Why? To see the great gorge from a completely different and rare angle. Looking down on the squiggle of the Colorado River from a mile up on the rocky rim it seems impossible that this river could have carved the gargantuan Grand Canyon.
Of course it s had about two billion years to do so slowly slicing through the black red orange purple strata to create one of the natural wonders of the world. And this is why seeing the canyon from water level is the best way to appreciate it the experience offers a far more intimate encounter than peering in from the top as well as a close up of all that glorious geology.
The official launch point for a full run is Lees Ferry at the north east of Grand Canyon National Park; the end is at Lake Mead 443km further on. En route are side canyons Puebloan sites swimming holes and sandy beaches not to mention plenty of wild water.
So all good it s just getting authorisation to enter that s the problem. There s a weighted lottery? system with a waiting list of several years to secure a private rafting permit. Fortunately commercial tour op trips which range from one day to three week floats are available but even these need booking in advance if you want to guarantee your rendezvous with all this ancient rock.