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Grand Canyon2022-01-13T09:12:31-08:00

Grand Canyon River Rafting Guidebook

There are few rivers more fabled than the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. The length of a journey down the canyon, paired with the unbelievable scenery and world-class whitewater make this a bucket-list trip for most boaters. Summer trips offer big whitewater, and searing temperatures. Many private boaters prefer the shoulder seasons when temperatures are moderate, and the whitewater remains plenty big. The commercial rafting season for the Grand is April-October. There are non-commercial permits available during this period, but private boaters will be sharing the river with commercial trips during this period. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado is an intermediate-advanced stretch of river in terms of whitewater difficulty.

 

About this guide

This guide outlines one continuous stretch of river broken into three sections. Those sections are Lee’s Ferry to Phantom Ranch, Phantom Ranch to Diamond Creek, and Diamond Creek to Pearce Ferry.

All data points were collected using GPS. These locations were checked against Google Earth for accuracy.

The Grand Canyon rapids rating system is on a 1-10 scale. This is unlike most other rivers which operate on a 1-6 scale. A class V rapid on the Grand Canyon is an average-difficulty rapid.

River Info

Lee’s Ferry to Phantom Ranch is the first 90 mile stretch of the Grand Canyon. The Marble Canyon portion of this section contains some of the most beautiful scenery of the trip. There are some major rapids in this section, including Hance, House Rock and the entire Roaring 20’s section, to name a few. If you have group mates that can only do a partial trip you can exchange boaters at Phantom Ranch.

Phantom Ranch to Diamond Creek is the second half of a standard trip. This section starts out with a bang. Some of the biggest whitewater of the trip is just after Phantom Ranch.

Diamond Creek to Pearce Ferry is an optional, 55 mile stretch of river. This section is pretty, but the river mellows significantly. The waterline of Lake Mead can take the Colorado’s current to a standstill around Separation Canyon, 13 miles below Diamond Creek.

Safety

The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is an intermediate to advanced river run. While there are significant sections of mellow or flat water, it is important to note other challenges that are present. The Colorado has ripping eddies, massive flip potential, and many other features that can present real danger. As a private boater, make sure you join a party that has recent Grand Canyon rafting experience.

Permits

A noncommercial rafting permit is required to run the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River starting from Lee’s Ferry. The main lottery is held for trips during the next calendar year. The main lottery is in February, and there are follow-up lotteries throughout the year. Learn more here.

There are additional permits, on a first come, first served basis, available for trips starting from Diamond Creek.

The Grand Canyon of the Colorado on average runs between 6,000CFS and 16,000 CFS. The river is dam-released, and so predictable flows are largely reliable. Generally, the river reaches its highest flows during the summer and mid-winter. Flash flooding, or the occasional planned high-water event can bring flows above their normal highs. During normal high-water events, the river remains runnable, although the consequences of flipped rafts and swimmers increases.

Sometimes the USGS flow image breaks. If this happens, here is the direct link.

Gauge data provided by the USGS.

Grand Canyon Comprehensive Guide

WARNING: Conditions change frequently and may make this guide useless. This guide is NOT a replacement for sound judgment. Go with someone with recent Grand Canyon rafting experience.

Class I Rapid

Class I rapid or river feature.

Class II Rapid

Class II rapid or river feature.

Class III Rapid

Class III rapid or river feature.

Class IV Rapid

Class IV rapid or river feature.

Class V Rapid

Class V rapid or river feature.

Class VI Rapid

Class VI rapid or river feature.

Class VII Rapid

Class VII rapid or river feature.

Class VIII Rapid

Class VIII rapid or river feature.

Class IX Rapid

Class IX rapid or river feature.

Put-In / Take-Out

The most commonly used access points.

Point of Interest

These include side canyons, waterfalls, and more.

Fun Zone

Well known surf waves, jump rock locations, and safe swim areas

Campgrounds

Grand Canyon campsites

Lee’s Ferry to Phantom Ranch – Class I-XIII

The first stretch of the Grand Canyon is known for its stunning scenery and exciting whitewater. Marble Canyon, the Roaring Twenties, and other phenomenal sections await!

Length

Lee’s Ferry to Phantom Ranch is 88.1 miles

Difficulty

Intermediate

Feet per Mile

Lee’s Ferry to Phantom Ranch is around 7.2 FPM

Mile 0 – Lee’s Ferry: River Right. You made it! Stay organized as you get your gear together. Learn more about Lee’s Ferry.

Mile 0.1 – Night Zero Camp: River Right. This is where you’ll camp the night before your trips launch. Learn more about Night Zero Camp.

Mile 0.2 – Paria Riffle: Class I. This is a long, very gentle rapid.

Mile 0.9 – Paria River: River Right. There is a popular trail that ends here that starts up the Paria river ~40 miles and takes you through beautiful slot canyons. Learn more about the Paria River.

Mile 2.8 – Cathedral Wash Riffle: Class II. This is a mild rapid at the mouth of Cathedral Wash, which comes in on river right.

Mile 4.5 – Navajo Bridge: This historic bridge was completed in 1929. The completion of the bridge allowed for much easier crossings of the river than previously possible at Lee’s Ferry. Learn more about the Navajo Bridge.

Mile 5.9 – Six-mile Wash: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 8 – Badger: Class V. Welcome to the Canyon. This is the first large rapid of the trip. The run for Badger is relatively straightforward but if you would like to scout it, you can do so from the left bank. Look for the entrance-tongue in the middle of the river. Straight down the middle of the tongue will set you up for a smooth ride. Be careful for the large hole on the right-edge of the tongue near the top of the rapid. At medium and low flows, both sides of the rapid can be rocky – stick to the middle. Learn more about Badger Rapid.

Mile 8.1 – Badger: River Right. Badger camp has a tight pull-in after Badger Rapid. The name comes from Jacob Hamblin, who killed a badger in this canyon. The camp is less trafficked by hikers than Jackass, across the way.

Mile 8.1 – Jackass: River Left. Large Camp. Jackass camp has trail access from the rim, so be prepared to share with hikers. Male donkeys (jackasses) were released in the Grand Canyon area in the 1800s by various prospectors. While mules are still used today as pack animals, a campaign to remove wild mules from the Grand Canyon was put in place by the National Park Service. Learn more about Jackass Camp.

Mile 8.9 – Below Jackass Camp: River Left. Small Camp. This is a small, sandbar camp that appears only during low water.

Mile 10.1 – Ten Mile Rock: This beautiful monolith rock is narrow and tall. Learn more about Ten Mile Rock.

Mile 11.3 – Soap Creek: River Right. Large camp. Soap Creek is located just above the rapid. Learn more about Soap Creek Camp.

Mile 11.3 – Soap Creek Rapid: Class V. Right scout. Soap Creek is filled with fun waves – but it’s not all play. Be careful for the large rock in the center of the rapid. A right-of-center run is standard. Learn more about Soap Creek Rapid.

Mile 12 – Brown’s Riffle: Class II. Frank Brown was the president of the Pacific Railroad Company. In 1889 on an expedition trip to study the feasibility of placing a railroad through the Grand Canyon, he drowned in this riffle, when his wooden boat caught an eddy fence and turned over.

Mile 12 – Brown’s Inscription: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 12.4 – Below Saltwater: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 13 – 13 Mile Riffle: Class II. Go right of center and avoid the left side of this small rapid.

Mile 13.1 – 13 Mile: River Right. Medium sized ledge camp. Rocky.

Mile 13.2 – Overhang Rapid: Class II. This rapid features a nasty overhang that dominates the right shoreline. You do not want to be over on the right and this can easily be avoided. Read and run. Learn more about Overhang Rapid.

Mile 14.3 – Sheer Wall: River Left. Small camp. Sheer Wall has solid ledge protection. Learn more about Sheer Wall Camp.

Mile 14.4 – Sheer Wall Rapid: Class II. Tanner Wash is the canyon that comes in on the left that creates this read and run rapid. Keep your eyes peeled for a bottom right rock coming off of the right shore.

Mile 16 – USGS Birdseye Expedition Inscription: River Right. There is a small and hard to spot inscription of a rock hammer located here underneath a small overhang from this 1923 expedition. Learn more about the USGS inscription.

Mile 16.6 – Hot Na Na Wash: River Left. Medium sized camp. Hot Na Na has an upper and lower pull-in. Last camp before House Rock.

Mile 17 – House Rock: Class VII. Left scout. House Rock is your first big test. Pull right to avoid the huge holes on river left. Learn more about House Rock Rapid.

Mile 17.2 – House Rock: River Right. Large camp. Tough pull-in out of the tailwater at the base of House Rock Rapid.

Mile 17.6 – Redneck Rapid: Class IV. Hey diddle-diddle, right down the middle is good to go in this wave train rapid. Pay attention and square up to wave number three as it is kicking and can be large.

Mile 18.3 – Ledges Riffle: Class I. Small wave train that is read and run. Large eddies on the left and right.

Mile 18.5 – 18 Mile Ledges: River Left. Medium sized camp. Pull-in is tight. There are two small tributary streams coming in from The pull-in is at the bottom of the riffle created by the second tributary. From this camp, you can spot Boulder Narrows, which is just downstream.

