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Whitewater Rafting in Arizona

Jan 16, 2014

Are you looking for that extreme adventure on your trip to Arizona?  How about trying out some whitewater rafting?  What? You didn’t realize that Arizona has some of the best whitewater around?  You gotta be kidding me! How about this, there are some mind-blowing getting soaked kind of places to go whitewater rafting that will get your adrenaline flowing. Check out these two whitewater destinations.

The Grand Canyon

Photo Courtesy of Arizona River Runners

 Of course there is the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  There are several operators which offers fully immersive multi-day trips where you can soak in the soaring vermillion cliffs while enjoying whitewater rafting down one of America’s greatest rivers in the world’s grandest canyon.

Down in the canyon, you will definitely get your fill of rapids which will undoubtedly get the adrenaline coursing through your veins. Many consider this the trip of a lifetime.

Colorado River trips generally run from April to October. Put in areas vary but trips start either at Lee’s Ferry near Page, AZ, or with a hike down into the canyon where you will meet your group and embark from the canyon bottom.  Trips can vary in length from 3 days to 13 days or more and include either motorized or oars powered trips.  The most popular trips are 6 to 8 days that usually begin at Lee’s Ferry and end with either a hike out of the canyon or a helicopter ride out.  The longer 8 day trips will generally end at Diamond Creek or Lake Mead depending on which company you decide on.  

There are a ton of options for planning your trip so take a look at the companies listed below to see what each offers.


Arizona is a hot and dry climate so you will need to be prepared for that.  While top of the Grand Canyon summer temperatures will be a comfortable average high of 86 degrees,  temperatures down near the river can easily soar into the 110’s in July. Average monthly temperatures are listed below. Check out the FAQ's on the company websites to find out what type of gear you will need to bring with you on your trip.








82H 56L

92H 63L

101H 72L

106H 78L

103H 75L

97H 69L

84H 54L

There are many companies that offer services which are listed below. Many companies fill up quickly and trips for this year are limited, so if you have plans to do this in 2014, don’t wait.  Book it now.

Grand Canyon Rafting Companies

Arizona River Runners
Arizona Raft Adventures
Grand Canyon Whitewater
Canyon Explorations
Colorado River and Trail Expeditions
Grand Canyon Discovery


The Salt River

Photo Courtesy of Salt River Rafting

Perhaps the best whitewater rafting trip of all is one that is located much closer to the 3.2 million inhabitants of metro Phoenix than the Grand Canyon. If you seek the  rush of continuous class 3 rapids then look no further than the Salt River about 130 miles east of Phoenix.  James Wilkes from Salt River Rafting ( says that his company’s day trips are worth “more bang for the buck” than the Grand Canyon because the rapids come more often on the Salt River than at the Grand Canyon. James has been working as a guide for over 16 years.

Trips lengths are from half day to 5 days. Salt River Rafting’s most popular trip, the full day trip, will send your raft smashing into 14 exciting class 3 rapids over the 10 mile journey. The trip offers a stop for lunch which includes grilled lunch of burgers, brats and veggie burgers, fresh salad, chips and salsa, as well as fresh fruit and cookies served at their riverside base camp.
Extended trips will run you all the way to Roosevelt Lake.  Check out the Salt River Rafting website at for more information or call them at 1-800-472-5194. Trips start March 1st and the best time to go is March or April.  Contrary to popular belief, you won’t need to get up and going at 4 am to head out for your trip,  Day trips begin at 10am and from downtown phoenix, it takes about 2 and a half hours to get to the Salt River Canyon.

Salt River Rafting Companies

Salt River Rafting
Mild to Wild
Wilderness Aware Rafting
Canyon Rio Rafting




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