You probably know all of our Grand Canyon rafting trips include daily side hikes to some pretty incredible places that can only be accessed from the river. What you probably don’t know is how long and how challenging those hikes might be. But that’s OK, because we don’t know either. That’s because every Colorado River trip is different and we can never guess in advance which hikes you might or might not do on your unique trip. We can, however, give you some general guidelines about the typical or average hikes you might experience. Once you’re actually on the river, your guides will do their best to describe in better detail what the hike actually entails. If you don’t feel up for that particular adventure, you always have the option of sitting out the hike.
So, we can say, on average, most hikes on your Grand Canyon Whitewater trip probably won’t be more than about 1 mile round trip or more (*This is not the case for our Hiker’s Special trips; see your itinerary or Trip Info Packet for more details about your trip). Some will be shorter. A few hikes might have a longer option.
The terrain you cover on the hikes will vary quite a lot. If your guide says it’s a nice, easy hike, it probably means it’s on fairly level ground and fairly short.
What if your guide describes a hike as a little “scrambly”? That probably means you will need to use your hands on the hike and that you might be climbing up or over some large rocks. If they say there is a vertical ascent or descent? Just what it sounds like: Your trail will be on uneven ground with some (possibly steep) changes in elevation. If they say it is a wet hike? You will probably be hiking in/through running water, such as a creek, and you might have to navigate obstacles (such as rocks) in that running water. Those wet obstacles will probably be slippery, and you will probably want your hands free for balance.
A final thing to keep in mind: If you’re nervous about a hike, or if you have more questions, ask your guides! They have no way of knowing what your concerns might be unless you talk to them about it.