Looking down from the rim of the Grand Canyon to the bottom one mile below, it’s hard to discern the canyon floor. Those daring enough to make the journey down will discover a realm unlike any other on earth. Options for descending into the canyon include hiking or riding a pack mule. Both the South Rim and the North Rim have trails that lead to the inner canyon. Be prepared – Park guidebooks note that none of the trails in or out are easy. Hikers are strongly encouraged to join a guided trip. The Grand Canyon Association Field Institute offers guided hiking and camping trips which are also educational. Several tour companies offer mule rides into the inner canyon. Trips fill quickly. Let our Road Adventures travel experts assist with making your reservations so you don’t miss out on this amazing experience.
RIDE THE FAMED RAPIDS OF THE COLORADO RIVER
River runners will experience the thrill of a lifetime rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. There’s a variety of rafting options, from a half-day, smooth or whitewater trips to multi-day trips through the entire canyon. Deciding how much time you want to spend rafting (and camping out if you opt for multiple days) will help narrow your choices. Regardless of which trip you choose, riding the river alongside sheer cliffs rising more than 5,000 feet from the valley floor is an adrenaline rush. Talk with our Road Adventures travel experts who can help you decide which trip is right for you, and let them take care of all the details. It’s just one more way for Road Adventures to give you a white glove travel experience.
In the 1920s, the National Park Service elected to construct lodging for tourists in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Designed by famed architect Mary Jane Colter, a lodge and cabins were constructed on the north side of the Colorado River beside Bright Angel Creek. Tall cottonwoods along the creek help shade the buildings, which guests quickly learn to appreciate as the average summer temperature is 106 degrees. Today, Phantom Ranchremains the only lodging below the rim of the canyon. Guests can only arrive via foot, pack mule or floating the Colorado River. Accommodations are modest but comfortable, and include dormitories and cabins. Breakfast, dinner and sacked lunches are available. Visitors can also camp overnight at Bright Angel Campground near Phantom Ranch. Permits are required. Road Adventures can make reservations and help you with everything you’ll need for a journey of a lifetime.
Lees Ferry is both a historic site and the modern-day launch for river runners on the Colorado River. Located where Glen Canyon ends and Marble Canyon (considered to be the start of the Grand Canyon) begins, it’s the only place where people can drive to the Colorado River for more than 700 miles. Understandably, the crossing played a crucial role in the history of northern Arizona. From 1872 to 1928, ferryboats transported pioneers, miners and tourists across the Colorado River at Lees Ferry. Several stone buildings, log cabins and the stone ranch house where the ferry operators lived are still standing. Visitors can take a walking tour of the historic ranch. Lees Ferry is also the endpoint for backpackers hiking through the Paria Canyon Wilderness Area. A four to five day journey, hikers have access to world-class trout fishing along the way.
Grand Canyon Camper Village is a privately owned South Rim campground just south of the Grand Canyon National Park entrance. It is a convenient camping destination for motor homes, trailers and tents. Grand Canyon Camper Village is the only campground within 25 miles of Grand Canyon National Park. On the North Rim, the Kaibab Camper Village is just south of Jacob Lake on Arizona Highway 67. It is the only campground on the North Rim with full hook-ups available.
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