December 7, 2022

Grand Canyon Travel Packages Whitewater Rafting Through History

White water rafting trips

Grand Canyon travel packages offer one of the most unique experiences of Earth’s geological history in the world.

Today, over three-quarters of Americans consider outdoor recreation to be an important part of their lives. Around 28% say they currently do or plan to participate in whitewater rafting.If you’re one of the millions interested in rafting trips, Grand Canyon travel packages offer excellent opportunities to hit the rapids while experiencing incomparable views of Earth’s natural history.

Considered one of the world’s most spectacular canyons, the Grand Canyon dominates the 1,217,403.32-acre Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. The canyon itself is 277 river miles long and 10 miles wide with average depths of one mile. Despite these impressive statistics, the Grand Canyon is neither the longest nor the deepest gorge in North America. What it does have to offer, however, is one of the most unique journeys through Earth’s geological history complements of the Colorado River.

Crossing the canyon on foot would require 21 miles of walking, which sounds extensive until you consider the alternative of driving for five hours to cover the 251-mile journey from one side to the other. Instead of forging on foot or automobile, many travelers opt for the far more adventurous and intimate views offered by a grand canyon river rafting trip along the Colorado River.

One of the principle rivers in the Southwestern United States, the Colorado River is a total of 1,450 miles long, cutting a swath through the Southwest from its source in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado clear to the Gulf of California. It winds through the Grand Canyon for 277 of those miles. Today the river is the source of more exported water than any other river in the United States, but the Colorado River has been providing water and life to indigenous groups for 12,000 years. The Paiute Indian tribe calls the Grand Canyon Kaibab, which translates to “mountain lying down” or “mountain turned upside down,” so named for the white Kaibab Limestone at the surface of the canyon. It’s on this Kaibab Limestone that the five million visitors to the park stand to get their first glimpse of the canyon below.

Geologists estimate the Colorado River broke through the western end of the Grand Canyon five million years ago. Over the course of six million years, it carved through two billion years’ worth of Earth’s geologic history, systematically exposing layer after layer of the earth. The millenniums of erosion revealed layers of limestone, sandstone, shale, granite, and schist in turn. Each layer provides a different piece of Earth’s 4.5 billion-year-old story, which a grand canyon expedition field interpreter can tell you. Schist, for instance, represents one of the deepest layers exposed by the Colorado River. Schist is a metamorphic rock known to be 1.75 billion years old, nearly half the age of Earth itself.

Even if history isn’t your forte, grand canyon travel packages can offer other benefits as well. People interested in geology, ecology, photography, history or just looking for a grand adventure can find a grand canyon expedition suited for them. If you’re a lone hiker with a preference for land travel or a camper with a family of five looking to sleep beneath the stars, there are a variety of grand canyon travel packages to meet your needs and budget.

If you do want to get on the Colorado River, there are motorized rafts as well as rowing dories, or wooden boats, available. Of course, nothing can match a grand canyon white water rafting trip on the adventure scale. According to available data, there have been upwards of 12.47 million kayak adventurers in one year in the U.S. alone. In addition to guaranteed excitement, whitewater rafting has the added bonus of being an excellent source of exercise. The average 155-pound person will burn 352 calories per hour spent whitewater rafting. For an 180-pound individual, that number increases to 409 calories per hour. Just imagine how many calories you could torque on a multi day rafting trip through Earth’s geological history white water rafting through the Grand Canyon.

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