Grand Canyon Complete Tours
The Grand Canyon. Arizona’s big claim to fame, outside of the London Bridge in Lake Havasu. This massive rock formation was carved by the high velocity Colorado River and has grown over the years to become a major tourist attraction. The canyon itself is 277 miles long and can reach a width of up to 18 miles. Even more impressive is the 6,000 foot depth - all carved out by one very ambitious river.
To say the Grand Canyon is huge would be an understatement. It’s a massive natural landmark that millions visit each year, but some of these tourists may not realize that by just visiting one portion of the Grand Canyon, they’re missing out on plenty of sight seeing and touristy opportunities. The canyon is divided into two rims -the north and the south. On each rim, you are going to find different activities and adventures that may not be available on the others. So, you’re visiting the Grand Canyon and may not have time to visit each rim? Let’s break down what each rim offers for you so you can decide which better suits your desires.
The South Rim
The Grand Canyon’s southern rim is really the “go to” spot of this massive locale. Due to the more stable, and less winterized, weather patterns, thanks in part to its lower elevation and southern climate, the southern rim offers more activities than the north rim and provides them year-round. On the southern rim is where you will find the bulk of the Grand Canyon’s touristy attractions. From museums to the informed staff at the visitor’s center, the south rim is the ideal place to learn about the Grand Canyon’s history. Bus tours from nearby cities will take you to locations like these and generally give you a one-day excursion near the Grand Canyon. It’s a large tourist attraction, and these information centers are as touristy as one can get.
Beyond just information and tourist traps, the southern rim also caters to the more adventurous crowd. Whether you fancy the sky, the ground, or the water, the Grand Canyon’s southern area is a great provider of adventurous entertainment. Hike down the steep slopes of the canyon as you get up close and personal with some of the wildlife and plant life or soar high above the canyon’s center aboard your own private helicopter tour. Either way, you are going to find yourself introduced to some of the best views you could have. You can even tour down the Colorado River in a white water rafting tour, where you will mix beautiful scenery with high adrenaline adventure.
The North Rim
A five hours drive north of the south rim will take you to the aptly named north rim. At an elevation that is 1,000 feet higher than the southern rim, it’s no surprise that the north rim would fall subject to weather’s nastier side. Colder temperatures threaten tourism in the winter months, which is why the north rim is only open for a short period of time in the middle of the year. Sure, you can take your life into your own hands and brave the cold slopes after October, but you are going to be without proper lodging and a nearby steady food source until about May.
When it is in season, the north rim offers just about the same services as the south rim, just, of course, closer to Utah. Hike, bike, or soar through the canyon’s impressive scenery to get a well-rounded experience during your stay. The biggest difference between the two rims is that the northern rim is built for the more adventurous. Hiking trails are more rugged and you are faced with less amenities then the south rim. If you are going to travel the north rim on foot, you don’t want to be a novice when it comes to survival techniques.
Enjoy solidarity at the north rim as it is less a tourist spot and more a location for those looking for adventure. You will be able to enjoy the canyon more without the nuances of other people around you, but you are also going to need to prepare some pretty useful survival kits.
You can still be a tourist on the north rim, with a visitor’s center and plenty of food and lodging available during its active months. While not as plentiful, you can also take a day’s trip bus tour, which will get you within proximity of the Grand Canyon’s edge, enough so to take pictures and enjoy the spectacular views.
The West Rim
Though not as plentiful as its sister rims when it comes to offerings, the west rim does provide a unique tourist experience unlike any other. Jutting 70 feet from the top of the west rim is an impressive structure known as the Grand Canyon skywalk. Owned by the native Hualapai tribe, the skywalk is the ultimate tourist trap, offering an impressive view of the Grand Canyon's depths, the Colorado River, and the panoramic views of the surrounding areas. If simply looking over the skywalk's 5-foot railing isn't exhilerating enough, the skywalk is designed with a glass floor that lets guests look directly below them, 500 feet to the next highest ridge.
Though the impressive skywalk is a must-try experience, adventurers may take pleasure in the white water rafting and horseback riding that can is accessible by the west rim. Take a helicopter down to your launch point and enjoy a lengthy ride along the Colorado River's rapids. When done, you can hop on a steed and ride your way back up the gorge.
Open year round, the west rim is perfect for cities like Las Vegas, which lies only 3 ½ hours away, something easily conquered with a packaged bus tour.