Table of Contents

How Long Does it Take to Raft the Entire Grand Canyon?

Are you planning to book a trip to the Grand Canyon and want to explore everything that it has to offer? Can’t decide which rafting trip to take? You would want to make the most out of your Grand Canyon tour as it can take a year to get an available date.

But how many days should you set aside to get a full Grand Canyon rafting experience? There are several things to consider before you book a tour at the Grand Canyon National Park to make sure you get the best vacation ever.

What to Expect From a Full Grand Canyon Rafting Trip

The best way to enjoy Grand Canyon National Park is to avail the full canyon experience. This tour covers the upper and lower areas of the Grand Canyon. This tour can take around a 13 to 15-day trip from Lees Ferry to Lake Mead.

The trip will start at Lees Ferry and will enter one of the most formidable rapids in Colorado River, the Roaring 20s. Once you’ve departed from Lees Ferry, it will either take you to Diamond Creek or Pearce Ferry, Lake Mead. During your boat ride, you will witness at least 42 major rapid systems that are rated 5+. You’ll get to see numerous spectacular sites while you float along the entire stretch of the Grand Canyon. Expect to get a glimpse of the Whitmore Wash, Cataract Canyon, Phantom Ranch, Pipe Creek, and Horseshoe Bend.

There will be a designated camping site every afternoon where you can either relax and recharge for the following day or find other activities to do while waiting for your dinner to be served. Food will be provided if you hire a commercial rafting company. If not, you and your group would have to prepare your food on your own.

You also don’t need to worry about your breakfast for the next morning. There will be a steaming plate and hot coffee waiting for you as you wake up to prepare for the day’s adventure. At different spots during your tour, your guide will talk to your group about the wonders of the Grand Canyon, both natural and man-made. You’ll be viewing some ancient petroglyph sites and the canyon’s geological features.

Other highlights of the tour are the clear blue waters of the Little Colorado River to the Redwall Cavern and Elves Chasm. You can always ask your river guides about the Grand Canyon river stories, history, geology, and ecology.

As your trip ends, depending on your itinerary and chosen outfitter, there are 3 available exit points, river mile 188, river mile 225, and river mile 280. Whichever exit point you take, your shuttle will take you to your starting location or to Page or Las Vegas.

If you choose to return to your starting point, you can continue to explore other attractions at the Grand Canyon National Park. You can check out some famous attractions from the North and South Rim are Canyon Vistas Mule Ride, Grand Canyon Skywalk, and the hiking trail from North Rim to South Rim.

Transportation Options for Full Grand Canyon River Rafting

There are several transportation options if you’ll avail of the full Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip. Depending on your rafting outfitter and itineraries meeting locations may also vary. Transportation returning to the starting point will also depend on some trips at the end of the South Rim.

  • A trip may start at Las Vegas, NV, which some people use as a hub to book a charter flight going to Marble Canyon.
  • If the starting point is at Marble Canyon, AZ you can drive from Las Vegas to Marble Canyon or you can drive from Phoenix to Marble Canyon.
  • If the trip will start at Page, AZ you can fly or drive from Phoenix. The drive may take at least 4.5 hours.
  • There are several transportation options for trips starting at Flagstaff, AZ. You can fly going there or ride a shuttle or drive to Phoenix which usually takes 2 to 4 hours. There’s also a shuttle service from Las Vegas going to Flagstaff, the drive may take 4 to 6 hours.

Other Grand Canyon Rafting Trip Options

If you have a limited budget or are time-constrained, there are other rafting trips you can choose from aside from the full Grand Canyon experience. You have the option to only visit the western, upper, or lower part of the Grand Canyon. Don’t worry as you will still catch sight of numerous attractions at the Grand Canyon and still enjoy the Colorado River’s waters.

Western Grand Canyon Experience

Your tour will begin with an impressive view of the Grand Canyon from a helicopter ride that will bring you to Whitmore Wash. Once you’re all set, your raft will float down to Lake Mead and will be transported via a jetboat to a take-out point that is accessible to vehicles.

