What: An unforgettable journey through the belly of the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world
Why: The rush of rafting through whitewater, majestic limestone cliffs, cactus gardens, visits to Native American ruins, canyon hikes.
How: Since 1969, rafting outfit O.A.R.S. has been operating guided, non-motorized trips down the Colorado River. Guests can choose from two types of vessels: an inflatable raft which offers a bit more give over rapids and travels more quickly through the water, or hard-hulled dories, which make for a more up-and-down experience through whitewater and go at a more leisurely pace through the canyon. Trips range in length from 4 days to 18-19 days, but on each visitors can expect to spend 3-5 hours aboard the boat, and the rest of the time hiking around the canyon, eating, or hanging out at camp. For first timers, we like the 5 day Whitmore Wash to Lake Mead trip, which also includes an afternoon of horseback riding, ATVing, of hiking at Bar 10 Ranch and a scenic helicopter ride into the Canyon.