by Christine Ward
Grand Canyon National Park receives almost 6 million visitors a year, and 90% of those visitors go to the South Rim. There is so much to see in the Grand Canyon that it’s hard to know where to start. Choosing a tour company to take you on your journey is a great way to make sure you see the best parts of the Grand Canyon with the least hassle. And of course, you are free to explore on your own.
Grand Canyon National Park was designated as a national park in 1919, after decades of fighting between many factions, including Ralph Henry Cameron, who went so far as to take the matter to the Supreme Court when the Grand Canyon was designated a national monument. He continued his fight as it became a national park. Cameron became an Arizona Senator in 1920, and unsuccessfully continued his fight there
.The Colorado River runs 277 miles through the Grand Canyon, and was a major force in carving out the canyon walls into what they are today.
A stop at the Watchtower is a must for any visit. This striking tower was designed by Mary Jane Colter, often referred to as the architect of the Southwest, and offers visitors breathtaking views of the canyon. The Watchtower was designed to perfectly blend into the landscape of the canyon.
Grand Canyon whitewater rafting is a very popular activity. One fascinating bit of history is the story of Georgie White, who was not only one of the pioneers of guided rafting on the Colorado River, but was the first woman to row the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. She took her last rafting trip in 1991, just before her eightieth birthday. Individuals and groups must obtain permits to raft the Grand Canyon, and several commercial operators offer multi-day trips.
Grand Canyon Village inside the national park houses employees of the businesses and organizations that serve the national park, and has been inhabited since the 1800s. The Village is the only place within the park where the railroad reaches the rim of the canyon.
Elling Halvorson owned and operated a construction company that built the first water pipeline between the north and south rims, providing water to the people who lived in Grand Canyon Village. Halvorson’s company used helicopters to move people and supplies into the canyon for this massive construction project and that experience led him to forming Papillon which started offering air tours in the canyon in 1965. Papillon celebrated their 50 year anniversary in 2015.
Hiking is a major activity in the Grand Canyon, and there are numerous trails to choose from, ranging from easy one and a half mile hikes to the very strenuous North Rim to South Rim Hike, which is approximately 24 miles. PLAN AHEAD for any hiking in the Grand Canyon. The National Park Service (NPS) provides plenty of information on their website to help you plan your hike, with lots of safety tips and warnings. https://grandcanyon.com/
Wildlife viewing is a very popular activity in the Grand Canyon, and one of the most interesting animals in the park is the majestic elk. These amazing animals can reach weights of up to 700 pounds. It is incredible to watch them roam the park, but the NPS recommends staying a minimum of 100 feet away for safety.
Buck Wild Hummer Tours offers South Rim Grand Canyon Tours that let you see viewpoints and locations with the most scenic vistas, and they will provide you with a lot of history about the Grand Canyon along the way. Every tour is led by a professional guide who will provide you with the history of the American Southwest, the forces of nature that shaped the canyon, and the ancient people who inhabited the land. Discover the dramatic rock formations and gorges that took millions of years to create.
Buck Wild Hummer Tours uses H1 Hummers that seat 12 passengers, and the history of the H1 alone is an interesting one. Arnold Schwarzenegger (yes, the “Terminator” and former Governor of California) helped bring Hummers to the civilian market.
Visit buckwildhummertours.com for more information about these exciting adventures into the Grand Canyon.