If you still have some time and money to spare, you can book a charter trip for a spectacular Las Vegas flight to Bar 10 Ranch. While waiting for your sumptuous food, you can check out the cattle ranch or have fun horseback riding, ATV driving, and skeet shooting. You can also have a game of volleyball with the other rafters.

5 to 6 Days Rafting Trip for the Upper Grand Canyon Experience

Just like the full canyon tour, your trip will begin at Lee’s Ferry. During your Grand Canyon river trip, you will traverse 88 river miles filled and surrounded by beautiful canyon walls soaring at over 4,500 feet.

In just a few miles, you will get a glimpse of some of the famous geological formations such as the Toroweap and Kaibab formations. For the Upper canyon tour, you’ll get to experience at least 19 major rapids. All of these rapids are rated 5 or up. Some of the rapids you’ll come across are Hance, Zoroaster, Unkar, House Rock, and Sockdolager.

During your upper canyon tour, you also get to hike the side canyons and witness the breathtaking cascading waterfalls and the Native American ruins. There’s also a chance to meet some wildlife like the mighty bighorn sheep and canyon wrens.

Other scenic sites to see:

  • Redwall Cavern
  • Vasey’s Paradise
  • Upper Granite Gorge
  • Nankoweap Anasazi Granaries
  • The confluence of the Little Colorado River

When you reach the end of the tour, you’ll be at Mile 88 which is close to Phantom Ranch. But your journey does not end there as you still need to hike the Bright Angel Trail to reach the South Rim. Do not attempt to take this hike if you are not physically fit as it can be very strenuous. It can get worse during the summer months because of the heat.

But don’t worry, the trail is well-maintained by the Grand Canyon National Park Service and there are several water stations at the bottom of the Grand Canyon up to mile 1.5 which is near the top. If you think you cannot carry all your gear while hiking, there are some outfitters that can provide a service to bring your gear to the South Rim. However, expect to pay additional fees as this is not a free service.

Once you’ve arrived, you’ll be transported back to Lee’s Ferry, your starting point. However, getting back to your starting point may not be part of your chosen outfitter itinerary, although accommodation can always be arranged.

8 to 9 Days Rafting Trip for the Lower Grand Canyon Experience

The starting point of the Lower Grand Canyon tour will begin at Bright Angel Trail. This means you’ll start your tour with a formidable hike. It’s wise to wear comfortable and appropriate footwear to get through the hike with ease.

You’ll be carrying your gear with you while you trek. If you think you cannot hike with all your heavy gear, you can make arrangements with local outfitters that offer baggage transport services in the Lower Canyon.

The Lower Canyon experience is the most popular, even though it starts with a tough hike. Once the trek is over, you’ll be meeting your guides along with the rafts at Boat Beach or Pike Creek. Both points are near the Phantom Ranch which is also the only available lodging at the bottom of the South Rim.

There are several raft options for this trip. You can choose between motorized or oar rafts. Dory, paddle, and hybrid boats are also other options. In this section of the Colorado River, you will encounter 19 major rapids that have a rating of 5 and above. Crystal Falls and Lava Falls are just some of them.

The journey is a combination of smooth water and white water, plus a trek to hidden canyons and interesting archaeological sites. Aside from rafting the whitewater, you get to enjoy some natural attractions like the Elves Chasm, Granite Narrows, Matkatamiba Canyon, and Deer Creek Falls.

As evening comes, you will set up camp on a beach with the moon and stars shining down at you. Once your Lower Grand Canyon tour is over, you will be brought to your chosen endpoint. There are several exits at the Lower Canyon, you can choose to be dropped off close to Diamond Creek Road or if you have extra money to spare, you can exit at Separation Canyon and take a jetboat or ride a helicopter at Whitmore Wash.

Read Post  Rafting on the Naranjo River

1 Day Grand Canyon Rafting Trip

If you have very limited time to spare but still want to get a glimpse of the Grand Canyon and experience the Grand Canton whitewater, you can book a 1-day rafting trip. Yes, a 1-day rafting tour is possible; just don’t expect to see much of the rapids systems and other historic sites at the Grand Canyon.

But don’t be disheartened as you will still get a taste of an amazing whitewater experience. You’ll be running rapids on the Colorado River, get to trek to the Travertine Falls, and even have a helicopter ride going to the rim. You see, there’s still a lot of things you can experience from a 1 day Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip.

