Grand Canyon South Rim
At an amazing place such as the Grand Canyon South Rim, you can expect there to be some great activities offered. And that there is! In particular, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is home to some great activities for men, women and children to take part in. Of course, if you truly want to experience the Canyon, you’re going to need to go out and actively interface with the area. This article will look into the great activities offered at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. The South Rim is the most visited area of the entire Canyon. This means that you will find the most popular tourist Grand Canyon activities, like rafting, at the South Rim. The reason for the huge popularity of the South Rim is because it is the most easily accessed part of the Canyon, especially for those who are coming from the lower to mid area of Arizona. The South Rim is known for having some of the greatest views and vistas that the entire Canyon has to offer.
Amazing Activities Offered At The Grand Canyon South Rim
One of the most enjoyed activities in the Grand Canyon South Rim is white water rafting. For anyone who is looking to have a thrilling adventure and experience how powerful the Colorado River in the Canyon is, this is just the activity for you. White water rafting at the South Rim is only offered as a multi day trip. This is a great activity for thrill seekers looking to meet new friends as they raft downstream and explore the hidden treasures of Grand Canyon. For those with limited time, that are looking to see the true beauty of the Grand Canyon from places that are usually inaccessible, a helicopter tour is perfect. There are many opportunities to get a helicopter tour of the canyon throughout the South Rim. Although it is a little bit expensive, it is well worth the money. By taking a helicopter tour, you will be able to see the Canyon through a very unique vantage point. You will be able to see just how far the Canyon stretches and look into areas which can’t normally be seen from the viewpoints on the ground. This truly is a great choice for those looking to really experience the beauty of the Canyon. All of the individuals that have gone and participated in these two activities have had nothing but positive things to say about them. If you go to the South Rim and engage in activities such as these, you will be sure to have some experiences that you will cherish for your entire life. The Grand Canyon South Rim is home to some great activities for tourists and visitors to engage in. If you’re looking to get the full Grand Canyon experience, you should look no further than the activities that have been presented in this article.
Grand Canyon South Rim Vs. West Rim Tours
One of the most difficult parts of taking a tour in the Grand Canyon will be to make a decision on a South Rim vs. West Rim Tour. Although both of these destinations offer fantastic views, fun and adventure, you may want to check out some tips on Grand Canyon tours to help you decide. Below is a rim-by-rim comparison which can assist you in making an informed decision on your preferred tour.
Scenery Or Activities
If you choose a West Rim tour, this destination is full of activities to choose from. This is the one destination where you are able to ride on a helicopter around 4,000 feet to its base. You can then decide to walk upstream or river raft on the Colorado river. In addition, the famous and well-known Grand Canyon Skywalk can be found in the West Rim. This specific attraction is a glass-bridge magnificently engineered, suspended 4,000 feet above the Colorado river.
Some exotic activities include helicopter tours to a cattle ranch, horseback riding, ?ATV? trail rides and off-road adventures. One of the popular West Rim adventures is a smooth-water rafting expedition from the Hoover Dam onto Willow Beach. The Grand Canyon South Rim Tours are very tame when compared to the available tours on the West Rim. However, it makes up for this with its natural beauty and fantastic sightseeing locations. This portion of this National Park is often referred to as the real Canyon. There are no available copter rides for the bottom of the South Rim. However, if you wish to reach the base you can walk. One of the helicopter rides available for the South Rim is a ride from Tusayan that will take you into the deepest and widest portion of the Grand Canyon known as ?Dragoon Corridor.? In addition, you will not be sorry if you take advantage of the one day ultimate rafting trip that is available between the months of April and November. The options for this specific tour include an airplane or bus to Page, AZ that will then transfer you onto a ?river raft.? This is known as a smooth water trip and children over the age of four can participate. The trails available for the South Rim are considered to be amazing. Some of these trails include the Rim Top, South Kaibab and the Bright Angel. If you are interested in lookout points consider the Hopi Point, Yaki Point or Mather Point. Many of these available tours will include an experienced guided tour.
