Here’s the list of rafting companies that are licensed by Grand Canyon National Park to do tours on the Colorado River.
This page focuses on extended, multi-day trips that cover the length of the Canyon, or at least half of it. Single day trips are listed on a separate page.
Choosing a Grand Canyon Rafting Company
Competition is generally a good thing for consumers, but there’s a lot of businesses that run river tours down the Grand Canyon!
The sheer number of established, “grandfathered” companies may be the reason behind the dominance of commercial, motorized tours in a wilderness setting (but that’s another story!).
It would take someone a whole day to comb through all of their websites. If you aren’t careful, consumer fatigue could easily play a role when choosing your rafting company.
So instead of just posting a bunch of links to the companies, I’ve included some of the basic differences between them, and added sample prices for the 2021 season in the chart below.
If you’re not clear on the difference between an “oar” trip and a “paddle” trip, or don’t know the first thing about “Diamond Creek” or “Whitmore Wash,” then you are not ready, Padawan. Go back and have a look at my Beginners’ Guide.
Hopefully you’ve already made some decisions about your ideal trip, like the number of desired days, and “motorized” or “non-motorized.” The next recommended step is to browse this listing. Focus on a handful of companies that seem to specialize in your needs.
As long as you choose the type of tour that suits you, then your chosen guiding company won’t make or break your vacation
If you don’t want to tackle all that yourself, keep scrolling to see about the free travel agents that can help you.
Comparing Grand Canyon Rafting Companies
Generally, all of these companies are wonderful. They’re approved concessionaires of the National Park Service that follow a strict set of rules, especially regarding safety. Here’s a link to those specific regulations.
They employ guides and crew that are some of the best, happiest people on earth that love what they do. It’s a coveted job, so the companies can afford to be picky about who they hire.
Your enjoyment of these trips relies on 3 main things:
- Your attitude
- The attitude of those around you
- The guides’ management of group dynamics
In other words, there’s too many variables to attribute a better experience to any particular company.
Again, it’s best to focus on the style of trip that suits you – particularly the following factors:
- number of days
- distance covered
- motorized vs non-motorized
- expected activity level (more or less hiking, paddle trips, etc.)
Free Travel Agents
Still feeling overwhelmed? It’s simple and free to get comprehensive help from the experts. There’s a couple of organizations that are happy to be your ally in finding the best fit for you. They are:
They’re able to provide this service at no extra cost to you through receiving referral fees from the individual companies. Think of it like booking a hotel through Expedia rather than booking directly through the hotel’s site.
Some Notes about the Chart Below
These guides only operate from April 1st until the end of October.
Each company has a different minimum age requirement.
The companies listed tend to focus on the full, upper, or lower Canyon.
Listed prices are only a sample of what each company has to offer, and do not reflect their full catalog. You’ll have to go to each individual company’s website to check on their full options and availability.
All information and pricing in the chart below is reflective of the 2021 rafting season.
If you’ve been on a commercial rafting tour and care to leave a review, please do so in the comments section!
|Name & Website||Motor||Oars||Paddle||Min Length||Max Length||Upper||Lower||Full||Bottom||Min. Cost||Max Cost|
|Aramark Wilderness River Adventures||yes||yes||3.5 days||14 days||yes||yes||yes||$1,550||$5,875|
|Arizona Raft Adventures||yes||yes||yes||6 days||16 days||yes||yes||yes||$2,400||$5,060|
|Arizona River Runners||yes||yes||3 days||13 days||yes||yes||yes||yes||$1,495||$4,325|
|Canyon Explorations / Expeditions||yes||yes||6 days||17 days||yes||yes||yes||$2,775||$4,975|
|Canyoneers||yes||yes||4 days||14 days||yes||yes||yes||$1,650||$4,275|
|Colorado River & Trail Expeditions||yes||yes||yes||3 days||11 days||yes||yes||yes||yes||$1,785||$4,590|
|Grand Canyon River Expeditions||yes||yes||8 days||16 days||yes||$2,830||$4,479|
|Grand Canyon Whitewater||yes||yes||4 days||13 days||yes||yes||yes||$1,550||$4,275|
|Hatch River Expeditions||yes||yes||4 days||12 days||yes||yes||yes||$1,460||$4,686|
|O.A.R.S. Grand Canyon||yes||5 days||18 days||yes||yes||yes||yes||$2,799||$6,699|
|Outdoors Unlimited||yes||yes||5 days||15 days||yes||yes||yes||$2,035||$5,295|
|Tour West||yes||yes||4 days||13 days||yes||yes||$1,785||$4,150|
|Western River Expeditions||yes||3 days||7 days||yes||yes||$1,600||$3,065|
Leave a Reply