How to Plan a Grand Canyon Rafting Trip Adventure

Grand Canyon whitewater rafting is a journey of adventure opportunities that sells out fast. There’s a ton of options that sell out quickly. How to raft the Grand Canyon comes down to the type of experience you’d like to have, your budget, and the amount of time you can spend on this bucket list trip. To truly enjoy its natural splendor, head straight down into its beating heart— the thrilling and chilling whitewater rapids of the Colorado River.

How to Plan a Grand Canyon Rafting Trip Adventure

If you have no idea how to plan your Grand Canyon rafting trip, here’s a step-by-step guide to make sure you’ll have the best time of your life.

Plan your ideal dates ahead of time

Since slots in Grand Canyon sell out very fast, best to plan your preferred date in advance. A lot of tourists choose to visit Grand Canyon during summer when it’s very hot and cool down in the river. However, when hiking in the side canyons, it may be limited only to shady areas.

It is also nice to visit during spring when flowers are in bloom and the temperature is cooler while hiking. Just be prepared in the evening as it can get colder. Those who want to avoid the crowd prefer to visit during autumn when Grand Canyon is quieter. Days can be shorter and get ready to cover up when nighttime comes.For more details read the below Article:

Determine the number of days for your Grand Canyon rafting trip

It is important to determine the time frame of your trip ahead of time. You can choose from 1 day to 18-day trips in the river. Be sure to read the guidelines on the park service website. You can also find a list of all the accredited rafting tour operators. Your chosen rafting outfitter will handle everything from permits to equipment and route information. Because of regulations concerning the impact of tourism on the environment, trips are reserved in advance. You can book at least a year or two to secure a spot.

Set a budget

A trip to the Grand Canyon can be expensive so be prepared to spend a lot of money. It is easier to manage a budget when traveling with a rafting outfitter because all fees are included in the total cost of the trip. If you choose to travel with a private group, you need to pay for permits, backcountry passes, and other fees for traveling along the Hualapai Reservation.

Decide if you want to hire a rafting outfitter

You can choose whether to go on your own and join a private group or hire an approved rafting outfitter. Commercial rafting companies usually use oar-driven rubber rafts or motor-driven rafts. They will also take care of almost everything you’ll need throughout the tour.

Get a non-commercial river trip permit

If you are going to the Grand Canyon on your own, you need to acquire a non-commercial river trip permit. You can get one from the Grand Canyon National Park service. There’s no fee for permits but they have a limit per day for different parts of the river. Permits can be reserved a year or more before your planned vacation. But if you are hiring a rafting tour operator, they will be the one to obtain a permit for you. Remember the permit is free which is also why it may be hard to get a slot.

You can download the application form at the National Park’s website to get a permit for 2 to 5-day non-commercial rafting trips. They are already available a year before your chosen date for your Grand Canyon rafting. It is a first come first serve basis, so you need to be fast to ensure you get one.

If your trip will take more than 5 days, you would need to enter the lottery system. You can enter by filling out a form at the Grand Canyon Weighted Lottery website. There’s a fee of $25 and you will be asked to choose the primary and secondary dates that you wish to win, so choose wisely. In case you win for a particular date, there is no way you can change it.

Contact a commercial rafting company

If you choose to hire a commercial rafting company, contact them and ask them to book a date for your trip. Most commercial rafting companies require a deposit, usually 1/3 of the total fee. They can also offer rafting dates for 1 year to 2 years in advance.

Plan and coordinate with your group

To make sure everything is set for your trip. Contact and coordinate with your group on what you all need to pack. If you intend to hire a commercial guide, you don’t need to bring with you a lot of things and equipment as they will be the ones to provide them for you. All you need to pack would be your clothes, hiking gear, and toiletries.

However, if you prefer to travel with a noncommercial group, you may need to pack your life jackets, boat, oars, drysuits or wet suits, and your food. You can get an outfitter for your supplies during the trip, but they won’t be able to guide you.

