Trip Tips

Travel Advice and Grand Canyon Rafting Tips

There is a myriad of Grand Canyon rafting tips out there ranging from packing tips to random pieces of advice. Many of these tips were actually created by our guides and guests to help future guests prepare for their rafting adventure.

Evening Attire

After unloading the boats and setting up camp at the end of a long day on the Colorado River,  changing into dry, comfortable clothes will add to your evening comfort. During the summer months in the Grand Canyon, a cotton t-shirt and shorts or a tank top, sarong, or a sundress are all reasonable choices.

If you are rafting in the spring or fall you might like a pair of pants, capris, long sleeve shirt, light fleece, gloves or hat.

Evening camp wear is optional. If you are hiking the Bright Angel Trail, we would recommend minimizing evening wear to keep the weight of your backpack down. It is completely acceptable to  wear the same clothes in the evening hours as you did in the day time.

South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park

The South Rim entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park is about 75 miles from Flagstaff. Many guests like to go up to the park the day before the trip departs because it provides a great perspective of where you’re going to be and just how vast the Grand Canyon really is. Here are some of our favorite things to do at the South Rim:

Watch the sunset or sunrise
Yavapai Geology Center 
Rent bikes and ride the new paved road out to Hermit’s rest
Verkamp’s Visitor’s center
Eat at the historic El Tovar restaurant
Hike part of the Bright Angel or Kaibab trails
Kolb Art studio
Historic Bright Angel Lodge (built by Mary Colter)

Choosing Your Rain Gear

Rain in the Grand Canyon

Despite being a desert environment, it does rain in the Grand Canyon.
Photo by Kristin Harned

When choosing a rain jacket and rain pants for your Grand Canyon rafting trip, we recommend looking for sealed seams, fitted wrist and ankle closures, and ensuring the material is waterproof (not just water resistant).

Another option is to look at paddling jacket and pants, also known as splash jacket and pant, which is also a suitable solution.

Rain gear is recommend during all seasons primarily to protect you from the 48 degree river water when getting submersed in a wave of a rapid. It is quite easy to get chilled to the bone, even on a 100 degree day. Occasionally, we have foul weather bringing thunderstorms and rain. Rainstorms bring clouds, wind, and cold rain. Although rain is more common during late June through early September, it can rain during any season.

You might bring a rain jacket and never pull it out of your bag. But with the unknown surprises that come along with  backcountry adventure travel we like to say, “it is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it!”

Although a poncho will shed the sprinkles of a light rain on a camping trip  – PONCHOS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE for this type of trip as they will not protect you at all from the cold river water in a rapid.

Rapids in Grand Canyon

Are you prepared for this?
Photo by Ralph Hopkins