The Grand Canyon is located in northwest Arizona, near the Utah and Nevada borders. The 277-mile-long canyon is an awe-inspiring sight, with the Colorado River running through the middle a mile below. Thousands of tourists flock to the canyon each year to explore this natural wonder in a variety of ways. You can view the Grand Canyon from above by booking a room at a north or south rim hotel, then walking the trails around the top of the canyon. Or turn your canyon tour into an adventure by booking a themed vacation.
The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Book an overnight mule trip from the South Rim for an up-close tour of the Grand Canyon. Xanterra offers year-round trips down the Bright Angel Trail, which is 10.5 miles and about 5.5 hours each way. Your vacation includes cabin lodging at Phantom Ranch down by the Colorado River and meals. These vacation tours typically book far ahead of time, so make your plans 12 or 13 months beforehand. Xanterra has a weight maximum of 200 lbs and a height minimum of 4 feet, 7 inches.
Tour the Grand Canyon from the water by booking a rafting vacation down the Colorado River. Companies such as Western River Expeditions offer multiple-day rafting trips that range from three-day tours up to seven days. Available vacation packages include everything you’ll need to camp down in the canyon, including food, tents, cots, sleeping bags and water-resistant bags and portable toilets. Physical requirements, including weight and general health, vary per trip, so read the fine print before booking your tour.
Tour the Grand Canyon from above by booking a helicopter or airplane vacation through one of a handful of companies offering aerial tours. Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters offers airplane and helicopter trips through the canyon that depart from Grand Canyon National Park Airport at the South Rim, from Las Vegas or from Scottsdale, Arizona. Maverick Helicopter Tours also offers Grand Canyon vacation tours that depart from either Las Vegas or the South Rim airport, with shuttle service to and from the terminal included in your vacation tour.
Take your time exploring the Grand Canyon with a hiking vacation tour. Companies such as The Wildland Trekking Company offer guided multi-day backpacking tours that include camping and lodging in the cabins at Phantom Ranch. Or you can orchestrate your own overnight hiking vacation and save some money. If you do head out without a guide, observe the Grand Canyon hiking tips on the National Park Service’s website, check with on-site rangers for additional information before you set out and observe all posted warning signs.
Grand Canyon Railway’s vacation tour packages include a 130-mile roundtrip train ride from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim and back, as well as lodging at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and in Grand Canyon National Park. Tours are available for one-, two- or three-night stays, and breakfast and dinner is included in some vacation packages. From November through the first week in January, the Grand Canyon Railway offers Christmas-themed train tours aboard the “Polar Express.”
- GrandCanyon.com: The Top Grand Canyon Vacation Tours
- Grand Canyon National Park Lodges: Mule Rides at the Grand Canyon
- Grand Canyon Railway: 2011 Polar Express Schedule
- The Wildland Trekking Company: Grand Canyon Hiking and Backpacking Adventures
- National Park Service: Grand Canyon National Park: Hiking Tips
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