Best way to spend Father's Day? Take a Grand Canyon
Float tours are available from two destinations: South Rim and North Rim. The former is ideal for travelers staying in Williams, Flagstaff or Grand Canyon Village. The later is idea for visitors based in Las Vegas, NV.
Regarded by professionals as the 'real' Grand Canyon, this rim hosts the best float trips. The basic version starts with a bus trip to Glen Canyon Dam. From there, you'll transfer to a 19-passenger pontoon boat and go 15 miles down stream to historic Lee's Ferry.
The deluxe version starts with an airplane flight to Page, AZ, which is where the Dam is located. First, though, you'll transfer to a 4x4 Jeep for a tour of fabulous Antelope Canyon, most famous for it's slot canyons. Then you'll go to Glen Canyon, hop aboard your river raft and do the float.
Dad will love the trip down the river, especially the part that goes around stunning Horseshoe Bend, a landmark defined by turquoise waters and a red sandstone butte. There's also lots of wildlife to be had, including big horn sheep, wild burros, California Condors and whitetail deer.
This trip is really special because it starts out with a helicopter ride to the bottom of the Canyon. This is extraordinary because the West Rim, which is just 120 miles from Las Vegas, is the only place in the National Park where you can fly to the base!
The next segment of this trip involves taking a bus to the base of Hoover Dam, which is comprised of a retaining wall that's more than 700-feet tall! You'll board a motorized pontoon watercraft, push off from the docks and make an 11-mile cruise on some of the clearest water on the Colorado.
This trip includes cruising through miraculous Black Canyon (this is where the new Hoover Dam bypass is constructed). Here, you'll hear the amplified noises of wildlife. If you're lucky (and many are), you'll spot a big horn sheep affixed to a sheer cliff. The trip ends at Willow Beach, which is a great place for a swim.
These rafting trips come with everything including all gear, lunch and river guide service. The price also includes all taxes and Park entrance fees. I do recommend you pack a dry bag. For good measure, I'd bring a hat, sunglasses, long-sleeved cotton shirt, lip balm, and an extra set of dry clothes. River sandals are a good idea, too. And bring a bathing suit - a couple of hours in the Arizona sun and you'll be the first in the water.
Father's Day is Sunday, June 16, and rafting trips will be running on a regular schedule. I do urge you to book your trip in advance. Float tours, which are open to kids as young as 4 years of age, are incredibly popular during the summer months and often sell out. Personally, I recommend booking a week out to be safe. As for great prices, shop the Internet, as that's where the deals are. However, make sure to complete your transaction online so you qualify for the incredible online discount.