If you’ve been on tour with us before, you may know that we are one of very few outfitters who are permitted to guide in Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument – specifically for Toroweap Overlook, a spectacular viewpoint on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. What makes Toroweap so special is this: a 3,000ft sheer drop-off from the viewpoint down to the Colorado River.
Toroweap is a sought-after destination for Grand Canyon lovers and landscape photographers alike. And there’s more: Toroweap is almost directly above Lava Falls Rapid, the most fearsome rapid in all of the Grand Canyon. On a summer day, visitors at Toroweap Overlook may even be able to hear the hooting and hollering of river runners as they approach Lava.
While we at Dreamland specialize in land-based adventures, we feel close kinship with our friends who guide on the river; in fact, many a Dreamland guide has used their time off from land-based guiding to hire on as an extra hand for river trips. After all, Colorado River rafting through the Grand Canyon is the most famous rafting expedition in the world: for 278 miles the Colorado River flows freely through world famous whitewater, red rock canyons and ever changing views and vistas. During this journey, the Grand Canyon’s progressively eroded rock layers reveal Earth’s history. Side canyon hikes and off-river excursions take raft trip participants to hidden waterfalls, scenic overlooks, and places of wonder.
A minimum of 8 days is required to travel through the entire Grand Canyon via motorized rafts or 13 days via oar and paddle rafts. Shorter rafting river trips are available in the Grand Canyon, but these require hiking in or out of the canyon at Phantom Ranch, or a helicopter ride in or out of the Grand Canyon at Whitmore Wash. In addition, the Hualapai Indian tribe offers a rafting trip through the very last part of the Grand Canyon.
All Grand Canyon rafting trips start at Lees Ferry. Lees Ferry is a one and half hour drive south of Kanab, Utah. The commercial river outfitters offer a number of different trip lengths and options. Commercial rafting trips are scheduled from April into November. Private river permits are distributed through a lottery every year. National Park resource trips and science based travel the Grand Canyon year round. Some of the highlights of rafting the Grand Canyon include visiting Redwall Cavern, hiking to the Nankoweap Ruins, swimming in the Little Colorado River, visiting Havasu Canyon, and running the famous Crystal and Lava Falls rapids. The Grand Canyon river corridor is highly regulated by the National Park Service. It has rules in place to preserve and protect the canyon and river experience. When you travel down the Colorado River it is easy to feel like you are the only one to have ever been there.
For more information about rafting the Grand Canyon check out Colorado River & Trail Expeditions. who offer motorized, rowing, and paddle Grand Canyon rafting trips ranging from 3 to 14 days. Their Grand Canyon operation is located not far from Kanab in nearby Fredonia, Arizona.
And if you do decide to sign on to a river trip…. don’t forget to look up when you get to Lava Falls Rapid. If you look closely, you may just see a tiny figure or two standing at the rim of Toroweap Viewpoint 3,000ft above you, and that tiny figure might just be a Dreamland guide.