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What to See and Do in the Grand Canyon – a guide to notable attractions and landmarks

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The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s favorite natural wonders. A dramatic landscape unparalleled in scope and grandeur, its carved, craggy immensity lets us look into parts of the planet stretching back 2 billion years. A trip to this sublime environment can be filled with activity or relaxation. Whatever you do when you visit, whether you explore on foot, by car, on water, or even up in the clouds, you’re in for a treat.
Raft the Colorado River

 

 

One of the best ways to explore just about every last nook and cranny of the Grand Canyon is to bounce along the Colorado River on a raft. Whether you want to spend a prolonged period getting in touch with the majesty of the meandering flows and currents – anything from days to weeks – or would prefer a quick half-day jaunt on the water, you’ll be sure to find the right trip for you. There’s a range of commercial and non-commercial options, but rest assured that whatever you opt for, a tour along this iconic river will get your heart pounding and thrust you through an other-worldly landscape.

 

Bright Angel Trail

 

 

For those not too familiar with the Grand Canyon but in the mood for adventure, the Bright Angel Trail is the perfect hike. Originally used by the Havasupai tribes, before being tidied up by prospectors near the end of 19th century, the track is laden with spectacular views that will stay with you forever. The trail begins at the South Rim’s Grand Canyon Village and descends almost 1,400 meters to the Colorado. This popular hike is certainly one worth ticking off, but it’s important to be wary of the heat and gradient. Water is available at designated points and anyone wanting a night under the stars should book ahead for camping.

 

Helicopter tour

 

 

If you’re pressed for time, enjoy a less strenuous approach to sightseeing, and have a robust budget, then swooping in and out of the clouds above the Grand Canyon in a helicopter is an offer you’ll struggle to refuse. A good number of tours are available and promise the experience of a lifetime, with swathes upon swathes of marvelous scenery just waiting to take your breath away. Depending on the company you choose to fly with, you might be able to arrange a hotel pick up. You can also decide between a daytime expedition and an evening one, when you can catch the gorgeous Arizona sun as it sinks beyond the orange horizon.