White Water Kayaking in the Grand Canyon

White Water Kayaking in the Grand Canyon
As the Colorado River cuts through the Grand Canyon, it falls in dramatic bursts of exhilarating rapids interrupted only by solitude and scenery. Kayaking this whitewater is the dream of many a paddler, but limited access means you must plan ahead.


To kayak the full length of the Grand Canyon you'll need at least 12, and possibly as many as 25, days. Begin at Lee's Ferry and end at Diamond Creek.



To keep the canyon serene and protected, the National Park Service limits the number of permits for private river tours.


To earn a permit, you'll have to enter the annual lottery for $25. You must be 18 years old or older and listed on only one application. Lots are drawn in February.


If your application is drawn, you'll be given a launch date for that same year and charged a $400 deposit that is applied to the final permit cost of $100 per person.

Commercial Trips

National Park Concessioners run oar and raft trips down the Grand Canyon. Some offer inflatable kayaks you share with the group, but there are no commercial kayak tours.


Article Written By Kelly Aspen

Kelly Aspen's writing focuses on natural places, cultural sites and wildlife. She has more than 10 years of experience as an editor and writer for various magazines, books and websites.

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