Good news: droughts in the Southwest, or lack of a good Spring runoff, won’t affect your Grand Canyon raft trip at all. This is because every last drop of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon is strictly regulated. Glen Canyon Dam, just above Grand Canyon National Park boundaries, controls release of the flow coming out of Lake Powell, and there are minimum daily flow requirements. Even during a drought, even during a low-flow cycle, there is still enough water running through the canyon for commercial rafting companies to run our trips.
And, this is kind of counter-intuitive, but there’s actually more water being released from the dam during the hottest, driest months of the summer. That’s because Glen Canyon is a hydroelectric dam, and demands for power shoot up in the summer, when all these desert dwellers are running the air conditioning at full blast. So, demands for power crank up the output from the dam, which means the highest river flows are usually in June, July and August.
Betcha didn’t see that coming, did you?
However, even during the lower-flow months, we’ve still got enough water down there for our boats. The truth is, no one but a boatman will really notice the difference between a high flow and a not-so-high flow.