Most folks make the mistake of driving to Grand Canyon, take a peek down at the mile-deep canyon and then leave. To truly appreciate the Grand Canyon, you need to spend some time at the bottom of that hole, rafting on the Colorado River. Whitewater enthusiasts take two weeks off to do the entire canyon run via paddles. If you don’t have that luxury of time, grab one of the six or seven-day motored trips that speed up when the river gets too mellow. That doesn’t happen often because this portion of the Colorado is an adrenalin-pumping Class IV run with some Class V rapids thrown in for good measure. Realize that the water on the river in the Grand Canyon is dam released and ice cold. To get excited for the journey, read The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons by John Wesley Powell.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.