Mile 18.7 – Boulder Narrows: The Boulder Narrows are formed by a monolith rock sitting in the middle of the river. A massive flood in 1957 deposited the driftwood that still sits upon the top of the rock. Learn more about Boulder Narrows.

Mile 19.2 – 19.2 Mile: River Right. This is a small camp. If you have the time and no groups are behind you, you can pull over here and send a scout down to see if 19.4 mile camp is available, as that is a larger, better camp.

Mile 19.4 – 19.4 Mile: River Left. Large camp. Sandy.

Mile 19.6 – Good Lunch Beach: River Right. Just downstream from 19.4 Mile Camp is a good lunch beach that captures plenty of sun on river right.

Mile 20.2 – 20 Mile: River Left. This is a large camp located on a debris fan. The pull in is located towards the bottom of the fan. If someone has good eyes you can spot if Upper North Canyon camp is available from 20 Mile Camp, which is a more desirable campground.

Mile 20.7 – Upper North Canyon: River Right. Large camp. Just above North Canyon Rapid.

Mile 20.8 – North Canyon: Class V. Take the right side of the tongue which will keep you away from the left which pushes into a wall. This is a straightforward, easy rapid.

Mile 20.8 – Lower North Canyon: River Right. If you plan on staying here, make sure you communicate with your group as it is easy to zip by this camp due to North Canyon Rapid. This is a smaller camp than Upper North Canyon.

Mile 21.3 – 21 Mile Rapid: Class V. At the top left of the rapid there is a big wave that may be breaking and towards the bottom center there is another large-ish standing wave that is runnable. For the most exciting run, go left of center. Other than that, this is a straightforward read and run rapid.

Mile 21.6 – 21.7 Mile Rapid: Class III. Follow the tongue, with the splashier waves being towards the left. Any route is runnable though.

Mile 21.7 – 21.7 Mile: River Left. This is a large camp, tucked on the downstream of the alluvial fan that creates 21.7 Mile Rapid. If you plan on stopping here you want to exit the rapid early, however, this eddy is quite large so if you accidentally shoot by it, you can catch the eddy quite low and work your way back up to the camp.
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Mile 22.1 – 22 Mile: River Right. This is a very exposed sand dune camp. At low flows, there is a good park and cook option. This is considered a small camp.

Mile 22.8 – Indian Dick: River Left. This camp is a rocky beach at lower flows that is a bit of a carry to the camp. The camp backs up into a wash that you can clearly make out. There is a small riffle (Class I) that leads into it, with the landing zone being just below this current. From camp you can just make out the Indian dick “feature” downstream. This is considered a small camp.

Mile 22.9 – Numerous Beaches: You’ve probably already noticed it, but in this section of the canyon there seems to be lunch beaches galore.

Mile 23 – Indian Dick (23): Class IV. The cleanest line in 23 Mile is a left run. There is a large lateral wave on river right on the bottom of the rapid which is a raft flipper if you decide to run it and not square up to the feature. Going left of it is easy enough.

Mile 23.5 – 23.5 Mile: Class IV. This rapid is just below Indian Dick Rapid. It is a single feature rapid with a somewhat ugly pour over located at the top center. While you can go right or left of this hole, it’s much easier passing it on the right. Once you clear this rapid look just downstream on river left for a similar Indian dick geology “feature” to the one just upstream.

Mile 23.6 – 23 Mile (Lone Cedar): River Left. Medium sized camp. If you plan on stopping here, make sure you exit the above rapid early on the left to make sure you don’t blow by it. For winter trips, there is typically driftwood here.

Mile 24.3 – Georgie Rapid: Class VI. Left or right scout. Originally known as 24.5 Mile Rapid, Georgie’s is formidable at low water and less so at higher flows. Punch through the lateral which is left of the large standing wave, and then avoid the bottom flip rock on the right. Learn more about Georgie Rapid.

Mile 24.7 – 24.5 Mile Camp: River Left. Medium sized camp. 24.5 Mile is located at the top of a large debris fan.

Mile 24.7 – 24.5 Mile: Class VI. Left scout. This rapid makes a left hand turn. The center line has large features and the right side has ugly and large pour overs which are to be avoided. The line is enter left of center and keep working left. This is easier said than done as there are some guard rocks and pour overs located on the left which you must pass by before you start your move left. This rapid is also known as Bert Loper Rapid.

Mile 25.1 – 25 Mile: Class VI. Left scout. This short rapid requires a similar move to the one you just ran. Work your way left to avoid a large hole on river right. This rapid is also known as Hansbrough-Richards Rapid.

Mile 25.7 – Cave Springs: Class V. There is a center pour over that can easily be avoided by going to the right of it. Below this, there is a medium to large wave that is good to go.

Mile 26.57 – Above Tiger Wash: River Left. This is a small, brushy camp on the downstream side of a wash. It’s easy to mistake this camp for the small sandbar just downstream of this, which is separated from this camp by a large boulder.

Mile 27 – Tiger Wash Rapid: Class V. Tiger Wash Rapid is named for the short wash that created this rapid on river left. This rapid features surprisingly large waves in the center. The line at this rapid is to enter center or left of center and keep working left. The river can easily take you into the center wave train, and if that occurs, hold on and make sure you hit everything straight. Finally, there are enormous rocks on river right which you absolutely want to avoid and there is a large eddy on both river right and left immediately following this rapid.

Mile 27.1 – MNA: Class II. MNA Rapid sits immediately below Tiger Wash. MNA is notable for being one of the few rapids that was created solely from rockfall. This rockfall occurred on river right, so generally speaking, it’s easier to pick your route through this rapid towards river left.

Mile 29.2 – 29 Mile: Class II. Read-and-run down the middle.

Mile 29.5 – Silver Grotto: River Left. Silver Grotto Canyon ends on the upstream side of Shinumo Wash Camp. It is possible to scramble into Silver Grotto from Shinumo Camp and explore several of the pools. If your crew brings small-boats you can head downstream to a hiking trail on river left where you can access the top of Silver Grotto canyon. The canyoneering from the top is excellent. Be prepared to swim in deep pools. Learn more about the Silver Grotto.

Mile 29.5 – Shinumo Wash: River Left. Large camp. Shinumo wash is an excellent camp with access to Silver Grotto Canyon. There is often plenty of wood here. If your group is into canyoneering, then this is a good camp to shoot for to allow access to the Silver Grotto loop.

Mile 30.2 – Fence Fault Rapid: Class IV. Run left of center to avoid a large boulder right-of-center.

Mile 30.5 – Fence Fault: River Right. This is a medium sized camp. Often referred to as Upper Fence Fault. This is a tough camp to pull into as the current is swift here.

Mile 30.8 – Sand Pile: River Right. This is a medium sized camp with minimal shade. Often referred to as Lower Fence Fault. The similarities end at their names, fortunately, as this camp features a great sand bar and large eddy.

Mile 31.29 – Thru Cave: River Left. If you look high on the river left canyon wall at this location, you’ll spot a cave that goes all the way through to the other side into the adjacent wash. Learn more about the Thru Cave.

Mile 31.8 – South Canyon: River Right. Large camp. Pull in below the debris fan formed by South Canyon. Plenty of driftwood here.

Mile 32 – Stanton’s Cave: River Right. Look right and you’ll see a cave seemingly chiseled into the canyon wall. This is not a man made cave and is prohibited from visitation.

Mile 32.1 – Vasey’s Riffle: Class II. There aren’t many islands in this section of the canyon, so you know you’re here when you spot the small rock island splitting the river. While the left side of the island is fine, at low flows it does shallow out, so in general, we recommend always taking the right channel. Once you clear the island, you’ll want to slowly make your way back left. The river for the next mile or so moves at a brisk pace starting around this point.

Mile 32.1 – Vasey’s Paradise: River Right. As you pass the island mentioned above, look right and you may see a waterfall seeping or pouring into the river. We say may because many times there is no water flowing.

Mile 33.1 – Redwall Dam Site: River Right. While the adits are visible on both canyon walls, the river right adit is the easiest to spot. This location and the other one at mile 39.7 were identified as potential dam locations during the 1923 USGS exploration trip.

Mile 33.3 – Redwall Cavern: River Left. Redwall Cavern is a wonder to behold. Enjoy its beauty, and make sure you leave it cleaner than you found it. Remember, there is no camping allowed at Redwall. Learn more about Redwall Cavern.

Mile 33.8 – Below Redwall: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 34.1 – Little Redwall: River Left. This is a small beach camp, and as the name suggests, has an overhang.

Mile 34.1 – Hanging Springs: River Right. On the right-hand side, you can see plants hanging from the canyon wall. Water from a natural spring drips down onto a nice sandy grotto here.

Mile 35.1 – Nautiloid: River Left. Large, very nice camp.

Mile 35.9 – Bridge of Sighs: River Right. On the right side of the river, if you look up high into a side canyon, there is a beautiful natural arch known as the Bridge of Sighs.

