See the Canyon from the River – Horseshoe Bend Rafting Trip

When you are standing on the edge of Horseshoe Bend, you may notice some tan or brown rafts floating down the river. These visitors are enjoying the only half-day rafting trip on the Colorado River from the base of Glen Canyon Dam.

The Horseshoe Bend Rafting Trip offers the most fantastic one day rafting trip anywhere on the mighty Colorado River. These half-day tours are perfect for the entire family (kids aged 4 and up).

Departing from the scenic town of Page, Arizona, your trip will begin with an exciting and exclusive ride down the two-mile long Glen Canyon Dam access tunnel. At river level, Glen Canyon Dam soars 700 feet above you, where you will board a comfortable pontoon raft for your journey downstream. For the next 3 hours, you will experience one of the most placid, yet dramatic stretches of river in the western United States. Your experienced guide will tell the story of the area’s soaring sandstone cliffs, crystal blue-green waters, abundant wildlife, exploration by Major John Wesley Powell and others. You will learn more about the river’s modern role in the Southwest’s water and power delivery system.

A stop to view an impressive set of ancient petroglyphs will offer a you chance to stretch your legs and enjoy your lunch while bearing witness to the area’s former inhabitancy by ancient native cultures. If you choose, you may also refresh yourself by wading in the cold, clear river. The Half Day Float through Glen Canyon to the Grand Canyon is not a rafting trip you will forget. Bring your family and enjoy an incredible day on the the Colorado River!

62 Responses

  1. Is it too cold to do the float trip in late Oct/early Nov? What time does it begin and end, please? What is the restroom situation?

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      Under normal circumstances, the Horseshoe Bend Float Trip runs until October 31st. With the disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus, the schedule may be extended, but obviously, that remains to be seen.
      As for whether it’s too cold to comfortably enjoy in late October/early November, if the weather is good, then no. Temperatures on the river tend to be somewhat warmer than they are on the rim, so the air temperature should be pleasant, although a little too cold for swimming. Again, this is providing that the weather that day is good. If it happens to be raining or even snowing, that could change things. Weather patterns tend to remain most stable through mid-October, then winter weather patterns start to assert themselves later in the month.
      The Horseshoe Bend raft trip requires check-in at 10:00 AM, the trip start time is 11:00 AM, and approximate return time is 3:30 PM. You would have access to restrooms before the start of the trip, at Petroglyph Beach, which is midway down the river portion of the trip, once more at Lees Ferry where you pull off the river, then back at the trip headquarters at the conclusion. The longest you would be without access to a restroom is 90 minutes-2 hours at any given point.
      Hope that helps.
      Good luck, safe travels, and wash your hands 😉

  2. We are staying at the RV park at the South Rim. What are our travel options to Page for the 1/2 day Horseshoe Bend float trip? I’d rather not have to take the RV to Page. We’ll be there July 1 & 2. There are 7 of us.

    1. Hi Renee,
      I totally get not wanting to unhook your RV at the crack of dawn, spend 5+ hours on the road driving up to Page, AZ, and back, then having to re-do your RV hookup in the dark. Fortunately, there is not one, but two possible solutions to this problem: the Horseshoe Bend Rafting package with round-trip bus transportation from the South Rim, or the Scenic Canyon River Adventure, which includes a scenic sunrise fixed-wing airplane flight from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, a tour of Upper Antelope Canyon (another must-do in the Page, AZ, area!), and the Horseshoe Bend Float Trip. Return transport to the South Rim on the Canyon River Adventure is by bus.
      Since you are traveling around the 4th of July weekend and have such a large party, I would strongly encourage you to make reservations for your Horseshoe Bend Rafting tour ASAP.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle,
      If you are wanting to bring your service dog on the trip referenced on the page you commented on (the Horseshoe Bend Rafting Trip), then you should contact the tour company directly to make arrangements. The company that operates the Horseshoe Bend Rafting Trip is Wilderness River Adventures, their phone # is 800.992.8022.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  3. Ally,
    We are coming in late March and are looking to do an upper and lower antelope canyon tour and a boat tour around horseshoe bend. Is there a combo tour? If not, is there two tours we can book in same day? We will be staying in Page and would really like to use one company for the tours Thank you.

