|Running Whitewater in the Grand Canyon is one of the greatest things you can do in the park and will make memories that will probably stay with you for the rest of your life. Because the experience is such a rush, whitewater rafting in the Grand Canyon is something you walk away but something that will be around very vividly in your mind for years and years to come. Not only is the rafting such a rush and wonder, but so is the beautiful scenery which surrounds you on your adventure. This experience is obviously desired by many because of the long waiting list which is usually close to 7,000 names long. If 7,000 names doesn’t seem long, than think about 10 years. If you would like to get on the river, you will be waiting about this long.
To get on the waiting list, you must first submit an application. Applications for permits are received by the park during the month of February only. If you would like to order an application, call this number: (800) 959-9164. This will get you started on your journey of running the river. A small fee will be required when you turn in your application, and an annual fee will be required after that to keep you on the list.
To add to the beauty of all of this is the knowledge that no two river trips will ever be the same due to the condition of water, sun, wildlife and much more. Also accessible by raft are side canyons and some of the best scenery that would be nearly impossible to reach by foot.
Rafting adventures will begin in Marble Canyon which was first explored by John Wesley Powell. Coming out of Marble Canyon, you will pass the following landmarks.
- Navajo Bridge, Mile 4 – An engineering marvel, spanning the canyon at 467 feet.
- North Canyon, Mile 20.5 – After a rain, this tributary becomes a heaven of waterfalls.
- Silver Grotto, Mile 29 – A beautiful, but dangerous, side canyon.
- Vasey’s Paradise, Mile 32 – A lush sojourn.
- Redwall Cavern, Mile 33 – A huge, sandy bottomed canyon.
- Nankoweep Granaries, Mile 53 – Cliff-bound Anasazi granaries that make a good place to hike. With the confluence of the Little Colorado River, the Grand Canyon officially begins. The next stretch has many rapids.
- Elves Chasm (Royal Arch Creek), Mile 117 – A small tributary that strikes many as enchanted – hence the name.
- Thunder River, Mile 134 – Seen rushing from a limestone cave, this is probably the shortest river in the world. Very beautiful with good hike.
- Dear Creek, Mile 136 – A must stop for a dip in the pool underneath a 100 foot high water fall. The hike above travels through a canyon of pools with Anasazi petroglyphs.
- Havasu, Mile 157 – The “Land that is Green.” Tribal lands with wonderful hiking. Great waterfalls and swimming.
- Lava Falls Rapid, Mile 179 – Lava Flow creating an extreme rapid which. This along would probably make a memorable trip.
- Separation Canyon, Mile 240. This is the spot where three members of Powell’s expedition decided to strike out on their own rather than risk their lives on what was once a truly fearsome rapid. They were never heard from again.
When your chance finally comes around the next decade, you may be planning on hiring a commercial guide to take you on the best whitewater on the river and to take you to your destination safely. If you are one of the 70 percent of the people who plan on this, make sure you are willing to pay around $2,000 dollars per person. This is the average charge of most commercial guides in the area.