Mile 36.1 – 36 Mile: Class IV. Read and run with a fun and splashy wave train on river right. The dry line is left, but don’t go too far left as there are some shallow rocks towards the top that might hang you up.

Mile 37.9 – Tatahatso: River Left. This is a medium-sized camp located a third of a mile below Tatahatso Wash. As of November 2021, this camp looked washed out and quite uncomfortable. Learn more about Tatahatso Camp.

Mile 38.24 – Martha’s Riffle: Class II. As you pass Above Martha’s Camp, there is a small read-and-run rapid.

Mile 38.3 – Above Martha’s Camp: River Left. This is a small, sandy camp. There’s a beautiful alcove behind the camp.

Mile 38.7 – Martha’s Camp: River Left. Medium-sized camp with plenty of sand. There is a ledge behind the camp that could provide some shelter during a rain event.

Mile 39.3 – Redbud Riffle: Class II. There is a small read-and-run rapid above Redbud Alcove. On the FAR left is a boulder that could be a hazard, but it is well out of the way of the main channel. On the right-hand side is a large eddy, so don’t make your move into Redbud too early if you plan to camp here.

Mile 39.3 – Redbud Alcove: River Right. This is a medium-sized camp located just downstream from a small riffle. There is a large eddy here so if you get caught up in the current from the riffle and shoot past this camp you can easily catch the eddy low and make your way back up. A short hike from camp will lead you to the alcove.

Mile 39.7 – Proposed Marble Canyon Dam Site: River Left. This was the proposed location for a dam that was very nearly built. There’s a test drill site here located on river left, with the material from the drilling piled on the left bank.

Mile 41.2 – Buck Farm: River Right. Large camp. There is a hiking trail from camp that leads into Buck Farm Canyon. If you are looking to just do the hike into the canyon and the camp is taken, there is an upper area to park your rafts.

Mile 42 – Royal Arches: River Right. As you make your way through this long left bend, you’ll see arches on the river right canyon wall, called The Royal Arches.

Mile 43.4 – Anasazi Bridge: River Right. If you look up high into the cliff, you can see a small wood bridge spanning between two sections of rock.

Mile 43.4 – Anasazi Bridge Camp: River Left. This is a small, brushy camp with a difficult pull-in.

Mile 43.6 – Lower Anasazi: River Left. This is also a small camp and is separated from the upstream Anasazi camp by a small riffle. From the pull-in there is walk through the brush in order to reach the sandy camping area.

Mile 44 – President Harding Rapid: Class IV. Run left of the large boulder in the center of the river. There is a large wave just left of the boulder, which at most flows is good to go but a big hit. The dry line is further left of this feature. The right side of the boulder should be avoided. Learn more about President Harding Rapid.

Mile 44 – President Harding Camp: River Left. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 44.25 – Below President Harding Rapid: Class II. Below President Harding Rapid, there is a big S-turn. Pay attention on the oars and you should be fine, but the river curves to the right and then back to the left.

Mile 44.5 – Eminence Break: River Left. This is a large camp with an easy pull-in on the downstream end of an alluvial fan.

Mile 44.6 – Lunch Sandbar: River Left. Within view of Eminence is a fine-looking sandbar that would make for a good lunch beach.

Mile 44.9 – 44.9 Mile Camp: River Left. This is a small camp that shares the furthest upstream portion of the same eddy as Willie Taylor Camp.

Mile 45 – Willie Taylor Camp: River Left. This is a large camp. You’ll want to park your rafts on the upstream side of the alluvial fine, so avoid entering the riffle that is located here. This is a brushy camp.

Mile 47.3 – Duck ‘N Quack: River Left. Medium-sized camp. This camp has a nice sandy area underneath an overhang. You’ll be doubting yourself if you’re looking for this camp because it’s not an obvious camp. From here you can look downriver and see if Upper Saddle is available, and if it is, we suggest going there instead.

Mile 47.5 – Upper Saddle: River Right. This is a large, expansive, popular camp. There is hiking access from camp into Saddle Canyon.

Mile 47.7 – Lower Saddle: River Right. Large camp. This camp is below the Saddle Canyon debris fan, but still provides hiking access to Saddle Canyon.

Mile 50.2 – Dinosaur: River Right. Large camp. The alluvial fan located here has a small beach at the upper end of it, however, the main pull-in and camping area is downstream of this. If you are unsure of where you are, pull over at the upper beach and explore the alluvial fan for the typical campground. The current here is moving and if you pass by it, it’s gone.

Mile 52.1 – Little Nankoweap: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 52.4 – Nankoweap: Class III. Read-and-run rapid. Enjoy one of the longer rapids on the river.

Mile 53.1 – Upper Nankoweap: River Right. Medium-sized camp. The pull-in is at the top of a large eddy, most of the way through Nankoweap rapid. Camping is possible at the bottom of the eddy as well. There is hiking access to the granaries from this camp.

Mile 53.2 – Nankoweap Granaries: River Right. The Nankoweap Granaries are an important historical site on the Canyon as well as a popular destination for hiking. The granaries were previously used by the Anasazi People for food storage. Learn more about the Nankoweap Granaries.

Mile 53.4 – Main Nankoweap: River Right. Large camp. Catch the eddy low. There is easy hiking from Main Nankoweap to the granaries. Learn more about Main Nankoweap Camp.

Mile 53.5 – Lower Nankoweap: River Right. Medium-sized camp. There is hiking access to the granaries from the lower camp although the path cuts through the main camp.

Mile 53.61 – Nanko Cobble Bar: This cobble bar island is exposed at most flows. At low flows, the left side can shallow out. Go to the right side of the island for the deepest channel.

Mile 56.5 – Kwagunt: Class V. This is a steep rapid featuring a sharp and nasty pour-over at the top. Enter left of the pour-over and once cleared, work towards the right. It’s important to not get too relaxed on the oars because there is a rock located at the bottom of the rapid on the left that will cause you issues if you prematurely celebrate a seemingly successful run.

Mile 56.6 – Kwagunt: River Right. Large camp. There are hiking trails from camp into Kwagunt Canyon.

Mile 56.75 – Below Kwagunt Rapid: Class II. Just downstream of Kwagunt camp is an easy read and run boulder garden. As the water drops, more and more rocks begin to appear in this rapid. At low flows, just downstream of the main action of this rapid is easy to spot and avoid wrap rock located towards the bottom left.

Mile 57.1 – Below Kwagunt Camp: River Right. This is an okay, small to medium-sized camp that is beginning to get overgrown.

Mile 58 – Malgosa: River Right. Small camp. Malgosa Camp is at the mouth of Malgosa Canyon. At lower flows, the camp has a long strip of sandy beach to enjoy.

Mile 58.1 – Opposite Malgosa: River Left. Short carry to unload camp. This is a solid medium-sized camp. Sunny.

Mile 58.7 – Awatubi: River Right. Small, brushy camp in the debris fan of Awutabi Creek.

Mile 59.1 – Below Awatubi Left: River Left. Small camp. Good pull-in beach at low flows.

Mile 59.4 – Below Awutabi Right: River Right. Medium-sized camp. Brushy. There is a beautiful amphitheater wall behind camp.

Mile 60 – 60 Mile: Class IV. Read-and-run down the left/center-left.

Mile 60.2 – 60 Mile Camp: River Right. Small camp. Sandy beach pull-in just after 60 Mile Rapid.

Mile 61.1 – 61.1 Mile: River Right. Small camp. Steep carry to set up camp. 61.1 Mile is located at the mouth of a canyon.

Mile 61.6 – Above LCR: River Right. Small camp. Pull in above the riffle.

Mile 61.7 – Little Colorado River: River Left. Enjoy the beautiful blue water of the Little Colorado. Learn more about the Little Colorado River.

Mile 62 – Below LCR: River Right. Medium-sized camp. Brushy.

Mile 62.7 – Crash Canyon Rapid: Class III. There’s a large center boulder at the top of the rapid. At low flows, this boulder is a pour-over and at higher flows, it’s a standing wave. The run is to the left of this feature in the wave train.

Mile 62.9 – Crash Canyon: River Right. Small camp. Near this location is where two planes collided in 1956, which at the time was the deadliest air accident in aviation history. You can make a fun excursion into Crash Canyon from this camp. Learn more about Crash Canyon Camp.

Mile 63.65 – Salt Mine Rapid: Class III. Read-and-run rapid. There are some fun waves on the left-hand side with a dry line on the right. On the left, salt precipitates out of the canyon walls, please refrain from touching the walls here.

Mile 64.9 – Desert Watch Tower: This is the first place where you can spot (faintly, but it’s there) the Desert Watch Tower on the South Rim.

Mile 65.1 – Carbon Canyon: River Right. Wonderful side-hike. Can be done as a through hike to Lava Canyon. This is a nice hike to get up and out of the canyon if you’ve got Ditch Fever. Be careful during wet weather, as this hike requires a bit of scrambling over rocks, which can become a bit slick. Learn more about Carbon Canyon.

Mile 65.1 – Carbon: River Right. Large camp. There is excellent hiking up Carbon Creek from the back of camp. It is possible to hike all the way to Lava Canyon camp from Carbon.