    1. Hi Jody, this is a great question, and unfortunately the answer to whether you can book the tours you desire as a combo is “no.” As to whether you could take them all in a single day, probably not at the time of year you’re visiting.
      The only boat tour that goes through Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River is the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip. In late March, it departs once a day, at 11:00 AM (10:00 AM check-in) and returns at 3:30 PM. You might be able to “bookend” Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon around this tour, but you’d have to get a really early start to your day, and with daylength being relatively short at the time of your trip (sunrise at ~6:15 AM and sunset at roughly 6:45 PM), you might be cutting it a bit too fine to pull it off comfortably. As of right now, the earliest tour of Lower Antelope Canyonn is at 7:30 AM, and takes roughly 2 hours. You would then need to book it over to Wilderness River Adventures to catch the float trip. If for some reason your tour departs late, or gets held up in any way, causing you to be late for the float trip, the tour company will not wait for you, which means you could be out a considerable sum of money. The latest departure of Lower Antelope at that time of year occurs at 4:00 PM, which means you would need to high-tail it from the float trip over to the Tribal Park entrance in order to check in 30 minutes prior to departure, which is required.
      IMO, that’s too much rushing around to pull it off in a day, with too many variables that could throw a kink in your plans. A better idea would be to do the float trip one day, then tour Upper and Lower Antelope on a separate day.
      Hope that helps. Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Alley,
        This helps so so much. I do believe we need two days and that is what we are going for. Do you guys book both types of tours, the upper and lower antelope and the glenn canyon boat tour? Is there a specific website to go through? It is probably on here somewhere but all the info is very overwhelming. Thank you so much for your help. You have no idea how much I needed it.

        1. Hi again, Jody!
          For Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon tours, visit our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ “How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon” and look for the “Upper + Lower Antelope Canyon” tour bundle.
          For the Glen Canyon Float Trip, we haven’t yet managed to bundle that in with the Antelope Canyon tours, but we’re working on it! For now, though, you’ll need to book that tour through the concessionaire. For more information, visit Wilderness River Adventures | Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip.
          Have fun!
          Alley 🙂

  4. We are interested in traveling from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to Glen Canyon Dam for a raft trip on the Colorado. Is there any transportation to get us there if we don’t have a car?

    1. Hi Karin,
      There are two tours from Grand Canyon South Rim that go to Page, AZ, for the Glen Canyon Float Trip: the Canyon Smooth Water Bus Tour and the Antelope Canyon With Rafting Tour.
      Both tours are approximately 12 hours in length. The Canyon Smooth Water Bus Tour includes round-trip bus transportation from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ; the Antelope Canyon w/Rafting Tour includes a sunrise fixed-wing airplane flight from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, and return transportation by motorcoach.
      That said, I’m curious as to how you’ll be getting to Grand Canyon South Rim without a car?
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  5. I had booked a lower antelope canyon tour on Oct 7th for 9:15 am (I may be able to change this to 8:45 or as late as 4:15pm). The rafting trip for horseshoe seems to be at 11am. Is this enough time to be able to do both? Do you have another suggestion. There is 2 adults and 2 children ( 12 and 7 yr old.) I would appreciate your expertise in this matter.

