If you're planning a summer holiday, then maybe it's time to do something special. If you want to enjoy a break with something out of the ordinary, a Colorado River float could be exactly what you need. One of the most unique and fun ways to tour the Grand Canyon is by river raft, so here are the top three float tours for you to consider.
#1 Grand Canyon Rafting Float Tour
My favorite tour begins in Arizona, which is where you will find the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. This tour provides lots of beautiful sightseeing opportunities, and it is also the least expensive option, which makes it a great choice if you're traveling from across the country or from overseas. Before you begin the river portion of your tour, you'll travel by bus through the Painted Desert and the Native American Reservation on your way to the Glen Canyon Dam. The Dam is where you will set off on your rafting adventure, and because these motorized boats can carry 19 passengers, it's a great option if you're traveling with family or friends.
If you're worried about whitewater rapids, you can rest assured knowing that this rafting tour only goes through slow moving sections of the Canyon, allowing you to enjoy the sights more than you would on a whitewater tour. Your boat covers about 16 miles of river during your three hour tour. Your boat will stop occasionally too, so you can get out and swim or explore the shore, and one stop you won't want to miss is the ancient Native American rock paintings in the Secret Canyon.
The Closing Bus Ride
When your river tour is over, you'll board a luxury motor coach complete with Wi-Fi and televisions for your return ride. The bus is equipped with comfortable climate control so you can soak up some air conditioning to help you cool off after spending a few hours in the sun. Your bus stops at the Cameron Trading Post on the way back so you can buy some authentic crafts or souvenirs of your rafting adventure.
#2 The Deluxe Float Tour
My next favorite rafting tour to recommend is actually tour number one with the deluxe upgrade. Rather than taking the first bus ride, this Colorado River tour includes a plane flight. The time you save by flying is spent on a fun Jeep tour through the Canyon. By choosing the deluxe tour, you get to see even more awesome sights and notable landmarks, such as the Slot Canyons.
#3 The Vegas Helicopter Tour
My third top tour begins in Las Vegas where you board a helicopter and fly to the Hoover Dam, which is near the West Rim of the Canyon. This section of the Colorado River covers 11 miles, and might be more convenient if you want the closest tour to Las Vegas.
Dress For The Heat
Be prepared for it to be hot at the Canyon during the summer months. It's a good idea to take along a change of dry clothes in a plastic bag, and keep your electronics in a dry bag too. Take along sun block and apply it as directed so you are protected from sunburn. Lightweight long sleeves will add further protection, and you may even want a brimmed hat and sunglasses too. It's also a good idea to include some salty snacks in your day pack, but don't worry about water as this will be provided by the tour operator.
You can't go wrong with any of these top tours. Tour one is great if you want to watch your budget, but if you can afford it, go with tour two so you can enjoy the Jeep adventure. Tour three is a good choice if you want to stay close to Vegas or if you want to see the Hoover Dam. And don't forget your sun protection so you'll be completely comfortable as your river boat floats past some of the most unique and beautiful natural formations on the planet.
Grand Canyon professional Lea Fallon is a big fan of rafting excursions and suggests readers check this page for a listing of the best 1-day float activities at Grand Canyon National Park: http://www.grandcanyondaytrips.com/float-trips/