How to take in a grand vacation

Vast, magnificent and inarguably beautiful, the Grand Canyon is easily Arizona’s most distinguishable landmark — and a natural wonder that you simply have to see to believe.

The Hualapai River Runners is the only operator with a one-day trip that allows tourists to view the Grand Canyon from the bottom up. The trip provides an intimate view of the western Grand Canyon and a hike to Travertine Falls.

Vast, magnificent and inarguably beautiful, the Grand Canyon is easily Arizona’s most distinguishable landmark — and a natural wonder that you simply have to see to believe.

Stretching 277 miles from end-to-end, steep, rocky, walls descend more than a mile to the canyon’s floor, where the wild Colorado River traces a swift course southwest.

Whether you stop at the canyon for an hour or stay for the week, you’ll have plenty of ways to enjoy some adventure, recreation or just great views.

Exploring the canyon on foot is one way to take in the views but, seeing it from the Colorado River can be breathtaking. There are several options in trip length and types, but whatever you choose book early as waiting lists can be lengthy for these popular voyages.

Both motorized and oar-powered rafting trips are available lasting from six to 14 days.

One-day trips are also available from within the Hualapai Reservation, they give you an intimate view of the western Grand Canyon.

The one-day trip includes a hike up to the Travertine Falls, a natural waterfall, with your experienced guide. Hear about the history and culture of the Hualapai people. Look for wildlife while enjoying lunch along the banks of the river then continue through the Grand Canyon on a smooth water ride viewing the towering canyon from a unique perspective.

Complete the adventure with a helicopter flight up to the top of Grand Canyon West, home of the Skywalk. For more information visit www.grandcanyonwest.com.

If seeing the Grand Canyon by water doesn’t entice, there is no better way to see it than from above by airplane or helicopter. The panoramic sights will leave you breathless, while the exciting ride will get your heart pumping.

Those more comfortable feeling the earth beneath their feet, consider the Grand Canyon a hiking paradise.

With miles of caves to explore, more than 1,500 unique plant types to discover and 300 species of birds to spy, the canyon offers incredible hikes with excitement at every switchback.

The most popular hike is the Bright Angel Trail and is a comfortable two-day trip taking hikers through the lush green strip of Garden Creek, past the superb overlook at Plateau Point and down a challenging set of switchbacks known as the Devil’s Corkscrew before finally reaching the Inner Gorge. The last section involves crossing the slender, see-through Bright Angel Suspension Bridge, which also provides the quickest route to Phantom Ranch and the end of the trail.

The Grand Canyon is home to a number of places to stay, from grand old lodges to upscale inns. There are accommodations surrounding the park, as well as a few within the park. Lodging within the national park fills up early, so plan well in advance.

You can reach Grand Canyon National Park from main entrances on the South Rim — including the South Rim’s eastern entrance — and the North Rim.  The Canyon’s western edge, home to beautiful Havasupai Falls and the town of Supai, is also accessible via roads on the Hualapai Indian Reservation.

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