Prepare necessary equipment

Unless you prefer to hire a rafting tour operator, you would need to rent or bring your own boat. Small rafts can hold at least 5 to 6 people including a seasoned rower to lead the raft along the rapids. If you prefer paddle rafts, expect them to be smaller and it is important that passengers work together while paddling in the white water. If you need additional equipment for your boat or you need to rent one, you can find a list of local suppliers from the Grand Canyon National Park Service website. Also for best preparations, read the below articles:

Make arrangements for when your trip has ended

Once your trip is over you need to plan on how you will get out of the Grand Canyon National Park. The outfitter that you’ve hired can arrange a shuttle to bring you back to your car. Alternatively, you can get independent shuttle service. You can find a list of shuttle service vendors at the Grand Canyon National Park Service website.

Preparing for your Grand Canyon Whitewater Colorado River Rafting Trip

Once you have secured a date for your trip and you have decided on an itinerary, you have to be physically ready as well since touring the Grand Canyon can be exhausting. If your tour includes hiking, you might want to check how difficult or strenuous the hiking will be.

Most rafting outfitters will gladly talk to you about what to expect during the trip. You can contact them and they will able to help you prepare. Most of the time, they will ask about your hiking experience and medical history to find out if you are physically fit.

One of the most challenging hikes on the Grand Canyon is the Bright Angel Trail. If you’re not an experienced hiker, you may want to prepare for it. If you are traveling between June to August, you need to be ready to beat the Arizona heat as it can be extremely hot during those months. Just to give you an idea, here’s what you can expect on Bright Angel Trail.

  • 16 km trek
  • Elevation gain/loss of 1340 m
  • The trail is well-maintained and graded for stock
  • Very little shade across the trail
  • Water stations are situated at 1.5 miles, mile 3, and Indian Garden mile 4.8 from the rim
  • Ascent time from rive may take 6 to 8 hours on average and the average descent time is 4 to 6 hours. Take note that this is for experienced and prepared hikers.
  • People who are out of shape, are not regular hikers, have heart problems, overweight, exercise-induced asthma, or heat-related sickness may find the trail very challenging.

If you have any of the above-mentioned conditions, here’s what you can do to prepare for your Grand Canyon trip.

  • Visit your physician and get a medical certificate to confirm that you are physically fit
  • If you are overweight, try to shed some weight before your trip. You still have at least a year to prepare for your Grand Canyon rafting trip
  • If you are not an experienced hiker, best to plan some hiking trips before your tour at the Grand Canyon
  • Have an exercise routine every day. This will help increase stamina and endurance and will prevent sore muscles after your full Grand Canyon tour.

Other Grand Canyon Hiking Trails

Bright Angel Trail is the most challenging trail in Grand Canyon but there are also other trails that are not as tough.

Lava Falls Trail

The trail will begin at the west of an extinct volcano and ends at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Hikers will then be taken to enjoy the Lava Falls rapids. Going down Lava Falls Trail can also be strenuous but not as tiring and difficult as the Bright Angel trail. But the trail can be steep and guests who wish to take the Lava Falls trail may want to have prior hiking experience first.

South Rim Trail

The South Rim trail is roughly around 2.8 miles long. The trailhead is at the Grand Canyon Visitor’s Center and ends at the start of the South Kaibab Trail Hike. Many guests find the South Rim trail as one of the greatest ways to appreciate the full Grand Canyon scenic views.

Read Post  What to Wear for River Rafting: The Complete Guide

The trek through this trail is flat and wide, this is much easier than other trails. During your trek, you’ll be able to check out the breathtaking views of the South Rim through the Mather Point platform. You also get to honor and pay respect to the Native American nations and medallion listing. The Native American people had considered Grand Canyon their home over the years.

Havasu Falls Hike

If you have your camera with you, be ready to capture some of the best views in the Grand Canyon. This is considered a camera-friendly location, so expect the trek to be less daunting. It is approximately 10 miles from the Havasu Creek campground. As you reach the Havasu Creek campsite, you can continue walking for a few miles more to witness the magnificent waterfalls with their clear turquoise water.

Some of the starting points for the Havasu falls are the Hualapai Hilltop parking lot area and the canyon floor. Make sure to get a hiking permit from the Havasupai Reservations if you plan to trek the Havasu Falls. On a full Grand Canyon raft trip you’ll get a chance to go see the Havasu Creek as the water from the falls connects the Colorado River.

