It is hard to imagine a place more beautiful than the Grand Canyon. Every year, millions of people visit this 277-mile long chasm, and every one of them marvels at the canyon's natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere. The Colorado River carved the canyon from rock millions of years ago, and today the river meanders along the floor of the canyon, making it the ideal location to go smooth-water rafting. A lot of people love to go to the Grand Canyon just to experience floating though the spectacular rock formations; they consider it the high point of their trip.
Grand Canyon water rafting tours operate from March through November. They depart from the Grand Canyon National Park Airport, which is in Tusayan, Arizona and not too far from the main gates to the park.
Don't confuse these with white-water rafting trips that are dangerous and scary; these only cover smooth and tranquil waters. There are no worries about rough water or hair-raising rapids.
In fact, they're so popular that you'll want to book your rafting trip in advance. Although some people may book as much as a year ahead of their trip, you should be able to get a seat if you get your tickets a week or two in advance. Because these trips are so wildly popular and each pontoon boat only carries nineteen passengers, it is very difficult to secure a seat if you wait until the last minute.
These smooth-water adventure experiences aren't outrageously expensive. Rates vary by tour company, but you should be able to get a package deal for under two hundred dollars. The price usually covers the park fees, lunch, water, boat ride with river guide, and bus transportation to the Glen Canyon Dam departure point from the Grand Canyon National Park Airport. The bus transportation is for a round trip so you can get back to the airport after your boat ride.
A lot of people choose the tour package that includes a plane ride to Page, Arizona and a 4x4 trip to Antelope Canyon (famous for its slot canyons) before going to Glen Canyon Dam for the river portion. It's a terrific experience and I highly recommend it. Taking the side trip will give you a chance to see more of the canyon; the view of Antelope Canyon from the air is impressive.
You'll see plenty of wildlife on a canyon rafting tour. You can bring children four years old and older, so it is a trip the entire family can enjoy and talk about for years to come. Take plenty of photographs so you can look at them forever. The pictures will bring back wonderful memories of your family vacation to one of the most amazing places on earth.
You're not required to wear a life vest, but don't take any chances. It is best to be safe and wear one even if you never need it. When you're getting ready for your tour, make sure you bring sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, lip balm, salty snacks and some water. It is best to dress in lightweight long sleeves and wear sports sandals. I also suggest bringing a waterproof bag with an extra change of clothes. The bus trip back takes a couple of hours and you will be much more comfortable if you are not wearing wet clothes.
In addition to booking your tour early, you should seriously consider booking it online. You'll find the best rafting deals and float tours on the Internet. The steepest discounts are for those who reserve their trip and pay for it online. You can pay for your tickets by phone, but you will have to pay more. When you purchase your trip tickets online, you can save enough money to buy a Native American craft souvenir from the Cameron Trading Post when your boat trip is over.
Tips from the Author
Travel reviewer Justine Moriarity is a specialist on rafting tours at the Grand Canyon and suggests visiting this site for the top adventures at the most affordable rates possible: