natural waterfall and bring your camera. Continue your trip to Spencer Canyon, your campsite for the night. Spencer Canyon is where the Hualapai story begins. Set up camp in the canyon for an enjoyable evening and dinner (steak, salad, corn on the cob, baked beans and assorted non-alcoholic beverages).
Start the day with a hot breakfast and short hike (optional), loading of the boats and packing the gear for the second part of the trip. If you have purchased the Hualapai Experience of Water Walk add-ons, pack your personal items separately (jacket, wallet, phone, etc.), as you will take these items with you on the helicopter ride from the river up to Grand Canyon West.
Instead of continuing in paddle rafts, from this point you will board power pontoon rafts and head down the river to the Grand Canyon West helipads. This portion of the trip allows you to sit back and enjoy the natural beauty of the Canyon on smooth waters. At this point, if you are participating in the Water Walk or Hualapai Experience packages, you will disembark at the helicopter pads and disembark for the rest of the adventure. If you don’t take the helicopter from the river to Grand Canyon West, your journey continues down the river, until you are bussed back to the Lodge in Peach Springs.
After loading the Helicopters, enjoy the ride to the top of the Grand Canyon and home of Grand Canyon West. You will unload at the main terminal and board a shuttle to Eagle Point, where you can walk the world famous Skywalk and visit an Indian Village.
Your Hualapai River contact will let you know where and at what time to meet for the return trip back to Peach Springs, AZ. Expected arrival in Peach Springs is around 6pm.
In preparation for your rafting trip on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, we recommend the following personal gear:
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