    1. Hi Heather!
      I would strongly recommend changing your Antelope Canyon tour to an earlier time slot, or a later one, and not the time slots you’re presently proposing.
      2-2.5 hours should be allowed for touring Lower Antelope Canyon, factoring in advance check-in, and the inevitable “bottleneck” that builds up as the day goes on. Even an 8:45 AM departure will put you in danger of missing the required check-in for the Glen Canyon Float Trip, which, at the time of year you’re visiting, is 10:00 AM. The Glen Canyon Float Trip typically concludes at 3:30 PM in October, so, theoretically, you could make it on time for a 4:15 PM tour of Lower Antelope, but again, that’s only theoretically. While the check-in locations are not too far away from one another, a 4:15 PM Antelope Canyon tour will require you to check in at 3:45 PM. Therefore, you’d have to hope and pray that your trip ends on time, then rush over to the departure point for your Antelope Canyon tour. No time to linger, shop, or bid your raft captain a proper good-bye.
      If availability of Lower Antelope Canyon tours isn’t cooperating with you taking the tour on October 7th, I’d recommend doing the tour the following morning, or perhaps the day prior. Another option would be to consider Antelope Canyon X, which is similar in looks and physicality to Lower Antelope, but group sizes are kept smaller.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  6. we are going to be in Page AZ the week of the 22nd and I can not find phone, email or web page to book the Glen Canyon Float Trip?
    can you help me with info to contact some one?

    1. Hi Joddy,
      Sorry for the troubles you are experiencing.
      Wilderness River Adventures can be reached by phone at (800) 992-8022 or (928) 645-3296. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a suitable e-mail address to use to contact them for reservations.
      Hope that information at least helps.
      Alley 🙂

  7. Hi there,
    We will be there August 7th, traveling w/a 6 yr old. All the upper antelope tours seems to be booked and the only one I found kids need to be 8 years old to tour w/them. What other tours can you suggest? We are driving in from Las Vegas and had planned a day for Page,Az. Flying back home through Phoenix.

    1. Hi Erika,
      Sorry for the troubles.
      At present, only two out of four Upper Antelope Canyon tour companies allow children younger than 7: Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours and Roger Ekis’ Antelope Canyon Tours.
      If you find those companies’ tours sold out, you might look at Antelope Canyon X. It does involve a few stairs and ladders, but they do allow infants and pre-K children on their tours.
      For more information on touring Antelope Canyon with children, check out “FAQ: Bringing Kids To Antelope Canyon
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Karen,
      No, the float trip does not pick up from Grand Canyon North Rim. If you would like to take the Glen Canyon Float Trip, you would need to drive to Page, AZ, which is ~2.5 hours from GC North Rim.

      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  8. hello
    Who are the other merchant who operate river rafting in page/horseshoe? i need late afternoon timing and wilderness river adventure dont have that?
    who are the provider for aeroplane/helicopter in horseshoe bend?

    1. Dear Sachin,
      Wilderness River Adventures is the only tour company operating float trips in Glen Canyon. If you’re wanting to do a water-based activity in late afternoon, you might consider a boat tour on Lake Powell. There are two operators of these: Lake Powell Resort and Antelope Point Marina. Another option might be a kayak tour, there are 3 companies that run these: Kayak Lake Powell, Hidden Canyon Kayak, and Lake Powell Paddleboards & Kayaks. Keep in mind that these activities take place on Lake Powell and not in Glen Canyon.
      For airplane tours, operators are: Westwind Air Service, American Aviation, and Scenic/Grand Canyon Airlines. For helicopters, contact Papillon/Grand Canyon Helicopters
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  9. Hello!! I often kayak Up Colorado River 15 miles from down river below the Hoover Dam, and turn around. Is this possible to launch down river from the dam at Lee’s, kayak up river, to turn around and return? Thanks in advance!


    1. Hi Jenny,
      Yes, you can do something like that in Glen Canyon! You would need to employ a backhaul service to port your kayak to the base of Glen Canyon Dam, and you could then kayak down to Lees Ferry. Backhaul services are offered by Wilderness River Adventures.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. So it is not possible to paddle up river? Is there a good phone number to call and ask very specific questions? I am traveling from Mammoth Lakes and it is about an 11 hour drive. I need to make sure all of my ducks are in a row! Lee’s Ferry ain’t answer phones:(

        Thank you for your quick response!!!! 🙂

        1. Hi Jenny,
          I believe you have to get backhauled up to the dam, but for specific information, call Wilderness River Adventures at (928) 645-3296.
          Best regards,

    1. Hello Lee,
      This particular video does not belong to our company, it was shot by Colorado River Discovery, the former concessionaire for the Glen Canyon Float Trip. The concession contract for the Glen Canyon Float Trip was recently re-awarded to Wilderness River Adventures, so you would probably want to coordinate with them to use any video footage of the float trip so you can relay the most accurate information to your viewers. For more information, visit Their local phone number is 928-645-3296.
      Best of luck to you,
      Alley 🙂

  10. Due to stay at lake Powell 1st and 2nd November this year
    Is there trips still available in Colorado river this time of year?

  11. Hi, I’m Muriel from France, we would like to rent a kayak, canoe or stand up paddle and paddle through Horseshoe Canyon from Glen Canyon dam to Lee’s Ferry. Is that possible ?

  12. I have a query regarding the “half day glen canyon float tour” and “canyon adventure boat tour (2.5 hours)”. I have already booked the glen canyon float trip and was wondering if it makes sense to do “canyon adventures boat tour” as well. Any recommendations on how different they are and if it makes sense to do both.

    1. Hi Rajat and thank you for your excellent question!
      The Half Day Glen Canyon Float Trip traverses a stretch of the Colorado River that lies downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam. You will see canyon walls rise on both sides of you as you make your way down to historic Lees Ferry, the terminus.
      On the Canyon Adventure Boat Tour, you will see part of Lake Powell. This area lies upstream of the Glen Canyon Dam, which impounded the waters of the Colorado River behind it to form a large reservoir. You will see high rock formations, but they will be more spread out on the lake.
      Doing both activities certainly wouldn’t be a bad use of your time, but 1. I wouldn’t recommend doing them on the same day and 2. before you commit to doing both, I would prioritize the Glen Canyon Float Trip first as it’s one of the “Big 3” must-do’s in the Page, AZ area and 3. speaking of the “Big Three,” make sure you’ve set aside enough time to visit the Horseshoe Bend Overlook and for an Antelope Canyon tour. The latter, as well as the Glen Canyon Float Trip, must be booked in advance.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  13. Hi Alley
    Is there a company that offers both the float trip and secret canyon as one tour? If not, is it possible to fit both tours in one day?
    Kind regards Tasha

    1. Hi Tasha,
      These two attractions are not offered together as a package tour, but they can certainly be seen in one day’s time.
      Assuming you’re traveling during peak visitation period (late Spring through early Fall), you should take the 7:00 AM morning departure of the float trip, which will conclude at about 1:00 PM. You could then tour Secret, or any of the other slot canyons in the Page, AZ area, in the afternoon.
      Advance reservations should be made for both activities.
      Thank you for visiting our site!
      Alley 🙂

  14. we are doing the full day float trip on the 3rd week of may. do we wear swim suits? are we able to just jump in?

    1. Hi Julie,
      You are welcome to wear swimsuits on the Glen Canyon Float Trip, but any swimming you do will be brief: the water in the Colorado River is a constant, cold 45 degrees (Fahrenheit). Wear whatever you’re comfortable with, preferably light layers you can easily shed and stash in a bag, and put on again if the need arises. The best opportunity to enjoy a quick dip will occur at lunchtime, or when you pull over to Petroglyph Beach to take an easy walk to see a panel of ancient pictographs.
      Have fun!
      Alley 🙂

  15. Hi there
    I am coming from Australia on August 29th and would like to book the float tour to Horseshoe bend down the two-mile long Glen Canyon Dam access tunnel for 9 adults but cannot find anywhere to contact or do a booking. Please advise company/website for this.

    1. Hi Jill,
      Sorry for the troubles, the concession contract transitioned to another company this year and bugs are still being sorted out! The Glen Canyon Float Trip is now run by Wilderness River Adventures, the website to use to book is
      Best wishes for safe travels!
      Alley 🙂
      P.S. We would strongly recommend taking the morning departure that time of year as daytime high temperatures on the river are very hot, plus afternoons run the risk of monsoon storms, which are sometimes severe enough to warrant cancellation of the trip.

