Grand Canyon Trip Planning & Logistics
The myriad of details surrounding your put-in and take-out for your Grand Canyon river trip can be a bit daunting.
Let us help make it simple!
LEES FERRY & MARBLE CANYON - PUT-IN LOGISTICS
Lees Ferry in Marble Canyon, AZ is where Grand Canyon river trips launch. One hundred and twenty miles north of Flagstaff, Marble Canyon is home to three lodges (Marble Canyon Lodge, Lee’s Ferry Lodge, and Cliff Dwellers Lodge). All have multiple services, including restaurants, lodging, wifi, and outgoing mail. Note that from March through November, Marble Canyon and Lees Ferry are on Arizona time (MST), where just across Marble Canyon Bridge the Navajo Nation adheres to Daylight Savings Time (MDT).
Traveling from your point of origin to Lees Ferry and then rigging your boats usually takes a full day. Many of Ceiba’s services can alleviate frustration and save time if you utilize them!
There is electricity at Lee’s Ferry, bathrooms (no showers), and a private river runners camp spot just downstream from the launch ramp. It is illegal to camp on the ramp.
Often, many private, commercial, and science trips rig on the same day at the ramp. Use just enough space to complete your rig, on the far downstream end of the ramp. Only 2 vehicles from your group are allowed on the ramp at the same time. For your equipment & permit check out, the NPS Ranger will either arrive at the launch ramp on the afternoon of your rig day or at the river camp on the morning of your launch day. They will want to see all the required equipment, trip leader paperwork and participant list. One of the items most closely inspected are your life jackets. The PFDs must be in good shape and US Coast Guard approved. See the NPS Noncommercial River Trip Regulations below for a list of required equipment.
The ranger will stop by in the morning promptly at 9 am (AZ time) for orientation. This generally happens at your river camp just downstream from the Lees Ferry launch ramp. It typically lasts about an hour. The ranger will check everyone’s photo ID at the orientation. Be sure to remind your group to bring photo ID!
Valid photo ID for everyone on the trip
Information regarding your permit: Participant roster with names (including middle initials); each participant’s date of birth, complete address, phone number, and e-mail address; your put-in/take-out dates and locations.
Copy of of the Noncommercial River Trip Regulations
GRAND CANYON - TAKE-OUT LOGISTICS
There are two take out options for your Grand Adventure. There are pros and cons to each option. We are not here to persuade you in either direction but to provide you with the facts. We want to support you in making an educated decision. Below is the pertinent information regarding both options.
If you arrive and start de-rigging before our driver arrives, try to separate personal gear into one pile and Ceiba gear in another. Like items piled together. The straps holding the frames on the boat all remain attached to the frame. The floor gets tightened up flat to the frame. Please leave drop bags attached to the frame! Bundle oars in packages of four.
*If you are changing any pick up times you need to notify us by SAT phone or text several days ahead of time.
1. Diamond Creek, AZ | River Mile 226 | Hualapai Indian Reservation
It can be busy and hectic at Diamond Creek! Putting some time and effort into planning your take-out is of the utmost importance. Think about de-rig procedures that will save you and your group time on the ramp. Camping within 5 miles of the take-out is a must. From March 1st– November 1st, ONLY the Hualapai are allowed to rig and de-rig on the Diamond Creek ramp between 7 AM and 10 AM. We will need to schedule a pick up time for your take out. We often recommend between 10 and 11 am. Please be friendly and patient with all the different parties at the take-out, and pay respect to the Hualapai. It is illegal to drink alcoholic beverages on the ramp. From the take-out, it takes a solid hour to drive up Diamond Creek Road, which is unpaved, to Peach Springs, AZ Route 66.
The Hualapai Tribe charges exit fees for every river trip, one each per person, per vehicle, per driver. Ceiba will be happy to assist you with any or all of your Diamond Creek take-out logistics!
If you are planning on going below Diamond Creek and doing the “Diamond Down” section, Ceiba can assist you with all these options as well. We have 15 hp Honda 4 stroke outboard motors available, transoms to fit 18′ row boats, fuel tanks, and we can bring in a re-supply with fresh food, ice, beer, and anything your group desires for the lower end of your trip. Ceiba’s expertise is this area is a strong resource to consider.
2. Pearce Ferry Ramp, Lake Mead | River Mile 279
The Pearce Ferry Ramp take-out is . Commercial outfitters, Canyon Jet Boat Services, the Hualapai Day Trips, science expeditions, and private boaters are using the ramp. You are not permitted to launch any trips from this ramp. You are also not allowed to camp on the ramp. The PFR is the take-out for a Diamond Down trip or a complete canyon trip.
The Lower Granite Gorge is spectacular from mile 226 to 237. There are six significant rapids and the current moves pretty well thru this corridor. Grand Canyon ends at Mile 276.5, the Grand Wash Cliffs.
SEVERAL ‘PROS” TO THINK ABOUT WHILE CONSIDERING THE STRETCH BELOW DIAMOND CREEK:
Avoiding paying Hualapai exit fees by not taking out at Diamond Creek
Extending your trip a few more days
Running classic Grand Canyon rapids in the Lower Gorge
Experiencing the entire Grand Canyon
Unlimited side canyon hikes
More reliable road for take out - less prone to closure due to floods
DIAMOND DOWN LOGISTICS
Utilizing Diamond Creek as a put-in and running the 55 miles of the Lower Gorge is a strong river trip option. It's a perfect 3-4 day adventure. Consider renting a transom & motor, which will give you the luxury of additional time to do some hiking in the Lower Granite Gorge. A perfect stretch to bring along some SUPs, IKs and other fun play boats. As simple as filling out an NPS permit and a Hualapai Tribal Permit. Enjoy this "short but sweet" section of the Grand Canyon!