It is not surprising that the Grand Canyon is acknowledged as one of the seven wonders of the natural world. The Colorado River which carved this chasm of epic proportions looks like a tiny ribbon to the eyes of tourists standing on the Canyon's rim. The river that has cut through masses of rock and sediment over millions of years has made a history of epochs in stone, the latter of which are a feast for the eye.
The three rims of the Grand Canyon that draw vacationing families and other tourists are the South, North and West. The South rim, due to its accessibility, is the most popular and is host to over five million visitors annually. From there, it is only 60 miles to Williams, Arizona which is the home of the Grand Canyon Railway. For a very adventurous visitor, the North rim of the Grand Canyon will delight and mystify, and some visitors feel it offers an even more spectacular view than the other options. It is accessible through The South portion of Utah. The Hualapai Indian Tribe owns and operates the Western Rim, where one can have the amazing experience of walking over part of the canyon with a clear sky-walk beneath them as they make their unforgettable journey.
Rafting the Grand Canyon is a truly glorious way to experience both the Colorado River and the Canyon itself. Whitewater tour trips offer visitors the unusual perspective of looking up at the walls of the Canyon instead of down into the rim at the thin ribbon of water, which is the Colorado River form a bird's eye view. Visitors leaving this natural world wonder after viewing it from above and then rafting through it, will have experienced it in two entirely different ways.
Whitewater rafting in the canyon is not accomplished in one day. Tours last anywhere from three to ten days or even longer, depending on personal preference and budget. Those who own rafting tour companies provide food and water, equipment, and of course, a guide to navigate the rapids. Those for whom money is not an issue can begin their trip with a helicopter ride from a select location and be flown down to the starting point of the rafting adventure. Others may wish for the traditional hike to the bottom of the canyon, and of course, the hike back up when it is over.
Riding over the rough rapids is not for the faint in heart. However, the professional tour guides with their extensive experience will ensure an enjoyable, if heart-pounding adventure awaits those who participate. Drifting through the calm areas of the river describes the flip side of the wild adventure of the rapids, and a time for capturing pictures which will preserve the memories of a lifetime. One of the features of rafting the Grand Canyon that many enjoy is having supper on a remote beach and watching a sky full of brilliant stars, then later being lulled to sleep by the sound of the nearby flowing river.
Experience is not necessary to enjoy rafting the Colorado River, but it is important to listen to the rafting company and bring the necessary gear. One can expect to get quite dirty, and more than a little wet. The rafting guide will mandate that each person drink adequate amounts of water for safety reasons. Clean water is carefully rationed for this, as well as for cooking. Sometimes not much is left over for showering, so biodegradable soap is usually provided for participants to wash at the river's edge. However, even with primitive details such as this, the adventure is one of a kind and will most likely be remembered forever by anyone lucky enough to participate.