My wife, her parents and I spent a week in Sedona, Arizona. We took the Grand Canyon Railway on April 15th to see the Grand Canyon for the first time ever. On our last day in Arizona, Thursday, April 18th, I wanted to end the vacation with a rafting day trip on the Colorado River in Glen Canyon at the northern end of the Grand Canyon. It is actually called a "Float Trip", there is no whitewater involved and is a fun and safe way to see the Colorado River when you have the in-laws with you. Boy was it an adventure!
We boarded a “luxury” van that was very comfortable with large windows and individual seats. We were picked up at our resort by a local gentleman named Richard. He was a wealth of information as he drove us for over three hours to Lee's Ferry near Page Arizona. On the way up, we travel through one of the ten most scenic drives in America, Oak Canyon. It is part of the Colorado Plateau and is just rich with beautiful pine trees and twisting turning roads until you reach the plateau. Once on top, we enter Flagstaff and make a short pit stop at a convenience store. Back in the van to continue our journey. Richard told us about the history of Sedona, the Grand Canyon, the geology of the area and was very knowledgeable about the Hopi and Navajo tribes that live in Northern Arizona. He is very passionate about the study of anthropology and archaeology and kept us entertained and informed the entire trip up. His wife is actually a descendent of one of the founding families of Sedona! It was so worth the extra money to have him drive the nearly four trek to Lee’s Ferry and back. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!
Once we arrived at Lee’s Ferry we boarded our “rafts” which were basically a twenty person metal pontoon raft. Two rafts from Colorado River Discovery went out that day. My mother-in-law is not a fan of the water, but I assured her there would be no white water. Once we boarded we headed up river to our first destination, the ancient petroglyphs. These are drawings carved into the canyon walls by Indian tribes as far back as 4,000 to 6,000 years ago. It was fascinating seeing them and knowing they have survived the rise and fall of the river and the elements for hundreds of centuries. We were on the fast track on the way up, a windbreaker was definitely in order as it was in the fifties that morning. We were simply amazed at the grandeur and beauty of the canyon walls. From the river they look only a couple hundred feet tall, but in actuality are a thousand feet on average. It was amazing and breathtaking to take in so much of God’s beauty. We had a bag lunch at the petroglyph site and had a short time to explore before we were on our way again. There were even portable toilets at this site.
On our return trip, it was much more leisurely. This is where the “float” comes in. We basically float back to Lee’s Ferry, starting the engine only to keep away from the canyon walls or keep within sight of the other raft. It was so calm and peaceful. Occasionally we would spy little specks flying at the top of the canyon…birds. At one point we could see tiny specks moving on top of the canyon wall…people! They looked like ants, even with binoculars, you could barely make them out. We all yelled in unison “hello!” to them as it echoed through the canyon. Further downriver we stopped at another beach for about a half hour. There were portable toilets behind the brush. It was very relaxing sitting in the sand as we took it all in. From there we continued our float. We came across a group of “wild” horses the Navajo Nation own that walk down a 1000’ sand dune to the river’s edge. This sand dune is generated by the winds whipping around the bend and deposits in just this one spot. It puts the Sahara to shame! Before we knew it we were back at Lee’s Ferry. Our guide stopped at the original crossing point of Lee’s Ferry and showed us a photo in a book of how they crossed the river at the turn of the century. She also showed us the old cattle and auto trails along the canyon edge. People take for granted how good we have it now. These were the real pioneers! Before we knew it we were back at the dock, sad that our day was over but our heads filled with great memories for a lifetime.
We boarded the luxury van for our long ride back. Before we left the area, Richard stopped at these crazy rocks thirty feet across that weigh tons that are perched on rocks one tenth their size. They appear to defy gravity. He asked each family to stand in front of the rocks and he would take our picture. It was such a cool shot. We boarded again for one more stop at the Cameron Trading Post. It is on the Navajo Nation Tribal lands and is a modern version of the original trading post. More Indian art and potter than you could imagine. Some of this pottery sells for tens of thousands of dollars. The only thing my wife and I purchased was the “Fry Bread”. I highly recommend it, and get one for yourself because you won’t want to share! It wasn’t long after we boarded that I looked around the bus and everyone was asleep. It was an amazing day! We started at 6am and returned around 7:30 pm. I highly recommend this excursion to anyone that wants to experience the inside of the Grand Canyon from the viewpoint of the Colorado River. Any other rafting trips on the Colorado are typically whitewater, so this one is very safe for children and the elderly. Enjoy!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.