While summer is the perfect time to visit the Grand Canyon, the temperatures can get quite hot. Don't let the soaring temperatures stop your fun. One way to beat the heat is to float along the water on a rafting tour. Choose a tour that floats along the smooth water area of the Colorado River, and since there are no rapids, these tours are suitable for everyone over the age of 4. These 1-day Grand Canyon rafting tours depart every day at the South Rim, but they fill up fast, so be sure to book your tour in advance.
Begin Your Tour
These tours begin in Tusayan, AZ at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport. There are a few tour options to choose from. The basic version includes a 2 1/2 hour bus ride from the airport to the base of the dam in Glen Canyon. This package also includes transport for the Maswik Lodge inside Grand Canyon Village.
The deluxe package is only an hour and carries people by airplane for beautiful sights along the way. Also, for some added adventure, the deluxe tour allows you to tour the canyon by Jeep, including visiting the Horseshoe Bend slot canyons. This part of the canyon has colorful sandstone and eerie slopes and curves, so you don't want to miss the chance to see it.
Rafting The South Rim
All float tours begin at the base of Glen Canyon Dam on the South Rim. The tour departs about 7am and returns around 5pm, so you'll need to allot the entire day to touring the canyon. For the trip down the Colorado River, these tours use motorized pontoon rafts that can carry up to 19 people, including children as young as four. Each raft is manned by a skilled captain knowledgeable in canyon history.
When your trip is underway, the raft heads for the colorful and mysterious Horseshoe Bend. In addition, the raft will stop at a few nice beaches, and at one of them, you can see some interesting Native American petroglyphs. These 800-year old petroglyphs are attributed to ancestors of Pueblo Indians. If you pass the beach here, it is difficult to get back to it, so it's best to have a guide like your river pilot.
Bring along your swimsuit because taking a dip in the Colorado River is a great way to cool down on a hot summer day. Swim shoes or comfortable tennis shoes suitable for hiking are important for this trip. Remember, you'll be in the sun all day, so wear a hat and bring sunscreen. An extra set of clothing is nice too, so you don't have to wear your wet clothes all the way back to your hotel.
Historic Lee's Ferry
Finally, your raft arrives at Lee's Ferry. This is where the smooth water tours end and the whitewater tours begin, and it was once a Mormon settlement and fort.
The Cameron Trading Post is located here. Established in 1916, the post specializes in Native American crafted arts. The trading post boasts a beautiful walking garden with sandstone paths as well as the restaurant and store. This last stop will leave you relaxed for your ride back.
Grand Canyon Rafting Is The Ideal Summer Activity
A rafting tour is a lot of fun and scenic too. They are fun for adults and kids alike. Deluxe tours cost more but save you the basic tour's long road trip, with a short enjoyable flight to the Grand Canyon. Summer is a busy time at the canyon and the rafting tours are very popular and fill up fast, so be sure to book your tour in advance to lock in your seats.
Tips from the Author
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