  16. Hi Alley!
    Thanks for your information and kind responses! It has been very useful when planning our trip.
    I’m travelling in may with my wife, a 2.5 year old child and a 9 month baby.
    Do you think a boat trip (a short one) is suitable and available for us?

    For the instance, we are including (one day each): Bryce NP, Upper Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend, and travelling around the Grand Canyon. We will be renting an RV from Las Vegas. Any additional suggestion about adding/removing something?

    1. Hi again, Diego!
      With children that young, you will be limited on your options, such as the Glen Canyon Float Trip. Children have to be at least 4 to take part in that. Guess you’ll have to make plans to come back 😉
      The shortest boat tour would be an Antelope Canyon waterside tour from Antelope Point Marina. They last about 1 hour. Do read the information carefully before committing, though.
      Another observation: since you’re coming from Las Vegas, you might consider working Zion National Park into your trip. Since the roads through the park are quite steep, what you might do is drive as far as Springdale, take the shuttles into the park for sightseeing, then continue on to Page. Also, be sure to make reservations for all the RV parks and campgrounds you plan to stay at on your trip.
      Best wishes for safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  17. Hi
    We are a family of 4 planning a boat tour from Page on 9th July 2018. Can you inform about duration, start time, price and availability ?
    Torben (Denmark)

    1. Hi Torben and thank you for your inquiry.
      Lake Powell Boat Tours vary in length from approximately 90 minutes to 6+ hours. Which one you take depends on what you want to accomplish, sights you want to see, etc. For example, if you wish to see Rainbow Bridge National Monument, you’ll want to take the Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour from Lake Powell Resort, which is on the longer end of the time variance. Depending on the level of Lake Powell – which is forecasted to be on the low side this year – it could involve a 3-mile round-trip walk to see the Bridge itself. In July, that could be quite uncomfortable due to extreme heat.
      If you’re just wanting a taste of what Lake Powell looks like from the water, you might choose a shorter tour like the Canyon Adventure boat tour or the Canyon Princess Dinner Cruise.
      Whichever one you choose to do, be sure to make reservations in advance of your arrival. Keep in mind that Lake Powell Resort is located within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, so an entrance fee is charged to drive to the Resort.
      Hope that helps. Have a wonderful visit!
      Alley 🙂

  18. Hello
    We are a family from Portugal, and we go in vacation next August to USA.

    Is possible make the booking to the 26 August to the full motor trip??

    What the price to 2 adults and my daughter (16 years old).

    Please send me a mail with all the informations because I tried to make the booking in the web site but don’t work.

    Waiting for news

    Best regards

    Carlos Pereira

    1. Hi Carlos,
      So sorry for the trouble! The concession contract for the Colorado River Float Trip was recently awarded to another company and apparently they haven’t updated their booking information yet. I will contact you personally when I find out when they have.
      Apologies again,

  19. We have our own kayaks and want to paddle through Horseshoe Canyon from Glen Canyon dam to Lee’s Ferry. Can we provide our own transportation for this or do we have to use a commercial service. We want to leave one vehicle at the dam and the other at Lee’s Ferry to put in and take out. Is this possible? I have the National Parks Lifetime Park Pass.

    1. Hi Sharon, thank you for visiting, and for your question!
      Private vehicles may not be parked at Glen Canyon Dam for security reasons, but they can be parked at Lees Ferry. You would then need to use an authorized backhauling service to get your kayak to the base of the dam so you could paddle down through Horseshoe Bend, etc. Colorado River Discovery in Page, AZ provides this service. For more information, visit Your lifetime park pass would then grant you access to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, of which Horseshoe Bend is a part. If you wish to camp on the river, the maximum stay length is 14 days.
      Thanks again for visiting and have a wonderful trip!
      Alley 🙂

