Arizona’s main jumping off point for the Grand Canyon is the pleasant town of Flagstaff, surrounded by mountains. From here you can take a variety of different bespoke or itinerised tours of the Grand Canyon to the north. This proud specimen of the earth’s geological might is certainly one of the most magnificent sights on the planet and there are a surprising number of ways to experience it.
Finding the right Grand Canyon tour can feel like a bit of a slog, therefore here at TravelMag we’ve carved out a list of the top five. Not only is this a list of some of the different experiences that you can have of the Grand canyon, but it also takes into account factors like the value for money and previous customer reviews of each tour.
FROM $734/per person
Enjoy an exciting 9-mile full-day white water rafting adventure on the Colorado River. The tour starts with a pick-up from your Flagstaff hotel, from where you’ll be transported to the far western section of the Grand Canyon, home to the only stretch of the Colorado River to offer Grand Canyon rafting excursions. Descend into the canyon and climb aboard a specially designed motorised raft that’s able to surge across the whitewater rapids. At regular intervals you’ll climb ashore to embark on short hikes to picturesque waterfalls, and marvel at the scenery. Weather permitting, you’ll be transported out of the canyon via a short helicopter ride before returning to Flagstaff by road.
From $149/ per person
The ultimate tour is an eight hour, fully narrated tour of Grand Canyon National Park, with a hotel pick up service in the morning. Walk a little section of the Rim Trail, known for its classic US wildlife like the black bear. Further exploration of the south rim is then possible before heading onto the Navajo Indian reserve for lunch, included in the price. Here you can learn more about the Navajo life and customs.
From $207/ per person
The Grand Canyon Railway was completed in 1901 but fell out of use in the 1960s when the car became more popular. Nowadays it has been revived and the restored passenger cars are an excellent place from which to view the rolling countryside until reaching the canyon. If the views from the train are great, the chance to get out and explore the canyon rim will bring you even closer to it. Lunch is also provided on the train.
From $150/ per person
Tours are usually much better experienced in smaller numbers, allowing for a more personalised experience. During this eight hour excursion you will visit the Grand Canyon’s South Rim first, before making an additional six to eight stops at sites of particular interest, including El Tovar Lodge, a hotel built close to the rim of the canyon and opened in 1905. Lunch is provided in the form of a picnic amid the ruins of a former Native American settlement.
From $163/ per person
Another classic tour offering a really broad range of experiences, this full day tour starts and ends at your hotel with pick up and drop off. In the middle you will visit a volcano, the ruins of a Native American settlement, and the historic Cameron Trading Post where native Hopi and Navajo locals would sell their wares. There will be plenty of stops once the tour arrives at the Grand Canyon for photo opportunities and of course a chance to learn about the fascinating geology, flora and fauna of the area.