The Grand Canyon: Best 1-Day Float Tours

Travel & LeisureOutdoors

  • Author Luke Plunket
  • Published April 16, 2012
  • Word count 561

Grand Canyon National Park is certainly a lovely place. It is in the state of AZ and consists of about 277 miles of wilderness. A myriad of people visit it each year for its splendor and soothing setting. In the Colorado River, which separates the canyon, people engage in smooth-water rafting. Truth be told, these float excursions are so popular that many consider them to be the best 1-day activity you can do while visiting the South Rim.

These rafting tours run from March through November. They depart from Grand Canyon National Airport in Tusayan, the town that sits a few minutes from the front gates of the main entrance. Don't confuse these smooth-water excursions with the more treacherous white-water rafting trips. You won't encounter any rough water during float trips.

Make sure you reserve your rafting tour beforehand because these trips have become popular. I usually suggest reserving them one or two weeks before you get there. It’s no surprise to meet a traveler who’s arranged their seats a year in advance. A part of the issue here are the motorized rubber pontoon boats - they hold only 19 passengers.

Pricing for these types of tours are not terribly expensive. Obviously, each tour operator sets his / her rates accordingly. However,plan to pay around a approximately 200 dollars for the most rudimentary packages, which generally include Park fees, a meal, drinking water, river pilot/guide and bus transportation from the airport to Glen Canyon Dam (the kick off point for all smooth-water trips) and back.

Lots of vacationers choose the package that features a plane trip to Page, Arizona, and a Jeep excursion to Antelope Canyon, which is popular for its "slot canyons," before rejoining the rest of the group for the river tour. If you possess the budget, book this one. The aerial views are spectacular and the Antelope side-trip is world-class.

There's a great deal of wildlife to observe while you are on this kind of adventure. It is extremely unforgettable particularly if you go with family (kids as young as 4 years old can do this trip). You can take photos and keep it in a journal and album forever. What a keepsake that'll be. I know from my personal experiences on the river that I still talk about drifting past Horseshoe Bend.

There aren't any requirements to wear a life vest but I advise you error on the side of caution. Other things to carry along include a hat, sunglasses, a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, sport sandals, sunscreen, lip balm, salty snack foods and water. I also recommend preparing a dry bag with an extra set of clothes. The motor coach ride back is approximately two hours and you'll want to be dry and comfy.

In addition to reserving your journey ahead of time, I highly recommend you book your seats using the net. It nearly goes without saying nowadays that the best rafting promotions are on the net, and float trips are no different. Be mindful that the excellent deals you see on the internet are Internet-only promotions. If you fail to complete your transaction on the web page, you’ll end up having to pay full list price. Not a good thing, especially when you can utilize the savings to purchase spectacular Native American crafts at the Cameron Trading Post on the return part of your trip.

Grand Canyon smooth-water float excursions are a wonderful way to enjoy the National Park. Visit here to learn more about rafting trips and how to get them cheaply.

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