Difficulty III-IV
Length 296 Miles
Flow Range 4000 - 48000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 12800 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 10/13/2019 2:51 pm

River Description


(Special Bulletin Nov 6 2018):
The US Bureau of Reclamation will be conducting a HIGH FLOW EXPERIMENT November 5 - 8 in 2018: Details are available through USBR and through the 2018 USBR Media Advisory.


The Grand Canyon is one of the seven Wonders of the World. Magnificent views of the geological record are on prominent display throughout a journey through this canyon. Every day that passes reveals new eras of time and new aspects of creation.  

The long history and lore of the Grand Canyon have built the whitewater up to heroic proportions in the public mind. However, river running knowledge, skill, and equipment have improved tremendously in the century that boaters have been running this section of the Colorado River.
By modern outdoor sports risk standards the Grand Canyon is a very reasonable adventure.
The gradient tells the tale as most of Grand Canyon is flat water.
The infamous 1 to 10 rating system does not mean that these rapids are harder than class 6.
The hardest rapids on the run were simply given a 10 rating and everything else was rated respectively lower. A Grand Canyon 10 corresponds approximately to a class IV rating on the international scale.  The 1 to 10 rating was system developed for heavily loaded large rafts, and a 10 on this scale might not require a single stroke from a kayaker (though perhaps a lot of bracing and rolling if one wanted to try that!).
Experienced river runners can apply their usual river-running judgment.

The skills required for a kayaker to negotiate Grand Canyon include:
1. A bomber roll. The water is cold and the river is so wide that swimming to shore is difficult.
2. The ability to turn sideways to a big wave train and paddle out of it.
3. The ability to keep your balance and your cool in sustained funny water (whirlpools and boils occur at the bottom of many rapids and along eddy lines).
4. The ability to scout and choose a big-water line and smash it.

The skills required for an oarboatman in the Grand Canyon are in some ways much more difficult. Rafts are typically overburdened and heavy.  It takes a good understanding of the rapids, early decision making and a lot of hard work to get a raft to the right place in a rapid. The risk to a baggage boat is much greater than for other river runners. A swimmer can flush through the biggest rapids. A kayaker can get flipped and easily roll back up. But if a baggage boat flips, it will take a long time to get it to shore and a lot of manpower to got it flipped back over, upright. A flip can cost hours of effort and important supplies can be lost or ruined.

Boatmen need the:
1. Ability to tie great knots.
2. Ability to hang on to the oars in heavy water, the ability to manuver with only one oar if needed and the ability to quickly replace an oar. 

3. Ability to maintain or recover a ferry angle in heavy water. 
4. Ability to catch eddies at the bottom of rapids and the ability to break out across big eddy lines. 
5. Ability to keep rowing when you miss a line, straighten out and push when facing a big hole, and get back in the seat when knocked off.
6. Ability to rig very well and maintain your anchor lines through changing night time water elevations.

Putting together an expedition that meets National Park Service requirements and keeps a group of river runners well fed and happy for 18 or more days is a leadership skill requiring task.  

Put in: 
The launch point is Lee's Ferry, which is measured as mile zero.  

Trip participants can arrange to hike in or out at a variety of trails in the mid-section of the run.
The most common location to exchange participants is Phantom Ranch (mile 89).
Exchanging allows people to do the upper or lower half of the run even if they do not have the time to do the full trip. Park service fees are about the same whether you do a full or half trip and these arrangements must be pre-arranged.

Take outs: 
The majority of private trips in Grand Canyon travel 226 miles to Diamond Creek, Arizona for their takeout. Diamond Creek is an intermittent stream that doubles as a roughshod road.
The best takeoute is Pearce Ferry on Lake Mead (mile 279) which has been rehabilitated and re-opened after being closed due to low lake levels.
The next access point to the Colorado River is South Cove, which is 17 miles farther downstream into Lake Mead.

Diamond Creek access information: 
The Hualapai Tribe charges a fee for each driver, person, and vehicle that accesses Diamond Creek Beach. In 2018, that fee is $67.50. You can arrange for a shuttle service to pick you up or you can make arrangments with the tribe for shuttle between the river and Peach Springs. This creek sometimes has a road in it. Flashflooding is regular.

Hualapai River Runners
P.O. Box 246
Peach Springs, AZ   86434
(928) 769-2210 / (800) 622-4409

Boaters may also launch at Diamond Creek and travel 54 miles to Pearce Ferry Boat Ramp.  The permit for doing this section is much easier to obtain than for launching at Lee's Ferry.  Diamond-Down River Trip Application    Grand Canyon NP: Diamond down information

Grand Canyon Weather links:
Weather Forecast for Grand Canyon Park
Page, AZ,  is just upstream of the put in.
Zone Area Forecast for Marble and Glen Canyons, AZ   NOAA
Zone Area Forecast for Grand Canyon Country, AZ       NOAA
Phantom Ranch is about half way through.
South Cove, Lake Mead  
Sunrise/ Sunset

Other information Sources:  
Grand Canyon National Park: river running information
Grand Canyon River - Audio/ Video Podcast Channel

The Grand Canyon is perennially represented among American Whitewater's Top 40 River Issues. Check out AW's articles on the fee demo program and the wilderness and access lawsuit.
Grand Canyon Private Boaters' Organization. They do excellent work for private boaters and have a very informative online discussion forum.
River Runners for Wilderness wiki
Grand Canyon River Guide's Association
Moenkopi blog
Slideshow of rapids
Colorado River NASQAN program
Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center
Time Lapse Videos of beach erosion
Durango Bill's 3D tour

There are many videos on youtube videos referencing rapids of the Grand Canyon. Search for grand canyon, rafting, kayaking, whitewater and similar, or by rapid names. 

Outfitters and shuttle services for private trips:  
PRO -  Professional River Outfitters
Canyon REO
Moenkopi Riverworks
River Runner Shuttle Service
Ceiba Adventures

Interesting Water facts: 
Lee's Ferry is the dividing point between the Upper and Lower Colorado Rivers for water rights politics.
Water for the South Rim Village flows through a pipe from near the north rim, down right Angel Canyon, across a bridge and then back up to the south rim. It is all gravity fed.
Pumpkin Springs is arsenic.

Reaches of the Colorado River:
01. Hot Sulphur Springs to Hwy 40 bridge (Byers Canyon) (CO, IV)
02. Gore Canyon (CO, IV-V)
03. Pumphouse campground to Rancho Del Rio (Pumphouse) (CO, III)
04. Hanging Lake Exit 125 (I-70) to Shoshone Power Plant Exit 123 (I-70) (Barrel Springs) (CO, IV-V [V+])
05. Shoshone Power Plant, Exit 123 (I-70) to Grizzly Creek, Exit 121 (I-70) (Shoshone) (CO, III-IV)
06. Cameo Dam (Big Sur / Lucky 7) (CO, III)
07. Loma to Westwater (Ruby / Horsethief Canyons) (CO-UT, II)
08. Westwater to Rose Ranch (Westwater Canyon) (UT, I-IV)
09. Cisco (Rose Ranch) to Moab (Professor Valley) (UT, I-III)
10. Moab to Powell Reservoir (Cataract Canyon) (UT, I-IV)
11. Lees Ferry to Lake Mead (Grand Canyon) (AZ, I-IV)
12. Black Canyon (AZ-NV, I)

Rapid Descriptions

Lee's Ferry

Class - N/A Mile - 0

A large parking area and unloading area is available next to an expansive boat launch area. Commericial groups generally rig on the left side of the ramp while the general public uses teh left side. Toilets, potable water, and a campsite for river runners are all available here. A covered picnic area is available for lunch, but not for any cooking.

Navajo Bridge

Class - N/A Mile - 4.3

An old and a new bridge cross here about 500 feet above the river. The old bridge is now a pedestrian walkway and viewing area. On the north side of the bridge is a parking area, bathrooms and a small visitor center. The view from the bridge is tremendous. The view from below looking up at the bridge is pretty neat also. Keep your eyes open for California Condors.


Class - III+ Mile - 7.8
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Badger is the first real rapid with Grand Canyon waves. It is more difficult at lower flows when there are some rocks and holes to avoid.  

Soap Creek Rapid

Class - III Mile - 11.2

Soap Creek enters on the right just below the beginning of the rapid. This is a typical rapid with large rocks and holes on either side at the top, but a wide tongue down the middle into standing waves. Decent camping is available above the rapid on river right. 

