List of Colorado River rapids and features

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The following is a list of major rapids and other notable features on the Colorado River through Marble Canyon and Grand Canyon below Glen Canyon Dam, in order of their position downstream of Lee's Ferry. Ratings are given for how difficult the rapid is to navigate by whitewater raft or other water craft. The Grand Canyon section of the Colorado River, like several other big-water Western rivers, uses a scale of 1-10 for rapids, 10 being the most difficult. (The Class I-VI classification of rapids is more common elsewhere in the US and internationally.)

  • Mile 0.0 - Lee's Ferry
    A large raft is launched at Lee's Ferry (Mile 0.0)
  • Mile 0.2 - Paria River Riffle
  • Mile 4.2 - Navajo Bridges
    Navajo Bridges (Mile 4.2)
  • Mile 7.9 - Badger Creek Rapid (4-6)- First significant rapid in Marble Canyon
  • Mile 11.2 - Soap Creek Rapid (5-6)
  • Mile 14.5 - Sheer Wall Rapid (2-3)
  • Mile 16.9 - House Rock Rapid (4-7)- The first large rapid in the Canyon. A large hole on the left side of the river forms at most water levels, necessitating a right run.
  • Mile 20.5 - North Canyon Rapid (4-5) (beginning of the "Roaring 20's")
  • Mile 21.2 - 21 Mile Rapid (4-5)
  • Mile 23.5 - 23.5 Mile Rapid (3)
  • Mile 24.2 - 24 Mile (Georgie) Rapid (3-7)
  • Mile 24.5 - 24.5 Mile Rapid (5-6)
  • Mile 25.6 - Cave Springs Rapid (5)
  • Mile 26.8 - 27 Mile (Tiger Wash) Rapid (5)
  • Mile 29.2 - 29 Mile Rapid (3), Silver Grotto, and Shinumo Wash Camp
  • Mile 31.7 - Stanton's Cave
  • Mile 31.9 - Vasey's Paradise
  • Mile 33.0 - No rapid - site of the proposed Redwall Dam
  • Mile 33.1 - Redwall Cavern - A very large alcove in the Redwall Sandstone at river level. Very popular stop for river trips.
    Redwall Cavern (Mile 33.1)
  • Mile 34.8 - Nautiloid Canyon
  • Mile 35.8 - The Bridge of Sighs; this is one of the few Grand Canyon arches visible from the river.
  • Mile 36.0 - 36 Mile Rapid (4)
  • Mile 43.2 - Anasazi Bridge
  • Mile 43.7 - President Harding Rapid (4)- The river splits around a large rock in the middle of the river.
  • Mile 47.1 - Saddle Canyon
  • Mile 52.0 - Nankoweap Rapid (1-2)
    Ancestral Puebloean granaries at Nankoweap Creek (Mile 52.0)
    • Nankoweap Creek is a popular campsite. A steep trail up the talus slope leads to Ancestral Puebloean granaries with a spectacular view.
  • Mile 56.0 - Kwagunt Rapid (4-6)
  • Mile 60.0 - 60 Mile Rapid (4)
  • Mile 61.25 - Little Colorado River enters
  • Mile 64.7 - Carbon Creek
  • Mile 65.5 - Lava Canyon (Chuar) Rapid (2-4)
  • Mile 68.5 - Tanner Rapid (2-4)
  • Mile 72.5 - Unkar Rapid (4-7)
    The Colorado River near Unkar Rapid (Mile 72.5)
  • Mile 75.5 - Nevills Rapid (4-7)
  • Mile 76.6 - Hance Rapid (7-8) - Multiple large rocks constrict the channel and form powerful hydraulics.
  • Mile 78.5 - Sockdolager Rapid (5-7) - (Sockdolager is an archaic slang word for knockout blow.)
  • Mile 81.5 - Grapevine Rapid (6-7)
  • Mile 83.6 - 83 Mile Rapid (3-6)
  • Mile 84.7 - Zoroaster Rapid (4)
  • Mile 85.3 - 85 Mile Rapid (3) [not listed in Grand Canyon River Guide]
  • Mile 87.5 - Kaibab Bridge and Phantom Ranch boat beach
  • Mile 87.7 - Bright Angel Rapid (3) [not listed in Grand Canyon River Guide], Bright Angel Creek and Bright Angel Bridge
  • Mile 88.9 - Pipe Springs Rapid (3)
  • Mile 90.2 - Horn Creek Rapid (7-9) - At lower water, forms very large waves and hydraulics and is one of the most difficult rapids in the canyon.
  • Mile 92.0 - Salt Creek Rapid (2)
  • Mile 93.4 - Granite Rapid (7-8) - One of the more difficult rapids with a strong pull to the wall on river right.
  • Mile 94.9 - Hermit Rapid (7-8) - Perhaps the strongest hydraulics and biggest waves in the canyon.
  • Mile 96.7 - Boucher Rapid (4-5)
  • Mile 98.2 - Crystal Rapid (7-10) - [1] Several very large holes followed by a dangerous rock garden at bottom of rapids on river left. Formed in 1966 when a flash flood of Crystal Canyon washed debris into the river.
  • Mile 99.1 - Tuna Creek Rapid (5-7)
  • Mile 99.4 - Lower Tuna (Willie's Necktie) Rapid (4)
  • Mile 100.5 - Agate Rapid (3) [not listed in Grand Canyon River Guide]. The beginning of "the gems."
  • Mile 101.2 - Sapphire Rapid (6)
  • Mile 102.0 - Turquoise Rapid (2-4)
