Grand Canyon Tours by Land, Air or Water
In less than a two and one half hour northward jaunt, you can get you from Sedona to the Grand Canyon – why not take one of many Grand Canyon tours from Sedona? Head from one natural wonder to another, from red rocks to carved rocks, and be back in time for dinner. Or don’t—here’s plenty of camping to be had at the six-million-year-old Grand Canyon.
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Once you’re there, it’s fairly easy to take a scenic drive along the rim, or explore it by foot. Nevertheless, if you want to dig a little deeper into the canyon’s geological history, relationship to the Colorado River, and prominence in Native American culture, then take one of many guided Grand Canyon tours. Doing so allows you to learn from a professional who’s intimately familiar with the natural landmark.
Grand Canyon – Ground & Air Tour
See the Grand Canyon from several different vantage points during this multifaceted tour. You’ll explore the canyon rim, snap photos, and of course, fly over the canyon on a 30-minute helicopter ride. Starting At: $362
There are tons of ways to survey the area on Grand Canyon tours, as well. Obviously, you can hike down and up some of its trails while you admire the canyon floor a mile below. But why not try something more adventurous? Several companies will take you over and around the canyon by plane or by helicopter—and a chopper can even descend and land thousands of feet within! Once you’re there, you may have the opportunity to take a boat ride along the Colorado River, too.
There’s a reason the Grand Canyon was dubbed “grand.” At over 250 miles long, close to 20 miles wide in parts, and with an average depth that surpasses a mile, it is one of the most magnificent sites in the world. Indeed, it is so grand that it has been designated one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World!
What to do at Grand Canyon
So what can you actually do at the Grand Canyon? For beginners, Grand Canyon tours are second-to-none. Desert View Drive on the South Rim is an excellent place to start. This is the most developed section of the park, and features scenic highlights such as Pipe Creek Vista and Yavapai Point. There’s also Grand Canyon Village, where you can visit any number of historic landmarks such as the Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar Hotel, Hopi House, and Lookout Studio.
Another fantastic spot from which to view the Grand Canyon is its West Rim. One of the most prominent landmarks there is the Grand Canyon Skywalk at Eagle’s Point. This glass-and-steel-constructed, U-shaped bridge extends 70 ft. beyond the canyon’s edge, and allows guests to peer down directly to the canyon floor, 4,000 ft. below! From Eagle Point, you can also see Eagle Rock, an eagle-shaped formation that the Hualapai Indians recognize to be sacred. If you can discern its silhouette from among the rocks, you just might come to the same conclusion.
Grand Canyon Railroad From Sedona
Starting At: $197/Person
Experience old time, exploratory fun on this Grand Canyon railroad tour. You’ll swing past the canyon’s East and South Rims for stunning views, as you take in the world-renowned geological site from a unique perspective.
Grand Canyon tours come in many varieties. There are many ways to reach and tour the Grand Canyon, as well. Obviously, it can be accessed by car. But if you’re into old-fashioned adventure, why not take the vintage Grand Canyon Railway from Williams to Grand Canyon National Park? It’s two hours and 15 minutes of amazing smooth exploration at 5,000-ft. above sea level—and even up to 12,500-ft. as you wind through the San Francisco Peaks. Common sightings on this ride include elk, mule deer, and mountain lions.
For a faster way to move, try flying to the Grand Canyon. The ride there is nothing short of breathtaking, and the process of flying over and/or through the landmark—including an expansive section known as the Dragon Corridor—will send chills up your spine! Plane and helicopter flights can be booked from most of the major nearby cities (e.g., Phoenix, Las Vegas), and most have the option of landing for a few minutes or hours of unparalleled sightseeing.
The Grand Canyon Extreme Tour!
Starting At: $505/Person
Airplane, Helicopter, Boat! Depart from one scenic site to another on this six-hour air and water tour from Sedona to the Grand Canyon.
Moreover, the truly adventurous spirit should consider rafting on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Not only will this expose you to many a rollicking rapid, such as the Class 10 runs at Lava Falls and at Crystal; but they’ll also give you a unique vantage point from which to view the site. It’s one thing to look down into the canyon, quite another to gaze up upon its towering walls. In general, whitewater tours through the Grand Canyon last several days, from as few as three to as many as 18!
Finally, of course, there’s the option of hiking into the Grand Canyon. This classic method for experiencing its majesty may not be the most time- or energy-efficient, but it will put you more in touch with the age-old landmark. Be warned, however, that this is a very demanding task even for experienced hikers. If it’s your first time, you are advised to stay on a well-marked route such as the Bright Angel Trail or the South or North Kaibab Trails, or to hire a licensed tour company to guide you on the potentially multi-day journey.
Full Day Grand Canyon Tour
Everyone must see the Grand Canyon. Guided by a natural historian, you’ll weave your way along several classic northern Arizona landmarks in addition to beholding the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon and Colorado River below. $129/Person
In short, a visit to Sedona can very easily include one of the may available Grand Canyon Tours. And once you arrive, there are scads of viewing options that will give you glimpses of the natural wonder from every vantage point you could imagine. As it should be clear, the Grand Canyon does not fall short of its name. With amazing rock formations and inspiring lookout points, plus an array of worthwhile activities, visitors are sure to have one grand old time!
So how did the Grand Canyon form?
Scientists speculate that over a period of up to 70 million years, the Colorado River slowly eroded the rock layers within the Colorado River Basin, gradually creating the landmark we now know as the Grand Canyon. Combined with the uplift that took place during the Laramide Orogeny, and the ice and water introduced during a series of ice ages, the canyon grew considerably higher and steeper, which has resulted in its riveting appearance.
Grand Canyon Archeaology
The settlement of the area in and around the Grand Canyon dates back to the late second millennium B.C., when the Ancient Pueblo People known as the Anasazi populated the vicinity. Later on, several other native peoples came into the area, including the Cohonina and Sinagua, from which several modern Native American tribes emerged, including the Havasupai, Walapai, and Yuman, and the Hopi, respectively. Then, in the mid-16th century, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado arrived with a band of Spanish explorers; they traveled along the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, and even part of the way down into it.
Grand Canyon Exploration
American exploration of the Grand Canyon started in the mid-19th century with the arrival of the Mormon missionary Jacob Hamblin, who founded Lee’s Ferry and Pierce Ferry. Then in 1857-58, a cursory expedition began when geologist John Strong Newberry arrived to survey the site; ten years later, Major John Wesley Powell led a nine-man expedition down into the canyon. In 1908, the Grand Canyon was finally recognized as a national monument, and Grand Canyon National Park was formally established in 1919.
Grand Canyon Climate
Visitors to the Grand Canyon will be surprised by the region’s weather and biodiversity. To be sure, it consistently offers some of the best air in the country. By contrast, its climate is highly volatile according to elevation and geographic coordinates; for example, the South Rim experiences very little precipitation, while the higher and more northerly North Rim receives considerable snowfall. Temperatures, likewise, vary depending on season, from sub-zero winters to triple-digit summer days.
Visitors will also notice a number of unique plant and animal species among the Grand Canyon’s seven life zones. Rare flora such as western redbuds and stream orchids may be found in the Lower Sonoran zone, while the Upper Sonoran is dominated by blackbrush and sagebrush. Birds are commonly spotted soaring above the Grand Canyon, too, including bald eagles and the rare California condor, the largest land bird on the continent! Suffice it to say, you’re gong to want to bring your camera and your binoculars. There’s stuff here you won’t be able to see in any botanical garden or zoo.