Must-see Attractions with the Full Grand Canyon Whitewater River Rafting Trip

Diamond Creek

Most Grand Canyon whitewater river trips end at Diamond Creek. This is partly because the road along Diamond Creek is the easiest way to enter and leave the Grand Canyon. Aside from that, tourists get to enjoy its vast sandy beaches. It got its name from the diamond-shaped peak near the creek. It is the best area to observe the stratified layers of the Grand Canyon while standing at the mouth of the Diamond creek. Tours starting from Lee’s Ferry to Diamond Creek will surely have the best vacation they’ll ever imagine.

Elves Chasm

Be enchanted by the grotto and stunning waterfall of Elves Chasm. It is a less-traveled part of the Grand Canyon. If you chose a full Grand Canyon whitewater river trip, you’ll get a chance to admire this beautiful wonder of nature.

Lake Mead

There are numerous activities to do at Lake Mead as part of full Grand Canyon rafting trips. Some activities you can enjoy at Lake Mead are horseback riding, scenic dives, hiking, biking, and hunting. However, you may not be able to do all of that during the canyon river trip. There may be also times when Lake Mead may not be accessible to visitors.

Little Colorado

The Little Colorado River is considered a sacred place for American Native people. This is where they share their prayers. It has beautiful turquoise blue waters and a consistent source of water all year round. Its beautiful waters run through the emerald green waters at the confluence of the Colorado River.

Marble Canyon

You can find Marble Canyon in the middle of Page, AZ, and Vermilion Cliffs. This also where the Little Colorado River meets the Colorado River. The riverfront is access is through Lee’s Ferry, where you can rest and enjoy the sandy beach or throw a fishing line. Be aware that the water at the Marble Canyon can be very cold even on hot summer days. But your mind will be taken off of the freezing water with the spectacular view that surrounds you.

Redwall Cavern

The Redwall Cavern is a huge cave inside the Grand Canyon Walls. It is so big that John Wesley Powell believes it can accommodate at least 50,000 people. It is one of the best places to check out in the full Grand Canyon tour. This is a favorite spot for many rafters to explore and take a rest. You get to see stunning rock formations and fossils at the Redwall limestone.

Grand Canyon River Rafting Boats Options

There are different rafting boats to choose from and the raft that you will pick will depend on what you wish to see and experience from your Grand Canyon whitewater rafting adventure and on your available time. Grand Canyon National Park Service has a list of rafting outfitters that offer different rafting trips using a motorized raft and non-motorized raft. To give you an idea of what your options may be, let’s describe each boat that you can use for your raft trip.

Motorized Raft

The motorized raft is the most commonly used variant of a raft on a trip. Grand Canyon outfitters offer motorized rafts to most guests because passengers don’t need to steer or paddle the raft. The motorized raft is powered by an extremely quiet engine.

Guests traveling with kids, first-time rafters, and those who cannot paddle for a long period of time may find motorized raft ideal. The motorized version is also bigger than an oar-powered raft with a length of about 35 feet, which makes them more stable as it floats through the Grand Canyon river. This will give passengers peace of mind while traversing the Colorado River.

For those who do not have enough time to explore the full Grand Canyon river, a motorized raft is a great option as it can cover more river miles a day. The motorized raft can also bring you to major sites much faster than an oar-powered or other kinds of the raft.

You can have more time sightseeing in the hidden caves, waterfalls, and some of the ancient Native American ruins. Although motorized rafts are safe and child-friendly, a lot of raft outfitters have a minimum age requirement. Normally the youngest they can allow is 8 years old.

Oar Powered Raft

Just like with a motorized raft, passengers are not required to paddle or steer the boat. It is powered and steered by 2 long oars that are placed in the middle of the raft. Oar-powered rafts are smaller and can only carry at least 6 passengers with the inclusion of the river guide.

Since you are not required to paddle, you may still ask your Colorado River guide if you can try to paddle. Some guides allow tourists to paddle but usually when the river is calm. Keep in mind that not all river guides allow this, so there is no guarantee that you’ll have a chance to paddle the raft.