  • Mile 103.9 - 104 Mile (Emerald) Rapid (5)
  • Mile 104.5 - Ruby Rapid (4-5)
  • Mile 106.0 - Serpentine Rapid (6)
  • Mile 107.7 - Bass Rapid (3)
  • Mile 108.3 - Beach and trailhead for Bass's Camp.
  • Mile 108.6 - Shinumo Rapid (2-3)
  • Mile 110.0 - 110 Mile Rapid (2-3)
  • Mile 110.9 - Hakatai Rapid (2-3)
  • Mile 112.1 - Waltenberg Rapid (3-5)
  • Mile 116.5 - Elves Chasm- A popular side canyon with a small clear-flowing stream with waterfalls and multiple pools.
  • Mile 118.8 - 119 Mile Rapid (2) [not listed in Grand Canyon River Guide]
  • Mile 120.0 - Blacktail Rapid (3) [not listed in Grand Canyon River Guide]
  • Mile 122.0 - Mile 122 Rapid (4) [not listed in Grand Canyon River Guide]
  • Mile 122.7 - Forstel Rapid (3-6)
  • Mile 124.9 - Fossil Rapid (3-6)
  • Mile 127.0 - Mile 127 Rapid (3) [not listed in Grand Canyon River Guide]
  • Mile 128.5 - Mile 128 Rapid (4)
  • Mile 130.0 - Specter Rapid (6)
  • Mile 130.5 - Bedrock Rapid (6-8) - The river splits around a very large rock outcropping. Going left of the rock is not recommended.
  • Mile 131.7 - Deubendorff Rapid (5-8) - Has multiple large holes and pourovers
  • Mile 133.7 - Tapeats Creek - A large creek entering at river right. A popular hike up Tapeats Creek leads to Thunder River.
  • Mile 133.7 - Tapeats Rapid (4-5)
  • Mile 134.8 - 135 Mile (Helicopter Eddy) Rapid (3)
  • Mile 135.0 - Granite Narrows. This is the narrowest location of the river at 76 feet.
  • Mile 136.2 - Deer Creek Falls - A popular stop, both for the falls themselves and for hikes up to the "narrows" and the "throne room."
  • Mile 137.8 - Doris Rapid (4)
  • Mile 138.5 - 138.5 Mile Rapid (3) [not listed in Grand Canyon River Guide]
  • Mile 139.0 - Fishtail Rapid (4)
  • Mile 141.2 - 141 Mile Rapid (2) [not listed in Grand Canyon River Guide]
  • Mile 143.5 - Kanab Rapid (2-5)
  • Mile 149.0 - Matkatamiba Rapid (1)
    • Matkatamiba Canyon is a popular, short hike up a narrow, winding slot canyon with a perennial stream.
  • Mile 149.7 - Upset Rapid (3-8)
  • Mile 153.5 - Sinyala Rapid (1-2)
  • Mile 156.7 - Havasu Canyon is a beautiful turquoise-watered side canyon. Havasu Canyon Rapid (2-4) follows shortly downstream.
  • Mile 164.0 - 164 Mile Rapid (2)
  • Mile 168.0 - Fern Glen Rapid (2)
  • Mile 171.2 - Gateway Rapid (3)
  • Mile 179.2 - Lava Falls Rapid (8-10) - Perhaps the most difficult, if short, run in the entire canyon.
  • Mile 179.7 - Lower Lava Rapid (3-4)
  • Mile 185.2 - 185 Mile Rapid (2)
  • Mile 186.9 - Whitmore Helipad
  • Mile 187.8 - Whitmore Rapid (2-3)
  • Mile 205.2 - 205 Mile (Kolb) Rapid (3-6)
  • Mile 209.0 - 209 Mile Rapid (3)
  • Mile 212.0 - 212 Mile (Little Bastard) Rapid (2-3)
  • Mile 212.9 - Pumpkin Spring
  • Mile 215.6 - Three Springs Rapid (2) [not listed in Grand Canyon River Guide]
  • Mile 217.3 - 217 Mile Rapid (4-5)
  • Mile 220.2 - Granite Spring Rapid (2)
  • Mile 223.4 - 224 Mile Rapid (3)
  • Mile 225.0 - Diamond Creek Take-out. This is the first location downriver from Lee's Ferry where a road reaches the river (assuming that it's not washed out by a flash flood of Diamond Creek). This is a popular takeout for Grand Canyon boating trips.
  • Mile 226.1 - Diamond Creek Rapid (3-4)
  • Mile 232.3 - 232 Mile (Killer Fang Falls) Rapid (4-7) - It has been speculated (e.g. by Brad Dimock in his Sunk Without a Sound) that this is where Glen and Bessie Hyde met their fate.•
  • Mile 233.7 - 234 Mile Rapid (3-6)
  • Mile 235.1 - Bridge Canyon Rapid (3-5)
  • Mile 279 - Pearce Ferry (Pierce Ferry) Take-Out (on Lake Mead) was not operational as of 2009 and has since been reopened. The elevation at the ramp is about 1150 feet and the elevation of Lake Mead was 1096.92 in May 2009.
  • Mile 279 - Pearce Ferry Rapid (unknown rating) This rapid was created in 2007 when the level of Lake Mead went below 1138 feet. Lake Mead was over 70 feet deep here in 2000.
  • Mile 296 - South Cove Take-Out (in Lake Mead)

Sources[edit]

  • Guide to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Second Edition, Tom Martin and Duwain Whitis. ISBN 0-9674595-5-9
  • "Belknap's Waterproof Grand Canyon River Guide"; New Edition 2009; Buzz Belnap—Loie Belknap Evans; Library of Congress Control Number: 2006937059; ISBN 978-0-916370-16-9

External links[edit]