16 days || 226 river miles || 5 oar rafts & 1 paddle raft (if available, a hard-sided dory may be substituted for one of the oar boats)
Round-trip to and from Flagstaff, Recommended Minimum Age: 12, Maximum Group Size: 21 guests
Note: water levels & other logistics may preclude us from having a dory on your Classic Adventure trip. If that’s the case, you will be informed ahead of time.
Offered in April and late September only for ideal hiking weather
DATES & PRICES
Join us for our 7 PM orientation meeting the evening before your Grand Canyon rafting trip begins at the designated hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona. You’ll meet your fellow rafting team, receive your dry bags, go over last-minute details and learn how to pack your dry bags and what to do with your luggage. This orientation does not cover many river life topics because there are many more orientations while on the river to explain what river life is like!
Bright and early, we pick you up by bus at the designated hotel and transport you to Lee’s Ferry. Expect a scenic 2.5 hour drive with a couple of bathroom breaks. At Lee’s Ferry, you’ll unload your gear from the bus, get fitted for a personal flotation device (PFD), meet your crew and begin your adventure!
We pick you up by bus at Diamond Creek around mid-morning, and bring you back to Flagstaff. This 3 hour drive is along a creek bed, and the adventure continues on the last leg of your expedition! The buses don’t have air conditioning due to the rough drive out Diamond Creek road—be sure to continue drinking water. Our groups generally return to the designated hotel around 3-7 PM, but we cannot guarantee the exact arrival time.
Upon arrival at the hotel, a staff member will be there to greet you with your luggage, room key(s) (if applicable) and the Red River Sports store. We recommend you stay in Flagstaff that evening in case of any travel delays and to attend the post-trip dinner (most of our groups partake in this final hoorah!).
TO & FROM
There are many options for getting to and from your Grand Canyon rafting adventure. The below options have worked best for our rafters.
We recommend flying into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport or Flagstaff Pulliam Airport in Arizona. Las Vegas is not as convenient as you might think because of the lack of shuttle options and the inconvenient shuttle times. If you fly into Phoenix, you can either rent a car to get to Flagstaff or book a shuttle through Groome Transportation. We recommend that you investigate your shuttle transportation options prior to securing your flight.
By Personal or Rental Car
Flagstaff is located approximately 2.5 hours north of Phoenix, at the junction of Interstate 40 and Interstate 17. You may arrange to pick up or drop off a rental car at the Flagstaff Airport. You may leave your vehicle parked at the designated meeting hotel for the duration of your trip free of charge (it is not a secured lot).
Groome Transportation offers multiple daily shuttles between Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and Flagstaff. The shuttle takes approximately 3 hours and requires reservations. A Friendly Cab also provides shuttle services in Central and Northern Arizona.
When preparing to pack for your Grand Canyon rafting trip, there are a few items that you’ll always need no matter what time of year you’re going down river. TO VIEW THE SPECIFIC PACKING LIST FOR YOUR ADVENTURE, VISIT YOUR ONLINE TRIP PORTFOLIO (which you will have access to upon reserving your adventure), as we have prepared lists for the different seasons.
You will always need:
Base layers: non-cotton underwear (sports bras or tankini tops work well for women)
Long-sleeve polypropylene top (or other wicking material top)
Long-sleeve cotton top
Rain jacket/paddle jacket (ponchos are inadequate)
Camp top/sleepwear top
Base layers: non-cotton underwear or swim suit trunks for men
Camp bottoms/sleepwear bottom
Additional Required Items
Heavy-duty skin balm/salve
Water bottles or some type of capacity to carry up to 96 ounces of water
Small backpack for day hikes
Toiletries (including biodegradable soap)
WE PROVIDE ALL GUESTS WITH THE FOLLOWING
Three dry bags
- Your white day bag is used to hold all of your gear that you’ll want to access to during the day. Think of this as your carry-on luggage. It is approximately 24” tall and 18” wide, and is 30.3 liters.
- Your blue bag holds all of the rest of the gear that you don’t need during the day. This is like your checked luggage. It is approximately 22” tall and 14” in diameter when packed, and is 49.2 liters.
- Your sleep kit bag is also blue and contains your sleeping bag, a sleeping bag liner and a ground tarp. You will receive this bag on the river.
Sleeping pad: 60” long, 22” wide and 1 ½” thick
Tent: one per every two guests on a reservation. Separate tents can be requested.
Groovette: quart-sized paint cup to be used when urinating in the river or camp toilet is not ideal.
Basic First-Aid Kit
Library of Grand Canyon reading materials
Drinking water & electrolyte replacement mix
Lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day
Breakfast beverages (coffee, tea, juice & hot chocolate)
If you would like a Grand Canyon rafting trip that offers a variety in types of boats, this is the ideal adventure for you! This is a great option for those that would like to both paddle and sit back and relax in the oar boats. The Classic Adventure is also an ideal choice for guests of different abilities and interests, keeping in mind that 16 days in the backcountry environment will take its toll on everyone. We welcome first-time rafters, experienced rafters and everyone in between.
We gear this trip to the hiking enthusiast. If it is your desire to hike and explore Grand Canyon as much as possible, this is the Grand Canyon adventure for you. As a word of caution, if you are not a hiking enthusiast and don’t wish to hike very much on your rafting expedition, this may not be the best choice for you as you may end up sitting out many of the hikes. We suggest that you consider your own ability for participating in this adventure, as well as anyone else that you might bring on this trip.
We often get asked what the best time of year to raft the Grand Canyon is, and our answers is always, “it depends on what type of weather you prefer!” You’re going to get different weather every month. Some months are more variable weather-wise, whereas others are more reliable. Below is a general guideline as to what type of weather to expect each month in Grand Canyon.
April: Average high is 80-85 degrees F (26-29 degrees C), with lows in the mid-50s F (10s C). Rain is possible, though unlikely. Wind is likely.
Late September: Average high is 85-90 F (29-32 C), with lows in the low-60s (15 C). Rain is unlikely. Expect shorter daylight hours.
Unexpected situations arise every year that cause our rafting participants to cancel. Because our deposits and final payments are non-refundable (after payment due dates pass), we highly recommend trip cancellation insurance. Although spaces are transferrable to another person, they are not transferrable to future years. Those who don’t purchase trip cancellation and cannot find anyone to refill their space(s) will lose their money. We provide you information for Travelex, but there are many other choices available, such as TravelGuard, USAA or Alliance. These policies also include evacuation and medical insurance should the need arise. It is an additional cost on top of your rafting adventure, but we have found that it is worth the price!
It’s best to start investigating trip cancellation insurance plans at the same time you put down your deposit. This will cover you for any pre-existing conditions you may have or protect you before something happens that may prevent you from going on your trip. We are not qualified or authorized to answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions or conditions of any of the insurance offered, or evaluate the adequacy of the prospective insured’s existing insurance coverage. Please direct specific questions to the Travelex customer service department.
Awesome adventure and high degree of hiking difficulty, took us out of comfort zone in a great way!