If you prefer a leisurely ride on your full Grand Canyon river raft trip, oar-powered rafts are a great choice. It only travels at 3 to 4 miles per hour which is basically similar to the river current. It doubles the travel time of a motorized trip but it gives you more time to enjoy the whole stretch of the Colorado River. Since it is also smaller, you get a more exhilarating experience as your raft traverse the whitewater rapids of the Colorado River.

This is the next popular rafting option at the Grand Canyon river trip. In fact, 12 rafting outfitters offer this option. Same with motorized rafts, it also has an age requirement of 10-12 years old.

Paddle Raft

Paddle rafting makes rafting the Colorado River more thrilling. A paddle raft can accommodate 6 to 8 passengers and everyone controls a paddle to help in propelling and steering the raft. Since this can be physically taxing, it is advisable to participate in multi-day paddling activities before rafting the Grand Canyon with a paddle raft.

Similar to an oar-powered raft, paddle rafts have almost the same speed as the current in the Colorado River. This will allow you to appreciate the soaring crimson Canyon walls as your Colorado River rafting unfolds. Because of its smaller size, rafters who are thrill-seekers will have the time of their lives as the ride will be rough and fierce while rafting the Grand Canyon whitewater. Compared to motorized rafts, since they are larger and fast, they can barely feel the roughness of the rapids.

Paddle rafts are not as popular as oar-powered rafts and motorized rafts. Actually, out of 15 outfitters, there are only 4 that offer paddling rafting in the Grand Canyon river. Children below the age of 12 and those who are not capable of multi-day paddling trips should not try paddle rafting the Grand Canyon.

Hybrid Raft

It is not a special kind of raft but rather a combination of paddle and oar rafts. Passengers will get to ride 4 oar-powered rafts and 1 paddle raft every day. This is perfect for those who want to experience paddling but are not ready for a multi-day paddle rafting.

Since you won’t be paddling every day, it is not as physically exhausting as paddle rafting trips. You don’t also need to have previous paddling and rafting experience to avail the Hybrid Grand Canyon Whitewater rafting trip. Your outfitter may allow skipping their turn in paddling if they think they won’t be able to handle and do it properly.

Similar to paddle rafts, only 4 outfitters offer hybrid rafting, and kids under the age of 12 are not allowed to participate in hybrid rafting trips

Dory Raft

A dory raft is made of hardwood, not like the other rafting options. They are faster than oar rafts but are still slower than motorized rafts. Again, you’ll have more time to appreciate the beautiful Canyon walls and other sceneries during your full Grand Canyon rafting adventure.

As with a motorized trip, you don’t need to paddle while you traverse the Grand Canyon river. A Dory raft can hold at least 6 people and the river guide will be the one to steer from the center of the boat. Sometimes, oar rafts are accompanied by dory rafts on a full Grand Canyon whitewater river trip. This is to give passengers a chance to experience a different rafting boat.

However, this is not always guaranteed as your outfitter will be the one to decide on it. Also, there are only 5 outfitters that accommodate dory raft trips. The minimum age requirement for a dory raft trip is 10 years old.


Are you ready for your full Grand Canyon river trip adventure? A vacation to the Grand Canyon is truly one of the best trips you can experience in your whole life. Not everyone can get a chance to have an adventure in the Grand Canyon’s whitewater rapids and flat water. If you cannot explore the whole Grand Canyon due to time constraints, you can avail a 1-day tour or a 4-5 day trip. It doesn’t matter how many days you have to travel around Grand Canyon, what’s important is you take time to enjoy and appreciate the natural wonders around you. Also, be sure to always practice safety protocols during your trip as it can be dangerous for people who have no rafting and hiking experience.

Read Post  River Rafting In JamaicaAll You Need To Know Before Your Trip

Kennebec River Trips

Maine Whitewater Rafting

The Kennebec River is perfect for both first-time rafters and long-time adrenaline junkies, the Kennebec River will provide you with a day (or two!) of Serious Fun no matter which trip you choose.

We operate several trips on the Kennebec River out of our base at The Forks Fun Resort in The Forks, ME. As you’re deciding on the trip that’s right for you and your crew, we recommend reading our full trip descriptions written by the guides themselves on our website, but here is a quick rundown of the trip options we offer.

