Over millions of years the Colorado River carved a mesmerizing, powerful, yet breathtakingly beautiful gorge called the Grand Canyon through Northern Arizona, exposing nearly two billion years of the world’s geological history.
Grand Canyon tours are inspiring journeys through earth’s early history, with visibly exposed layers upon layers of sediment and rock that walk us back through time, well before the time of the dinosaurs.
The sheer size of Arizona’s Grand Canyon is overwhelming. The Colorado River traverses for 277 miles below the canyon walls, which at its widest are 18 miles across and at its deepest, more than a mile above the rushing waters.
The world’s deepest gorge is Kali Gandaki Gorge in Nepal. The world’s biggest and widest canyon is Capertee Valley in Australia. Even Mexico’s Copper Canyon is larger than the Grand Canyon, but none of them can match the colorful beauty and over empowering wonder of the Grand Canyon in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA.
Grand Canyon Tour Companies
Over 80% of the 5 million annual visitors to Grand Canyon National Park are from the United States.
There are many tour operators that offer everything from Grand Canyon day tours and excursions to fully guided, all-inclusive Grand Canyon tours that can run from one to two weeks. Grand Canyon tour operators also offer guided tours to accommodate virtually all ages and all types of vacationers.
Many Grand Canyon tour companies include a variety of activities in their tour itinerary, from views of Grand Canyon’s north and south rims to a Lake Powell boat cruise or excursions to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.
Grand Canyon Camping
Camping is also permitted in designated areas of Grand Canyon National Park, including on the North and South Rims. All Grand Canyon camping done below the rim require special permits, which have to be applied for months in advance since the park receives up to 30,000 camping requests annually.
Grand Canyon Activities
Many Grand Canyon tour companies offer a variety of adventurous activities like white-water rafting, mule riding, and helicopter tours but depending on the weather, the time of day, and the season, tourists may also engage in self guided Grand Canyon activities like mountain biking and hiking.
Many of the more adventurous Grand Canyon activities require experience or the assistance of a knowledgeable guide since even the fittest of individuals may find the Grand Canyon challenging. One must respect the Grand Canyon’s vastness, steepness of the rocky trails, changes in elevation, and the possibility of heat exhaustion caused by the much higher temperatures that prevail at the bottom of the canyon.
Throughout the year, Grand Canyon National Park also offers a number of events and activities that visitors can participate in including guided walking tours, films, and free ranger programs.
Grand Canyon Train Tours & Skywalk
Visitors to the Park can take 90-minute Grand Canyon train tours on the Coconino Canyon Train for a more leisurely viewing experience. This Grand Canyon railway tour travels 24 miles through Grand Canyon National Park along historic train tracks built in the late 1800s.
Another unique way to view the gorge is by visiting the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which was recently opened by the Hualapai Tribe on tribal land. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a glass-bottomed structure that juts out from the canyon rim some 70 feet in a horseshoe formation. The Skywalk offers visitors unparalleled views of the canyon below.
Grand Canyon by Air
A different perspective of the entire Grand Canyon can be seen from a helicopter or a small airplane. Many Grand Canyon tour operators offer flying trips with views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Bowl of Fire, and the Valley of Fire. Sunset and twilight flights show the Grand Canyon in a totally different light. Flying perhaps is the best way to take it all in, from the red rock formations to the shifting sand dunes.
Grand Canyon Weather
Grand Canyon weather can change quickly and according to the elevation. Generally, cooler climates rule the Northern Rim while hotter temperatures prevail in the Southern Rim. Both rims of the Grand Canyon get heavy rains during the summer and road closures are common at this time.
All Inclusive Grand Canyon Tours by Caravan
A Grand Canyon Package Tour by Caravan Tours offers tourists the absolute best value for the money.
Caravan Grand Canyon tours are exceptionally priced 8-day package tours that are fully escorted, and all inclusive. These Caravan tours also include nearby “must sees” like Sedona, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion Canyon National Park.
Visit Caravan Tours’ Grand Canyon Tour Reviews page to read what others have said about this all-inclusive tour of Arizona’s Grand Canyon and then call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to reserve your spot today.
(Editor’s Note – This original post from December 2009 has been updated to reflect current Grand Canyon vacation details.)