House Rock

Class - III+ Mile - 17

This rapid is named for House Rock Wash. The rapid curves gradually to the right, so the current carries boats towards the left into a number of very big breaking waves.   Lurking in the waves at the bottom of the rapid is a boat flipping hole. Avoiding this hole is the first big test.


It is easy for kayakers to go to the right of the hole, or to go through it and roll back up afterwards.  Loaded rafts have to pull hard to stay right.  If there is enough water, smaller rafts can sneak far right at the top and maneuver their way through shallow rocks. 

21 Mile Rapid

Class - III Mile - 21
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Start of the "Roaring Twenties", a series of fun and relatively closely spaced rapids.

23 Mile Rapid

Class - III Mile - 23
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24 Mile Rapid

Class - III Mile - 24

This rapid is new and formed in 1989.

24 1/2 Mile Rapid

Class - III+ Mile - 24.5
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A BIG hole scout left.

25 Mile Rapid

Class - III Mile - 25
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29 Mile Rapid

Class - III Mile - 29
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Paradise Canyon

Class - Mile - 31.6
A hike

Redwall Cavern

Class - N/A Mile - 33
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On the left is a giant natural ampitheater carved out of the limestone. It is an easy and very popular stop. It is dark and cool in the back. Sounds carry loudly through the cavern.

President Harding Rapid

Class - II+ Mile - 43

A big rock occupies the center of the river. Clean tongues are on either side. At some flows kaaykers can find decent surfing. At high flows, the rock creates a monster hole, but you have plenty of room to avoid it to the left. A campsite is availble on river left.

Saddle Canyon

Class - Mile - 47
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Side Hike


Class - III Mile - 56

Mouth of the Little Colorado

Class - N/A Mile - 61.5

The Little Colorado enters from the left. During the dry season it will be flowing milky blue and with a few hundred cfs coming from limestone springs just a few miles upstream. During rainy times this river will be muddy with flows from its vast drainage.

Lava Canyon (Chuar) Rapid

Class - III Mile - 65.4
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Class - III+ Mile - 72.4
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A long boulder strewn rapid.


Class - IV+ Mile - 76.5

This is the first real ass kicker with big holes. It is one of the longest rapids on the river and the rapid most cluttered with boulders and holes. Boaters must make multiple manuvers throughout the rapid. People typically scout from river left, but you can also scout on river right to better inspect the hero route through the biggest holes on the right. This also gives you a higher vantage point to view the rapid.


Most boaters enter the rapid center right then work left to avoid the biggest holes. 


Class - IV Mile - 78.6

Don't get too far off the big V waves and find yourself smacked around.


Class - III+ Mile - 81.5

A long set of big wave trains.

Zoroaster Rapid

Class - II+ Mile - 84.6

Only relevant at low flows.

Bright Angel Canyon and Trail

Class - N/A Mile - 87.8

The trails provide access to the rim and Phantom Ranch where a post office and eatery are a popular stop for river runners. Three different trails meet the river here. One to the north rim and two up to the south rim. You can hike a fun loop over the Bright Angel bridge and back over the Kaibab bridge.


Class - IV Mile - 90.2

Possibly the most difficult and intimidating rapid at lower flows. Dark walls rise raggedly on both sides. A big clean tongue enters the rapid on the right and flows into big breaking waves and finally into a monster wave hole. 


One strategy is to enter on the tongue, then get left of the bottom hole.  Another route is to enter between two horns at the top left of the rapid, punch some big waves then easily stay left of the bottom hole.  


The waves through out the rapid are powerful.


Class - IV+ Mile - 93.4

Granite is a long rapid with big waves. The tongue funnels towards the right against the wall, and the waves tend to be largest on that side. It is an easier ride to the left of center.


Class - III Mile - 95

The biggest free standing waves up to this point on the river.


Class - IV Mile - 98

Crystal became the big one in 1966, after a big flash flood in Crystal Creek dumped big boulders in the river and constricted the main channel to the left. Crystal Hole dominated the center of the river and large diagonal waves surfed rafts towards it. 


Over time high flows in the main river have gradually reduced the power of the central hole and made it easier to miss the hole.   It still remains a serious rapid.   Scout from river right.


Class - III+ Mile - 101.2
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Class - III Mile - 102.2
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Class - III Mile - 103
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

More of the "gemstone series"


Class - III Mile - 103.5
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Elves Chasm

Class - N/A Mile - 116.5

There is a wonderful short hike up to a pretty swimming hole. It does involve some scrambling. Adventurous climbers can continue scrambling past the main swimming hole and eventually come out above. 

