How Long Would It Take to Raft the Grand Canyon?

June 30, 2022 4 min read

Most people who raft the Grand Canyon enjoy both sections. The Angel Bright Trail, which marks the halfway point, is particularly stunning. Most guides split the river into upper and lower sections. The lower section begins at mile 89 and ends at mile 225. To prepare for your trip, read the information below. It may help you decide which section to tackle first.

Seven to 18 Days

You can raft the Grand Canyon in seven to eighteen days, depending on the length of the trip. For seven to eighteen days, you'll be surrounded by nature and away from civilization. Packing light for this trip isn't necessary. Boats can carry a lot of gear and supplies. Comfort is not compromised for weight, however, so make sure to bring the appropriate sleeping gear and your favorite pillow.

The first major rapid is Crystal Rapid, which is known for its infamous rock formation. Be careful here because a flip in the Crystal Hole could mean an ugly swim in a boulder garden. A more fun series of rapids is Gems Rapid, with Agate, Ruby, Emerald, and Turquoise. This rapid also includes the notorious Willie's Necktie. Be sure to prepare for lateral waves and Nixon Rock.

Minimum Wait for a Grand Canyon Run

The Grand Canyon is a popular destination in the United States. However, only 1% of people venture below the rim or even cross the canyon in its entirety. Even fewer return to try the rim to rim route, a twenty-four-mile stretch of technical single track. To experience it firsthand, you should book your tickets early. The wait is typically only a few hours, but it can be longer if you plan to travel to the park on a weekday.

Ratings of Rapids

Most white-water rivers use a one-to-six scale to classify their rapids. The Grand Canyon, however, uses a scale from one to ten, which allows for more precise descriptions of the rapids. Rapid ratings refer to the technical ability necessary to get through them. For example, a rapid rated four to five in the international system is considered a Class II rapid in the Grand Canyon.

Although the intensity of the rapids in the Grand Canyon vary based on the water level, the rating of each one is consistent. You'll find that the Colorado Rapids are rated between a ten and a three. However, water levels can change between these levels, so check the river flow before you start your trip to ensure the safety of your family. There is also an optional float between rapids, so you can take it easy.

Getting a Permit

A permit to Raft the Grand Canyon isn't easy to come by, especially if you don't have any experience. The National Park Service has a system that makes it very difficult to get the permit you need. For example, there's a large waitlist that can stretch for years. In 2006, this system was replaced by a weighted lottery. Since there were so many people waiting for a permit, this new system introduced a more randomized process that is much more reasonable.

Interested applicants must first get a permit through the National Park Service. They can apply online for a permit by registering for the lottery. There are two types of lottery: the main lottery and the smaller ones. The main lottery is in February and assigns all of the permits available for that year. If you want to take the trip in 2024, you must apply in February 2023. Smaller lotteries fill in any cancellations. You can sign up to receive notifications about upcoming lottery dates. Once you apply, you must pay a $25 nonrefundable fee. If you are accepted into a permit lottery, you'll be required to pay the remainder of the fee.

Packing for a Trip

You've probably heard that hiking in the Grand Canyon is cold, but that isn't always the case. You can save some space by packing already made food for your trip. Just remember to make sure that you pack the ingredients and utensils for it as well. Although the temperature in the Grand Canyon can rise to triple digits during the day, it can fall to freezing at night. Be sure to pack warm and breathable clothing and a lightweight rain jacket in case of sudden rain. If you are a night hiker, make sure you bring leggings or pants that are waterproof, water repellent, or both.

If you're planning to wear hiking boots, don't forget to bring a pair of breathable, lightweight sandals. You can hike in the Grand Canyon in warm weather, but you may feel hot and uncomfortable wearing hiking boots. Wear sandals that are breathable and dry quickly. You can also wear sturdy shoes that can withstand the mud and sand. If you're planning on hiking the entire Grand Canyon, be sure to pack layers of shoes and clothing.

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