Mile 65.9 – Lava Canyon: River Right. Medium-sized camp. It is possible to hike to Carbon Canyon camp from Lava Canyon.

Mile 65.92 – Lava Canyon Rapid: Class IV. Read and run. Easy run down the right side.

Mile 66 – Palisade Creek: River Left. Large camp at the base of Lava Canyon rapid.

Mile 66.8 – Above Espejo: River Left. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 67.3 – Espejo: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 68.3 – Upper Tanner: River Right. Large, sandy camp.

Mile 68.7 – Tanner: River Right. Large camp. Lots of sun.

Mile 69 – Tanner: Class VI. Enter Tanner in the center of the river and move left. There are large waves and several holes right of center. Move right as you get near the tail waves. There is a cobble bar below the rapid on the left that can beach a raft.

Mile 69.3 – Below Tanner: River Left. Large, exposed camp.

Mile 69.9 – Basalt Rapid: Class VI. Right run to avoid a huge hole on river left near the top.

Mile 70.1 – Basalt: River Right. Medium-sized camp. Basalt has a large lounging beach at lower flows.

Mile 71.6 – Cardenas: River Left. Medium-sized camp. The camp has a small pull-in. There are many hiking options out of Cardenas camp. In 2018, the NPS in partnership with the Arboretum at Flagstaff completed significant native habitat restoration at Cardenas Camp. The goal of the restoration was to create a habitat for the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher.

Mile 72.4 – Upper Unkar: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 72.7 – Unkar: River Left. Medium-sized camp. The camp itself is tucked into the reeds. There is a nice hike up the ridgeline from camp to get an overview of the river above Unkar Rapid.

Mile 72.9 – Unkar Delta: River Right. The Unkar Delta is one of the largest and most easily accessible archeological stops in the Grand Canyon. The pull in is right at the top of Unkar Rapid.

Mile 72.9 – Unkar Rapid: Class VI. Unkar is a large right bend with features on both sides of the river. There are shallow rocks on river right than can beach a raft. There are rocks, as well as some large hydraulics against the left cliff. At most flows, a good run starts near the center in the tongue. Pull right to stay off the wall and make your way down the center of the rapid.

Mile 74.2 – Below Granary: River Right. This is a small, hard to find and overgrown camp.

Mile 74.6 – Upper Rattlesnake: River Right. This is a nice, medium-sized camp located just below a Class I riffle. There is a hiking trail up to the Tabernacle Butte to the west of camp.

Mile 75.6 – Escalante Rapid: Class II. This is a no big deal read-and-run rapid. You’ll want to work back left towards the end of this short rapid to stay off the shoreline on the right.

Mile 75.9 – Upper Nevill’s Camp: River Left. This is a small, brushy camp with immediate access to Seventyfive Mile canyon. Technically, this camp shares the same alluvial fan as Nevill’s Camp, however, they are quite spread out and you shouldn’t be able to hear or see the other camp.

Mile 76 – Nevill’s: Class VI. Left scout. A solid run down Nevill’s starts center-left and works left to avoid large pour-overs in the main channel in the center and near the bottom of the rapid. In a pinch, it is possible to split through the pour-overs, but the cleanest run will stay left.

Mile 76.1 – Nevill’s Camp: River Left. This is a large camp located alongside and below Nevill’s rapid. There isn’t much of an eddy here so running Nevill’s rapid cleanly is critical or else you’ll shoot right past this camp. This camp provides easy access to Seventyfive Mile Canyon.

Mile 76.3 – Below Nevills: River Right. Small Camp.

Mile 76.5 – Papago Camp: River Left. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 77.1 – Hance: River Left. Medium-sized camp. Just above Hance Rapid.

Mile 77.2 – Hance: Class VIII. Right or left scout. The right scout gives a better view of the rapid. Hance Rapid follows a left bend in the river. The current in Hance pushes right, and the left entrance is blocked by large boulders. Work hard left after the entrance in this rapid to stay out of the large waves at the bottom center of this rapid. Learn more about Hance Rapid.

Mile 77.5 – Son of Hance: Class IV. Read and run. SOH comes at you fast as it is immediately below Hance Rapid. Where this rapid becomes problematic is if you have swimmers in Hance, as this will prolong their swim if you can’t get to them soon enough.

Mile 79.1 – Sockdolager: Class VII. Left scout. Sockdolager is best done as a down-the-center run. There is a large hydraulic near the top on the right side, however, there are seemingly large holes everywhere in this rapid.

Mile 79.4 – Small Sock’: Class II. Just below Sockdolager is a read-and-run rapid. The only item to pay attention to is the standing wave on the right.

Mile 80.02 – Vishnu Riffle: Class II. This read-and-run rapid passes through some wonderful Vishnu Schist.

Mile 81.7 – Grapevine: River Left. Large camp. Tight pull-in. Beautiful views of the Vishnu Schist. This is an exchange camp. Learn more about Grapevine Camp.

Mile 82.1 – Grapevine: Class VII. Left scout. A center-right entrance is standard. There is a hole on the left side of the tongue at the top, and a rock pile on the right. Enter just to the left of the rocks on the right and then work your way back towards the center. There is a hole at the bottom of the rapid on the center-right that is to be avoided by passing to the left. Learn more about Grapevine Rapid.

Mile 84.2 – 83 Mile: Class IV. This rapid is uniquely challenging not due to the rapid features themselves, but because of the entrance eddy. The rapid itself features large pour overs that span from river left to center, with a clean wave train tongue right of center and obviously right of these pour-overs. The issue is, upstream, there is an enormous eddy on center and river right that would be hard to just push through. This means you must ride the eddyline which places you upstream of the large pour overs and then work right to get yourself into position for the correct entrance in the wave train. In the wave train, there is a large wave that’s clean to run and then finally at the bottom, look out for the bottom right wall.

Mile 84.6 – Clear Creek: River Right. This is a small, brushy camp that requires a carry. This is an exchange camp.

Mile 84.8 – Below Clear Creek: River Right. This is a small bar that comes out at low water. Zoroaster is a better camp if it’s available, but the benefit of Below Clear Creek is you can access Clear Creek which is just upstream. This is an exchange camp.

Mile 85 – Zoroaster: River Left. Small camp. This is an exchange camp.

Mile 85.2 – Zoroaster: Class V. At low flows this is a Class II rapid, as the water gets higher this is a fun wave train but mind the holes on river right as well as the wall.

Mile 85.8 – 85 Mile: Class III. There are two holes that are slightly offset from each other (one slightly left of center the other slightly right of center). These holes are more pronounced at low water. You can run left or right of the holes, however, if you enjoy reading water it’s fun to test your skills and split them down the middle.

Mile 87.7 – Upper Cremation: River Left. Small camp. This is an exchange camp.

Mile 87.7 – Lower Cremation: River Left. Medium-sized camp. Depending on flows, the current can be slow enough that it is possible to row to river right, drop off exchange hikers to walk to phantom, and row back. This is an exchange camp.

Mile 88.1 – Black Bridge: Also known as the Kaibab Suspension Bridge, this bridge opened in 1928 and connects the North Kaibab Trail to the South Kaibab Trail. At the time, it was the only bridge crossing the Colorado River for hundreds of miles.

Mile 88.2 – Boat Beach: River Right. This is a large beach just below Black Bridge. There will likely be other groups here. No camping is allowed. Learn more about Boat Beach.

Mile 88.2 – Phantom Ranch Ranger Station: River Right. The Historic Phantom Ranch is an enjoyable break mid-trip. At the Ranger Station, you can find a weather forecast posted next to the front door. If you continue up the path just a bit from the station you will find the general store where you can buy goods and send mail. Learn more about Phantom Ranch.

Phantom Ranch to Diamond Creek – Class I-IX

The second half of a Grand Canyon journey. Many boaters choose to take-out at Diamond Creek given that the river mellows significantly after Diamond. Note that it is possible to continue past Diamond Creek to Pearce Ferry or South Cove.

Length

Phantom Ranch to Diamond Creek is 137.8 miles.

Difficulty

Intermediate to Advanced.

Feet per Mile

Phantom Ranch to Diamond Creek is around 8FPM.

Mile 88.3 – Bright Angel: Class III. Read-and-run.

Mile 88.5 – Silver Bridge: Also known as the Bright Angel Trail Bridge, this was built in the late 1960s and connects to the Bright Angel Trail.

Mile 89.5 – Across Pipe Creek: River Right. Medium-sized, rocky camp. Pull-in to Across Pipe Creek is along a fast-moving cobble bar. Have someone ready to catch your boat if you decide to camp here. You will see many backpackers across the river along the Bright Angel Trail.

Mile 89.6 – Pipe Creek: Class III. Center-left run.

Mile 89.9 – Below Pipe Creek: River Right. Small, rocky camp.

Mile 90.8 – Horn Creek: Class VIII. Right scout. The “Horns” of the rapid are two large rock-pile pourovers at the top center-left of the rapid. The right side of the rapid has large holes in the current, especially at lower flows. At almost all flows, it is possible to “split the Horns” allowing you to stay well away from the holes. Learn more about Horn Creek Rapid.

