Did you know that the Grand Canyon, located in the great American Southwest (Arizona, to be precise), is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World? That shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s an incredible, visually stunning place. I don’t think any other place is quite like it.
Among other things, the Grand Canyon is a terrific place for a family vacation. Besides the obvious sightseeing (there’s nothing like it!), you can even take a smooth-water rafting trip down the Colorado River. The water’s so calm that seniors and kids four and up can participate in this unique experience.
It’s difficult to comprehend the sheer immensity of the place. Standing on the rim, you’re about a mile above the Colorado River at the bottom. The river looks more like a silvery ribbon than what it really is – the force that created the gorge over hundreds of millions of years. Grand Canyon float tours give you an “up-close-and-personal” view of the river and you’ll be awed by the canyon walls towering above you.
Some folks prefer to stay on top and explore the rim they’re visiting. A few adventurous souls hike down the trails until they reach the bottom. That would be difficult to do if you’re traveling with younger children or senior citizens. Fortunately, families can take Grand Canyon float tours for a fun, educational experience and get the same “bottom-up” perspective.
If you’d love to get your kids interested in nature and environmental issues, a smooth-water rafting tour would be a great way to do it. These trips are educational, the views are breathtaking, and floating down the river is always fun for everyone!
As you’re passing the canyon’s unique rock formations, you can teach your kids some basics about the geology of the area. The Colorado River carved out the canyon from the limestone of the Kaibab Plateau. Your kids will be fascinated when they learn how the canyon was created. It’s amazing what erosion can accomplish if given long enough.
You’ll probably catch glimpses of some of the native wildlife along the way – bighorn sheep, hawks, California condors, rock squirrels and so forth. Seeing them will give you the opportunity to teach your kids about nature’s delicate ecosystems and how plants and animals live together. Your kids can learn what different animals look like, where they live, and get an idea of what they eat and whether they’re dangerous if provoked.
The area is also rich in Native American history and culture. The people of the Hualapai tribe (the owners of the land at the West Rim) have lived in the region for thousands of years. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a great learning tool to demonstrate how the Hualapai have become creative about generating income for the tribe as the traditional hunting lifestyle has dwindled.
Every teacher and parent knows it’s important to keep children’s interest. Although most kids are inquisitive, they also have shorter attention spans than most adults. One of the best ways to overcome a child’s tendency to get bored is by changing the topic frequently. Nothing combines just the right amount of excitement and changing sights and topics better than a smooth-water rafting trip. It’s easy for kids to have fun while they’re learning about geology, wildlife and history during a float tour.