Kennebec One Day Rafting TripKennebec One Day Rafting Trip

The Kennebec River is the most popular Maine rafting trip – and for a good reason! Since our whitewater is generated by scheduled dam releases from the Harris Station Dam, we have guaranteed whitewater from May through October at a flow of 5,000 cubic feet per second (CFS). The Kennebec River offers exciting class IV rapids, and you’d be hard pressed to find on another river anywhere near Maine that runs at such a high level consistently.

After putting on the water right below Harris Station Dam, Maine’s largest hydroelectric station, you’ll hit some class II rapids to warm up before conquering two HUGE class IV rapids, Big Mama and The Alleyway. This first stretch of the river is extremely narrow through the gorge – about 50 feet across – constricting the huge volume water to create some big waves.

The river then takes a sharp turn through Z-Turn Rapid before the biggest class IV hit of the day, Magic Falls Rapid. At Magic Falls, you’ll crash through some big hits (stoke levels should be elevated for sure!) After that, a few class II and class III rapids follow, including one you can get out of the raft and swim in. For the last hour or so of the trip, you’ll float back to town on mostly calm water, with plenty of spots to swim again and opportunities to spot bald eagles.

The shuttle back to base from the take out is only 3 minutes, and a big lunch will be waiting for you – just what you need after a long, exciting day on the river!

This trip is great for anyone, whether you have never been rafting before or have been rafting dozens of times.

Kennebec Huge Water Rafting TripKennebec Huge Water Rafting Trip

Four times a year, the power company that operates Harris Station Dam gives the whitewater lovers of The Forks a gift: HUGE WATER! The power company tests the power turbines and opens them all the way, releasing 8,600 CFS – nearly twice the normal flow! This extra water means we get to hit features we usually avoid at normal flow, such as Maytag, a massive wave in the middle of Magic Falls Rapid. We also include a Lobster Bake on your return to base to celebrate this truly special occasion.

This trip is perfect for thrill seekers looking for a little extra stoke. If you’ve been on the Kennebec at the normal water level, you definitely need to come back for a huge water trip !

Kennebec Overnight Trip Kennebec Overnight Trip

The Kennebec Overnight Trip is a two-day, all-inclusive experience for those who are looking to truly unplug. If you’re looking to leave the distractions and worries behind, the Kennebec Overnight Trip is for you.

On your first day, we’ll drive out to the East Outlet, which connects Moosehead Lake to Indian Pond (the water source created by Harris Station Dam). The first day is spent kayaking down the East Outlet in an inflatable kayak, and your guides will help you navigate through the class I, II, and III rapids. After a riverside lunch, you will navigate to our remote campsite, which is accessible only by boat. From there w take care of everything for the night – tents, food, and even entertainment! And we can guarantee you won’t be missing your phone or any “real world” obligations for one minute. On the second day, you’ll join up with the Kennebec One Day Rafting Trip and raft the Kennebec River.

All meals and tents are included for this trip. Join us, and let us guide you on a truly special trip through Maine’s north woods!

Lower Kennebec Inflatable Kayak TripLower Kennebec Inflatable Kayak Trip

On our Lower Kennebec Inflatable Kayak Trip , you’ll get your own inflatable kayak and be able to choose your own adventure. We start the trip downstream of the upper Kennebec gorge (where the class IV rapids are) and soon will enter class III Black Brook Rapid, which a guide will help you navigate. With lots of waves to hit and holes to surf, you will definitely have an exciting day of Serious Fun. After floating down the rest of the lower river, we make a stop at Moxie Falls – Maine’s largest waterfall – on the way back to town.

If you’re looking for more time on the river, this trip works well as an additional activity the day before or after your rafting trip!

Lower Kennebec Float Trip

If you aren’t looking for the adrenaline of all the whitewater thrills (which is totally fine – it’s not for everyone!), then a Lower Kennebec Float Trip would be perfect for you. We start the trip in The Forks and enjoy a relaxing float down to Wyman Lake. We often encounter wildlife like bald eagles, and in the fall, the foliage on the side is more than Instagramable.

