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Grand Canyon Rafting - Lees Ferry to Phantom Ranch



This 87-mile section of the Colorado River is an excellent introduction to the Grand Canyon as the rapids progress from moderate to extra-large and the cliffs and rock layers rise higher and higher. We see some of the most striking and vibrantly colored limestone cliffs as we pass Arizona's Marble Canyon. Our Grand Canyon adventure includes visits to Native American ruins, the fern-fringed spring of Vasey’s Paradise, the cool recess of Redwall Cavern, ancient fossils and a swim in the turquoise blue Little Colorado. At the end of the week of floating, hiking and camping in the Grand Canyon's majesty, we arrive at the boat beach near Phantom Ranch, deep in the Granite Gorge. After a final night in the canyon, this Grand Canyon rafting trip concludes with a dramatic hike up to the South Rim the following morning (optional helicopter take outs are available as another option).


Our provider is an authorized concessioner of Grand Canyon National Park.


Lees Ferry to Phantom Ranch: Itinerary at a Glance

  • Shuttle from our meeting point in Flagstaff, AZ to our put-in below Glen Canyon Dam at Lees Ferry.

  • We enter Marble Canyon and within the first few miles of the trip we see the first signs of the fascinating geology of the canyon as the Kaibab and Toroweap formations make their appearance, followed by Coconino Sandstone.

  • Raft Badger and Soap Creek rapids before stopping to camp at a sandy beach.

  • The first signs of Esplanade Sandstone appear in the canyon walls followed by the Wescogame, Manakacha and Watahomigi formations as we negotiate a series of 8 medium intensity rapids.  As we float deeper into the canyon past Vasey’s Paradise we reach Redwall Cavern, a vast chamber in the canyon wall that Powell estimated would seat 50,000 people.

  • Deeper still, we raft through Mile 36 Rapid and Mauv Limestone appears in the canyon walls followed by Temple Butte Limestone and Bright Angel Shale.

  • A hike to the ancient Native American granaries at Nankoweap rewards us with one of the best downriver views in the Grand Canyon.

  • The canyon begins to spread out in front of us as we encounter Tanner, Unkar, Nevills and the formidable Hance Rapid.

  • Black Vishnu Schist and pink Zoroaster Granite (some two billion years old) appear in the canyon walls.

  • Spend our last night in the canyon at Phantom Ranch before hiking out of the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail the next morning.

  • And don’t forget about a relaxing and unforgettable Shabbat like no other at the river’s edge; in the middle of one of the world’s most beautiful and remote wilderness areas!


A typical day on the river


After meeting your guides you will be given a trip orientation that will include how and where you can sit on the rafts, how to hold on, and safety precautions while on the river.

A typical day will include rafting for a few hours at a time, stopping for scenic side-canyon hikes, bathroom breaks, lunch and possible swimming opportunities.


Visiting with new-found friends and learning river lore and geology from our well trained guides adds to the enjoyment of each day.


After a full day of learning and fun we arrive in camp. Guests will be allowed to find their favorite campsite and then return to the rafts for the famous “fire line” - the way we load and unload rafts. Your help in passing the gear off the boat is greatly appreciated, however if you have physical restrictions or limitations that would prohibit you from participating you are not required to help.


The first evening in camp, the guides will give a demonstration on how to easily assemble the cots and tents and will be available to help you if you need additional assistance. We provide cots, tents, sleeping bags, sheets, camp chair and water-proof gear bags for all guests. You’ll have no need to worry about bringing any of your own camping equipment.

While you relax at the river’s edge, your guides with our Masgiach will prepare dinner. Every night is different, but the menu may include items such as grilled chicken breast, steak with sautéed onions, pasta or fresh fish.


At night, whether you choose to sleep in your tent or under the vast canopy of stars, the fresh night air and the rhythm of the river will lull you to sleep.


Each morning, your guides will prepare a delicious breakfast. You’ll have a chance to enjoy eating before returning to your campsite to take down your tent and cot and pack up your belongings in your dry bag. After bringing your bag down to the boats, guests participate in the fire line once again and you are off on another fun filled day of adventure.


The setting and pace of a rafting adventure gives you something you don’t find in other vacations. On a our Colorado River Expedition, you will quickly discover why so many are calling this “the best vacation of their lives.” it’s the combination of drifting over tranquil pools of water under the shadows of towering rock formations, the exhilaration and thrill of rolling waves and crashing whitewater, the exploration of seldom-seen waterfalls and native American history, the peaceful moments of reflection as you gaze up at the star-studded sky and the fresh feeling of renewal as the morning sun slowly filters through winding canyons.

All this provides an indescribable sense of belonging, a sense of oneness with yourself and those around you, sense of adventure, reflection and renewal!


Additional rafting trips are available to the following destinations:


Utah: Green River


Idaho: Salmon and Snake Rivers


Oregon: Rogue River


Food & Kashrut:  Unique only to Kosher Expeditions is our ability to prepare delicious Glatt kosher cuisine in exotic out of the way destinations far from modern amenities, and all under strict supervision.  Accompanying each group is our mobile field camp kitchen and a certified Mashgiach to supervise daily cooking, davening and Shabbat on the river! 



Custom group departures (minimum 18 or more participants) are available upon request. Please call us for details.


Covering the same 188 miles of astounding Grand Canyon beauty as the 6-day trip, our 7-day Grand Canyon experience offers one more precious day on the river. You'll take additional side hikes to waterfalls, hidden grottos, and American Indian ruins. Plus, you'll have a little extra time to spend at renowned sites like Havasu Canyon.



Custom group dates are available year round. Please call for details and quote




Pre and post program nights are avaialbe at local lodges and inns.  


Evenings will be spent camping on the side of the river for the duration of the program.  We provide cots, tents, sleeping bags, sheets, camp chair and water-proof gear bags for all guests. You’ll have no need to worry about bringing any of your own camping equipment.


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