Mile 91.7 – 91 Mile Creek: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 92.1 – Trinity: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 92.8 – Above Salt Creek: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 93.1 – Salt Creek: Class II. Pretty much nothing going on here. Easy run left. There is a small wave that you can run towards the top center but in general, not much of a rapid.

Mile 93.8 – Granite Camp: River Left. Large camp. The pull-in is at the top of the pool above Granite rapid. Learn more about Granite Camp.

Mile 94 – Granite: Class VIII. Left scout. A fantastic rapid with fast-paced run down the “Dragon’s Spine.” Learn more about Granite Rapid.

Mile 94.8 – 94 Mile Canyon: River Right. This is a small, rocky, uncomfortable camp.

Mile 94.8 – 94 Mile Rapid: Class II. Right down the middle.

Mile 95.4 – Hermit: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 95.5 – Hermit: Class VIII. Left scout. Straight down the middle for a good time. Learn more about Hermit Rapid.

Mile 96.4 – Bull Schist: River Right. Small camp. If Schist camp is available, it makes sense to skip Bull Schist and continue just downstream. Learn more about Bull Schist Camp.

Mile 96.6 – Schist: River Left. Medium-sized camp. This is one of the nicer camps available in this stretch. Learn more about Schist Camp.

Mile 97 – Boucher: River Left. Medium-sized camp. Pull-in is just below Boucher rapid.

Mile 97.1 – Boucher: Class IV. Boucher has a dry line if you go left, and a large wave train right down the middle. This is a long rapid.

Mile 97.2 – Calm before Crystal: Between Boucher Rapid and Crystal, the river is very flat for the next 1.7 miles.

Mile 98.7 – Upper Crystal: River Right. This is a medium-sized camp located right above Crystal Rapid. Prepare to share this camp with anxious boaters parking here and walking down to scout Crystal. However, there is a closer scouting eddy just downstream of here.

Mile 98.9 – Crystal: Class VIII. Right Scout. Crystal undoubtedly is one of the most anticipated rapids on any river trip – and for good reason. There are numerous features that make this a complex and exhilarating run. The three main features are the “Crystal Hole,” the left wall, and the rock garden below the rapid. Learn more about Crystal Rapid.

Mile 98.9 – Lower Crystal: River Right. Medium-sized camp. This rapid has a challenging pull-in. All boats must run to the right of the holes in Crystal Rapid. Hug the right bank as the river turns right and pull-in opposite the rock garden. Celebrate a clean run.

Mile 99.7 – Tuna Creek: Class VI. Tuna Creek is best run from right to left. At the top center of the rapid, there is a large pour-over, which you should skirt by going to the right of it. Once you’ve cleared this begin making your way back river left as the river is slightly pushing towards the right wall.

Mile 100.1 – Lower Tuna: Class IV. Lower Tuna is the section of Tuna rapid forming the left bend. Stay left and avoid getting pushed up against the right wall as the river bends. There are sharp hydraulics on the right side of this rapid, especially at low flows. Cut the corner.

Mile 100.2 – Lower Tuna: River Left. Small camp. Cut the corner in the left bend before camp so as not to miss it.

Mile 100.3 – Nixon Rock: Class III. Nixon Rock is a large rock in the center of the river. It is easiest to run left although the right side works in a pinch. Learn more about Nixon Rock.

Mile 101 – Agate: Class III. Start center and work right in this easy rapid. Welcome to the Gems. This is a fantastic section of river with back-to-back rapids. Big wave trains abound.

Mile 101.8 – Sapphire: Class VI. Left of center run. There is a large hole in the top of the center of the rapid and another in the bottom of the center.

Mile 102.5 – Turquoise: Class III. Left of center run to avoid a massive standing wave in the tongue. The standing wave is good to go, so if you are feeling adventurous, tee it up and hit it.

Mile 103.5 – New Shady Grove: River Right. Very small camp.

Mile 104.4 – Emerald: River Right. Small camp, Pull-in is just above Emerald Rapid.

Mile 104.4 – Emerald: Class V. Read and run down the center for a fun wave train. Avoid rocks on river right after the rapid.

Mile 105.2 – Ruby: Class V. There is a large wave train on river right. At low flows, several sharp holes form on the right which can be avoided easily to the left. At medium and high flows, enjoy the ride through the wave train.

Mile 105.6 – 105.6 Mile Riffle: Class III. Read-and-run.

Mile 106.5 – Serpentine: Class VII. Left scout. Enter Serpentine in the center-left of the rapid. Make your way right just below two pour-overs at the top-right of the rapid. There is a fun wave train similar to Ruby below the pour-overs.

Mile 108.1 – Hotauta: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 108.4 – Ross Wheeler: River Left. Small camp. The Ross Wheeler, a heavy, metal boat, is perched above the high water line at this camp. The boat was used in an unsuccessful Canyon run in 1915.

Mile 108.4 – Bass Rapid: Class IV. The river is split by a mid-channel boulder garden. You can run either left or right of this, but the right line is a little bit more fun and splashier.

Mile 108.6 – Parkins Inscription: River Right. Geo W. Parkins inscribed his name in 1903 onto the rock on the upstream side of the beach. This camp is very small and not great. From this camp, you can look downstream and see if Bass Crossing camp (also known as Upper Bass) is available.

Mile 108.9 – Bass Crossing: River Right. Very small camp.

Mile 109 – Bass: River Right. Large camp. Bass camp gets significant winter sunlight. There is a network of hiking trails that extend out of the back of Bass Camp. Learn more about Bass Camp.

Mile 109.2 – Shinumo: Class IV. Read-and-run.

Mile 109.7 – 109 Mile: Class II. Center-left entrance for a read-and-run.

Mile 110 – One-ten Mile: River Right. Large camp. This is your last good opportunity for camping for five miles.

Mile 110.4 – 110 Mile: Class III. Read-and-run.

Mile 111.3 – Hakatai: Class IV. This rapid has a wave train on the left and is mostly read and run. Pay attention to the current to stay off the bottom wall on river right, which is an easy move.

Mile 112.8 – Walthenburg: Class VI. Right scout. You know you’re here when you spot the large schist fan that’s mid-channel just above the rapid. Walthenburg can be run on the left or the right. There is a large hole in the middle of the rapid that is to be avoided. There is a large wave train down the left side of the rapid that can be run to bypass the middle hole. If you opt to run the wave train, line your raft up to be just left of the large center hole and keep your eyes peeled for a big lateral feature that you must hit straight, because the potential for a corkscrew flip is significant here, especially at lower flows. The right line requires you to hug the right shoreline for a shallow, dry run that avoids the middle hole.

Mile 113.1 – Below Walthenburg: Class III. This is a fun wave train right down the middle. Or take the dryline by sneaking the waves to the right.

Mile 113.5 – 113 Mile Rock: This large outcrop of Schist should be avoided by taking the channel to the right of it.

Mile 114.9 – Upper Garnet: River Right. This is a small camp. The pull-in is just below the debris fan. This camp has a carry and offers an okay walk into the canyon behind it.

Mile 115.1 – Lower Garnet: River Right. This is also a small camp with a carry. Similar to Upper Garnet, the pull-in is just below a debris fan. This camp offers a short hike to an amphitheater of Tapeats sandstone. Of the two, I would argue that Lower is a better camp than Upper.

Mile 117.2 – Elves Chasm: River Left. Hike up the creek to reach a gorgeous waterfall. Learn more about Elves Chasm.

Mile 118.7 – 118.6 Mile: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 119.1 – 119.1 Mile: River Right. Small, sandy camp.

Mile 119.2 – 119 Mile: Class II. Easy run down the right side of the rapid.

Mile 119.4 – Big Dune: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 119.8 – 119.8 Mile: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 120.4 – 120 Mile: River Left. Large, sandy camp.

Mile 120.6 – Opposite Blacktail: River Left. Small camp. Pull-in is above Blacktail Rapid.

Mile 120.6 – Upper Blacktail: River Right. Small camp. Pull-in is at the top of the Blacktail Canyon debris fan. You can hike from camp into Blacktail Canyon. Canyoneers can hike up and around the left side of the canyon and run a series of short rappels back to camp. Near the mouth of the canyon make sure to look for the Great Uncomformity. There is a section of 550 million year old Tapeats Sandston layered on top of 1.6 billion-year-old Vischnu Schist.

Mile 120.7 – Blacktail: Class III. Read-and-run rapid.

Mile 120.8 – Lower Blacktail: River Right. Small camp. Hug the right side of the riffle to hit the pull-in eddy near the top. There is a steep climb up a rocky bank to get to a remarkably pretty camp. There is camping on the Tapeats ledges next to the canyon as well as on the debris fan itself. Learn more about Lower Blacktail Camp.

Mile 120.8 – Below Blacktail: River Left. Large camp. Rocky.

Mile 121.4 – 121.4 Mile: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 122.2 – 122 Mile: Class IV. Read-and-run.

Mile 122.3 – 122.2 Mile: River Left. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 122.8 – 122 Mile: River Right. Medium-sized camp. Don’t be confused by the name. This camp is at RM 122.8.