The South Rim is considered to be too far for helicopters from Las Vegas. The options available for this location only include bus or airplane. The more preferred method of travel would be the 45 minute plane flight that leaves from Las Vegas. This method of travel is comfortable and much faster than the bus trip of five and a half hours. Sedona and Phoenix travelers can drive to this destination, there are airplane, bus, and helicopter trips available, but it is a far cheaper option to drive. These locales can then take advantage of the air tours available from Tusayan at the Grand Canyon Airport. Book a great rafting trip with us while you are here in the Grand Canyon!
We are a team of experts, having voyaged every route in every raft down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and are ready to help you plan your trip!
How You Can Raft the Grand Canyon for Just One Day
Only a few companies offer day-trips on the Colorado River near Grand Canyon. The guides will take you rafting for 1 day (Or a “half-day”), and provide round-trip transportation from places like Page AZ and Peach Springs, AZ.
Just one of these tours is actually in the Grand Canyon. The rest are still awesome, popular trips that offer a “Grand Canyon” experience.
A longer trip through the heart of the Canyon is more ideal, but maybe you just don’t have the time or budget (Right? Those extended trips are expensive).
Maybe you just don’t like the sound of “white water” and “rapid?”
Then you’re in the right place, because the smooth water float is just for you – family friendly and chill.
The Smooth Water 1 Day Trip
The 1/2 day float trip starts at the Glen Canyon Dam and ends at Lee’s Ferry (River mile zero). Lee’s Ferry marks the official beginning of Grand Canyon National Park on the Colorado River – so you’re technically not in the proper Canyon, but it’s the only day trip without rapids.
These day trips operate from March through November, based out of Page, Arizona. Highlights include stopping to view ancient petroglyphs and floating through the scene of the famous Horseshoe Bend.
The entire experience is a round trip of about 6 hours, beginning and ending in Page.
Here’s the Google Map link to their office where the tours begin and end.
Rates (including park fees) are about $100 per person, and children must be a minimum of 4 years old.
Here’s a map showing landmarks seen on the float trip, and a corresponding promotional video.
Rafting in a day from the South Rim
If you’re hanging out at the South Rim of Grand Canyon and don’t care to drive all the way to Page AZ and back for just a one-day rafting trip, then Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines will do the driving for you.
They’ll pick you up at your South Rim area hotel for the float trip, returning you to South Rim 12.5 hours later.
The airlines at the South Rim formerly offered deluxe day trips to Page via plane or helicopter that involved the smooth water float, but they don’t seem to be offering this anymore.
The Hualapai White Water
The Hualapai River Runners offer the only one-day, whitewater rafting trip that’s legitimately in the Grand Canyon. They provide round-trip transportation for the day, beginning and ending in Peach Springs, Arizona.
Peach Springs is located roughly halfway between the South Rim and Las Vegas, on historic Route 66.
This is a motor ride that’s available from March through October. The put-in is at Diamond Creek, and there’s an option to take-out via a helicopter flight that lands you in Grand Canyon West (the Skywalk).
You run a few notable whitewater rapids (Like the Killer Fang!), stop at a waterfall, and take in some history at Separation Canyon.
The cost for this rafting trip in 2021 starts at $325 per person.
The Black Canyon below Hoover Dam (Las Vegas)
Black Canyon is not a part of the Grand Canyon, but provides a viable day trip in the area on the Colorado River.
It’s more of a Las Vegas oriented river adventure, since Black Canyon is below Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, beyond the end of the Grand Canyon.
This is a smooth water motor trip. It runs year-round, with limited availability in winter. You’ll spend about 3 hours on the water, or 6 hours door-to-door from Las Vegas.
The put-in is below Hoover Dam, and the take-out is at Willow Beach, Arizona (Google Map links).
Rafting the Grand Canyon in 1 Day
Almost 6 million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. However less than 1% of those people see the bottom of the canyon. Spending a day rafting the Colorado River provides a much deeper Grand Canyon experience. The question to answer is which one day Grand Canyon rafting trip is best for you. The main rafting options in or near Grand Canyon are the Glen Canyon flatwater tour, the Hualapai River Runners whitewater trip and the Black Canyon smooth water trip. While only one of these trips is in the actual Grand Canyon, the other two options provide a similar experience with easier access and a lower cost.
