Grand Canyon Rafting Companies and Reviews

Raft Tours

Here’s the list of rafting companies that are licensed by the National Park to do tours on the Colorado River. This is only for extended, multi-day trips.

Go here for the separate article on day trips.

Choosing a Grand Canyon Rafting Company

Competition is usually a good thing for consumers, but there’s just too many businesses here! The sheer number of established businesses is probably the driving factor behind the ongoing plague of motor boats on the River.
…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 these websites, I’ve included some of the basic differences between them. There’s some sample prices as well – they all mostly fall in the same range.

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 step that I’d recommend is to browse this listing. Zero in on a handful of companies that seem to specialize in your needs.

This choice shouldn’t make or break your vacation. 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 all employ guides and crew members who are some of the best, happiest people on earth that love what they do. It’s a coveted job, so these companies can afford to be picky about who they hire.

These guides only operate from April 1st until the end of October.

Each has a different minimum age requirement.

Most sources present the list in alphabetical order, so I think it’s fair to have it here in reverse. These companies focus on the full or “half” Canyon. Single day tours are listed elsewhere.

Listed prices are only a sample of what each company has to offer, and do not reflect their full catalog! Information and pricing is reflective of the 2014 rafting season.

Western River Expeditions
since 1958
website —— reviews
motor only
custom availability – photography, yoga, etc.
3-7 days
full, bottom
take out at Whitmore
travel hub – Las Vegas
$2,925 – 7 day motor trip
Tour West
since 1969
website —— reviews
motor and oars
4-13 days
upper, lower, full, bottom
take out at Whitmore or Lake Mead
travel hub – Las Vegas
$2,700 – 9 day motor trip
$3,700 – 13 day oar trip
Outdoors Unlimited
since 1969
website —— reviews
oars and paddle
5-15 days
upper, lower, full
take out at Lake Mead or Phantom
travel hub – Las Vegas
$1,755 – 5 day oar trip
$3,745 – 14 day oar trip
$3,865 – 14 day paddle trip
O.A.R.S. Grand Canyon
since 1969
website —— reviews
oars and dories
5-17 days
upper, lower, full
take out at Lake Mead, Diamond, Whitmore, or Phantom
travel hub – Flagstaff
$5,453 – 17 day oar trip
$2,756 – 7 day oar trip
$2,933 – 7 day dory trip
Moki Mac River Expeditions
since 1969
website —— reviews
motor and oars
6-14 days
upper, lower, full
take out at Lake Mead, Diamond or Phantom
travel hub – Las Vegas
$2,685 – 8 day motor
$2,247 – 6 day oar
$3,946 – 14 day oar
Hatch River Expeditions
since 1929
website —— reviews
motor, oars, kayak support, and custom
4-12 days
upper, lower, full
take out at Whitmore or Phantom
travel hub – return to Marble Canyon, Page, South Rim, or Vegas
$2,467 – 7 day motor
$3,697 – 12 day oar
Grand Canyon Whitewater
since 2011
website —— reviews
motor, oars, and hiker special
4-14 days
upper, lower, full
take out at Whitmore, Diamond, or Phantom
travel hub – Flagstaff
$2,595 – 8 day motor
$3,565 – 13 day oar
Grand Canyon Expeditions
since 1964
website —— reviews
motor and dories
custom availability – geology, history, etc.
8-16 days
full Canyon only
take out at Lake Mead
travel hub – Las Vegas
$2,650 – 8 day motor
$4,199 – 16 day dory
Colorado River and Trail Expeditions (CRATE) since 1971
website —— reviews
motor, paddle, hybrid
custom, kayak support, hiking, or natural history available
3-14 days
upper, lower, full, bottom
take out at Whitmore or Lake Mead
travel hub – Las Vegas
$1,479 – 4 day motor
$3,670 – 14 day hybrid
Canyoneers
since 1936
website —— reviews
motor and oars
3-14 days
upper, lower, full
take out at Diamond or Lake Mead
travel hub – Flagstaff
$1,080 – 3 day motor
$3,650 – 14 day oar
Canyon Explorations / Expeditions
since 1987
website —— reviews
hybrid or all-paddle only
custom for hiking, string quartet, kaykers, etc.
6-17 days
lower, upper, full
take out at Diamond
travel hub – Flagstaff
$1,875 – 6 day
$3,475 – 13 day
Arizona River Runners
since 1970
website —— reviews
motor, oars, and hiker special
3-13 days
upper, lower, full, bottom
take out at Whitmore, Diamond, or Lake Mead
travel hub – Las Vegas
$2,650 – 8 day motor
$3,450 – 13 day oar
Arizona Raft Adventures (AZRA)
since 1965
website —— reviews
motor, hybrid, or paddle
custom hikers, photography, yoga, etc.
6-16 days
upper, lower, full
take out at Diamond
travel hub – Flagstaff
$2,535 – 8 day motor
$4,120 – 16 day hybrid
Aramark Wilderness River Adventures
since 1961
website —— reviews
motor, oars, hybrid
3-16 days
upper, lower, full
take out at Whitmore or Diamond
travel hub – Las Vegas
$2,680 – 8 day motor
$3,930 – 16 day oar

Grand Canyon Discovery is listed by most sources as a separate entity, despite the fact that it has merged with Arizona Raft Adventures (AZRA).

Grand Canyon Dories is also usually given a separate listing, but it’s simply a subsidiary of O.A.R.S

Rafting Companies