Grand Canyon One-Day Rafting
by Erik Magnus
Grand Canyon Water Rafting
On the subject of rafting the Grand Canyon
, most consider expensive seven-day whitewater river journeys. The alternative? The one-day smooth water float trip. Enjoyable and fun, these South Rim trips are so cost-effective that even the most economical traveler will be happy.
This particular float trip starts by boarding a luxury bus and driving 140 miles east from Grand Canyon National Park to Glen Canyon Dam in Page, AZ. Here your bus will drive down the dam's two-mile access tunnel before you reach the base and board your rubber pontoon raft.
Now you'll push off into smooth water and drift among canyon walls before you reach breathtaking Horseshoe Bend, the popular "U" that mixes the best of the region's orange sandstone cliffs with the river's sparkling emerald waters. Onward, you'll get out at a sandy beach and take a brief walk to a cliff wall where ancient inhabitants left petroglyphs.
One of many great things about these all-inclusive trips are the boatmen. These river guides browse through the river with skill and ease. Most are experts in geology and natural history and are happy to answer your queries about the area's unique rock formations, considerable wildlife, and past explorers like Major John Wesley Powell. It's common to tip your guide if you found him or her really helpful.
The river begins to widen and the vegetation starts to thicken as you head further west towards the historical town of Lee's Ferry, gateway to the Grand Canyon. Right here is the only place for the next 260 miles where you can cross the Colorado River. Still standing are an old fort and a trading post. John D. Lee, under a commission from the Mormon Church, built and operated the ferry, which became obsolete in 1928 right after the Navajo Bridge was finished. The town now serves as the starting point for all white-water trips.
At Lee's Ferry, you'll transfer to your luxury bus and start the return trip to your South Rim accommodation. En route, you will see the mystical Navajo Indian Reservation and the unique Painted Desert, and you'll stop at the Cameron Trading Post, an excellent place to acquire real Native American handicrafts.
The Grand Canyon smooth water float tour with luxury tour bus is all-inclusive and comes with free hotel shuttle service, lunch, and drinks. Summer trips can get hot and I strongly suggest you bring sun block lotion and a hat and stay well hydrated. Bring a swim wear or wear one under your clothes if you want to take a swim. This is all-day tour is appropriate for ages four years and up.
The retail price of this tour is a bargain. If you want the best bargain, purchase your trip on the web. I suggest this strategy to family and friends. It's actually not uncommon to find this package offered with a 35% discount. Get your seats in advance, too. Rafts carry between 15 and 22 visitors. Being that this is among the most popular day trips on the South Rim, seats go rapidly.
Grand Canyon float tours
are perfect for travelers who would like no rapids when they go down the Colorado River. The 15.5-mile trip starts at Glen Canyon Dam and finishes at Lee's Ferry. In between, you will experience some of the most beautiful scenery in Western U.S. You'd think an outing such as this one would break the bank. Not so! So come aboard everyone, and see the Colorado River in all its calm natural beauty.
Mr. Magnus is a travel writer who frequently contributes articles about the Grand Canyon. He recommends this page about rafting the Grand Canyon
, which identifies two the most popular float trips being run now.
Article submitted Wednesday, April 13, 2011 & read 43 times.
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