  20. Hi, Are there any float trips available for the elderly that use a walker? We are bringing my 82y mother and know she would love the trip but pretty sure she can’t sit on the floor or rim of a raft. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Becky,
      Seniors enjoy the Colorado River Discovery float trip every day, including those that use a walker or cane. If your mom requires extra back support, you may wish to bring a folding stadium seat with you. Another option would be to call Colorado River Discovery directly and let them know your concerns. They may be able to pre-assign her a seat based on her need for additional back support. Their phone number is 928-645-9175.
      Good luck and safe travels,

  21. We are interested in the 1/2 day float trip from Page, AZ at 7:30 am in June. Where do you pick up from? We are also considering doing an Antelope Canyon tour — don’t know whether we could fit that in on the same day. I see you have a slot canyon and raft tour. Is the pick up for that in Page as well? Do you recommend the slot canyon over antelope canyon or should we try to do both (are they different enough?)

    1. Hi Karen!
      The Colorado River Discovery Half-Day Float Trip picks up at the tour company’s welcome center at 130 6th Avenue in Page. It would conclude at the same place at approximately 12:00 Noon, so you could fit an Antelope Canyon tour in the same day.
      However, due to the almost overwhelming demand for Antelope Canyon Tours this year (What To Do If Antelope Canyon Tours Are Sold Out), the CRD Raft/Slot Canyon Combination tour definitely warrants consideration. The slot canyon in this case is Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon, aka Secret Canyon, which is said to “rival Antelope Canyon for nicely lit, swirling formations” and best of all, has fewer people to jockey with for the perfect photo op! The combination tour from CRD includes lunch, and pick-up/drop-off for both tour components is at the CRD Welcome Center.
      Hope that helps. Have a great trip!

    1. Hi Kristin, great question!
      If you’d like to kayak through Horseshoe Bend, you will need to hire a backhaul service from Lees Ferry through Colorado River Discovery. You can then paddle the river self-guided to Lees Ferry through Horseshoe Bend! For more information click here ->: Kayak Backhauling Service
      Hope that helps.
      Have a great trip!

    1. Hi Pam,
      As someone who’s rafted the Grand Canyon, I can tell you that IS a lot of fun to do! For what it’s worth, I recommend taking a full-canyon trip from Lees Ferry to at least Whitmore Wash. This will require a minimum time commitment of 7-8 days for a motor trip, 9-10 days for an oar trip. Grand Canyon White Water Rafting trips are offered May through September, and with such a limited season (plus a limited number of spaces on each trip), they do book up months, sometimes up to a year in advance. There are approximately 15 concessionaires that offer Grand Canyon White Water tours, all are good companies licensed by the Park Service with excellent safety and service records. Which one you choose to go with won’t depend so much on who they are, but which one has the trip offering that best fits your schedule. To help you narrow down the search faster, I recommend working with Rivers & Oceans out of Flagstaff, AZ. They work with all the white water concessionaires and are experienced river guides themselves. To contact them, visit
      Happy rafting!

    1. Hi Dawn – the answer to your question depends heavily on the time of year you’re visiting. If, for example, your trip is taking place in May or September, the weather is still mild enough to where the 11 AM tour would do just fine for you. However, if you’re traveling during June, July or August, temperatures in Glen Canyon exceed the 100 degree (Fahrenheit) mark, which makes the afternoon trips VERY hot. Hence, the 7:30 AM departure is recommended for summertime visitors.
      Hope that helps – have fun!

  22. Can you go on a one day flot trip through Horseshoe Bend, my wife and I both whitewater kayak and SUP. What is the class, mileage and cost please?! Thank you very much and have a great day!
    Chris Oatman

    1. Hi Chris, this is an excellent question!
      You can indeed go on a one-day float trip through Horseshoe Bend in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This section of the Colorado River has no rapids, so whitewater rafting experience is not necessary. For trip cost and more information, visit this link ->:
      By the way, if you’d like to do some SUP, Lake Powell offers excellent opportunities for doing so! Click here for more information ->:
      Hope that helps – have a great time!

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