Grand Canyon Rafting - Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek
- Grand Canyon Rafting on the Colorado River
- Explore Redwall Cavern, Elves Chasm & Blacktail Canyon& Deer Creek Falls
- Hike to Nankoweep, Matkatamiba & into Havasu Canyon
- Raft Lava Falls, Crystal, Sapphire, Turquoise and Ruby rapids
- Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek rafting trip is 225 miles long
(2013: Begin & End Dates)
September 15-30, September 18-October 3,
September 30-October 15; October 4-19
(2014: Begin & End Dates)
September 14-28, September 18-October 2,
September 30-October 15; October 2-17
2014: $5166 - $5333
For Specific Prices and Availability call: 800-346-6277
Prices subject to National Park Service approval
|River Rating||Minimum Age|
|47 major rapids rated 5 or above on the Grand Canyon scale of 1 to 10||12 Yrs|
Grand Canyon Rafting - Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek - Overview
Covering 225 river miles, this classic Grand Canyon rafting trip on the Colorado River in Arizona offers all the scenery, side canyons and whitewater excitement of our full canyon trip with the glories of Marble Canyon, the mysteries of the Inner Gorge, terrific side hikes and Indian ruins, crystalline creeks and waterfalls, cactus gardens and whitewater galore. Grand Canyon whitewater rapids cover the full spectrum of foaming ripples to the notorious churning roar of Lava Falls. We run it all and still have plenty of time to hike and explore the numerous side canyons, which crisscross this magnificent region, each having its own unique attractions, just waiting to be discovered. Along the way, we may encounter canyon wildlife including bighorn sheep, deer, coyote and a variety of birds. Our last night is spent camping in the shattered Hurricane fault zone before we head to Diamond Creek, Arizona for our take-out.
O.A.R.S. Grand Canyon, Inc. is an authorized concessioner of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek: Itinerary at a Glance
- Meet in Flagstaff, AZ then drive to Lees Ferry for the put-in for our Grand Canyon rafting adventure
- The Navajo Bridge gives us our last view of “civilization” as we embark on our journey of a lifetime
- The Colorado River carves its route through Marble Canyon unveiling layer upon layer of textures and hues with half a billion years’ worth of Paleozoic rock walls standing before us
- We encounter our first taste of whitewater as we meet up with Badger and Soap Creek rapids
- Our boats float past fern covered oases of Vasey’s Paradise
- As the river bends we see the inviting limestone chamber of Redwall Cavern
- We forge on downstream for a hike up to the Puebloan granaries of Nankoweap with epic vistas below
- Back on the river the rapids of Unkar, Hance and Sockdolager engulf us with excitement
- The canyon grows closer together forming the crimson and black walls of the Upper Granite Gorge
- We navigate some of the biggest whitewater in the canyon including Crystal, Sapphire, Turquoise and Ruby rapids
- At Elves Chasm we encounter fern grottoes with shimmering crystal pools while Blacktail Canyon engulfs us with ribbon-fluted walls looming overhead
- Once again the canyon closes in as we enter Granite Narrows, the narrowest part of the canyon
- A short distance ahead we hear the 125’ downpour of Deer Creek Falls
- We continue gliding through geologic time as we row our boats ashore to the limestone slot canyon known as Matkatamiba where a wide natural amphitheater awaits our arrival
- Upset Rapid gives us one last challenge before we camp for the night
- We visit Havasu Canyon for time to hike or just relax along the blue-green cascading pools
- Run the notorious Lava Falls as we descend into the Lower Granite Gorge
- Depart the river at Diamond Creek, then back to Flagstaff by van
|Destination River||Meeting Parking||Rapid||Point of Interest||Camp||Put-in||Take-out|
- Trip Reviews
- Write a Review
“The most recent Grand Canyon trip lead by Regan and Ote Dale Was......
The BEST DAMN RIVER TRIP EVER AND EVER.......
In fact this just might be the best vacation I have taken in my entire life.......
I would have paid triple if I would have known what a great time we were going to have....
I cannot wait until my trip next year...... Thanks ”
Carl Dick ~ Castle Rock, CO
“I have never had a more PERFECT, MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE! There is nothing I believe needs improving. It shows that you love the Canyon and the River and love to share your love of these beautiful places with those of us lucky enough to tag along...Our leader and guides were AMAZING, KNOWLEDGEABLE, EXPERIENCED, FUN and made our trip PERFECT! Words can't do justice to how wonderful they made us feel, how much we appreciated their sharing their love of the Canyon and the River with us!
