Did you know that the Grand Canyon, located in the great American Southwest (Arizona, to be precise), is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World? It's not surprising really. The scenic vistas offered at the canyon are simply spectacular. I don't think any other place is quite like it.
The Grand Canyon is the ideal family vacation destination. Besides the obvious sightseeing (there's nothing like it!), you can even take a smooth-water rafting trip down the Colorado River. These float tours are perfect for family members of all ages, the water is so calm that seniors and children over four are permitted.
It is difficult to appreciate how massive the Grand Canyon is when you arrive. When you are on top of the rim, the Colorado River is nearly a mile below you on the canyon floor. The river looks more like a silvery ribbon than what it really is - the force that created the gorge over hundreds of millions of years. The canyon walls towering above you is an awesome sight as you float slowly along the river and take in the view.
Some folks prefer to stay on top and explore the rim they're visiting. Some hardy people like to hike down to the canyon floor. That would be difficult to do if you're traveling with younger children or senior citizens. Fortunately, families can take Grand Canyon float tours for a fun, educational experience and get the same bottom-up? perspective.
These Grand Canyon rafting adventures are the perfect way to get your kids unplugged and into nature and the environment. The views are simply awesome, the float trip is great fun, and your kids won't even know it is an educational experience.
The Colorado River
As you're passing the canyon's unique rock formations, you can teach your kids some basics about the geology of the area. The tireless force of the Colorado River chiseled the Grand Canyon from the limestone in the Kaibab Plateau. Your kids will be amazed at the thought of it, especially when they see the rocks with their own eyes. It's amazing what erosion can accomplish if given long enough.
You'll probably catch glimpses of some of the native wildlife along the way - bighorn sheep, hawks, California condors, rock squirrels and so forth. Observing plants and animals in their natural habitat helps your kids learn about the delicate balance of nature. You can help your children identify the animals you see and then you can discuss where they live, what they eat, and if they are dangerous.
The area is also rich in Native American history and culture. The people of the Hualapai tribe (the owners of the land at the West Rim) have lived in the region for thousands of years. Since the hunting lifestyle of ages past is no longer profitable, the Hualapai have come up with other ways to live off the land, and one of them is them is by generating income from the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
To Wrap Up
Every teacher knows that children need to have an interest in something before they can learn. Children have a curious nature, but they tend to get bored a lot easier than adults. One of the best ways to overcome a child's tendency to get bored is by changing the topic frequently. That is what makes smooth-water rafting so educational for your kids, it is exciting and the view is constantly changing so they stay interested. Your children will learn interesting things about wildlife and geology when touring the Grand Canyon, but most importantly, they will have great fun.
Travel writer Justine Moriarity is an expert on tours at the Grand Canyon. For the best prices on rafting trips, he goes here: http://grandcanyon123.com/one-day-grand-canyon-rafting-tours.html