When it comes to Grand Canyon rafting, most of us think of two-week expeditions that involve navigating whitewater rapids and camping on a beach. But I’d like to bring to your attention to 1-day float tours, which take place on the smooth section of the Colorado River and are ideal for couples, seniors and families.
There are two places where you can take this kind of river-rafting adventure:
Las Vegas travelers will partake in West Rim float trips, while folks heading up from Arizona cities like Phoenix, Sedona and Scottsdale will do the South Rim tours.
The West Rim is 120 miles from Las Vegas, which makes the region ideal for day trips. The typical float tour involves the following:
Personally, I get quite a kick out this trip. For one, the West Rim is the only place in the National Park where you can ride a helicopter to the bottom. I also like the fact that you go to the base of Hoover Dam. Few people actually get to experience this. Consider yourself in limited company when you do. And make sure you look up the wall of the Dam before getting on the raft because the top is 700 feet above you!
The South Rim float tours are equally impressive and come in two varieties:
The first tour is your most basic and affordable. The second trip is the deluxe version and will cost more. But the flight over is incredible and fast, and the side-trip to Antelope is something you’ll never forget.
Remember earlier I noted that there are no whitewater rapids on float trips. The benefits of this are:
The other huge benefit is that kids as young as four years of age can do these trips, thus making them perfect for families.
These trips are all-inclusive and come with lunch, all gear and a professional river pilot/guide. I do encourage you to bring the following:
Lastly, I recommend packing a bag of dry clothes. It’s more comfortable sitting on the bus home in fresh clothes versus damp ones (been there, done that!)
Float trips are seasonal and run from March through November. That said, don’t wait to book them last minute. These tours are extremely popular and sell out way in advance. My suggestion is if you think you are going to do one, book it ASAP.
The best prices for these water adventures are on the Internet. More specifically, buy direct from the tour supplier as opposed to a broker. My last word of caution here is make sure you complete your transaction on the web. Doing so will guarantee you get the Internet discount (unlike your fellow traveler who booked differently and got nabbed paying full retail price!).