Labor Day is just around the corner, so it’s time to finalize your plans for the long weekend. A trip to the Grand Canyon could be just what you need for some fun and excitement, and the best way to do that is by taking a river tour through the Canyon.
South Rim River Rafting
Tusayan in Arizona is the starting point for rafting tours of the South Rim. Tusayan is a small town outside the main gates to the Grand Canyon National Park and it has an airport there, which makes it easy to fly in for your river tour.
When you get ready to book your tour, you’ll get to choose between a basic or deluxe tour. If you book a basic tour, you’ll travel from Tusayan to the river in Page by bus, but if you book a deluxe tour, you’ll go the river by plane instead.
These are day long tours that depart at 7 am. So be prepared to get an early start on your day. The tours depart from the airport, even the basic tours on buses, and as an added perk, if you book a deluxe tour, you’ll be picked up at your hotel and driven to the airport.
Departing From Glen Canyon Dam
The bus ride to Glen Canyon Dam gives you the chance to see a lot of scenic views such as the Painted Desert and the Navajo Indian Reservation. When you get to the dam, your tour group will board pontoon boats that carry 19 people each in preparation for the float trip down the river. The tour covers 15 miles of the river and comes to an end at Lee’s Ferry.
This tour includes several stopping points where you can do some hiking along the banks or to Hidden Canyon, swim in the cool waters, and even enjoy a nice lunch. Walking to Hidden Canyon is worth it because you’ll get to see authentic Native American petroglyphs on the rock walls. Your boat will also float through Horseshoe Bend, which is a well-known landmark in the Canyon.
Visiting Lee’s Ferry
Your next stop after the boat tour and an air-conditioned bus ride is the Cameroon Trading Post. It’s a great place to buy Native American crafts and souvenirs of your trip to the Canyon. And if you’re hungry, there’s plenty of local food available.
About The Deluxe Tour
The deluxe tour comes with everything that the basic tour offers except for the bus ride at the beginning which is replaced with an airplane ride. The airplane flight to Page is much quicker, so that gives you plenty of time to enjoy the Jeep tour that is included in the deluxe tour option. This gives you the opportunity to see more of the Canyon, including the Slot Canyons, that you miss on the basic tour. When your Jeep tour is over, you’ll head to Glen Canyon Dam and begin your river float.
Las Vegas Grand Canyon Rafting
Vegas is closer to the West Rim, so most Vegas tours go there, and one fabulous tour to book is the one that combines a helicopter tour with a river float. The tour begins with a helicopter flight from Vegas to the West Rim, where the chopper descends into the Canyon and lands on the Canyon floor. You’ll have 30 minutes to explore the Canyon floor before you board a bus to be taken to the Hoover Dam where you’ll start the river portion of your tour. You’ll float along 12 miles of the Colorado River, enjoying many scenic views including that of Willow Beach. This tour has beautiful scenery and adventure too, considering the exhilarating helicopter descent into the Canyon.
You need to book your Labor Day tour as soon as possible because these popular tours sell out fast. The lowest price on these tours is the Internet rate, which you can get by using your credit card to buy the tour online. It is hot this time of year in the Canyon, so wear light clothing and don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Bring along a swimsuit too, so you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the river when your boat pulls in for a stop on one of the scenic beaches in the Canyon.