Opening with Disney’s California Adventure on February 8, 2001, it was an instant hit, and one of the few attractions in the park. It follows the Grizzly River around Grizzly Peak, the weenie of the park.
While winding thru the queue, you learn the backstory and setting of your adventure. You will be joining the Grizzly River Rafting Co. for your journey perilous journey through the white waters.
Once on the raft, guests float around a bend and past a 19th century steam donkey. This area also provides friends The 300-foot conveyor belt -powered by the 22-ft diameter Pelton Water Wheel that once carried ore down from the mountain - carries the raft 45-feet up towards the top of the mountain.
After reaching the top a sign marks the location as Grizzly Summit - Elevation 1401 feet, then it's into the caves and the rapids. While there aren't any bears to be seen, the growling of the "great bear spirit". Then it's back outside Bristlecone Bend, down the small Bear Claw Falls, then back inside at Eureka Mine Shaft #13. The rafts are then carried outside through Pinball Rapids and past Frog Jump Falls. Then its through Sluice Channel - an old channel built to divert the rivers flow - and around a bend that takes you back under Sluice Channel.
Finally the raft plummets down a 22-foot, spinning, soaking drop. Grizzly River Run boasts the longest and highest raft ride drop, which includes a unique feature, spinning. After a final bend it's back towards the unloading station - after passing a few geysers in Geyser Gauntlet.
Like all flume rides, there must be a location to store or drain the water in the upper sections of the flumes when the pumps are shut down. The original plan was to create a large, underground basin beneath Grizzly Peak to hold water. This would have required costly excavation and construction. Upon looking at the final layout of California Adventure, it was noticed that the Pacific Wharf area of the park had a water element meant to simulate a tidal basin. The tidal basin is located across a walkway from Grizzly River Run and became the catch basin for water from the raft ride. The rise and fall of water in the tidal basin serves the dual purpose of providing a location to store water and being a scenic element that simulates a rising and falling tide.
Many of the attractions corresponding pins feature key portions of the attraction, or its story, like this paddle, or the Grizzly Bear near the entrance sign (in the pin below).
Pictures and Information from Laughing Place and PinPics