Fossil Rapid

Class - III Mile - 125

Fossil Rapid is a read and run rapid at the start of the Middle Granite Gorge.


Class - III+ Mile - 130.5

The main current runs down the left side of the channel then piles up against a large bedrock midstream island.   Half of the current turns sharply to the right of the island and that is the safe route. The other half of the current pushes to the left of the island, then turns sharply right on the downstream side. The left side of the island is a narrow and extremely turbulent chute. The rock walls on both sides are honecombed with potholes carved by the water. Scout from river right and take some time to explore the interesting rock formations there. Bedrock creek is also a nice hike.


Class - III+ Mile - 131.8

This rapid is deceiving. It is big and wide and easy at the top. Once it picks up speed it curves a bit to the right then has large holes scattered through out. With a heavy raft it is easy to blunder into a few of them. If you find yourself in that situation, hold on tight and square up to hit them.

Tapeats Creek and Rapid

Class - II+ Mile - 133.8

The rapid is a minor rapid, but the creek offers wonderful hiking. Two trails climb the cliffs on either side of the creek then traverse narrow ledges above the gorge.  Facing upstream at the mouth, the trail on the left is easier, while the trail on the right requires some scrambling. Tapeats Creek flows year round because it is fed by two major springs: Thunder River and Tapeats Spring. Thunder River is the closer but still requires a couple hours of hiking. The trail past Thunder River, continues on to Surprise Valley and eventually to the north rim or over to Deer Creek.

  Kayakers can carry boats up the trail so that they can paddle through the narrows.   See Tapeats Creek— Thunder River to Colorado River.


Camping is no longer allowed at the mouth of Tapeats Creek. 

Deer Creek

Class - N/A Mile - 136.2

Deer Creek is spring-fed and flows all year long. Boaters are provided with a dramatic sight where the creek gushes out of a notch in the cliff, then free falls about 170 feet, into a pool next to the main river.  A large sand bar seperates the base of the falls from the river. A trail starts at the mouth of Deer Creek and goes all the way to the north rim. A long, but popular day hike from the river, during the cool season, is from Tapeats Creek to Deer Creek via Surprise Valley. The steep hike to the valley above the falls is very nice by itself.

Experienced Canyoneers can travel through the short narrows leading down to the top of Deer Creek Falls.  It requires good rock climbing/canyoneering skills.  There are several bolted rappels past waterfalls within the narrows, while the final rappel is said to be 180 feet.   See canyoneeringusa.com,  and Todd's Hiking Guide.


Class - IV+ Mile - 149.8

This large rapid makes a gradual right turn against the cliff wall on the left with the debris fan on the right. A very large wave hole lurks in the center of the waves about 2/3 of the way through.

The conservative route is as far right as you can scrape down. An exciting line is available on the left side which avoids the main hole, but requires punching other wave holes that are only somewhat smaller.


Tougher at lower flows.  Not sure at what flows the wave holes wash out. 

Lava Falls

Class - IV+ Mile - 179.3

Lava rapid (mile 179) is the most intimidating rapid in the Grand Canyon. Because of another flash flood in Prospect Canyon, the left side of the rapid (which is considered by some to be a sneak) is cluttered with boulders, and more popular with rafters at higher flows (at least 15,000). Center at the top of the rapid is one of the biggest pourover holes you'll ever see, yet you will not be the first to throw some ends there if you try. You can scout from either side, but the impressive scout is to follow a small trail on river right up to an outcrop of lava where you can overlook the maelstrom. It doesn't look good, but you can't see while you're in it. The standard line is to start center right. Rafts commonly punch through the maw of the V-wave, but kayakers can bust through the lateral that feeds it from the left and smooth out their ride.

Granite Springs Rapid

Class - III+ Mile - 220.7
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Granite Springs drainage flashed sometime in 2016.  The river was narrowed and many boulders were deposited in the channel. A large boat flipping hole or wave is in the middle of the rapid.

Diamond Creek takeout

Class - N/A Mile - 225.5

A rough dirt road comes down the side canyon to the river. The eddy is fairly small and Diamond Creek rapid starts immediately downstream. During the monsoon season in July and August, Diamond Creek can flash flood and wash the road out.

