Travelers staying at Grand Canyon National Park’s Maswick Lodge receive door-to-door service on this tour. Otherwise, it departs from Grand Canyon Airlines terminal at Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan. The coach then begins the approximately 3-hour trip through Arizona’s Painted Desert to Lee’s Ferry near Page, AZ and the Utah-Arizona border. Once at Lee’s Ferry, visitors immediately greet their river guide who will take them on the 9-mile upstream rafting journey on the Colorado River. This trip brings you close view of the Hoover Dam among other natural wonders along the river’s banks. The destination of the rafting trip is beach surrounded by pleasant hiking trails leading to an area full of Native American petroglyphs. At this point, a deli-style boxed lunch is served. The return rafting trip downstream back to Lee’s Ferry is part motorized, part drifting, allowing travelers extra time to snap photos. Discovery time is allotted in and around Lee’s Ferry before the coach returns you to the Grand Canyon that evening.
Major Highlights: Lee’s Ferry
Named for a ferry operator, John Boyle Lee, who used this unique geographic crossing of the Colorado to amass a fortune in the 1800s, Lee’s Ferry, AZ is a truly unique and special place to visit. The valley where the town sits, downstream from Glen Canyon and above Marble Canyon, is the only safe passageway across the Colorado River for nearly 260 miles. For this reason, it is a popular destination for river excursions including whitewater rafting journeys for which the Colorado is famous. In fact, Lee’s Ferry’s access to the Colorado and that river’s intimate association with its largest canyon makes this area the official northern border of Grand Canyon National Park. Lee’s Ferry is a member of the National Park Service and offers visitors a bevy of options for outdoor adventure, including fishing, camping, hiking, and, of course, river rafting.
Is It the Tour for You?
A much tamer option as compared to the white water rafting most often associated with the Colorado River, the Smoother Water Bus Trip is still a thrilling option for more adventurous tourists. This affordable trip allows you to see the river from the vantage point of its waters, get to know some of the outer regions of GCNP (Lee’s Ferry, the Painted Desert, etc.) as well as have the chance to view unique art and history through Native American petroglyphs. Because of the harsher nature of the rafting journey, this trip is best suited for school age children and older, as well as adults free of medical conditions which would impede their ability to withstand the rafting environment. The hiking portion, though short, may be too strenuous for older seniors, for examples. However, for the right demographic, this affordable all-day trip offers a really fun and unique way to see northern Arizona which will certainly rank among the highlights of any vacation.