Your Perfect Week in the Grand Canyon

What does your week look like? Mix and match to create the ultimate vacation.
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Grand Canyon Mule Ride. Photo by Whit Richardson

Photo by Whit Richardson

Stay at Phantom Ranch

Phantom Ranch Cabins. Photo by Whit Richardson

Phantom Ranch Cabins. Photo by Whit Richardson

There is no better way to experience the Grand Canyon than seeing it from rim to river. The 9.5-mile trek down Bright Angel Trail via foot or mule will get you to historic Phantom Ranch. Spend a night or two at the canyon bottom and enjoy the flowing waters of Bright Angel Creek from the front porch of your cabin, take a hot shower and dine family style at the mess hall where you'll strike up interesting conversation with visitors from all over the world.

Raft the Colorado River

Rafting trip through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River. Photo by Whit Richardson

Rafting Trip Through the Grand Canyon. Photo by Whit Richardson

While rafting the entire Grand Canyon can require several weeks, there are two options for short river trips. Colorado River Discovery outfitters runs trips on the flat water section of the Colorado from Glen Canyon dam to Lees Ferry. Contact: raftthecanyon.com. On the lower end of Grand Canyon, the Hualapai Tribe runs day trips on the Colorado which includes rapids.

Take the Train

Verde Canyon Railroad. Courtesy photo

Verde Canyon Railroad. Courtesy photo

A day trip on Verde Canyon Railroad runs through the wildlife-rich Verde River wilderness with numerous bird species.

Grand Canyon Railway transports passengers back to the Old West (complete with a fake train robbery) on daily trips between Williams and Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim.

Relax in Sedona

A peach-colored sunset on Sedona's red rocks. Courtesy photo

A peach-colored sunset on Sedona's red rocks. Courtesy photo

Pamper yourself after rugged days on the trail with a stay at one of Sedona's world-class spas. Therapeutic spa treatments combine with the scenic red rock landscape and the area's reputation for spiritual enlightenment to restore both the body and mind.

Tour Grand Canyon by Helicopter, Airplane, or Balloon

Papillion Bell Helicopter. Courtesy photo

Papillion Bell Helicopter. Courtesy photo

Experience the thrill of viewing Grand Canyon from the sky and surveying the vast natural wonder from rim to rim. Papillon Helicopters offers air tours from Boulder City, Nev. and Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan.

Go Kayaking on Lake Powell

Hidden Canyon Kayak in Page provides fully-outfitted day trips and multi-day kayak tours into Lake Powell side canyons that are often too narrow to be reached by motor boat. More information: [track href="http://www.hiddencanyonkayak.com" target="_blank"]hiddencanyonkayak.com[/track]

See Monument Valley

You've marveled at the photos of iconic Monument Valley, now experience the surreal landscape for yourself. Located on the Navajo Nation just north of Kayenta, tours with tribal guides (via jeep or horseback) are offered in Monument Valley Tribal Park. More information: [track href="http://www.Navajonationparks.org" target="_blank"]navajonationparks.org[/track]

Cool Off at the North Rim

The pleasant summer temperatures at the 7,000-foot elevation North Rim, sunset view from the lodge porch and experiencing Grand Canyon without the crowds is well worth the detour to this less-traveled unit of the national park reached via US 89A. Hiking trails wind through aspen grove along the rim. The road to Point Imperial leads to one of the most spectacular rim overlooks in the national park.

Hike in Southern Utah

Create you own multi-day hiking circuit with hikes in the slot canyons of Zion National Park, around the hoo doos of Bryce Canyon National Park and across the colorful slickrock benches of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Or extend your trip with backpacking in Capital Reef or Canyonlands national parks or camping in Utah state parks. More information: [track href="http://www.visitutah.com" target="_blank"]visitutah.com[/track]

Mountain Bike in Moab

Take a spin around this mountain biking Mecca, home to world-famous single track through scenic slick rock canyon country and the 100-mile White Rim Trail. Added bonus: Enjoying Moab's restuarants , brew pubs and coffee shops. More information: [track href="http://www.discovermoab.com" target="_blank"]discovermoab.com[/track]

Drive Route 66

Cruise through Americana on the historic stretch of Route 66 between Williams and Kingman. Stop at the famous Mr. D's Diner in Kingman for a rootbeer float.

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