Travertine Rapid

Class - Mile - 229
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Surprise Rapid

Class - III Mile - 240
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Pearce Ferry Takeout

Class - N/A Mile - 280

Pierce Ferry Rapid

Class - VI Mile - 281

This new rapid that formed at around mile 281 has become a class 10+++ on the Grand Canyon scale, or a class 6 on the international scale.   As of 2016 it is not safe to run this rapid.  That may change as the river continues to erode the rock ridge that causes the rapid.  The rapid can be viewed by walking downstream from the Pierce Ferry take out along well used trails.  

Reservoir silt has filled in the old river channel which ran along the cliffs to the north. The river has cut a new channel to the south, exposing a rock ridge. As the reservoir level dropped the rapid has become bigger and bigger.

Photos of Superimposition Rapid near Pearce Ferry, uncovered by the low lake levels.  Photos from February 2008.

Durango Bill's page with excellent photos and explanation of the formation of this rapid. 

The satellite view on the map tab gives a good close up view of this new rapid when you zoom in.

Iceberg Canyon Rapid

Class - II Mile - 290
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

When the lake level is around 1105 feet or lower, a rapid appears at the end of Iceburg Canyon. An excellent surfing wave is reported to form there, also. The location and rating are approximate.

South Cove Take out

Class - N/A Mile - 296
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Before Pierce Ferry road was extended all the way out to the river channel,  South Cove was the only viable take out past Diamond Creek.  Now that there is a good take out at Pierce Ferry there is no need to go to South Cove.  Now that the Pierce Ferry Rapid is class 6, it would be dangerous to continue to South Cove and have to run that rapid.. 

Scripps Institute has published a study suggesting that Lake Mead could go completely dry by 2021.


default user thumbnail
Michael Sawyer
9 years ago

I have collected video, GPS info, River Mile Markers (Blue Flags), Camp Locations (Green Flags), Rapid Locations ( Red Flags), Points of Interest (Yellow Flags), videos (click on Rapid Flags), NPS Regulations, interesting links, Photos, Wikipedia links, and AW... links, and ... if you want something on there let me know. It's a work in progress, I'm already behind a major update so check back every couple of days or so. Once you get Google Earth open, and get tired of flying around on your own, if you look in your Google Earth Temporary Places and click around, you'll find a funny looking triangle looking icon. If you play it, it will fly you down the entire Grand Canyon. You can see the various Places as you fly. Stop anywhere and click on a marker for more info. It is a long flight. http://michaeldsawyer.com/GrandCanyon/GrandCanyon.html Sawyer

Gage Descriptions

Min and max flow are just a rough guide. Modern-day flows are limited by maximum output from the river outlet works and power plant which is 48,200 cfs. Historically flows were regularly greater than 100,000 cfs during spring snow melt, but now that can only occur if the reservoir reaches the spillways.

Lees Ferry
Historical flow At Lees Ferry

USGS reports flows at several locations along the river.  
Colorado River near Grand Canyon, AZ  
Colorado River above Diamond Creek near Peach Springs, AZ


Lake Mead reservoir levels  are reported by the Bureau of Reclamation in feet.   Google maps reports in meters. 

A lake elevation of 1105 feet (sept. 2008) is equivalent to 337 meters. At this elevation the river meets lake near the end of Iceburg Canyon, which is 6 miles from South Cove.

Directions Description

Lee's Ferry Campground is located 128 miles North of Flagstaff, Arizona on HWY 89.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2019-06-28 n/a Fatality Other Read More
2018-09-07 n/a Fatality Other Read More
2018-08-09 n/a Near Miss/Rescue Extreme Weather Read More
2017-09-22 n/a Near Miss/Rescue Other Read More
2017-04-23 n/a Fatality Read More
2015-06-02 n/a Fatality Other Read More
2014-12-07 n/a Near Miss/Rescue Cold Water Read More
2014-06-11 n/a Fatality Other Read More
2014-06-06 n/a Fatality Other Read More
2014-03-18 n/a Fatality Other Read More
2013-09-25 n/a Fatality Cold Water Read More
2013-01-11 n/a Fatality Cold Water Read More
2011-09-18 n/a Fatality High Water Read More
2011-06-09 High Fatality Cold Water Read More
2011-01-11 Medium Fatality Other Read More
2008-03-16 Medium Fatality Other Read More
2004-11-23 Medium Fatality Other Read More
1999-05-30 Medium Fatality Other Read More
1989-06-14 Low Fatality Poor Group / Scene Management Read More
1984-08-25 n/a Fatality Failed Rescue Read More
1984-08-25 n/a Fatality Failed Rescue Read More



