Hance Rapid

Hance Rapid is the first Class VIII that you will encounter on the Grand Canyon. It’s one of the tougher and longer rapids on the whole trip, so make sure you give this one a scout.

Like many Grand Canyon rapids, Hance was formed during a debris flow through a side canyon during a major rainfall event. This rapid in particular became much more difficult, as the left line of the rapid has become closed off due to boulders. The best available line takes you just right of some large boulders at the entrance. Behind these boulders are some slackwater known as “The Duck Pond”. If you’ve made it here, congratulations, you’re out of the big stuff.

In general, the line at Hance is to get as much momentum as you can towards the left. Boaters often enter this rapid with 90 degree angle to the left, pulling the entire way. If you can’t get over to the left, make sure you T up the waves, as they are big enough to cause problems.

Just below Hance Rapid is Son of Hance Rapid, so try your best to clean up any carnage if it happens.

This is the view from the river right scout. Note the rock garden at the top on river left, forcing you to enter right. Just downstream of this rock garden is the Duck Pond, an area of slackwater that can be very hard to reach. Keep an eye out for the very large waves/holes in the center of the current. These are very hard to avoid if you make a mistake on the entrance.

Dory boat running Hance Rapid. Notice how they generally pull left at full strength through the majority of the rapid.