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What’s What: Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park is a geological masterpiece rising 7,000 feet above sea level before plummeting back down into the powerful Colorado River. You could put every person on Earth in the canyon, and still not fill it up. There are nearly one million acres of land, thousands of plant varieties and hundreds of wildlife species.
Amava Take: There are many ways to explore this natural wonder and each offers its own unique thrill and advantage. You can soar right inside the canyon in a helicopter or catch a completely different view by rafting in the Colorado River. You can take a hiking tour, travel on horseback or skydive right into the canyon. You can tour it by train, ferry, bicycle and on skis. There are even opportunities to camp. There is something for everyone at Grand Canyon National Park, whether you’re in great physical condition and want a challenge or more laid back and want a relaxing way to explore. It’s probably the most spectacular place on Earth to see a sunrise or sunset.
From the Front Lines:
What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these positions?
The Grand Canyon is one of those places that everyone should see at some point. Even those who visit the area multiple times find something new on each visit.
Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?
More than 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. Plan your trip well in advance, especially if you want to stay overnight because hotels can fill up a year in advance. Save yourself more time by prepaying your Grand Canyon entrance fee at the Visitor Center, which enables you to use a special lane and bypass traffic.
What’s a typical daily schedule like?
Most tours are a half-day or a full day and there are some that go on for days or weeks at a time. Your choice of how to see the Canyon (train, burro, boat, hike) will dictate the schedule.
From the Trenches:
What’s the most satisfying part of the experience?
The overwhelming vastness and awe-inspiring splendor. No pictures or words suffice. You have to see it for yourself.
How would you describe the hard parts?
It’s a much harder climb out than in, so if you’re not in good shape, plan a more leisurely visit. Keep in mind that anything you carry in must be carried back out. The Canyon adheres to a Leave No Trace policy. Pro-tip: Place your trash in resealable plastic bags that you can carry in your pack.
What surprised you the most about the experience?
The rich Native American culture. You can visit a reservation on the Canyon’s south rim or down in the canyon itself.
Special Requirements: You should be in good health and adequately train if you’re planning to hike or bike. Some activities require back-country permits and they go fast. Rest assured there’s a way to experience the Grand Canyon for anyone of any age or fitness level, even those who have disabilities. Keep in mind, however, that temperatures in the canyon climb upwards of 110 degrees. Plan on bringing a gallon of water per person for a day trip and pack adequate food. There’s also no cell service.
Finding a Position: All trips start at The Grand Canyon Visitor’s Center and they will let you know what’s needed, what to expect and the hours of operation for places like the museum and Skywalk. US News Travel has a thorough guide to visiting the Grand Canyon that includes reviews of different tours, prices and what to bring. The Grand Canyon Visitor Center also lists tips, things to do and various ways to experience the canyon. Another Grand Canyon website lists tours, hotels and trip planning information. You can also search online using the terms “Grand Canyon adventures” and the type of tour you’re looking for, i.e. helicopter tours or overnight hikes.