After your trip

The Kennebec River trip is over, now what? There is still so much to do in The Forks area!

Hungry? Join us for a meal and a drink at Boatman’s Bar and Grill in The Forks Fun Resort . Friday is karaoke night and Saturdays we offer live music! (NOTE: In 2020, we are not having karaoke or live music due to COVID-19 guidelines). We also have HUGE bonfires at Boatman’s every night!

Just a few miles up the road, Inn by the River offers a finer dining experience with amazing riverside views.

We also offer Tube Rentals from Inn by the River – a great way to spend the afternoon! Rent one for your cooler, too, and you’ll be all set for the day as you float down the Kennebec River through The Forks!

Moxie Falls is Maine’s largest waterfall and is just a 10 minute drive from The Forks Fun Resort. Book a Waterfall Excursion with a guide, or check it out for yourself! We also offer Guided Wilderness Hikes in The Forks area, if you’re looking for a dry-land activity after some fun on the river.

Ready to join us?

If you have any questions about our Kennebec River trips, our team of Fun Specialists is ready to give you the information you need. Give us a call at 207-663-2104 and we’ll get you set up with some Serious Fun!

How Long Does It Take to Raft the Gauley River?

Affectionately called the “beast of the east,” the Gauley River offers some of the most technical white water rafting in West Virginia .

But the 24-mile-long river can’t be defined so easily. With two distinct sections and seasons, the Gauley offers both wild, adrenaline-fueled adventures or more leisurely floats through a scenic canyon.

The time it takes to complete the journey depends on the time of year you go as well as the section you choose to explore.

Gauley River Rafting October

Seasonal differences in water flow

During the summer, the river’s water level is decidedly lower. Summer Gauley flows are available Memorial Day through Labor Day. It’s well-suited for kayaks, duckies or inexperienced rafting parties who want to go at a slower pace. That’s not to say you won’t encounter drops in elevation and rapids. But water levels fluctuate greatly in summer, making every day a little different on the river.

The Gauley’s characteristics change significantly after Labor Day. That’s when the Army Corps of Engineers begins drawing down Summersville Lake, dumping some 2,500 f/s of water into the Gauley. This marks the beginning of Fall Gauley Season and some of the best white water rafting on earth.

With 100 rapids of varying classes, the Gauley in fall is not for the faint of heart or the novice, and it’s two sections make for very different experiences.

Upper Gauley River

The upper Gauley is a 10-mile stretch that drops 335 feet. That may not seem like a big drop, but this section of the river features tight, technical rapids that call for your precise maneuvering and skill. It takes about four hours to complete the Upper Gauley.

The Gauley’s famed “Big 5” rapids are located here. All Class 5 rapids, the quintet of Insignificant, Pillow Rock, Lost Paddle, Iron Ring and Sweet’s Falls offer thrills aplenty.

The Big 5 make this section of the river a uniquely challenging single-day white water rafting trip. It’s intense and definitely not for newbies. Previous paddling experience is recommended and the minimum age to run the Upper Gauley is 16.

Lower Gauley River

The Lower Gauley isn’t as intense but features a series of 35 rapids with memorable names like Pure Screaming Hell . Along with big waves and fun chutes, the scenery along this stretch of the river is not to be missed. Rugged canyon walls set in a pristine wilderness that’s uniquely beautiful.

The 14-mile section takes about four hours to complete and is appropriate for novice, beginner, and even first-time paddlers. The minimum age to run the Lower Gauley is 12.

The Marathon

The full Gauley run is called the Marathon. Encompassing 24 miles, it’s definitely a haul. If you choose to do the entire river, it will take a minimum of eight hours. Marathon packages include a stop for a riverside lunch between the sections. If you choose this option, make sure you’re in good physical condition and can handle a lot of intense physical activity.

Go White Water Rafting Gauley River WV

Looking to go rafting in West Virginia ? You’ll need to know how long paddling excursions take so you can plan accordingly. When it comes to white water rafting Gauley River WV , a trip takes anywhere from five to eight hours.

We’re happy to answer your questions about our paddling excursions on the Gauley River. Check out our package options or give us a call at 800-463-9873 for more information.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *