From the beaches of California to the sprawling metropolis of New York City, the coastal villages of New England, the vast mountain ranges of Colorado and Montana, the verdant forests and hills of the Pacific Northwest, the unmatched majesty of the Great Lakes, and the fairy tale beauty of national parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone, the United States truly has some of the most awe-inspiring scenery and landscapes anywhere in the world.

More ideas: Best Weekend Getaways, Best Day Trips

Of all the many natural wonders and landmarks across the United States, the Grand Canyon stands out as one of the most famous and breathtaking. A huge canyon, carved out by the mighty Colorado River, the Grand Canyon runs for over 200 miles and can attain a maximum depth of over a mile. It’s an extraordinary sight for anyone to behold and it draws in millions of visitors from far and wide each and every year.

Many people who visit the Grand Canyon simply walk around the South Rim, admiring the views, taking some photographs, and following some hiking trails, but if you really want to enjoy a totally unique Grand Canyon experience and actually feel the power and majesty of this incredible natural monument all around you, heading out for a rafting day trip on the Colorado River is the best option. Here’s how to plan your perfect Grand Canyon rafting day trip.

Getting to the Grand Canyon

If you’re planning a rafting day trip at the Grand Canyon, you need to set off early, arriving at the canyon for around 9am or 10am in order to have a full day of rafting ahead of you. This means you’ll need to be quite close to the canyon to begin with, so day trips are only really available for those living in or visiting nearby cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, or Flagstaff. You can drive to the Grand Canyon from any of these locations, or choose to take a bus tour.

River Rafting Day Trips at the Grand Canyon

Thousands of people sign up for river rafting traps at the Grand Canyon each and every year, with many of them enjoying the experience so much that they come back again many more times. Several rafting tour companies offer rafting day trips at the Grand Canyon. Here are just a couple of examples:

- Hualapai Indian Tribal Lands One Day Rafting Trips - Setting off at 7.30am at the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, Arizona, the one day whitewater rafting trips on Hualapai Indian Tribal Lands are some of the best Grand Canyon rafting trips you can hope to find. A trained and experienced river guide will lead the way, giving you all the equipment you need before you set off onto the water, taking on your first small rapids and working your way up to the larger ones. There are some calmer sections of water to enjoy as well, and you'll see an amazing waterfall and some fascinating rock formations as you travel along. For more information, anyone interested should call 928 773 9202.

- Advantage Grand Canyon - Advantage Grand Canyon offers both half-day and full-day rafting tours at the Grand Canyon, with prices starting at under $100 per adult. These rafting tours run from the Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona and go for over 15 miles down to Marble Canyon, which is the starting point of the Grand Canyon. The full-day tour involves more stops, giving rafting enthusiasts a little more time to see and appreciate the petroglyphs, rock formations, and geological landmarks along the Colorado River as it enters the Grand Canyon. These rafting trips include full transfers to and from Page, AZ. Those who are interested can call up 844 228 2965 to learn more.

Important Information for Your Grand Canyon Rafting Day Trip

- Book in Advance - Rafting trips are enjoyed by thousands of people each year on the Grand Canyon and there aren’t too many options to choose from, so the tours can quickly fill up. If you don’t want to miss out on your Grand Canyon rafting experience, be sure to book in advance.

- Prepare - The Colorado River features a lot of rapids, some small and relatively easy to navigate, and others much tougher and trickier to get around. You’ll have a guide and safety equipment with you at all times on any Grand Canyon rafting tour, but you also need to be prepared to deal with the conditions. Those with little or no rafting experience may wish to start on a simpler trip elsewhere before testing their skills on the Colorado River.