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Kestrel Kunz

In the ongoing saga of hydro dam developments proposed within striking distance of Grand Canyon National Park, American Whitewater is asking for help from the paddling community to stop a development that would impact the greater Grand Canyon area and its tributaries. Back in October 2019, we wrote an article outlining the proposal submitted by Phoenix-based hydroelectric company Pumped Hydro LLC to place two dams on the Little Colorado River, a tributary of the Colorado River’s mighty Grand Canyon. This proposal was met with a large amount of pushback for the cultural impact on indigenous tribes, ecological impacts, and water use. To address these concerns, Pumped Hydro decided to file an alternative (yet equally problematic) proposal for a hydro development on Big Canyon, a tributary of the Little Colorado River. The Big Canyon project permit application has been accepted into the Federal Energy Regulation Commission’s (FERC) registrar, initiating a public comment period on the project ending August 1 and we need members of the paddling community to step up and make their voices heard!

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Little CO River Dams Receive Preliminary Permits, New Proposal Submitted (AZ)

Kestrel Kunz

In October of 2019, we reported that Phoenix-based hydroelectric company, Pumped Hydro Storage, submitted applications to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for preliminary permits for two different hydroelectric projects in the Little Colorado River basin. At the end of May, both proposals received approval for their preliminary permits despite formal intervention from Native American tribes, American Whitewater, many of our members, and numerous environmental organizations. Thank you to those of you who provided your comments to FERC! These comments are on record and will help the continued fight against these dams. Next up, the same hydropower company has submitted another preliminary dam proposal on Big Canyon. American Whitewater is reviewing the Big Canyon application and is working on providing our supporters with guidance to submit your own comments.

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Last Chance! National Monuments Review Comments

Thomas O'Keefe

Take action today using our easy online form to protect National Monuments designated under the Antiquities Act! A public comment period began on May 12th and ends July 10th for an April 26th Executive Order which directed Interior Secretary Zinke to conduct a review of all Presidential designations over the past 21 years. A number of Monuments being reviewed are of significant interest to paddlers and provide protections for cherished whitewater stretches, including Bears Ears (Lower San Juan River, UT), Grand Canyon-Parashant (Colorado River, Grand Canyon, AZ), Giant Sequoia National Monument (Tule River, CA), Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument (East Branch of the Penobscot River, ME), Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (Rio Grande, Taos Boxes, NM) and many more.

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Urgent Action Needed to Protect Grand Canyon!

Evan Stafford

Arizona – Right now, legislation to construct a massive, amusement park-style development in the Grand Canyon has been introduced to the Navajo Nation Tribal Council. This massive development includes a tramway from the Grand Canyon Rim to the confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers, a food pavilion, amphitheater and an elevated walkway at the confluence, and at the rim hotels, restaurants, and cultural center. As paddlers who’ve either experienced the Grand Canyon, or dream to one day, we’ve got to voice our opposition to this project NOW. 

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ACTION ALERT: Grand Canyon: Glen Canyon Dam Comments Due Jan 31!

Megan Hooker

Your voice is needed to help protect and restore the beaches, habitat, and cultural resources on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. For the first time since 1996, federal resource agencies are considering the future operations of Glen Canyon Dam, which will impact flows on the Colorado. Your comments can help shape the alternatives that will be considered in an upcoming Environmental Impact Statement for the operation of the dam. If you love the Grand Canyon, have been lucky enough to do a trip on the Colorado, or hope to experience it one day, your comments are important! They are due Tuesday, January 31st!

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Grand Canyon Protection Announced!

Kevin Colburn

Earlier today the Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, announced a 20-year moratorium on new uranium and other hard rock mining claims on roughly 1-million acres of land surrounding the Grand Canyon.  We would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to Secretary Salazar, his staff, and the administration for acting as responsible stewards of one of America's most treasured places.

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Grand Canyon Needs Your Help (Again)

Kevin Colburn

Unhappy with a plan to protect 1 million acres of land along the Grand Canyon from new uranium mining,  congressmen recently introduced a rider to an appropriations bill that would prevent these protections. Tell Congress that opening the Grand Canyon to new uranium mining would be a huge mistake!

