Fasten your life jackets for a ride you’ll never forget. Now the excitement of a raft trip through the Grand Canyon has been re-created by a seasoned whitewater guide with a passion to share one of the world’s most fantastic journeys. Michael Ghiglieri, a professional river guide for more than 17 years, has written the first book to describe that trip from the modern boatman’s point of view.

From Lee’s Ferry to Diamond Creek, Ghiglieri leads you down 226 miles of wild river and through some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth. Along the way, he navigates the Colorado River’s dozens of notorious rapids—many of which drop fifteen feet or more—and shares the excitement of waves and boulders, thunder and foam. Recounting a real journey through this geological wonder, Canyon interweaves heart-pounding adventure with factual insights into the world of Grand Canyon. Between the rapids, Ghiglieri relates tales of river runners past and present, lessons in geology and wildlife, observations on the impact of Glen Canyon Dam, and stories of Native inhabitants, from Anasazi ancestors to Havasupai Rastafarians. This trip also offers more than its share of human drama for the passengers aboard, leaving them with tales of their own to tell.

“Running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon is to me the most impressive journey on our planet,” writes Ghiglieri, “an adventure that leaves no traveler unchanged.” For anyone who has ever shared or contemplated that adventure, Canyon recreates an unforgettable ride.


“This is a grand tale […] Ghiglieri's storytelling abilities and affection for the region are evident throughout this well-written book […] This is the single best introduction to a myriad of aspects of this 'most impressive place' this reviewer has ever seen. Recommended.”

Library Journal

“Armchair adventurers will applaud the ride and no doubt look forward to the day when they may follow in the oarstrokes of Major Powell and Michael Ghiglieri.”

Journal of Arizona History

“This book should provide exciting reading for the Grand Canyon specialist who wants to know more about work in another field. CANYON will also attract the experienced river rat. It makes one want to turn off the computer and head for Lee’s Ferry. See you down-canyon!”

Environmental History Review

Awards & Accolades