There are few days that top rafting the Grand Canyon, stepping off your raft to a helicopter and ascending 4,000 feet of the Grand Canyon to the rim.
For travelers and families with older kids, this Hualapai River Runners trip on the western side of the Grand Canyon is one to make the memory books. Not only is it full of adventure, but it enables you to step beyond the historical cliches of headdress-wearing Native Americans and glimpse into the modern-day lives of today’s Hualapai Indians.
Your epic trip starts at the Hualapai Lodge, an immaculate base that’s home to a restaurant where you can fuel up with breakfast and dinner and sample Native American traditional foods. From there, it’s about an hour drive down a dirt road past bighorn sheep and wild donkeys to river mile 226.
“We offer a one-day rafting experience, which a lot of companies don’t,” says Luka Montana, Hualapai tribal member. “It’s a fast and easy outing for people who want to get back to Las Vegas.”
After the first 12 miles of action-packed rapids, the river mellows out, which is why the Hualapai power their iconic turquoise rafts with motors. Enjoy deli sandwiches while relaxing on a white sandy beach before coasting to arguably one of the world’s most stunning helicopter landing pads. Get whisked away for a breathtaking eight-minute ride past the Grand Canyon's ancient walls.
When you land on the canyon rim, walk on the Skywalk, a glass bridge that seemingly floats above the canyon. No cameras or personal belongings are allowed on the Skywalk, so you'll store those in a locker. A bus ride to the lodge gives you time to reflect.
For more information: