5 Helpful Resources For Planning Your Grand Canyon Trip

The Grand Canyon is a wonderful place to visit, full of breathtaking views, beautiful wildlife, and a sense of adventure. But taking a trip to this national park requires some planning, whether it's buying camping gear, booking a guided tour, or just researching which trails you want to explore. The five resources listed here provide equipment and experiences that can help take your vacation to the next level. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Companies That Can Help You Explore The Grand Canyon

Name Description
Just Roughin' It Shop that specializes in hiking gear and accessories
Sundance Helicopters Provides helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon (among other locations)
Advantage Grand Canyon Coordinates comprehensive & customizable rafting tours
Western Spirit Mountain bike outfitter that offers trips and activities throughout the U.S.
Grand Canyon Expeditions Company that runs river rafting excursions

The Geology Of The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park preserves an iconic geologic landscape and resources ranging from 1,840 to 270 million years old, including diverse paleontological resources; unconsolidated surface deposits; a complex tectonic and erosion history; and Pliocene to Holocene volcanic deposits. The Colorado River established its course through the canyon about six million years ago, and likely evolved from pre-existing drainages to its current course. Geologic processes, including erosion of tributaries and slopes, and active tectonics continue to shape the canyon today. The geologic record in Grand Canyon is an important scientific chronicle and is largely responsible for its inspirational scenery.

How Was The Grand Canyon Formed?

Benefits Of Spending Time Outdoors

  • Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D
  • In the winter, leaving the house can lessen the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Hiking is a great way to stay physically active
  • Walking in the fresh air can help with mental health
  • It's a great opportunity to learn about local plant and animal species
  • Going outside may be good for children's vision

Timeline Of Grand Canyon History

Date Event
1882 First unsuccessful attempt to establish a Grand Canyon National Park
1893 Designated a "forest reserve" by President Benjamin Harrison
1902 Party crosses from one side of the canyon to the other by pack train for the first time
1908 Established as Grand Canyon National Monument by Theodore Roosevelt
1910 Grand Canyon Railway Depot is completed
1928 A suspension bridge is constructed over the Colorado River
1979 Grand Canyon is designated a World Heritage Site

Living With Fire In The Grand Canyon

In Depth

One of the most popular destinations in the world, the Grand Canyon, offers a wide array of activities for vacationers, from hiking and camping, to white water rafting and helicopter tours. Here, in no particular order, are five resources dedicated to helping you organize the trip of a lifetime to this national treasure.

At #1 is Just Roughin' It, a Scottsdale, Arizona shop specializing in hiking gear and accessories. Ray and Debbie Hendricks started the business after many years of guiding people on backpacking trips through the Grand Canyon, Superstition Wilderness, and Yosemite. Among the items available for hikers of all levels are camp cookware, footwear and socks, and gear rentals including sleeping bags, stoves, tents, and backpacks.

Just Roughin' It hosts a variety of seminars, including How to Get a Grand Canyon Permit, which covers ways to navigate the system. The workshop offers expert advice on the logistics of a Rim to Rim experience, alternatives to the main trails, off season tips, and what to expect on your trip. Other educational events include Essentials for Desert Hiking and Intro to Backpacking.

The workshop offers expert advice on the logistics of a Rim to Rim experience, alternatives to the main trails, off season tips, and what to expect on your trip.

In the #2 spot is Sundance Helicopters, which provides tours of the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and Hoover Dam. It offers several options for seeing the famed gorge from the sky or the ground. The All American package supplies picnic snacks and champagne, with aerial views of the Mojave Desert, Lake Mead, and the Colorado River. The company's close relationship with the Hualapai Tribe enables it to land exclusively thirty two hundred feet into the canyon, allowing passengers to explore below the rim.

The Voyager Exclusive Helicopter Tour with Optional Skywalk combines a riverboat cruise with a hike. The Express allows you to walk the sky on the ten foot wide, horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that extends out over the rim of the canyon. This is the only place where visitors can step out onto a clear walkway nearly four thousand feet above the floor of the chasm. USA TODAY named the company Best Helicopter Tour in North America.

Coming in at #3 is Advantage Grand Canyon, which coordinates comprehensive rafting tours. Its two step planning tool allows you to personalize your trip by raft type and route. You can choose to do your own rowing or have a guide take the paddles. Routes include exploring either the full, upper, lower, or Western canyon, and can encompass helicopter rides or strenuous hikes.

Its two step planning tool allows you to personalize your trip by raft type and route.

Advantage Grand Canyon offers tips and tricks for getting the most out of your rafting trip, including skin protection, how to pack, and the importance of staying hydrated. You'll also learn about wearing the right outerwear such as life jackets or vests, long underwear, and sunglasses, and employing the proper swimming technique, which is to float on your back, head up, toes pointing to the sky.

Entering the list at #4 is Western Spirit, a mountain bike outfitter with featured trips encompassing such regions as the Southwest, The Dakotas, and Texas. Its family friendly trip to the South Rim is inclusive of a ride along the singletrack Arizona Trail and camping in remote areas. One of its most popular excursions includes a visit to Grand Canyon National Park and the highly acclaimed Rainbow Rim Trail.

In addition to bike rides, Western Spirit offers ideas for Grand Canyon activities such as a customized river trip, hiking Bright Angel Trail, and a visit to Phantom Ranch, where you can sleep in rustic cabins, ride mules, and take a Railway Express Tour complete with an Arizona gunfight, strolling musicians, and interaction with cowboys.

In addition to bike rides, Western Spirit offers ideas for Grand Canyon activities such as a customized river trip, hiking Bright Angel Trail, and a visit to Phantom Ranch, where you can sleep in rustic cabins, ride mules, and take a Railway Express Tour complete with an Arizona gunfight, strolling musicians, and interaction with cowboys.

Closing out the list at #5 is Grand Canyon Expeditions, known for its rowing and motorized river rafting excursions. Its Ecology Expedition offers an opportunity to travel with an expert in the field of natural science, with an emphasis on discussing the relationship of the diverse plant and animal life found along the canyon's corridor. Other special interest trips include geological history, extended hiking, and photography.

A typical river rafting trip starts with an early breakfast, followed by a hike and sightseeing through Vasey's Paradise. Afternoons include an exploration of Saddle Canyon before setting up camp for the night at Nankoweap. The boatmen prepare meals in a Dutch oven for all excursions, including a dinner consisting of a meat course, roasted potatoes, green salad, and dessert.