An epic adventure down one of North America’s mightiest rivers
When the first European explorers came to the edge of the Grand Canyon on their search for El Dorado, in 1540, they literally had no idea what they saw. The visual vocabulary for a gorge a mile deep, six miles wide and 200 miles long was simply not available; the distances were deceptive, the scale unimaginable. But as great a spectacle as the Grand Canyon affords from the rim, it was only by traveling down the surging length of the Colorado River that the magnitude and magnificence of this marvel of nature could truly be known. It took John Wesley Powell, a one-armed Civil War veteran, geology professor, and amateur linguist with a gift for observation and a fondness for river travel to illuminate this grandest of canyons, and to truly discover North America's greatest natural wonder.
On this rafting adventure, you'll follow the river from Lee's Ferry to the Grand Canyon's final miles near Lake Mead, through an ever-evolving landscape whose origin remains the subject of debate and mystery. Expert and experienced guides will relate the trials and tribulations of Powell's brave journeys, as well as the geological controversies, historical facts, local legends, and personal anecdotes that make this trip one of the world's great adventures. Some say you haven't lived until you've taken the journey through.
NOTE—Tour West is a licensed concessionaire in Grand Canyon National Park and has the necessary permits for this departure with MTS guides.
Class IV+ rapids (oar boats, paddle boat option); Optional easy to moderate day hikes; Minimum age is 12
- Raft more than 180 miles on the mighty Colorado River through the most famous canyon in the world
- Witness the grandeur of this natural wonder—from an uncommon vantage point—as we travel down the surging river
- A whitewater classic par excellence and one of the world's most sought-after rafting adventures!
Duration: 15 days Start Location: Las Vegas End Location: Las VegasDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Lee's Ferry
Travel to Lee's Ferry, Arizona.
Day 2 : On the River
Transfer to the put-in downstream from Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. Put in on the river and encounter the first rapids. Throughout the trip, optional day hikes to rose-tinted narrows, crystalline waterfalls, cottonwood groves, and sandstone temples make revelations a daily occurrence.
Days 3 - 7 : Raft through Marble Canyon / Vasey’s Paradise / Saddle Canyon / Little Colorado River
Raft through Marble Canyon, where layer after layer of dramatic geologic strata is revealed.
Day 8 : Enter Upper Granite Gorge
Enter Upper Granite Gorge, where the rapids flow fast and furious.
Day 9 : In middle Granite Gorge
In middle Granite Gorge, where you'll also take day hikes, including the travertine gorges of Havasu Creek.
Days 10 - 14 : Bass Canyon / Royal Arch Creek / MIddle Granite Gorge / Deer Creek / Lava Falls
Downstream through "Lava Falls" and the last rapids of the Grand Canyon. End trip at Whitmore Wash.
Day 15 : Travel Home
Helicopter flight out of the Canyon, then fly on to Las Vegas. Travel home.
DATES: Best time to go: April Departures: No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availablity. Call us for details.
Marble Canyon Lodge
The Marble Canyon Lodge is the closest hotel and trading post to Lees’ Ferry, the final stop for those rafting down the Colorado River. We are ideally located for anyone that enjoys hiking, fishing and the natural beauty that makes the Marble Canyon area a destination for outdoor-lovers everywhere.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
John is the Co-founder of Sobek Expeditions (now Mountain Travel Sobek) which became the largest international rafting company in the world. He has run over 30 international river exploratories, has run all but a couple of rivers Sobek runs or at one time ran commercially, and has boated most of the rivers in the western US. He has been a consultant with international “eco” lodges around the globe and was recently named a member of the board of directors with Friends of the River, a non-profit organization working to protect California rivers. John is known for his culinary skills in the kitchen, and will make his famous Omo Chicken Curry for you on the trip, which was named during the first descent of the Omo River in Ethiopia in 1973.