The Grand Canyon has been drawing tourists from all over the globe for well over a century, but it wasn’t until the 1980s and 1990s that it was turned into a paradise for extreme athletes and adventurers. Today’s Grand Canyon offers a bevy of recreational activities that are enhanced considerably by the incredible geology and the bevy of sights, smells and sounds. Here are a few specifics and other info about extreme sports in the Grand Canyon.
The Colorado River drops more than 2,000 feet as it weaves through the Grand Canyon’s 278 miles of length, which creates an ideal setting for rafters of all experience levels. A bevy of companies have popped up over the years that supply all of the materials you will need for an epic day of rafting on one of the most famous rivers in the world.
Different sections of the river provide different levels of challenge and danger, but well trained guides are available at every location to either equip you with the proper information for your journey or accompany you down the rivers personally.
Obviously, you should be prepared to get splashed by the cool waters of the Colorado River and jostled around by its many rocks and wave pools. Helmets and life jackets are mandatory in many regions of the river, and additional equipment such as waterproof gloves can go a long way toward protecting hands from rubbing raw over the course of an incredible day of rafting.
Before you engage in whitewater rafting or any of the activities on this list, it is a very good idea to first explore at a very minimum purchasing catastrophic health insurance coverage.
The privilege of independently kayaking in the Grand Canyon had previously been reserved for only a precious few per year, but a lottery system for attaining permits that was put in place in recent years has opened up the flood gates to kayaking enthusiasts looking for a one-in-a-lifetime experience.
For those who are not interested in traveling the incredible journey alone, many rafting companies in the region also offer guided kayak tours. Whatever your pleasure, be ready for some dicey rapids that separate long stretches of calm waters.
For added adventure, explore some of the side canyons and witness sights that are rarely see by human eyes. It is a good idea to have at least a few hours of on the water experience inside of a kayak before you set out on the Colorado River, as certain areas can be very challenging. The rivers are typically open to kayakers year-round.
Unlike most rivers that are located near to major cities, the level of traffic is very low. This means that the waterways are not clogged up with shirtless frat boys and bikini-clad girls but rather surrounded by the calm yet extreme sanctity and power of nature in all its glory. However, the solitude can work against a person that happen to find themselves in some type of danger, so remember to be prepared.
Extreme running has grown from an exclusive trend to a full-blown sport over the past decade, and no location provides a better environment for the activity than the Grand Canyon. Many books and websites have been published that feature extreme running trails around and inside of the canyon that are suitable for runners of all levels.
Being in good physical shape and having the right equipment are both essential to enjoying your extreme running experience at the Grand Canyon, as elevations change quickly along certain routes and the elements can wear away at exposed ankles, arms and necks.
Bringing along a map and plenty of water is also a very wise idea. Although the Grand Canyon is always bustling with activity during the sunlight hours of any given day, its mind-boggling size often creates situations where a stranded hiker may not be discovered for several days.
Naturally, one of the largest and most accessible rock formations in North America has been the focus of rock climbers from all over the world in the past century. A multitude of routes and paths exist, and in recent years hikers have been making use of their cameras to share the breathtaking images from the journeys with the masses on the internet.
As is the case with any extreme activity performed at the Grand Canyon, you’ll want to make sure that you are comfortable with what you are doing in every way. Slowly ascending the popular route known as “Excalibur” is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced, but those that know their way around the face of a huge rock will be in for the time of their lives.
Author Bio: Jessica has been a extreme sports enthusiast since she moved out to the Grand Canyon area. To give her flexibility with her lifestyle, she works from home blogging about rental car insurance tips for numerous companies.