The Colorado River runs 277 miles through the canyon from Lees Ferry to the Grand Wash Cliffs, dropping 2,220 vertical feet. Leaving the Navajo sandstone cliffs of Glen Canyon behind at Lees Ferry, the river quickly begins to cut through the rock layers associated with Grand Canyon.
Less than a mile downstream from Lees Ferry, the Paria River’s entry creates a riffle that’s choppy but too mild to call rapids. When the waters of the Paria carry sediment after a rain or flood, they form swirling patterns as they enter the clear green-blue of the Colorado River waters that have been impounded by Glen Canyon Dam.
About four miles from Lees Ferry, high above the river, Navajo Bridge links the Arizona Strip country to the rest of the state. The historic bridge, completed in 1929, is closed to vehicles, though people can walk across it for great views of rafts passing below. The newer highway bridge was built a few feet to the west. Navajo Bridge is considered by many river runners to be the gateway to Grand Canyon.
The Inner Canyon highlights are described in downriver order—the order you would encounter them on a river run.