While summer is the perfect time to visit the Grand Canyon, the temperatures can get quite hot. There's no reason to let a little heat spoil your fun. One way to beat the heat is to float along the water on a rafting tour. Instead of whitewater rafting, a relaxed float down the Colorado offers fun for ages 4 and up. You can take one of these 1-day tours out of the South Rim daily, but you'll want to book your tour early since they sell out quickly.
Begin Your Tour
You'll begin your tour at the Grand Canyon National Park airport which is located near the South Rim in Tusayan, Arizona. Different packages are available. The basic version includes a 2 1/2 hour bus ride from the airport to the base of the dam in Glen Canyon. Also included is transportation to Maswik Lodge which is located in the Grand Canyon Village.
If you opt for the deluxe package, you'll go to Glen Canyon by plane instead. Also, for some added adventure, the deluxe tour allows you to tour the canyon by Jeep, including visiting the Horseshoe Bend slot canyons. You don't want to miss these glorious caves of brightly colored sandstone that are sculpted into slopes and curves.
South Rim River Tours
The river portion of your tour begins at the base of the Glen Canyon Dam. You need to budget a whole day for the tour, which depart once daily around 7 in the morning and return around 5. For the trip down the Colorado River, these tours use motorized pontoon rafts that can carry up to 19 people, including children as young as four. The raft is operated by a skilled captain, who is also able to tell you interesting bits and pieces about the history of the region.
Floating By Horseshoe Bend
When your trip is underway, the raft heads for the colorful and mysterious Horseshoe Bend. After the bend, you will stop at different beaches, including a view of Native American petroglyphs on the canyon walls. These drawings were made over 800 years ago by Pueblo Indian ancestors. This area is easy to miss if you're on you own, that's why having an experienced river guide is a benefit.
Make sure to bring along swimsuits so you don't miss the opportunity to take a dip in the cool blue-green waters of the Colorado. Swim shoes or comfortable tennis shoes suitable for hiking are important for this trip. Come prepared with sunscreen and a good hat or visor that will protect you from the sun. It's also a good idea to bring along a jacket and a lightweight shirt with long sleeves, and you'll probably want dry clothes to change into when you're finished swimming for the day.
The final stop on your tour is Lee's Ferry. Once a Mormon settlement and then a fort, this spot marks the line between relaxing float tours and whitewater tours.
Lee's Ferry is where you will find Cameron Trading Post. Established in 1916, the post specializes in Native American crafted arts. In addition, there is a store, restaurant, and a walking garden. This last stop will leave you relaxed for your ride back.
Grand Canyon Rafting Is The Ideal Summer Activity
A rafting tour is a lot of fun and scenic too. Everyone in the family can enjoy rafting along the smooth water section of the river. Deluxe tours cost more but save you the basic tour's long road trip, with a short enjoyable flight to the Grand Canyon. These tours sell out every day, so if you're ready for refreshing fun in the canyon, get your trip scheduled today.