The Lower Canyon

8–10 Day White Water Rafting Trip 
Pipe Creek Beach to Pearce Ferry

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The Lower Canyon

Hike down Bright Angel Trail to where the whitewater rafting begins with a whirlwind of rapids and finish out the trip on a jetboat to Lake Mead.

Hike down Bright Angel Trail to where the whitewater rafting begins with a whirlwind of rapids and finish out the trip on a jetboat to Lake Mead.

8–10 Days
Bright Angel Trail
Pearce Ferry
Trip Type
Oar and Paddle

Day 1 of your Lower Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip begins with a hike down the beautiful Bright Angel Trail from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to Pipe Creek Beach (one mile downstream of Phantom Ranch), where you’ll be served lunch at the river.

Your trip starts with a whirlwind of rapids beginning in the heart of the ancient rock of the Upper Granite Gorge. You will plunge through the mountainous waves of Horn Creek, Granite, and Hermit rapids on your first afternoon. Infamous Crystal rapid and the rest of “The Gems” follow the next morning with Deubendorff, Upset and Lava Falls awaiting us in the days to come.

The Lower Canyon
The Lower Canyon

Hiking, Slot Canyons, and Waterfalls

Whitewater rafting is only part of the story on this lower stretch of the Grand Canyon. The Canyon is criss-crossed with hundreds of side canyons, each with its own personality and attraction. While it would be impossible to explore each and every one, even in a lifetime, we make the most of our time to visit some of the most outstanding little corners on earth. Typical stops include the fern covered intimacy of Elves Chasm, hiking above Deer Creek Falls, and winding our way up Matkatamiba. Conditions permitting, we will swim in the turquoise pools of Havasu Creek and hike the talus to where Thunder River gushes out of a rock wall, several miles and a thousand feet above the Colorado River.

Downstream, basalt outcrops alert us to our proximity to Lava Falls and soon we hear its thunder reverberating from the canyon walls. Passage here always demands a good long look before dropping into one of the biggest of the “Big Ones”. Below Lava Falls the river takes a breather and opens up to big skies and further vistas, but this is only temporary as some miles below the walls close in one last time as we descend into the Lower Granite Gorge. As the first explorers learned, to their dismay, the sheer walls of resilient bedrock create large rapids and we get a great last set of rapids bracketed by highly polished walls.

Our last night’s camp lies deep in the Lower Gorge where the river meets the upper reaches of Lake Mead. On our last morning a large jet-boat takes us safely and swiftly through the rest of the Canyon, past the Grand Wash Cliffs where the Canyon comes to a dramatic end at Pearce Ferry. At that point an air-conditioned motorcoach provides transportation to the Las Vegas area.

Start planning your lower Grand Canyon rafting trip

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Trip Information

Trip Logistics:

At the start of your trip:

  • You will need to arrange flight, ground, or personal vehicle transportation to the South Rim, Grand Canyon.
  • You will need to arrange overnight accommodations at the South Rim for the evening prior to your hike.

At the end of your trip:

  • You will take the motorcoach, arranged by Outdoors Unlimited, from Pearce Ferry to Las Vegas;
  • or, your personal vehicle that was shuttled while on the water.
  • If using the motorcoach, overnight accommodations in Las Vegas are highly recommended.