Raft on Colorado River going through Grand Canyon
Whether you want leisurely or thrilling, a short jaunt or a long excursion, there's a rafting trip for you.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

8 Incredible Ways to Experience the Majesty of the Grand Canyon

Have a Grand Adventure

Despite its reputation as a frequent road trip stop, the Grand Canyon has a lot more to offer than a quick glance from the South Rim. Exploring the Grand Canyon calls for a keen sense of adventure as many activities here require a high fitness level and tolerance for the great outdoors.

For a chance to really experience one of the seven natural wonders of the world and one of the top destinations in the US, consider our picks for essential things to do at the Grand Canyon.

Whitewater Rafting Trips

One of the best ways to tour the Grand Canyon takes you straight down into it — on a whitewater rafting trip. The Colorado River has hundreds of miles of rapids from the slow, low-grade Nankoweap Rapid to the Lava Falls Rapid — one of the fastest and most well-known rapids in the world, perfect for the extreme adventure travelers in our midst.

Rafting trips range from a single day to multiple weeks, depending on how much of the canyon you want to see. Arizona Raft Adventures, based in Flagstaff, offers Upper Canyon, Lower Canyon or Full Canyon tours, which can even be combined with hiking, yoga or your own private music fest, with songs performed by your tour guides.

Helicopter on ground in the Grand CanyonSee it all aboard a helicopter flying over the Grand Canyon.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Helicopter Tour

There’s no better way to take in the awesome majesty of the Grand Canyon than with an aerial view. A number of helicopter tours take off nearby, flying over the canyon with on-board narration. For 25 to 50 minutes you’ll get to see some of the most impressive features the Grand Canyon has to offer, with views of the North, South and East Rims.

Tours, such as the ones offered by Papillon, are also great for photography and give you a chance to capture the canyon from a unique overhead angle making this one of the best Grand Canyon tourist attractions.

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Pink Jeeps lined up in parking lotAfter some wildlife sightings? Take a Jeep tour through the forest.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Jeep Safari

Grand Canyon Jeep safaris give you the chance to see some of the local wildlife that lives in nearby Kaibab National Forest. On board an open-air Jeep 4×4, you’ll journey through the forest while your guide describes the history, geology and ecology of the area.

The Grand Canyon Safari & Rim Walk adds on a walking tour, which takes you along the South Rim and through Grand Canyon Village. Although it’s still an adventurous activity, the low-key nature of the tour makes it one of the best things to do at the Grand Canyon with kids.

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