Mile 123.2 – Upper Forster: River Left. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 123.3 – Forster: Class V. Read-and-run.

Mile 123.7 – Below Forster: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 124.1 – 124.1 Mile: Class III. Read-and-run.

Mile 124.2 – Enfilade: River Left. Large camp. Pull-in is just after 124.1 Mile Rapid.

Mile 125 – 125 Mile: Class III. Read-and-run.

Mile 125 – Above Fossil: River Left. Large camp. Pull-in is just after 125 Mile Rapid.

Mile 125.4 – Fossil: River Left. Large camp. There is hiking access to Fossil Canyon from camp.

Mile 125.4 – Fossil: Class V. Right-of-center entrance. Read-and-run as the river winds back and forth. There are fun waves down the rapid. Be careful of hitting the right wall.

Mile 126.1 – Below Fossil: River Left. Medium-sized camp. The sandbank at pull-in is steep. There is a flat camping ledge with gorgeous upstream views on the downstream side of camp. There is hiking access to Fossil Canyon from camp. Learn more about Below Fossil Camp.

Mile 126.4 – 126.4 Mile: Class III. Read-and-run. Stay off the wall on the left at the foot of the rapid.

Mile 127 – Randys Rock: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 127 – Randy’s Rock Rapid: Class I. A giant slab of Tapeats sandstone is left of center which probably would have gone unnamed and barely noticed except that a 22-foot boat wrapped here on a commercial trip. This feature is just downstream from Randy’s Rock camp. Learn more about Randy’s Rock Rapid.

Mile 127.3 – 127 Mile Rapid: Class III. Read-and-run.

Mile 128.4 – 128.4 Mile: Class III. Read-and-run rapid.

Mile 129.1 – 128 Mile Rapid: Class III. Read-and-run rapid.

Mile 129.8 – Specter: Class VI. Left scout. Center-right run. There is a large hole in the center of the rapid. There is a clean line running between the hole and the right wall.

Mile 131 – Bedrock: Class VII. Right scout. Bedrock Rapid is a consequential rapid. Go to the right of the center island at the bottom of the rapid. Pull along the right shore in order to do this. Many boats flip by missing the move and hitting the center rock. Learn more about Bedrock Rapid.

Mile 131.8 – Below Bedrock: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 132.2 – Galloway: River Right. Large camp.

Mile 132.3 – Deubendorff Rapid: Class VII. Left scout. Deubendorff is a fun one. Get left-to-right momentum at the top for a center-right run. Learn more about Deubendorff Rapid.

Mile 132.5 – Stone Creek: River Right. Medium-sized camp. There is a short hiking option up the creek.

Mile 133.7 – Talking Heads: River Left. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 134.2 – Racetrack: River Right. Medium-sized camp. This is your best option for camping if your party wants to do the excellent Thunder River Hike. If you choose to do the hike, several people will need to row your boats down to Deer Creek Falls where they will meet the hiking group later in the day.

Mile 134.3 – Tapeats Creek / Thunder River Trailhead: River Right. The trailhead for the very popular Thunder River thru-hike. Start the hike on the left side of Tapeats Creek. This is a favorite for many Grand Canyon boaters, and we highly recommend it. Learn more about Tapeats Creek and the Thunder River hike.

Mile 134.4 – Tapeats: Class V. Straight down the middle. There are holes on both sides of the river.

Mile 134.4 – Below Tapeats: River Right. Large camp.

Mile 134.8 – Above Owl Eyes: River Left. Large camp.

Mile 135.2 – Owl Eyes: River Left. Large camp.

Mile 135.4 – Helicopter Eddy: Class III. Officially known as 135 Mile Rapid, but commonly referred to as Helicopter Eddy, this is a right-run. There is an extremely powerful eddy on river left that is to be avoided. Learn more about Helicopter Eddy.

Mile 136.7 – Junebug: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 136.8 – Opposite Deer Creek: River Left. Medium-sized camp. This camp has tricky terrain but provides one of the most gorgeous views on the river. Deer Creek Falls is visible from much of the camp. Make sure you get far enough upstream before starting your move across the river from Deer Creek to camp. Learn more about Opposite Deer Creek Camp.

Mile 136.9 – Deer Creek Falls: River Right. This is a sacred site, so no camping is allowed. Beautiful waterfall, with a swimming hole for the daring. From here, you can hike up into the Deer Creek slot canyon, which is an absolute must. Learn more about Deer Creek Falls.

Mile 137.1 – OC’s: River Left. Large camp.

Mile 137.6 – Ponchos Kitchen: River Left. Large camp. A large overhang in Poncho’s provides remarkable shelter from the elements with plenty of room for cooking and camping if it is raining.

Mile 137.7 – Football Field: River Left. Large camp. Football Field is just downstream of Pancho’s. At low flows, Football Field is identifiable by the large “football field” sandbar that forms by the river.

Mile 137.8 – Backeddy: River Left. Medium-sized camp. Pull-in is just after Football Field. The camp is slightly overgrown.

Mile 138.3 – Doris Rapid: Class IV. Stay left. There is a very sharp hole right of center that can flip boats easily. Learn more about Doris Rapid.

Mile 138.6 – Doris: River Left. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 138.7 – Below Doris Rapid: Class II. The river pushes into the cliff wall on the right side. The left side is shallow, especially at lower flows. Work left to avoid getting pushed into the wall.

Mile 138.9 – 138.9 Mile: River Left. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 139.1 – Above Fishtail: River Left. Small camp. Also known as 139.1 Mile Camp.

Mile 139.1 – 138.5 Mile: Class III. Confusing name because the mileage is off, but 138.5 Mile Rapid is an easy rapid that you need to pay attention to. The main channel pushes aggressively into an ugly rock that juts off of the left bank. This can be easily avoided by pulling to the right or by entering the main tongue on the right and pushing right.

Mile 139.6 – Fishtail: River Right. Medium-sized camp. There is a medium-long carry to get to camp. Sandy spots for sleeping.

Mile 139.8 – Fishtail: Class IV. Depending on the flow, there is a large wave or hole on the left side of this rapid. The right line is mellow and dry.

Mile 140.4 – Keyhole: River Left. Medium-sized camp. One Hundred and Forty Mile Canyon is a very pretty backdrop to camp.

Mile 141.8 – 141 Mile: Class II. Read-and-run.

Mile 143.9 – Above Kanab: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 144 – Kanab: Class III. Read-and-run. This is a long one. Learn more about Kanab Rapid.

Mile 144.8 – Below Kanab: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 145.9 – Above Olo: River Left. Medium-sized camp. There is a tight pull-in following a debris fan.

Mile 146.1 – Olo Canyon: River Left. Small camp. Rocky.

Mile 148.3 – Matkatamiba Canyon: River Left. This is a great side hike, located just at the beginning of Matkatamiba rapid. This impressive canyon carves several miles into the Grand Canyon walls, allowing as much or as little exploration as you want. Be advised that the eddy for this hike is quite small, with a rapid just downstream, so don’t get caught sleeping here. Learn more about Matkatamiba Canyon.

Mile 148.3 – Matkatamiba: Class II. Read-and-run.

Mile 148.9 – Matkat Hotel: River Left. Medium-sized camp. From the Matkat pull-in you will be able to see if Below Matkat is taken.

Mile 149 – Below Matkat: River Left. Medium-sized camp. Below Matkat is a gorgeous camp that allows for camping just before Upset Rapid. Learn more about Below Matkat.

Mile 150.1 – Upset: Class VIII. Right Scout. A right dry line, or an exciting line on the left side are both possible. Avoid the hole in the center-bottom of the rapid at all costs. Learn more about Upset Rapid.

Mile 150.7 – Upset Hotel: River Left. Small camp. Pull-in is along a rocky shoreline and camp runs along the base of the cliff.

Mile 151.7 – Upper Ledges: River Right. Medium-sized camp. Similar to main Ledges Camp. You will be able to see if there are boaters at Ledges before the pull-in for Upper Ledges. Upper Ledges Camp provides a fun opportunity to camp on flat limestone ledges.

Mile 151.9 – Ledges: River Right. Medium-sized camp. Tight pull-in. Ledges camp is known for its flat limestone ledges both upstream and downstream of camp. This is a popular camp that provides a unique camping opportunity along flat limestone ledges. This is the last good camp above Havasu Canyon.

Mile 154 – Sinyella: Class II. Read-and-run.

Mile 156.3 – Last Chance: River Right. Medium-sized camp. This is the last opportunity for an actual campsite before Havasu Canyon. Keep in mind there is no camping permitted 100 yards above the Havasu confluence and half a mile below.

Mile 157.2 – Havasu Canyon: River Left. Havasu Canyon is breathtaking. The blue-green waters of the canyon are renowned for their impossible beauty and are sacred to many. If you choose to enjoy the canyon, tie off your boats at the mouth. Be careful to leave no trace as you explore. Learn more about Havasu Canyon.

Mile 157.2 – Havasu: Class III. If you have stopped at Havasu Canyon, the easiest run is to exit the Havasu eddy and run the tight channel on river left. There is a rock island in the middle of the river that makes it difficult to get to the right side from the Havasu eddy. If for whatever reason you are not stopping at Havasu, the right run is open and easy.

