Opinions/Suggestions on rafting the Grand Canyon

I was planning a nice, laid back trip to the grand canyon with my SO for July, but things are on the outs right now (don’t ask…) and I’m rethinking what I want to do with my time. I’ve wanted to raft the entire Grand Canyon for some time now, and I’m thinking of plopping down the ~$3000 to do it. Any thoughts on the best place to book the trip? Has anyone done the trip and willing to recommend a company? Thanks!

-Tofer

Don’t most of these place book up like, years in advance?

Yes.

There are long waiting lines to raft the Grand Canyon, because many people consider this their “dream” and because there are very strict regulations about who and how many boats can float the Colorado River per year.

Here are a few web sites on the matter. Maybe you’ll get lucky.

Are you talking about this July? Have you checked for availability of spots on trips? Like the others have said, you usually have to book years in advance for a “dam to dam” trip. If you’re really lucky, you might pick up a spot due to a cancellation, but I wouldn’t count on it.
I did it in 2000, along with my husband and my brother Billdo. We went with a commercial operator. The trip was in planning for about 3 years, and we had to have money down at least 1.5 years in advance. We went with AZRA. I wasn’t especially impressed with the professionalism of the guides. Just the opposite. But they were extremely competent, and the food was outstanding. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend against them, but if I were going commercial again, I’d choose another company.

(We’re on the list for our own private permit, and I think we’re about 15 years out, still.)

Rafting the Colorado River may be nice, but I wouldn’t call it laid back!

Do it, do it, do it! (if you can)

My family and I did this trip in…mmm…'96, was it? Unbelievable experience. Eight days down the river, from Lees Ferry to Lake Mead.

We had to book about nine months in advance, but I’d certainly try contacting some of the tour companies. If you’re going to do this on your own, then one of them may be able to fit you in to one of their groups. Worth a try, at least.

Incidentally, for the most part the Colorado River is quite laid back. We’d hit short rapids a handful of times per day, and very few of these were of any real consequence. Most of the time it’s a very lazy river.