Rafting the Grand Canyon is on a lot of bucket lists, and rightfully so. If you haven’t done it before though, it can be an overwhelming prospect and you might not know what to bring. If you’re traveling with an established rafting company, they will provide almost everything for you.
But what’s the one thing you absolutely should not forget? Rain gear.
The Grand Canyon is in a desert. Why would you possibly need rain gear? Because that water is COLD!
This is especially true in the upper parts of the river, closer to the Glen Canyon Dam, which releases water daily. The water is released from the bottom of the reservoir, which hasn’t seen daylight in a couple of years and is about 46 degrees Fahrenheit. You might gain a few degrees as you move down river, but you will never reach anything that will be confused with warm.
Even though the air temperature might be hot, it’s always cooler on the water. And when you hit that first rapid and get drenched with ice water, you’ll be glad you’re wearing waterproof gear.
Being in the Grand Canyon is an amazing experience, but when you’re soaking wet and shivering, it takes a little something away. The rain gear is key.
Pro tip: Put those hoods up to avoid a shivery surprise down your back.
For more info about rafting the Grand Canyon, check out this post about my four-day experience with Grand Canyon Whitewater.