Boulder Narrows

NA

Rapid Rating

18.7

River Mileage

About Boulder Narrows

This is the largest boulder in the river along the Grand Canyon. It’s positioned approximately center in the river, with most rafts opting to go right of it. Driftwood from the 1957 highwater event still rests on top of this rock. This photo, taken on June 9, 1957, shows the boulder just underwater with flows at 114,000 CFS.

On his second trip down the Grand Canyon, Norm Nevill, one of the original commercial outfitters, generated quite the visual at Boulder Narrows, as documented in his August 5, 1940 journal entry:

Here is the famous huge rock perched in midstream with scant clearance for the river around it. The bunch landed against the rock and Charlie finally got to the top and started the driftwood on top afire. Its around fifty feet above the river at the prevailing low stage of water. As we leave it is quite a sight back upstream at the large blaze.

His trip was at very low flows, approximately 3,000 CFS, so Charlie had quite the climb to the top of the rock and then, as one must do, he set the highwater driftwood ablaze. It also must have been a ton of driftwood, because in his next journal entry, Norm writes about how the following day burning logs would float by (this was more than 24 hours after they were lit).

boulder narrows grand canyon

Looking downstream at Boulder Narrows

boulder narrows grand canyon

If you look towards the left of the boulder you’ll spot the driftwood from the 1957 high water event.