If you think the Grand Canyon looks spectacular in photographs, wait until you see it in real life. Nothing can quite prepare you for the sheer mind-blowing wonder of the place. It's a constantly changing vista as light and shadow play across its ancient red cliffs, buttes and pinnacles - and you won't be able to take your eyes off it. Grand Canyon trips aren't just grand - they're one hundred per cent awesome.
Acclaimed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the mile-high Canyon is 18 miles wide in places and cuts through northern Arizona for 277 miles, with the Colorado River snaking along its floor. It's a staggering two billion years old, but age hasn't withered its looks - it's improved them. Centuries' worth of erosion and geology in action has created a landscape so beautiful and so varied that it simply takes your breath away.
The sheer scale of the Canyon means it has some very distinct parts. Only a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas, the South Rim is where most people head, and it's home to some of the best-known trails and lookout points. The North Rim is altogether quieter, with some fantastic hiking, and being over 300 metres higher than the South Rim is also cooler. The West Rim meanwhile, with its Hualapai Native American community, has the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon Skywalk.
There are many ways to see the Grand Canyon, too. There are all grades of walking trail - from flat and paved, to steep and challenging. You can simply drive from viewpoint to viewpoint; you can take a helicopter trip; or you can go white water rafting on the Colorado River. But whatever your choice, the view is guaranteed to be stunning.
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Grand Canyon Highlights
Grand Canyon Highlights
Grand Canyon Highlights
Take A Hike
Walking is a lot of what the Grand Canyon is about, and there's no better way to soak up the scenery. There's a complete range of graded trails, meaning you can stay pretty much on the flat along the Rim trail, or hike right down into the Canyon and cross the Colorado River via a narrow footbridge.
Grand Canyon Skywalk
Imagine standing 1200 metres above the Canyon's floor and looking straight down. This is the reality at the Skywalk on the West Rim, where a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge loops out 20 metres from the Canyon's edge. Not for the faint-hearted - but a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
A Different Slant
Walking and driving aren't the only ways to experience the splendour of the Canyon. Mule trips along both South and North Rim trails save tired legs; a helicopter ride gives a bird's eye view plus plenty of thrills; while white water rafting along the Colorado River is the perfect solution for adrenaline junkies.
Admire The View
There are lots of points where you can stop and take in the view around the Canyon's edge. Climb the Desert View Watchtower to reveal a stunning panorama from the South Rim; feel the romance at Yavapai Point as the Arizona sets across the Canyon; and marvel at five-star views of the River Colorado from Plateau Point on the Bright Angel Trail.
Make sure you see Havasu Falls - whether by hiking, by helicopter or on horseback. Here water tumbles 30 metres into sparkling turquoise pools, made even more startling by the vivid red of the rock that surrounds them. The water in the pools is crystal clear and warm - making this the perfect spot for a dip on a hot summer's day.
MUST DO ACTIVITIES:
Helicopter Tour from the Grand Canyon West Rim
Experience one of America's most beautiful natural attractions from the air on this helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon's West Rim. Soar above the Guano Point, Skywalk and Eagle Point and view the canyon in all its breathtaking glory as well as the Colorado River. Starting from £73 per person. Why not upgrade your package and include a landing within the depths of the Canyon from £85 per person. (From Grand Canyon Village).
Grand Canyon Railway Adventure Package
Step aboard the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams for a trip to the majestic Grand Canyon you'll never forget. Feel the rumble of a vintage train as the engine chugs 65-miles across the beautiful Northern Arizona countryside, past rolling hills and valleys adorned in wild flowers as you head to the National Park for a guided rim tour overlooking the canyon. Starting from £65 per person.
Grand Canyon East Rim Drive by Jeep and IMAX Movie
Departing from the South Rim, this scenic Jeep tour takes you along the East Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park showcasing some spectacular highlights. Choose from three tour options to experience the Grand Canyon during the day or at sunset. In addition to the tour, watch a fascinating Grand Canyon IMAX movie at the National Geographic Visitor Center where you will learn new and wonderful facts about the Grand Canyon. Starting from £49 per person.
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