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Grand Canyon Float Tours Make Mom’s Special Day Terrific for Everyone

Justine Moriarity

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Mother’s Day 2013 (Sunday, May 12) will be here soon, so it’s time to start making your plans. That’s especially true if you’d like to whisk your Mom off for a day trip on a Grand Canyon float tour (float tours are popular and the boats only hold 19). There are several versions, but they’ll all show your Mom how much she’s appreciated.

About Float Tours

Grand Canyon float tours are smooth-water rafting trips. Because there aren’t any rapids along the route, they’re perfect for families and people of all ages, including seniors and kids as young as four. They’re a day of fun and excitement for everyone!

Float trips depart from Tusayan, Arizona (just outside the National Park’s main gates) and Las Vegas, Nevada. They take all day and begin between 6 and 7 every morning, including Mother’s Day. It’s an all-day experience and you’ll probably be tired when you return. I suggest not planning anything too elaborate for that evening.

Vegas Rafting Trips

Float trips setting out from Las Vegas combine smooth-water rafting with a dramatic West Rim chopper flight which lands on the bottom of the canyon. It’s exhilarating to fly 4,000 feet down to the canyon floor, and you can explore the area on foot once your chopper lands.

Afterward, the ‘copter will land at the top of the rim, where you’ll board a comfortable motor coach for a ride to the base of Hoover Dam. Not many folks get to see the dam from its bottom, with its impressive 700-foot concrete structure towering overhead.

At Hoover Dam you’ll hop into a raft for an 11-mile float trip that ends at Willow Beach, Arizona. As you’re passing through the majestic canyons, you’ll catch glimpses of the area’s plentiful wildlife. Bring a swimsuit, because you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take a dip in the Colorado River. Lunch is provided for all tour participants.

AZ Rafting Trips

Two types of rafting tours start in Arizona. The standard version involves a 2 ½ hour motor coach ride to the base of Glen Canyon Dam at Page, Arizona. When you arrive you’ll meet your river guide and be briefed on what to expect during your 15+ mile float down the river. The trip ends at historic Lee’s Ferry.

The more elaborate version begins by flying in a plane to Page, AZ. After landing, you’ll hop into a 4x4 for a ride to Antelope Canyon (believe me, it’s truly unique!). When you return, you’ll begin the rafting portion of the tour.

Mom Will Love It!

All these rafting tours pass through some amazing scenery, and they’re a relaxing but fun and entertaining way to spend Mother’s Day. The price includes everything you’ll need to have a great time: water, lunch, gear, guide, and (only for the bus option) hotel pickup and drop-off.

If you want to celebrate Mom’s special day by taking her on one of these fabulous float tours, you need to book yours as soon as you can. Last year these trips sold out. Finally, buy your seats online to get the best price. You’ll probably save enough cash to take your Mom out to dinner afterward!

Tips from the Author

Travel editor Justine M. is a big fan of Mother's Day rafting trips at the Grand Canyon and recommends these resources:

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