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1 Day Tour in Grand Canyon

There are two places where you can take this kind of river-rafting adventure :

  1. West Rim
  2. South Rim

Las Vegas travelers will partake in West Rim float trips, while folks heading up from Arizona cities like Phoenix, Sedona and Scottsdale will do the South Rim tours.

The West Rim is 120 miles from Las Vegas, which makes the region ideal for day trips. The typical float tour involves the following :

  1. Helicopter to bottom of Grand Canyon
  2. Bus to base of Hoover Dam
  3. Transfer to pontoon river raft
  4. Float 11 or so miles down Colorado River to Willow Beach

Personally, I get quite a kick out this trip. For one, the West Rim is the only place in the National Park where you can ride a helicopter to the bottom. I also like the fact that you go to the base of Hoover Dam. Few people actually get to experience this. Consider yourself in limited company when you do. And make sure you look up the wall of the Dam before getting on the raft because the top is 700 feet above you!

The South Rim float tours are equally impressive and come in two varieties :

  1. Bus to Glen Canyon Dam & 15-mile river raft to historic Lee’s Ferry
  2. Airplane to Page, AZ. Hop on Jeep 4×4 and do Antelope Canyon. Return to base of Dam and raft down to Lee’s Ferry.

The first tour is your most basic and affordable. The second trip is the deluxe version and will cost more. But the flight over is incredible and fast, and the side-trip to Antelope is something you’ll never forget.

Remember earlier I noted that there are no whitewater rapids on float trips. The benefits of this are:

  1. You don’t need to be in shape to run a marathon
  2. You don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer (safety gear is provided and must be worn at all times).
  3. You won’t be gritting your teeth

The other huge benefit is that kids as young as four years of age can do these trips, thus making them perfect for families.

These trips are all-inclusive and come with lunch, all gear and a professional river pilot/guide. I do encourage you to bring the following :

  1. Hat
  2. Sunglasses
  3. Sun block
  4. Water
  5. River sandals
  6. Shorts
  7. Long-sleeve shirt

Lastly, I recommend packing a bag of dry clothes. It’s more comfortable sitting on the bus home in fresh clothes versus damp ones (been there, done that!)

Float trips are seasonal and run from March through November. That said, don’t wait to book them last minute. These tours are extremely popular and sell out way in advance. My suggestion is if you think you are going to do one, book it ASAP.