Oar Boat Versus Paddle Boat

Our Boats

Outdoors Unlimited runs only human powered, non-motorized craft on our trips. Both our paddle and oar boats are self-bailing rafts specifically designed to run the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park. You have the choice of either riding in an oar powered raft with an OU guide at the oars, or choosing the adventure of a paddle boat where you participate in powering the boat as your guide steers from the stern of the raft.

Oar Boats

Traveling by oar powered craft is the classic method of rafting the Grand Canyon, dating back to the first explorations by John Wesley Powell in 1869. Our oar rafts carry up to five guests plus the guide, who maneuvers the raft with a set of oars mounted on the boat.

Relaxation is the signature of the oar boat, allowing more time to socialize, look around and take photographs while still offering an exciting ride through the rapids. Oar boats are a comfortable way to enjoy the long quiet stretches as well as the famous rapids of the Colorado River.

Oar Trips

  • Minimum Age: 10 years old
  • Guests Per Boat: 5
  • Guests Per Trip: 21-25
  • Crew Per Trip: 6-7

Paddle Boats

Paddle rafting is the ultimate way to participate in a Grand Canyon river trip. It is an exhilarating ride in one of the smallest boats to run the Colorado River. As a paddler you are an integral part of powering and maneuvering the raft down the river at the command of the “paddle captain”. There are six paddlers for each raft with a guide in the stern.

Our paddle boats carry no gear, or frame, giving them a quick response and an unmatched ride. Available as an add-on option, paddling can be physically demanding and is not for everyone

All-Paddle Trips

  • Minimum Age: 14 years old
  • Guests Per Boat: 6
  • Guests Per Trip: 24
  • Crew Per Trip: 8