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Grand Canyon Gets Interim Protection from Mining

Kevin Colburn

The Secretary of the Interior recently announced a 6-month extension to his Department's moratorium on new uranium mining claims on over 1 million acres along the rim of the Grand Canyon.  This extension will protect the area while the Department of the Interior reviews the 300,000 comments received on their proposal to extend the protections for the next 20 years.

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Paddlers Rally to Protect Grand Canyon from Uranium Mining

Kevin Colburn

The paddling community is rallying to support a proposed 20-year federal moratorium on new uranium mining claims around Grand Canyon National Park, citing unacceptable risk to the recreational, environmental, and aesthetic values.  Read more to learn how to submit a comment of your own. 

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Grand Canyon Court Case Decision Released

Kevin Colburn

On November 26th, District Judge David Campbell issued his ruling to uphold the 2006 Colorado River Management Plan (CRMP). At issue in this case was the continued use of motors and the allocation between commercial outfitters and recreational river runners.  The management of the Grand Canyon will continue as dictated by the 2006 plan. 
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Lottery Applications now being accepted for 2008 Grand Canyon Trips

Thomas O'Keefe

Grand Canyon National Park’s weighted lottery for calendar year 2008 noncommercial river permits is now accepting applications. Lottery applications will be accepted through the Weighted Lottery from May 1, 2007 through 12:00 noon (Arizona time) on May 28, 2007. The lottery drawings will take place on May 31st.
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Grand Canyon Lottery Open Until October 21st

Kevin Colburn

Earlier this year, the Grand Canyon National Park began implementing their new management plan and river permitting system.  Paddlers wishing to enter the weighted lottery, which replaced the old wait list, may do so until October 21st. 
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AW Comments on Grand Canyon

Jason Robertson

Our shared focus is on problem solving and the implementation of sound, responsible and lasting solutions to outstanding issues.”  - AW et al. in Joint Comments<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

American Whitewater's comments are attached on the Colorado River Management Plan in the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Grand Canyon. We would like to remind our members that the deadline for comments is February 1, 2005.

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A Grand Solution

Jason Robertson

The Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association, Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association, American Whitewater, and Grand Canyon River Runners Association are very pleased to announced that we have reached an historic settlement, and jointly offer a set of Colorado River management recommendations for review by the National Park Service, which states, in part:

"The joint recommendations are the product of what we regard as a major and historic achievement, the coming together of Grand Canyon river user groups...  We have worked very hard to move beyond past differences.  Our united purposes are to constructively participate in and support the NPS in its effort to advance Grand Canyon river management and, most importantly, to meaningfully resolve major outstanding controversies.  Our shared focus is on problem solving and the implementation of sound, responsible and lasting solutions to outstanding issues."

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Grand Canyon River Plan Summary

Jason Robertson

Here is a summary of AW's observations regarding the Park Service management alternatives for the Grand Canyon.  AW has not yet finalized our comments; however, we want to share some of our considerations with our members in advance of the January 9th deadline.

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You're Invited to Comment!

Jason Robertson

By now you've heard that the Park Service has issued a plan for fixing the permit system on the Grand Canyon. Don't miss your chance to comment and be heard. AW will be posting our initial observations and summary later this week on our website.
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Grand Canyon River Plan Released!

Jason Robertson

The Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) has released it's long awaited Draft Environmental Statement (DEIS) today, an important part of the process of revising the methods used for recreational management of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
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Grand Canyon Update Jan 30, 2004

Jason Robertson

The National Park Service has just announced new plans to release the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Colorado River Management Plan (CRMP) for public review and comment in May 2004. This release is 6 months after the scheduled completion date and leaves only 7 months for finalization.
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Park Supplies Missing Link (AZ)

Jason Robertson

On Nov. 25, 2003 the Park Service reached another milestone in AW's 2002 settlement agreement. The Agency finally provided requried data on administrative and science use in the Grand Canyon. Now existing levels of use in the Canyon can factually be determined as the Park enters the final planning stages before releasing an Environmental Impact Statement on the Colorado River Management Plan.
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Grand Canyon Planning Update

Jason Robertson

The Park Service has asked American Whitewater to share a Grand Canyon planning update with our audience.  Of particular interest is that the Park has expressed an intention to select a preferred alternative in the draft EIS and that release of the EIS continues to be delayed from the originally scheduled release date this summer.
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Washington and San Francisco Grand Canyon Meetings To Be Held

Jason Robertson

On the heels of 5 successful open house meetings in cities throughout the West, Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent, Joseph F. Alston, today announced the Park’s intent to conduct two additional public meetings in the San Francisco/Oakland and the Washington, D.C./Baltimore areas. Meeting dates and locations are forthcoming and will be posted when available.
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Grand Canyon: The Survey Results Are In!

