Friday
Jul062012

Grand Canyon

Tour Description: The tour of the South Rim of Grand Canyon begins near the south entrance at the Visitor Center with an excellent film describing the geology of the Grand Canyon and points of special interest. This is followed by a visit to nearby Mather Point overlook, one of the best sites for viewing the geologic formations exposed in the canyon. Then to Bright Angel Lodge with other views of the canyon and the start of famous Bight Angel trail down to the Colorado River. About 0.4 miles east along the rim is El Tovar, landmark hotel at the canyon, and the adjacent Hopi House. Nearby is the start of the Trail of Time, a 1.3 mile trail along the rim with samples from each of the rock formations in the canyon. Optional is a 7 mile drive along the canyon rim to Hermit's Rest, west of Bright Angel Lodge. It is accessible by free park shuttle buses. We depart the canyon by following Desert View drive, a 25 mile road to the park's east entrance. There are many excellent views of the canyon along the way, including Desert View overlook with its famous Navajo Watchtower built by architect Mary Jane Coulter. After leaving the park, we pass the East Kaibab uplift which controls the route of the Colorado River through the canyon. This is followed by a stop at the gorge of the Little Colorado River for spectacular views of a deeply incised desert stream. Before returning to Flagstaff, we stop at the Indian Trading Post at Cameron, Arizona, for examples of typical Navajo and Hopi handicrafts.

Recommended Length: The South Rim of Grand Canyon is 75 miles northwest of Flagstaff. Minumum time for a tour, including travel time, is 4 to 5 hours, but a full day is recommended.

Price Range: Tour rates are $250 per day for a group of up to 4 people and $300 per day for larger groups. Not included is the cost of transportation, which can be arranged. Entrance to Grand Canyon National Park is $25 per vehicle and is not included. Meals are available at several restaurants in the park and in the town of Tusayan, south of the main entrance.