Fall foliage with a blue overlay

The Grand Canyon – A Two Week Expedition!

January 16, 2024
Explore the Grand Canyon on a legendary two-week rafting expedition!

Are you an adventurous soul looking for the ultimate adventure? Want to disconnect, immerse in nature, and challenge yourself in new ways? Look no further than a two-week rafting trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. This iconic destination attracts thrill-seekers from all over the world for good reason. This blog will closely examine what to expect on a two-week rafting trip through the Grand Canyon and why you should add it to your bucket list.

About the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon

A two-week rafting and kayaking trip traverses the entire length of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyons. Paddlers will travel about 226 river miles from Lee’s Ferry (the put-in) to Diamond Creek (the takeout). The Colorado River is on a rapid scale system from 1 to 10. One is flat water, then some boogie water, all the way up to ten, the most challenging and technical/advenaced whitewater. This stretch of river does have a decent amount of flatwater, so there are stretches where you are just floating along, enjoying the views or giving the oars a go. On the trip, you will experience only two Class 10 rapids, Crystal and Lava. They are considered very technical rapids, earning their high rating. The rapids ranging from Class 3 to 8 have a variety of features, including big, fun, splashy wave trains, munchy holes, or specific features to navigate around (like the rapid called Bed Rock, which has a large rock outcropping spitting the river). High-volume water means bigger rapids, but fear not; this means the lines you run through them are bigger, too! It is truly a whitewater adventure, so having experienced guides is key for the larger rapids because they know the best lines at each water level so you can have the cleanest run possible. Speaking of the guides…


The guides on the trip make everyone feel welcome and comfortable in, sometimes, new experiences or situations. The amount of knowledge they each have about river hydrology, the history of the Canyon, and geology is impressive. Prepare to learn all about river features, rock layers and formations, previous explorers, first expeditions, and much more. The key differentiating factor between private trips and our excursion lies in the invaluable expertise of our guides!

No Experience Needed

These trips attract participants of every kind! In 2023, we had guests who had never camped but wanted to get out of their comfort zone and jump in! Another paddler was not as fond of big whitewater but wanted the full experience of the canyon and decided to go for it anyway. One guest kept coming back again and again to experience the excitement and beauty!

An important factor to remember when considering a two-week river trip is that you will be in the elements for the entire duration. That means inclement weather, rocky terrain, and more. Expect uneven, sometimes slippery, or unstable terrain with tripping hazards. Participants must be able to climb in and out of the raft, carry personal gear, and hold on to the rafts. Dining tables and typical chairs are not available in the canyon, you will have to eat with your plate on your lap or holding it in your hand while sitting in a camp chair. The hikes are optional, so if you do not feel comfortable in steep, unstable terrain, you can pick and choose which hikes make sense for you. If you choose not to hike, you can hang back at camp or on the boat.

If kayaking the canyon, you must be competent in Class IV whitewater, be able to execute your combat roll, and aid in your self-rescue if needed. You will also have to carry your boat and manage your gear.

Day to Day on the River

Each morning after breakfast, you will select your boat type for the day – oar rig, paddle raft, or dory. You can rotate around to spend time with each guide and experience different boats. You do not need to be on the paddle raft daily, but if you say you want to paddle on your questionnaire, you will need to pitch in when asked. Each day is slightly different in activity but follows the same general flow. Somedays, you will see wildlife and some days, you will stop to do a side hike up an incredible slot canyon only accessible from the river! Regarding variables in the river, some days you may have multiple rapids and fun splashy waves in a row, other days the waves will be few and far between. But every day, you will be in the Grand Canyon, traveling through time, observing the impressive walls and geological features dating back millions of years. You will be in the Grand Canyon!

Day to Day at Camp

Camp life is easy living in the Grand Canyon. Each person is issued a sleep kit with a sleeping bag, sheet, and tarp in a dry bag with your name on it. You will also have access to a tent that you can label with your name. Depending on comfort level and the weather, many people choose to sleep out under the stars as many nights as possible. It is truly spectacular! When you get to camp each day, you will wander around to find the perfect spot for a new home each night. Camps vary in size, access, and privacy. Some camps have flat access and are spread out; others have steep access with lots of shrubbery and brush to camp around for some privacy. Each camp has its unique features and views of the Grand Canyon.


The guides will prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last! And these are hearty, finger-lickin’ good meals, not your regular PB&Js (although those are also available). Fan favorites from our 2023 trip were salmon, veggies, rice, vegetable curry/rice, and steak/broccoli and potatoes for dinner! Lunches are set up during the day on the river. You will typically stop at a beach and eat lunch – usually wraps, salads, and sandwiches with plenty of snack options as breakfast is a variety of pancakes, eggs to order, bacon, quiche, oats, and more.

Travel Logistics

The trip kicks off with a mandatory pre-trip orientation meeting the evening before your launch date at Little America Hotel in Flagstaff around 7pm, so you want to make sure you arrive for that. Little America gives AZRA Guests a discounted rate if staying before and after the trip. This makes it very convenient and stress-free since it is the meeting place before the trip and the drop-off spot after. The closest airport is in Flagstaff, but many people consider flying into Phoenix and booking a shuttle or renting a car to get to Flagstaff.

A two-week rafting trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is the adventure of a lifetime. It will challenge, inspire, and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. With experienced guides to lead the way, delicious meals to fuel your journey, and stunning scenery at every turn, this is one trip you will not soon forget. So, pack your sunscreen and sense of adventure, and prepare for the journey of a lifetime. The Grand Canyon is waiting for you.

Michelle Galinak, our Adventure Travel Specialist, joined our Grand Canyon trip last year and shared the details in this blog post. For more information about the trip or to book one yourself, please feel free to reach out to her below.

Live Chat