North America, United States
The Grand Canyon is set in the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon itself is a gorge of the Colorado River and is considered by many to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
A feature on many bucket lists yet not everybody realises how long the Grand Canyon is – at 277 miles long this is no simple day trip. There are various accommodation options within the park but even if you are planning to stay a few days it is still worth thinking carefully about which aspect of the Grand Canyon you most want to see.
There are four main destinations: North Rim, East, West and South Rim.
First time viewers are encouraged to visit the South Rim as it is open all year round and is the most easily accessible from major Western cities including Las Vegas. It also offers the most visitor services and family-oriented activities. The South Rim also offers the views you expect of the Grand Canyon - those you will have seen numerous times through photographs but which will still take your breath away in real life. There are close to two dozen viewpoints, many of which allow you to peer down into the heart of the Grand Canyon – the Colorado River.
The other three destinations are also all worth seeing and each has something unique to offer. Grand Canyon West has the Skywalk; a transparent bridge allowing you to look straight down at the canyon with a vertical drop of over 800 feet. Grand Canyon East has the Horseshoe Bend; a horse shoe shaped, strikingly coloured meander of the Colorado River. The North Rim, in the fall, offers stunning views of the radiant colours of the Kaibab National Forest and generally offers a more peaceful alternative to the South Rim. However, these three destinations all have shorter visiting seasons and are more difficult to get to.
There are a huge variety of tours available within the Grand Canyon National Park and the best option for you will depend on your interests and your chosen destination within the park. Options include touring by bus, jeep, helicopter, boat or even mule!
Wherever you decide to go and however you decide to travel you can be sure that your trip to the Grand Canyon will be an unforgettable one.
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