As one of the most visited natural wonders in the world, the Grand Canyon welcomes millions of visitors each year. But very few actually venture below the rim to explore the wonders this unique landscape offers. Over a billion years in geological history, unique flora and fauna, and a highway of world-class whitewater to explore it all makes this a trip every adventurer dreams of.

Be Sure to Plan Ahead

Because of it’s popularity, planning your river trip of a lifetime can be a challenge in itself. Limited permits for private trips and a large commercial outfit base means planning ahead is key in securing your spot and getting the dates you want; it’s not uncommon to be on a 1-2 year wait list. Permits are available year-round, but from June to mid-August are the peak months and the busiest with the dozen or so licensed commercial outfits that run the river. Trips range anywhere from one to 21-day trips—spending at least two weeks on the river is recommended to fully embrace the power and beauty of the 277-mile stretch of the Colorado River that winds through the steep cliffs and hidden canyons of the park.

Lee’s Ferry to Diamond Creek

The most popular section of the river begins at Lee’s Ferry and ends at Diamond Creek. Over 40 significant rapids are found along this stretch of 225 miles that include lava and crystal falls, along with the majority of the canyons most intense whitewater. But depending on the length of your trip, conquering rapids will only be a portion of your adventure. Marble Canyon, Vasey’s Paradise and Deer Creek Falls are a few of the highlights worthy of exploring in between nights under the stars at your picturesque campsites.

Don’t forget your hiking boots

Side hikes through hidden canyons and up to breathtaking overviews let adventurers get the full spectrum of Grand Canyon wilderness. You will get a closer look at the impressive forces that carved deep into the 40 different layers of sedimentary rock that is exposed, ranging from 200 million-2 billion years old. What was once covered in shallow seas and beaches is now blanketed with cactus, willow trees and an array of different wildflowers. Big horn sheep, mountain lions and coyotes are just a few of the animals that now call the canyon home.

Thrill-seekers, naturalists and history buffs will all find a fascination with what the Grand Canyon has to offer. Top-notch whitewater, unmatched scenery and exploring a true American landmark make this a trip of a lifetime. Topping of your canyon adventure with a healthy supply of PBR and your closest friends and family make this trip an unforgettable one.

About The Author

Mitch Lex

Mitch grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona where he fell in love with kayaking, backpacking and just about everything else there is to do outside. Since moving to the Midwest, Mitch has continued to explore trails and rivers throughout the country. His greatest adventures include roaming with grizzlies and caribou on a NOLS course in Canada's Yukon Territory, swimming with dolphins while studying abroad in New Zealand, and guiding backpacking trips in southwestern Colorado and Utah. He sees the outdoors as a place where you can discover what is truly important in life while exploring a little bit about oneself along the way. Contrary to popular demand, he enjoys dried pineapple and Reese's pieces over M&M's and raisins in his trail mix any day of the week. Sorry GORP.