Go Grand Canyon National Park Rafting This Labor Day Weekend

Travel & LeisureOutdoors

  • Author Susan Bissonnette
  • Published August 28, 2013
  • Word count 596

Labor Day is on Sept 2nd, and it is fast approaching.That's a great time to take a day long rafting tour of the Grand Canyon, but you need to book your seats now.

Labor Day Is Busy At The Grand Canyon

This year the holiday falls on a Monday, meaning most of us will be able to enjoy a three-day weekend-an extra bonus I always look forward to! But Labor Day weekend (whether it's two-day or three-day) is always one of the Park's busiest times of the year.

I'm strongly urging folks to book their Labor Day float trips at least a week before the weekend begins. It is risky to wait longer than that, but you never know, you might luck out and get a seat 72 hours in advance.

Even though the holiday is a busy time, you can still get a great deal on your tour. In fact, you can probably save about 20% off the price when you book your seats online.

Book with the Tour Company

What is the best way to save? Avoid the big name travel websites. I buy direct, on the tour company's own website. The tour companies own and operate the tours. They offer low rates that travel brokers cannot match.

One-Day Raft Trips

Since the tours take all day, be prepared to depart about 7 a.m. You can take off from Las Vegas or from Tusayan, Arizona, which is near the main gates at the South Rim.

There are two tour options when you leave from Tusayan. The standard tour begins with a motor coach ride to Glen Canyon Dam, there you get on your 19-passenger pontoon raft and set off on a fun 15 mile trek down the Colorado River. The pontoon ride comes to an end when you reach Lee's Ferry.

If you opt for the deluxe Tusayan float trip, you will start with a short plane ride to Page, Arizona. That's where you'll board a Jeep for an off-road trip to the "Slot Canyons" in Antelope Canyon. You'll then drive to Glen Canyon Dam for the rafting portion of your tour (identical to the standard version). The deluxe and standard float trips end with a bus ride back to where you started in Tusayan, Arizona.

If you plan to start your tour in Las Vegas, you will go to the West Rim and descend to the canyon floor in a chopper. Then you are given a half an hour to explore the region by foot. After that, you get on board a bus and ride over to Hoover Dam, once there, you get on a raft and float about eleven miles down the river until you get to Willow Beach.

Smooth Water Only

None of these float trips involve any whitewater , they're all smooth-water experiences that active seniors and kids as young as four can enjoy. That's why these raft trips are great fun for everyone in your family. It is easy to see why these tours are so popular.


Everything is included in your tour such as your lunch, gear, Park fees, taxes, and a tour guide. You'll need to wear sturdy river sandals or running shoes, shorts, a hat, long sleeves, and sunglasses. You will probably get wet, so wear something that won't be ruined. Take along sunscreen too and some water. Consider bringing an extra set of clothes.

Going to the Grand Canyon and taking a raft tour is the perfect Labor Day getaway. Your whole family is sure to have a fantastic time and make memories that will last forever.

Travel blogger Susan B. is an authority on one-day rafting tours at Grand Canyon National Park. If you're searching for deals on these excellent trips, start here: http://www.grandcanyondaytrips.com/rafting-tours

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