Scenic USA - Arizona

Hualapai River Runners

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Hualapai River Runners - Colorado River

Photo by Dave Clark
Dave's Rocky Mountain Scenery
Colorado Rafting (inset) - photo by Rob Jones

     One of 15 dams on the main stem, Hoover Dam halts the flow of the Colorado River Runners - photo by Rob Jones Colorado River as it nears the southern tip of Nevada. The reservoir reserves about a two years' flow of the Colorado River and creates the 290 square mile Lake Mead. Cutting across the northwestern corner of Arizona from the Glen Canyon Dam near Page, the river's swift currents are quelled again as they approach Lake Mead, ending a 200 mile stretch of canyonland rapids.
     Here in northwestern Arizona the Grand Canyon area is a land of extremes. The impressive mile high canyon walls and the staggering 277 mile long canyon add significant numbers to this incredible sight. Temperatures soar in the inner canyon, with summertime highs averaging over 100 degrees. These extreme highs draw a sharp contrast with springtime water temperatures at a bone chilling 40 degrees. The river also drops over 1600 feet through the canyon to Lake Mead creating 160 wild-water rapids, unlike the calm waters down-river at Lake Mead.
      While most Colorado rafting trips end at the Diamond Creek take out, a few non-commercial trips may begin there. Often referred to as the Lower Gorge, a river excursion may take from two to five days. This canyonland view shows the last of the Colorado's swift flow from a river trip full of whitewater adventure. The Hualapai River Runners are the only outfitters to offer a one day trip from Diamond Creek and down through the Killer Fang Falls, a boulder-choked chute of boiling whitewater. Side trips may include a hike to ancient petroglyphs, an off-river waterfall and lunch on a riverside sand bar. While it's a much smoother ride down to Pearce Ferry or South Cove (but much longer), the Hualapai Outfitters wisk their guests up out of the canyon by helicopter, just in time for dinner at the Diamond Creek Restaurant.

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