Lees Ferry on the Colorado River in northern Arizona is where all boats running Grand Canyon put in to the river. From here the boats have to go the whole way down before they can come back off the river.
Lees Ferry is also one of the most scenic and historic spots in the American Southwest. A natural break in the cliffs allows access by road, off of Highway 89A at nearby Marble Canyon, on the Arizona Strip. On the east side of the river are the Echo Cliffs (visible across the river at center and left), on the west the even taller Vermilion Cliffs, which in this photo are visible in the purple-haze distance at far right.
In this three-shot merged panorama photo, professional river guides with Canyoneers, Inc. are rigging up their boats for another two week oar trip through Grand Canyon National Park. Canyoneers, out of Flagstaff, Arizona, is the oldest Grand Canyon river running company.
At far left is the historic wooden cataract boat the Sandra, the last boat built by Norman Nevills, who invented commercial river running as Nevills Expedition, the company from which present-day Canyoneers is descended, celebrating 75 years of continuous operation in 2013. The orange boats are modern 18-foot inflated rubber Avon rafts. Thus a Canyoneers oar trip is an experience in Grand Canyon river running history, with modern safety and relative convenience for such a world class wilderness trip.
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Location: Lees Ferry, Colorado River, Marble Canyon, Coconino County, Arizona