Mile 158.3 – First Chance: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 158.7 – 158.7 Mile: River Right. Medium-sized camp. Tight pull-in.

Mile 159 – Second Chance: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 160.5 – 160.5 Mile: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 161.3 – 161 Mile Riffle: Class II. Read-and-run rapid with a fun wave train on the left. 161 Mile Camp is on the right side.

Mile 161.3 – 161 Mile: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 165 – 164 Mile (Tuckup): Class II. Read-and-run. Stay right if you intend on camping at Tuckup.

Mile 165.1 – Tuckup Canyon: River Right. Large camp. Pull-in is along the shore just below 164 Mile Rapid. There is excellent hiking up Tuckup Canyon that is accessible from camp. While considered a single camp, more than one group can fit here.

Mile 165.4 – Below Tuckup: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 167 – National: Class II. Read-and-run.

Mile 167 – Upper National: River Left. Small camp. There is good hiking up National Canyon accessible from both Upper and Lower National camp.

Mile 167.1 – Lower National: River Left. Large, sandy camp. There is good hiking access up National Canyon.

Mile 167.5 – Below National: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 167.8 – 167.7 Mile: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 168.5 – Fern Glen: Class II. Read-and-run.

Mile 168.7 – Fern Glen: River Right. Large camp. Pull-in is below Fern Glen Rapid. There is hiking access into the beautiful Fern Glen Canyon from camp.

Mile 171.6 – Stairway Canyon: River Right. Medium-sized camp. There is hiking access to Stairway Canyon from camp.

Mile 171.9 – Gateway: Class III. Read-and-run. Go left below the rapid to avoid boulders in the current.

Mile 172.1 – Mohawk: River Left. This is a large camp that has plenty of driftwood. There is hiking access to Mohawk Canyon from camp. Day use permits from the Hualapai Nation are required for hiking.

Mile 172.6 – 172.6: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 174.7 – Upper Cove: River Right. Large camp. Pull-in is at the top of the debris fan formed by Cove Canyon.

Mile 174.8 – Lower Cove: River Right. Large camp. Pull-in is halfway down the debris fan formed by Cove Canyon.

Mile 176.3 – Below Red Slide: River Left. Large camp.

Mile 177.6 – Honga Spring: River Left. Large camp.

Mile 178 – Above Anvil: River Left. Large camp.

Mile 178.2 – Vulcan’s Anvil: Vulcan, the Roman God of Fire. This anvil is a large volcanic rock in the right channel, a great indicator of where you are and what’s just downstream.

Mile 179.5 – Above Lava: River Left. Medium size camp. This is a better camp than Just Above Lava unless you want to stare at the rapid all night.

Mile 179.7 – Just Above Lava: River Left. Small camp. Cutting it close.

Mile 179.7 – Lava Falls: Class IX. Right or left scout. The most anticipated rapid on the river. Lava is known primarily for its enormous feature, the Ledge Hole. At low-mid flows, a right run is standard. At higher flows, a left run is possible. Learn more about Lava Falls Rapid.

Mile 179.8 – Lava Springs: River Left. If you make it through Lava Falls upright, congratulations! There are springs coming in from river left. These can be hard to access, but cool to check out if you are spit out on river left after Big Kahuna.

Mile 180 – Son of Lava (Lower Lava): Class IV. You’re not through yet… Read-and-run through Lower Lava. Get ready to pull right if you want to celebrate on Tequila Beach. There is a fun wave train on the left-hand side that pushes towards cliffs on the left.

Mile 180.1 – Below Little Lava: River Right. Large camp. This is also known as Tequila Beach. Usually, boaters stop here to celebrate a successful lava run. Alternatively, it can serve as a spot to recover from a disaster. If you have the option, there are nicer camps downstream.

Mile 181.43 – 181 Island: From this point on you’ll come across a number of river islands and mid-stream cobble bars, starting with this one.

Mile 182.9 – Upper Chevron: River Right. Large camp.

Mile 183 – Lower Chevron: River Right. Medium-sized, sandy camp. Lower Chevron is a great option for post-Lava camping. The camp gets a fair amount of Winter sun. It is a very sandy camp.

Mile 183.1 – 183.1 Mile: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 183.3 – Below Chevron: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 183.5 – Below Old Helipad: River Left. Large camp.

Mile 185 – 185 Mile: River Left. Medium-sized camp. Rocky.

Mile 185.9 – Upper 185 Mile: River Right. This is a large camp located just after a small rapid. This camp is easy to spot at low to medium water due to the enormous flat beach. Don’t be fooled though, there is plenty of great camping and more privacy located up the dune and behind the camp.

Mile 186 – Lower 185 Mile: River Right. Large, sandy camp. Between here and Whitmore Helipad Camp, at mile 187.5, you are only supposed to use these camps if your trip is doing an exchange at the helipad.

Mile 186.4 – 186 Mile: River Left. This is a large camp with a bit of a carry but overall is nice.

Mile 186.6 – 186.6 Mile: River Left. Large camp.

Mile 187.5 – Whitmore Helipad: River Left. Medium size camp.

Mile 188 – Whitmore Trailhead Terminus: River Right. You’ll see what looks like a camp (and could probably work as a camp) but even more prominent a trail emerging from the reeds to the river. This is the terminus for the Whitmore Trailhead, which begins just 900 feet vertically beyond this point and is a semi-popular OHV area. It’s a bit odd to think that just 900 (vertical) feet away there could be a jeep parked, but fortunately, you won’t be able to see them if that’s the case.

Mile 188.3 – Whitmore Wash Rapid: Class III. This is not a rapid at medium flows and higher. As the water drops, a large rock emerges in the center channel and the right channel gets bony. The left channel provides the best passage.

Mile 188.4 – Whitmore Wash: River Right. This is a large camp. Take your time pulling in here as the current is moving pretty quickly and the camp is between the rapid above and a continuation of the rapid just below this camp.

Mile 188.6 – Lower Whitmore: River Right. This camp backs up against a long cliff. This is a large, windswept camp, with lots of room to spread out.

Mile 189.4 – 189.3 Mile: River Left. Small camp. Brushy.

Mile 189.8 – 189.8 Mile: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 190.1 – 190 Riffle: Class II. Small wave train on river right with an interesting basalt feature in the left channel at the bottom of this riffle.

Mile 190.2 – 190.2 Mile: River right. At the foot of the basalt cliffs is a medium-sized cobble bar. There is a nice beach on the downstream side of the camp. Just downstream are large boulders.

Mile 190.7 – 190.7 Mile: River Left. This is a small camp located on the upstream side of a small wash.

Mile 191.1 – 191 Riffle: Class I. Some small, splashy waves alert you to the upcoming Upper Fat City camp.

Mile 191.5 – Upper Fat City: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 192 – Fat City Island: A large cobble bar island separates Upper Fat City and Fat City camps. Going left or right of the island is fine.

Mile 192.3 – Fat City: River Left. Fat City is a large, brushy, and exposed camp located on an alluvial fan just downstream of Fat City Island. At lower water, setting up the kitchen may require some work.

Mile 192.8 – 192.8 Mile: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 193.3 – 193.3 Mile: River Left. Small camp. Brushy.

Mile 193.48 – Delta Bar: While cobble bar islands are easy to spot and avoid, this one is not and will trap boaters occasionally as it looks like there is a center channel that just fizzles out into a shallow bar. Go far right for the main channel. The name is in reference to its shape.

Mile 194.6 – Hualapai Acres: River Left. This is a large camp. Look for the sandbar mixed in with brush at the base of a cliff.

Mile 195.7 – Boredom Breaker: Class I. Finally, some waves to snap you out of the continuous rowing. Read-and-run.

Mile 196.9 – Frogy Fault: River Left. This is a large camp located on a big alluvial fan that’s easy to spot. Not much shade here making it a nice winter camp.

Mile 197.1 – Frogy Natural Arch: River Right. There is a small and mildly interesting natural arch just below Frogy Fault camp on river right. It’s worth looking at as you float by, but not worth stopping for.

Mile 199 – Parashant: River Right. Medium-sized camp. Parashant pull-in is tucked at the bottom of the Parashant Canyon debris fan. There are good hiking opportunities out of camp. Parashant Canyon notably contains the “Book of Worms” just a few hundred yards up the canyon from camp. The “Book” is on the right side of the canyon where a huge chunk of Bright Angel Shale has fallen. Look for the outlines of the worms in the green rock.

Mile 199.1 – Parashant Island: Just below Parashant Camp is a large, cobble bar island. The primary channel is to the right of the island, but the left channel is also clear.

Mile 199.3 – Below Parashant: River Right. This is a large camp. If you’re going for the upper end of this camp, then it is a very difficult eddy to catch unless you’re keeping your eyes out for it. If you happen to miss it, then the “regular” camp is downstream of this along the bar.

Mile 202.4 – 202 Mile: River Right. Medium-sized camp. This is a solid camp and has hiking access to rock paintings. Hike northwest from camp to the base of the limestone cliffs. The rock paintings are located at the base of the cliff. Make sure to appreciate them from a distance.

