8 Great Ways to Visit and Tour the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of the great wonders of the world and one of the most popular tourist destinations located in the United States. Over 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year. Presented here are eight different ways people can visit and tour the Grand Canyon.
Each different tour or way to see the Grand Canyon offers visitors something new and unique about the canyon and each and every way to see the Grand Canyon is fun and special in its own way. Many people who visit the Grand Canyon fly into Las Vegas and take tours from the hotels and casinos there and most of the ways to the see the canyon listed here can be arranged that way.
Grand Canyon Airplane and Helicopter Tours
The most comprehensive way to see the the Grand Canyon is from the air. Helicopter and airplane sightseeing or flightseeing tours to the Grand Canyon are readily available from the South Rim of the canyon as well as from many different airports in the West including Page, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Williams in Arizona and especially from Las Vegas, Nevada. Many gamblers, tourists and visitors to Las Vegas will take time out from Vegas to take airplane and helicopter flights over the Grand Canyon. Many Las Vegas hotels and casinos will arrange Grand Canyon sightseeing flights for guests and some offer package tour deals on these flights.
The Grand Canyon Skywalk
The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a glass bottomed horseshoe-shaped bridge that juts 70 feet out over the Grand Canyon offering visitors fantastic views of this great natural wonder in Arizona. Not only can visitors see out over the Grand Canyon one can also look straight down 4,000 feet to the canyon floor below. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is located at Grand Canyon West on the Hualapai Indian Reservation in Peach Spring, Arizona. Helicopter rides are also offered at Grand Canyon West. For more info phone 702-220-8372.
Grand Canyon Railway
The Grand Canyon Railway offers round-trip rides to the Grand Canyon aboard historic railroad cars pulled by authentic steam or diesel engines. Guests are entertained by musicians and Western characters while served meals and drinks along the way. The trains stop at the historic Grand Canyon Depot at the South Rim where a Wild West show is performed. Trains depart in the morning from the Grand Canyon Railway located at 601 West Franklin Avenue in downtown Williams, Arizona. For more info call 800-843-8724.
Grand Canyon Watchtower
The Grand Canyon Watchtower is a 70 foot tall observation tower built right on the edge of the Grand Canyon that affords amazing views of the Colorado River, the canyon, the Painted Desert and the Kaibab National Forest. Telescopes are available to enhance and zoom the views. Also available nearby is a general store, food concession stands, an information desk, a campground and a gas station. The Watchtower is located 26 miles east of Grand Canyon Village at Desert View right along Route 64 the East Rim Drive road.
Rafting Along the Colorado River
Many different tour operators offer rafting trips along the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Rafting trips along the Colorado River are great fun and many of the tours will stop overnight and camp along the shores of the river inside the canyon. Most people prefer day rafting trips though so they can spend the night at the Grand Canyon Lodge or hotels and motels nearby.
Grand Canyon IMAX Movie
Located in the National Geographic Visitor Center 9 miles south of Grand Canyon Village in Tusayan right along Highway 64 is the Grand Canyon National Geographic IMAX Theater. Showing in the theater daily every hour is the Grand Canyon IMAX Movie which depicts the history of the canyon and shows visitors and tourists parts of the Grand Canyon that cannot be seen on tours on a seven story high screen. The Grand Canyon IMAX Movie is the most watched IMAX movie of all time. For more info call 928-638-2468.
Hiking the Grand Canyon
Image Source (Taken along the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon)
Along both the North and South Rims of the canyon are many trail-heads that will take hikers down into the Grand Canyon or follow along the rims of the canyon. Hikers can hike to the bottom of the canyon and arrange to stay overnight in Phantom Ranch which offers dormitory style accommodations and is the only place to stay other than camping at the bottom of the Grand Canyon or hikers can hike right back out of the canyon on one day trips. Do not attempt to hike down into the Grand Canyon and back out unless you are in good physical condition because it is 4,000 feet in elevation from bottom to top and every year hikers along the trails need to be rescued because they were not up to the strenuous effort.
For more info on the Phantom Ranch call 888-297-2757 or 303-297-2757.
Mule Trips Into the Grand Canyon
Near the Bright Angel Trailhead at the South Rim and the North Kaibab Trailhead at the North Rim visitors can take mule trips down into the Grand Canyon. Mule trips from the South Rim can be day trips or tourists can stay overnight in the Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon. The mule trips from the North Rim are half-day only and do not go all the way to the Colorado River. In either case make reservations well in advance especially for overnight mule trips from the South Rim. For South Rim mule trips call 303-297-2757 for more info. For North Rim mule trips call 435-679-8665 for more info.