Anyone who has ever considered geology boring will have their mindset changed after a visit to America’s Grand Canyon. It is the ultimate American holiday destination. The Grand Canyon is a mile deep and 10 miles wide and the sight of it compels travellers to stop in amazement to take it all in.
What The Grand Canyon Has To Offer
Snaking along the bottom of the Grand Canyon is the Colorado River, which has carved this canyon over many millions of years. Large exposed layers of rock appear to change colour with the light. The canyon is a photographer’s dream and pictures of its splendour appear on many calendars.
Lying more than 200 miles from one another are the Grand Canyon’s two rims. The South Rim is chosen by most visitors due to its easy access and panoramic vistas. At over eight thousand feet, the North Rim has cooler temperatures that support aspen and spruce as well as wildflower meadows. Most visitors choose to visit the two rims of the canyon on different occasions. Other parts of the canyon are remote and fairly inaccessible other than by pack trails used by experienced trekkers.
Summer temperatures inside the canyon can bevery high. Consequently the best time to visit is from late May to early September. The South Rim is open throughout the year whereas the North Rim is open from the middle of May to the middle of October.
Early explorers considered the Grand Canyon asan obstacle to be overcome. Miners exploited its natural resources. However, developers and entrepreneurs soon began to see how the canyon could be exploited differently and now the area is one of the world’s most visited destinations.
Today, more than five million visitors visit the park annually. The canyon has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one former U.S. President described it as unparalleled in the world. It has also been said that the canyon has to be experienced as no photograph or wordscan ever describe it. There is nowhere else on Earth to beat it when it comes to family activity holidays.
Types of Tours Available
There are many family oriented Grand Canyon tours available and the choice is largely dependent on the age of one’s children. Helicopters and other small aircraft fly over the canyon with narrated tours giving full explanations of the geology and flora of the area. These modern, air conditioned aircraft have special windows allowing unobstructed views.
There are interesting, safe walks around parts of the canyon. Running west from the viewpoint at Pipe Creek is the Rim Trail. This is an eight-mile walking tour along a paved road followed by a further unpaved section of approximately seven miles to Hermit’s Rest. Walks can start virtually anywhere along the trail and a small bus will take walkers back to their starting point. A popular place to start is Mather Point, which is the first view seen when visitors enter from the South Entrance.
There are also one-day bus tours with commentaries, which is a very popular way to see the canyon. Many of these tours include meals and pick-up from hotels. Family holidays in this part of the USA are geared to the great outdoors, adventure and incredible sights on avast scale.
Adriana Frederick writes regularly on family activity holidays for a range of travel websites and blogs. Her involvement in Grand Canyon tours always proves to be the highlight of any trip.