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1st February 2013

Grand Canyon Rafting - Best One-Day Float Tours

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posted in Travel Tips, US, Getaways, Vacation, Rafting, Southwest, water sports, weekend getaway, holiday, Grand Canyon, Arizona |

By: Calista Varney

Raft the Grand Canyon? Absolutely! All you need is one day to do it and you’ll experience one of the best adventures available inside the National Park. Read article for details.

Although traveling can be terrifically exciting, some destinations don’t offer many activities. You’ll never run out of things to do at the Grand Canyon, though, especially when you consider all the canyon water rafting opportunities.

Most people picture whitewater rafting when they think of rafting in Grand Canyon National Park, and that’s understandable. But those types of adventures take from 3 to 20 days. For many, this is too long or too expensive. The alternative? One-day float tours, which slowly meander down the Colorado River and make stops for swimming and easy walks into secret side canyons.

Not everyone, has the time, inclination or level of physical fitness required for a white water river expeditions. Concerned? Then a one-day Grand Canyon smooth water float tour might be right up your alley. Families (including children aged four years and up), active seniors and groups all enjoy rafting on the calmer portions of the Colorado River during these one-day trips.

Two of the best Grand Canyon smooth water float tours begin at the South Rim. The first one starts out with a bus trip from Grand Canyon National Park Airport to Page, Arizona, passing through a two-mile tunnel to end at the base of Glen Canyon Dam. The three-hour float tour in a motorized pontoon boat begins at the dam’s docks and ends at Lee’s Ferry.

The second popular smooth-water Grand Canyon water rafting trip begins with a plane flight from the South Rim to Page’s municipal airport. There, participants are whisked away in a 4×4 for an exciting off-road excursion to renowned Antelope Valley. After passing through the same tunnel as the other tour, the river portion of the tour begins at the base of Glen Canyon Dam.

Floating down the Colorado River is a breathtaking experience. You’ll pass by red sandstone cliffs, including those at spectacular Horseshoe Bend. Slightly farther down river, you’ll land at a beach and take a short walk to view ancient Indian petroglyphs on a cliff wall. You’ll see even more pristine wilderness during the rest of your float trip.

Smooth water float tours are priced reasonably and include a professional driver, river guide, lunch and return transportation back to the South Rim on a deluxe motor coach. On the way to the South Rim you’ll see the Painted Desert and the Navajo Indian Reservation. Most of these excursions give you the opportunity to shop for authentic Native American handicrafts by stopping at the Cameron Trading Post.

These tours are all-day events and begin at 7 a.m. Shuttle service isn’t included, so you’ll need to make arrangements for your transportation to the airfield at Tusayan, Arizona. Fortunately, Tusayan is only ten minutes away from the hotels in Grand Canyon Village.

Swimming during these float trips isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged. I suggest bringing an extra set of clothing along with sunscreen, sunglasses, a towel, a hat, and sneakers or sandals.

Whitewater rafting gets most of the publicity when it comes to adventure activities at the Grand Canyon, but most people actually prefer a more relaxing river experience. One-day smooth-water float trips fill this need perfectly. In addition to staying on the calmer portions of the river, several stops along the way allow you to explore the riverbanks. If you’re traveling with active children, these opportunities are more than capable of keeping their interest.

About the Author:

Travel reporter Calista Varney is an expert on Grand Canyon tours and recommends that readers start at this site for the lowest prices on the best canyon rafting trips:

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