TARGET 070228

Rafting the Grand Canyon
on the Colorado River

Rafting through the gorge
A rafting journey through one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World is highly coveted and hard to come by. The Grand Canyon is the longest rafting trip in the United States, and definitely one of the most spectacular as well. While thousands of tourists visit the Grand Canyon Rim, and some even venture down the nine steep miles to the Colorado River, it is said that the only way to really experience the Grand Canyon is to float through it.

With limestone walls rising over 1000 feet from the canyon floor, side hikes to crystal-clear, turquoise swimming holes, incredible wildlife, and house-size rapids, the Grand Canyon is a one-of-a-kind adventure.

Canyon walls drop straight down
From relaxation and quiet moments of observation, to heart-pounding, adrenaline saturated drops, such as the most famous rapid, Lava Falls, the river takes its travellers from one extreme to another. Many people say a whitewater vacation on the Grand Canyon is a life-changing experience, and everyone agrees it is definitely the experience of a lifetime.

Turmoil travel
Fun, huh?
People can choose to experience the Grand Canyon in a variety of watercraft. For more excitement, opt for a hardshell kayak, inflatble kayak, whitewater canoe, or a rubber raft. Three women even river-boarded all 300 miles during the winter and made a film about it, "Three Women, Three Hundred Miles".

Three hundred miles

Dories can also be a delightful experience, and are rarely seen on other rivers, so many people say natural wooden dories are their first choice. Large, mortorized rafts are an option for less athletic and less adventureous travellers.

Motorized trip

Rafting is a recreational activity utilizing a raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the mid 1970's.

The type of raft used nowadays for recreational rafting is almost exclusively an inflatable boat. It consists of very durable, multi-layered rubberized fabrics with several independent air chambers. Its length varies between 3.5 m (11 ft) and 6 m (20 ft), the width between 1.8 m (6 ft) and 2.5 m (8 ft). Rafts come in a few different forms. In Europe the most common is the symmetrical raft steered with a paddle at the stern. Other types are the asymmetrical, rudder-controlled raft and the symmetrical raft with central helm (oars). Rafts are usually propelled with ordinary paddles and typically hold 4 to 12 persons.

Example River Ride:

Difficulty: Class IV

Length: 277 miles

Flows: 8,000-50,000 cfs

Gradient: 16 ft/mi

Put-in: Lee's Ferry

Take-out: Lake Mead

Season: Spring through Fall

Information for this target was obtained from, and , where you can get more feedback for perceptions you may have obtained in your session.

Feedback map

Many thanks to Ray McClure, who provided us with this target.