Jason Robertson

Thanks to everyone who participated in American Whitewater's survey of river management issues in the Grand Canyon. We appreciate your feedback and assistance.
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Havasu's Revenge? More Cases of Stomach Illness Reported in Grand Canyon (AZ)

Jason Robertson

A second group of rafters on the Grand Canyon has reported a stomach illness, similar to that experienced by other groups in early June. River and backcountry users are reminded to be extra vigilant with their sanitation practices.
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It's Official, Georgie Rapid Named in Grand Canyon

Jason Robertson

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names, has approved changing the name of Twentyfour Mile Rapids, located in the Grand Canyon, to Georgie Rapid.
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GCNP: Lawsuit Settlement Summary and Goals

Jason Robertson

A summary of what we sought in our lawsuit, what the settlement accomplishes in the bigger scheme of river management, and what the settlement requires of the park service.
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GCNP: Settlement Agreement (Jan 17, 2002)(102KB)

Jason Robertson

Our settlement agreement is attached. This document was filed on January 17th, 2002 in Federal District Court in Phoenix. (Note: 102KB)
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GCNP: Grand Canyon Suit Settled! Planning to Resume

Jason Robertson

AmericanWhitewater and other plaintiffs settle suit with the Park Service over river management planning on the Grand Canyon of the Colorado! Background Materials
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Grand Canyon!

Jason Robertson

752thumb.jpgA brief history of American Whitewater's lawsuit and other actions to improve river management on the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park. Contains active links to supporting documents.
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GCNP: AW's Response to Proposed Legislative End-Run (6/6/2001)

Jason Robertson

763thumb.jpg Our letter to Congress regarding prospective legislation for an adverse end-run to settlement talks and our on-going suit over river management planning in the Grand Canyon.
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GCNP: AW's Announcement of Lawsuit(7/6/2000)

Jason Robertson

748thumb.jpg Announcement by American Whitewater and other plaintiffs that we are suing Grand Canyon National Park in order to restart the Colorado River Management Plan.
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GCNP: Arnberger's Decision to Halt CRMP (2/24/2000)

Jason Robertson

746thumb.jpg Park Service press release justifying Superintendent's Arnberger decision to halt the CRMP.
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Grand Canyon Changes Waiting Policies

Jason Robertson

It's time to renew your place on the Waiting List for Colorado River permits. The deadline is January 31, 2001; but forms are being accepted early. We suggest returning yours today.

Craig Irwin


Matt Muir


Thomas O'Keefe


Paul Martzen


Nathan Fey

Colorado Stewardship Director


Mark Singleton


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1213793 10/13/19 Craig Irwin updated image position
1189908 03/10/09 n/a
1198819 11/30/10 Thomas O'Keefe permit update
1199763 04/06/11 Paul Martzen added links, minor editing
1201705 12/26/12 Thomas O'Keefe copy edit
1200154 05/22/11 Nathan Fey
1202968 01/03/14 Thomas O'Keefe lottery edit
1204472 04/01/15 Mark Singleton
1204474 04/02/15 Mark Singleton ceiba
1204475 04/02/15 Mark Singleton ceiba 2
1206236 04/17/16 Craig Irwin 2016.04
1206237 04/17/16 Craig Irwin 2016.04
1206238 04/17/16 Craig Irwin 2016.04
1206240 04/17/16 Craig Irwin added Granite Springs Rapid at mile 220.7
1208328 10/20/17 Nathan Fey
1210121 07/22/18 Thomas O'Keefe copy edits of rapid descriptions
1210501 11/06/18 Craig Irwin 20181106
1210502 11/06/18 Craig Irwin 201811081
1211202 02/15/19 Craig Irwin updated image position
1210503 11/06/18 Craig Irwin 20111102