In addition there is the Grand Canyon Fly n’Float tour that flies people from Las Vegas by small plane to western Grand Canyon and helicopters them into the canyon for a short scenic pontoon boat tour of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon.
Motorized Rafts at Horseshoe Bend Launch Point
Smooth Water Rafting One Day Trips
The float trip through Glen Canyon’s Horseshoe Bend provides a dramatic experience similar to Grand Canyon and is perfect for people who want to spend a 1/2 day rafting without whitewater or rapids. The trip starts at the base of Glen Canyon Dam (below Lake Powell) and continues down to Lees Ferry which is the start of Grand Canyon National Park and the launch point for many multi-day rafting trips through Grand Canyon.
The best smooth water option is a self-guided kayak trip that uses a back haul service to take you from Lees Ferry upstream to the base of Glen Canyon Dam. Those wanting a shorter day can get dropped off farther downstream from the dam. The trip can be done in 1/2, 1, or 2 days and costs around $110 per person with the kayak rental. Kids must be at least 5 years old.
Video: Smooth Water Rafting Tour
Aramark Wilderness Adventures runs these trips out of Page, Arizona from March through November. Page is right next to Lake Powell making the float trip an easy addition to Lake Powell vacations. Page is also 4 hours and 20 minutes from Las Vegas, Nevada for those looking to fly into the area.
There is an all-inclusive bus tour that takes you directly from the South Rim of Grand Canyon to the river rafting float.
Map: Las Vegas to Float Trip Meeting Spot in Page, Arizona
Hualapai River Runners 1-day rafting trips meet and end in Peach Springs, Arizona on Historic Route 66. The Hualapai tribe have exclusive access to run this, the only true one day Grand Canyon rafting trip. As a bonus this motorized trip also has fun whitewater (Killer Fang Falls being the highlight rapid) and the option for a helicopter ride out of the canyon. Those that take the helicopter lift also have the option to visit the Skywalk within Grand Canyon West on their way back to Peach Springs.
The trip runs March through October. Monsoon seasons trips in July and August can be cancelled when the road to put-in at Diamond Creek washes out during a rain storm and the Hualapai are unable to regrade the road before the next trip.
Many Las Vegas tourists make the 2.5 hour trek to Peach Springs for this trip. The Hualapai also provide lodging options in Peach Springs for around $140/night (as of 9/2021). Hualapai rafting trips costs $360 per person with the helicopter ride being an extra $139.
Map: Las Vegas to Hualapai River Runners in Peach Springs
Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines. Round trip the bus ride and motorized float trip takes a little over 12 hours. The bus even picks you up and drops you off at your hotel.
Covid put a big wrench in the flights that used to run from the South Rim to Page. No date for re-starting this option is currently known.
Black Canyon 1-Day Rafting at Hoover Dam
The Colorado River below Hoover Dam provides a nice one-day rafting float trip that operates year round. Black Canyon trips fill up do being 1 hour from Las Vegas, Nevada. While not part of Grand Canyon, Black Canyon provides memorable scenery during the 3 hours spent on the water. The trip launches below Hoover Dam and ends in Willow Beach Arizona. In total, the day of rafting takes around 6 hours door-to-door.
The Black Canyon tour costs $115 per person.
Black Canyon below Hoover Dam
Nearby Family Float 1/2 Day Trip
The Verde River near Clarkdale, AZ provides a fun 3 hour float in sit-on-top kayaks. The river contains small splashy rapids under the shade of large trees. Most trips see a train roll by along the far bank. The trip spends 2.5 hours on the water and kids 5 and older can participate. These budget friendly tours costs $100/adult and $80/child (5 – 12 years old).
Best Grand Canyon Rafting Option for One Day
Seeing the Grand Canyon from the Colorado River provides an unforgettable experience. The best option is the Hualapai River Runners whitewater rafting trip since it is in Grand Canyon. However, the flatwater trips through Black Canyon and Glen Canyon contain similar eye-popping scenery. The scenic Verde River is nothing like the Grand Canyon but it is in the area as well as close to popular Sedona, AZ making another fun outing.
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