Summer is here and one of the best ways to enjoy it is to take a 1-day Grand Canyon float tour down the Colorado River. If you've never done this before, you're in for a treat, especially if you're a family, an active senior or part of a group.



My #1 tour is the one the starts from Grand Canyon, Arizona, home of the South Rim. It's the most basic of all the tours and it's also the cheapest. It starts with a bus ride through the National Park before detouring into the Navajo Indian Reservation.



The bus continues onward through the Painted Desert until it reaches Page, AZ, home of Glen Canyon Dam, one of the largest Dams in northern Arizona. It's at the base of this Dam where you park and transfer to one of the 19-passenger motorized pontoon rafts.



No Rapids



This is a float tour, which means there are no white water rapids. The lack of rapids means kids as young as 4 can do this adventure. Distance on the water is about 15.3 miles and it takes up to 3 hours to do it. En route to Lee's Ferry, which is the terminus, you'll make a number of stops.



There's a stop for lunch and another for a side hike into a secret canyon where ancient Native American rock paintings can be found. There are also stops for swimming, which means bring your swimsuit because it's hot this time of the year and you'll want to cool off.



Couple more points about weather. Dress for it. That means wearing a brimmed hat, sunglasses and slathering on the sun block. I also recommend bringing a salty snack and an extra liter of water or two, despite the fact that water and lunch are included in all rafting tour packages. Finally, a dry bag is a handy way to protect your camera and cell phone.



Luxury Bus



Once off the River, you'll board a waiting luxury bus equipped with Wi-Fi, plasma TV's and incredibly powerful A/C. Before making the final run to Grand Canyon Airport at South Rim, you'll stop at the Cameron Trading Post, home to some of the finest Native American handicrafts in the U. S.



My #2 pick is the deluxe version of the basic tour I just described above. It's more expensive because you fly from the South Rim to Page. Before you head to the dock, you also take a Jeep tour to famous Antelope Canyon, which is renowned for it's incredible slot canyons. Then it's off to the river for rafting.



My #3 pick is the Las Vegas helicopter and rafting combo. It starts with an helicopter ride to the bottom of the Canyon. You'll get about 20 minutes of bottom time before you board the aircraft, transfer to a bus and do an 11-mile float down the Colorado that starts at the base of Hoover Dam!



Conclusion



And there you have it. My Top 3 Grand Canyon 1-day float tours from South Rim and Las Vegas. If you are on a budget, do my #1 pick. Personally, I'm a huge fan of #2 because of all the airtime via plane that you get over the Canyon on the way to Page. Finally, if you're in Vegas, you've got to try the heli-raft combo. It's an incredible day of adventure and comes with the added bonus of experiencing the base of monstrous Hoover Dam.

The author is an expert on Grand Canyon tours and recommends that readers go here for the best 1-day South float tours that start from the South Rim of the National Park: http://www.grandcanyondaytrips.com/float-trips/

The author is an expert on Grand Canyon tours and recommends that readers go here for the best 1-day South float tours that start from the South Rim of the National Park: http://www.grandcanyondaytrips.com/float-trips/