The BREATHTAKING beauty of the Canyon, your AMAZING river guides, our INCREDIBLY FUN group of new friends (guides & fellow travelers), the song of the Canyon Wren, the side canyon hikes, the raft, dory and kayak bronco ride on the river, the great food, the geology, ecology and history of the Canyon shared with us (your guides are just INCREDIBLE), swimming in the turquoise waters of the Little Colorado, sleeping under a blanket of millions of stars, the colors of the landscape, one of our guides singing and playing his guitar for us, meeting people who love nature and life, Phantom Ranch, our very nice "sweeper", the Bright Angel Trail hike - starting at 4 am in the dark with our flashlights, a golden color scorpion, sunrise in the canyon, appreciation for water, sky and wild places, friendly park rangers, accomplishing the hike out in 4.5 hours, the panoramic south rim view, celebrating with our travel group and planning our future reunion trip with OARS! PERFECT BLISS!!!!!! ”
Maren Coleman ~ Seattle, WA
“I am sending you a belated but heartfelt thank you for all you did to help make our trip down the Grand Canyon a magical experience for everyone. It was wonderful in every way. Everyone made it to Flagstaff, our guides were all great, the weather was cool enough and dramatic, the food was fabulous, the river, canyon and side hikes overwhelmingly beautiful and fascinating. Everyone made it out safe and sound via mule and foot. (The mulers saw a condor)...Many are eagerly anticipating a trip on the lower half at some point in the future. I know there are a million details and we were rather like worms "in" a can or a bunch of cats to be herded. But we all did get in the can and were herded eventually to our various destinations. SO THANK YOU! We know it went so smoothly because of all the hard work by you and others (many of whom we never met). For everyone from age 15 to 78, the experience of a lifetime was had by all (including happy Uncle Dave who at age 77, did hike out successfully, thanks, in part to an unusually cool morning). ”
Lisa Van Dusen ~ Palo Alto, CA
“Just a note to thank O.A.R.S./Grand Canyon Dories for another wonderful trip. This being the fourth dory trip I've done with O.A.R.S., your organization has again shown itself to be the class of the Canyon!!! Please thank the crew, they were exceptional; they were knowledgeable, easy to relate to and most importantly provided our group with a wonderful family based experience. Five years ago I did another trip down the Colorado on a motorized raft...it was loud, uncomfortable and went too fast to really experience the Canyon. I believe..."It's not how much of the Canyon you think you see... but rather what are you really able to see and experience!!"...Hope to be back on the river, any river, within the next couple of years!! Again, thanks for all your help and support.”
Paul Pontieri ~ Patchogue, NY
“Over the past few years our family has traveled from Moab, Utah to British Columbia and recently to the south Rim of the Grand Canyon to enjoy the excitement and splendor of white water rafting. This year we booked a trip on the Colorado River from Phantom Ranch to Whitmore Wash. From the minute we were met at Phantom to the time we left, our lives were obviously in capable, well trained and loving hands. We were lucky enough to join friends on this trip (and make new ones) who shared this wonderful experience. The extended family of guides that ran our trip were some of the most knowledgeable, caring, talented and understanding people we have met. They were always willing to share their skills and knowledge, along with a lot of laughs (and of course, plenty of food). The sights that we saw, the hikes that we made and the beauty that was ever present was always seen as a fresh and new wonder. This experience is one our family will treasure forever. Thank you O.A.R.S. and in particular to to the worlds best river guides! ”
The Christie's - Terri, Brian, Caitlin, Jackie and Dainielle ~ Matawan, NJ
“Thanks for an incredible adventure and for helping us push our limits. The trip struck the right balances between excitement and relaxation; hiking and whitewater; roughing it and being catered to; education and conversation; and, contemplation time and moments of terror! It is obvious that a lot goes into these trips - the planning, logistics, food, coordination, and safety - but, you did it so effortlessly. The meals were awesome... We learned a lot about ourselves, the Canyon, the environment, and life in general from your incredible boatmen. Thanks again for a memorable adventure where we learned so much, were challenged almost daily, and were able to totally disconnect from everything that wasn't related to the River. ”
John and Polly Armstrong ~ Palo Alto, CA
“I love O.A.R.S. -- I have done extensive research on other adventure outfitters -- and I would not even consider a trip without first (maybe even exclusively) thinking of O.A.R.S.”
Anna M. Baluyot ~ Chicago, IL
“The trip down the Colorado was great. We really became part of the canyon. [Our guide] said we wouldn’t be able to get it out of us. He was right.
The crew was unbelievable. All of them are such professionals on and off the river. [B & N] added so much so much with their years of experience and interesting backgrounds. (If I got the years right, there was at least 85 years of experience among the crew.)
[M.F.] was an important part of this unique experience. He engaged us both intellectually and emotionally all the way to Phantom Ranch. His love for the Canyon and its inhabitants adds so much.
And lastly, there was [S.S.], crew leader and voice of the Canyon. He is as colorful as the canyon walls themselves. His knowledge made us feel like we knew the Canyon as intimately as he does.
To all of the crew and O.A.R.S, Thank you for such a GRAND TIME! ”
Megan Busby ~ Columbus, GA
“We just completed our first trip through the Grand Canyon. O.A.R.S. was recommended by some friends of ours in Hawaii. We’ve been on several different rafting trips but this was the first with O.A.R.S. and through the Canyon. The trip was exciting and everything about it was wonderful. All the guides worked their tails off and made this a very special trip for all of us. We couldn’t get over how hard everybody had to work. Every detail was taken care of. The meals were wonderful and the crew did all their work without any complaints.
Safety was always a concern. Never did we feel any concerns, because the crew was always on top of everything.
We were thrilled with every aspect of our trip and the guides were what made the trip. They were efficient, fun to be around, full of information and stories, and kept us safe the entire trip. We just want to thank you for hiring such wonderful people. You are lucky to have such great guides.
We will definitely recommend O.A.R.S. to our friends and we will definitely be back on another O.A.R.S. trip in the future. This was truly the trip of a lifetime! Thank you to all of the awesome guides on our trip! ”
Coco, Ian & Scott Emberson ~ Makaweli, HI
“The canyon is a unique wilderness experience and speaks for itself; however we can't imagine enjoying it as much with any other group. The main reason for this is the outstanding high quality of our four guides. We especially appreciated [R.A.'s] excellent boatmanship, her knowledge of the natural environment, and her unique ability to promote personal interaction in the raft. She had us singing, reciting poetry, and laughing uproariously. [T] will be remembered for his power at the oars, his knowledge of the environment, particularly his passion for Bright Angel shale and especially his bighorn sheep-like sure footedness with carbon steel upper body strength to help two elderly hikers exceed our limitations, and with consummate grace, patience, and kind tolerance. Special mention we've saved however for the godfather and earth mother of the trip. I'm sure we can't say anything about [S.S.] that hasn't already been said. We are experienced wilderness traveller, raft trip customers and backpackers. We've never met anyone quite like [S] before, but beyond his unique personality we're talking about his encyclopedic knowledge of the environment, his firm command of the motley crew we brought him and his masterful skills at the oars. The supreme complement to his powerful mastery was the sublime influence of his second in command [S]. [S.S.] painted the broad strokes, [S] filled in the details, the color, the humor, the art. She does this with her knowledge and skill, acquired by experience, and with a uniquely delightful personality, a priceless gift.”
Susanne, Jim, John & Michael Kennedy ~ Novato, CA
“The whole experience was wonderful and very hard to put into words. This was a 60th birthday present for my wife and really turned out to be the trip of a lifetime. She was very worried that this trip might be beyond us but we managed to do everything and take it in our stride. If I can pick one highlight besides the scenery and the fun on the river it would have to be the staff who were tremendous.”
Dave Catt ~ South Newington, Oxon, United Kingdom
“This was at trip that was totally new to me. I was totally out of my comfort zone, but made to feel safe, and happy, no one ever made me feel stupid or crazy when I was apprehensive. As it turned out, I did everything the trip had to offer, and had one of the best times of my life! I can't think of one single thing I was disappointed in. The guides were utterly fantastic! Their knowledge of the canyon, its history & geography was amazing. Their love for the Canyon, and their jobs was so apparent. We never saw a bad attitude or complaint from our guides. They are truly a special family and part of your team. ”
Martha Halvorsen ~ Fort Myers, FL
“Your hiking was by far the best that I have had on a GC trip and I have taken five trips to date. I am a retired geologist and saw parts of the Canyon that I have never seen before. [R] and the crew made my trip with my daughter a very special trip for us. I plan on returning to the GC in the next three to five years and hope that OARS & GCD is still doing their wonderful job. ”
Dave Bennett "GeoDave" ~ Bolivar, OH
“My wife & I KNOW that we had the best boatmen for our trip. Their knowledge of the Canyon & their wit, their expertise navigating of the waterway, their cooking skills, their enthusiasm for what they're doing & their love for the Canyon is truly an unforgettable experience for us. We will have MANY tales to tell our children & grandchildren about this trip of a lifetime. Everything was perfect. Well maybe the UNIT could use some fine tuning. Keep up the great work! Thank You Boatmen from the bottom of our hearts, ”
Tom-n-Jane Skrobot ~ Willow Springs, IL
Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek - 13 - 16 Days Trip Planner
Please print, sign and return the required forms (for each person in your party) to our office by email, fax or mail at least 90 days prior to your trip.
Trip Planners (includes packing list)
Local Weather & Current Conditions
|There are no absolutes when talking about weather in the canyon. This chart should be used only as a general guide.|
|Water Temp: 45° (Lees Ferry) to 60° (Lake Mead)|