In 1972, my husband and I took a six-day, 180-mile raft trip down the Colorado River. We drove to Temple Bar Marina on Lake Mead to meet the other rafters and were driven by bus to the Grand Canyon. Then we hiked down Bright Angel Trail (7.5 miles almost straight down) to the Navajo Bridge, crossed the river and boarded the ten-ton J-rig rafts. It was not an easy hike and I was never so glad to see a raft in my life. I lost my hat the first day, got sun poisoning, ate and drank way too much, and fell under the spell of the mighty Colorado.
Two years later, we went again, this time wisely choosing the eight-day trip. The bus dropped us off at the foot of Parker Dam. No hiking and we just stepped onto the rafts. Oh--and at least one of us tied our hat on tightly.
If I have the money and time, repeating this trip is at the top of my to-do list and I recommend it highly. I believe the picture below is Crystal Rapids and if I were on the raft, I would be straddling the second pontoon in the very front hanging onto a rope for dear life, screaming and laughing. What a ride!