Mile 202.9 – 203 Mile: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 205.8 – 205 Mile: Class VI. Left scout. 205 Mile Rapid, also known as Kolb, is a good one. Start center-left and move left through the rapid to avoid getting swept into a right-side eddy as the river bends left. Once you have cleared the turn, get ready to move right to avoid a large eddy on river left as the river bends back to the right.

Mile 205.9 – 205 Mile Camp: River left. At the foot of 205 Mile rapid is a large eddy on the left. If you plan to stay at this camp, be sure to move hard left at the end of this rapid.

Mile 207 – Indian Canyon: River Right. Medium-sized camp. There is hiking access from the back of the camp up to an overview point.

Mile 207.9 – 207.9 Mile: River Left. Large camp.

Mile 209.1 – Granite Park: River Left. This is a large, very nice camp. Granite Park is located just upstream of 209 Mile Rapid. There is good hiking access from this camp.

Mile 209.1 – 209 Mile: Class V. Right scout. There is a very large hole in the center of the river that is to be avoided. A good run starts on river left. Pull left through the rapid to pass by the hole. Learn more about 209 Mile Rapid.

Mile 209.8 – 209.8 Mile: River Right. Large camp.

Mile 210.1 – 210.2 Mile: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 211 – 211 Mile: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 211.8 – Upper Fall Canyon: River Right. This is a medium-sized camp. Upper Fall Canyon is a prettier, better camp than Lower Fall Canyon. Separating the two camps is a small riffle, so if you want to take a peek at Lower Fall Canyon before committing to Upper, make sure you park your raft before you enter the riffle.

Mile 212 – Lower Fall Canyon: River Right. This is a small camp with a carry. It is on the downstream end of the alluvial fan.

Mile 212.5 – Little Bastard: Class III. The top center has a large pour-over that can be passed on the left or the right. At very low water, the pour-over becomes an exposed boulder, which can still be passed on either side. Below this pour-over is a wave train on the right-hand side. The preferred line is to take the right channel and through the wave train.

Mile 213.2 – Pumpkin Springs: River Left. You have finally made it to the Grand Canyon’s most notorious hot spring. No drinking or soaking, unless you love arsenic. Learn more about Pumpkin Springs.

Mile 213.3 – Pumpkin Springs Camp: River Left. Large camp just downstream of Pumpkin Springs.

Mile 213.9 – The Diving Board: River Right. The Diving Board is a 35-foot jump rock that makes for some great late-trip excitement. Wear your PFD! Learn more about The Diving Board.

Mile 214.5 – 214 Mile Creek: River Right. 214 Mile Creek Camp is a small camp located on a debris fan downstream of 214 Mile Creek. There are some cool cliffs on the upstream side of this camp.

Mile 215.5 – Three Springs Canyon: River Left. Upstream of Three Springs Rapid is an awesome little canyon to explore. There is usually water here year-round. There is a nice scramble and shade in this canyon. The indicator for the access are some large cliffs on the left-hand side with a small pull-in just upstream of these. Walk up a trail into Three Springs Canyon.

Mile 216 – Three Springs: Class II. The river splits around an island here. Run left of the island down the middle.

Mile 216.1 – Opposite Three Springs: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 216.2 – Three Springs Natural Bridge: River Right. Look closely and you’ll spot a small natural bridge on river right.

Mile 217.2 – 217.2 Mile Camp: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 217.8 – 217 Mile: Class V. Read-and-run.

Mile 218 – Below 217 Rapid: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 220 – Upper 220 Mile: River Right. Large camp. This is a good option for camping on the last night of a trip taking out at Diamond. There are two other camps that share the debris fan that Upper 220 is located on.

Mile 220.1 – Middle 220 Mile: River Right. Large camp.

Mile 220.2 – Lower 220 Mile: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 220.8 – Granite Springs: Class II. Read-and-run.

Mile 221.6 – 221 Mile: River Right. Large camp.

Mile 222.3 – 222 Mile: River Left. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 223.2 – 223.2 Mile Camp: River Right. Medium-sized camp. It’s a good option for taking out above Diamond Creek. There are nice views of Diamond Peak from this camp.

Mile 223.7 – 224 Mile: River Left. Medium-sized camp. This is the last solid option for camping above Diamond Creek.

Mile 223.8 – 224 Mile: Class III. Read-and-run. On early mornings before take-out, this rapid can provide some wake-up splashes. Morning people tend to appreciate these. Not morning people, not so much.

Mile 224.9 – 224.9 Mile: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 225.4 – Diamond Creek Cable Crossing: The Diamond Creek USGS flow gauge is located near here on river right. Access to this gage is made possible by this cable crossing. Learn more about the Diamond Creek Cable Crossing.

Mile 225.6 – Last chance above Diamond: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 225.9 – Diamond Creek Take-Out: River Left. Make sure to pull in high if the area is crowded. You do not want to get pushed into Diamond Creek Rapid! Learn more about Diamond Creek.

Diamond Creek to Pearce Ferry – Class I-VI

Some boaters choose to continue past Diamond Creek to Pearce Ferry, or South Cove (16.5 miles downstream of Pearce). This section of river is pretty, but it is notably much slower than upstream of Diamond. Lake Mead extends deep into this section of river which can reduce the current to a standstill.

Length

Diamond Creek to Pearce Ferry is 54.6 miles.

Difficulty

Beginner.

Average Gradient

Diamond Creek to Pearce Ferry is around 3.1 FPM.

Mile 225.9 – Diamond Creek Rapid: Class IV. Read-and-run.

Mile 226.2 – 226.2 Mile Camp: River Right. Large camp.

Mile 227.3 – 227.3 Mile: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 227.3 – 227.3 Mile Rapid: Class III. Read-and-run.

Mile 228.2 – 228.2 Mile Rapid: Class III. At the top of a wash coming in from the right side is a read-and-run rapid.

Mile 229.2 – Travertine Rapid : Class II. Read-and-run.

Mile 229.4 – Opposite Travertine Canyon: River Right. Large camp.

Mile 230.7 – Travertine Falls: River Left. Beautiful waterfall, with water trickling over a beautiful travertine formation. Travertine generally forms as calcium carbonate precipitates out of water, often due to evaporation.

Mile 231 – 231 Mile Camp: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 231.2 – 231 Mile Rapid: Class V. Right run to avoid large features on the left side of the rapid.

Mile 232.6 – Honeymoon Rapid: Class VI. Right scout. Also known as 232 Mile Rapid or Killer Fang Falls, this is a notorious rapid for late-trip boat devastation. There are several schist fins in the current at the bottom of the rapid with very high wrap potential. It is crucial to move left of the fins. There is a large left-lateral wave at the top of the rapid. If you bust through lateral with enough momentum it is easy to clear the fins once you are out of the main current.

Mile 233.9 – 234 Mile Rapid: Class V. Read-and-run. Watch out for pour-overs at low water.

Mile 235.1 – 235.1 Mile Camp: River Left. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 235.4 – Bridge Canyon Camp: River Left. Small camp.

Mile 235.4 – Bridge Canyon Rapid: Class IV. Read-and-run.

Mile 236 – Gneiss Canyon Rapid: Class V. Center-left run.

Mile 236.1 – Gneiss Canyon Camp: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 238.8 – Bridge City Camp: River Left. Large camp.

Mile 239.8 – Separation Canyon Camp: River Right. Large camp. This is the spot where three men left the Powell expedition in 1869. Learn more about Separation Canyon Camp.

Mile 242.6 – 242 Mile Camp: River Right. There is a small wash on the right-hand side. Camp on the debris fan, but be mindful of the weather.

Mile 243 – 243 Mile Camp: River Right. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 246.3 – Spencer Canyon Camp: River Left. Medium-sized camp. You must get a Hualapai permit in order to camp at Spencer.

Mile 248.7 – Surprise Canyon Camp: River Right. Large camp. There is nice hiking up Surprise Canyon accessible from camp.

Mile 249.9 – 250 Mile Camp: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 259 – 259 Mile Camp: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 262.3 – Floating Dock #1: River Left. Hualapai River Runner’s offer a 2.5-hour pontoon trip that launches from this dock and the one just downstream.

Mile 262.6 – Floating Dock #2: River Left. Just downstream of the first Hualapai River Runners dock is the second dock.

Mile 268.4 – Grand Canyon Skywalk Viewpoint: River Left. From this point on the river, you can look high up to left and you’ll see the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Learn more about the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Mile 269.9 – 269.9 Mile Camp: River Right. Small camp.

Mile 274 – 274 Mile Camp: River Left. Medium-sized camp.

Mile 279 – 279 Mile Camp: River Left. Large camp. This is the best option for camping before Pearce.

Mile 280.5 – Pearce Ferry Take-Out: River Left. Congratulations on a great trip! Learn more about Pearce Ferry Take Out.

Mile 280.8 – Pearce Ferry Rapid: Class X. Do not miss takeout as you do not want to run this rapid. Learn more about Pearce Ferry Rapid.

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