Like many travelers around the world, the Grand Canyon was at the top of Marketing Communications Director Katie’s bucket list. So, when she set out on our U.S. National Parks: The Grand Canyon to Yellowstone tour, she knew she was in for the experience of a lifetime. One thing Katie didn’t expect? To be amazed by the stunning scenery from so many different angles. Here are 3 excursions she recommends for finding new perspective on a U.S. national parks tour.
Riding a horse through the Grand Tetons
Grand Teton National Park was picture-perfect. After experiencing it by foot and by bus during our sightseeing tour, I was excited to return there during the Grand Tetons by Horseback excursion. We rode through Wyoming’s backcountry in the peaceful Snake River Valley. Eventually, we reached a viewpoint that can only be described as amazing. The guides were so knowledgeable—one even pointed out a tree trunk that had claw marks from a grizzly bear! The horses were well-trained too. I’d recommend this 2-hour journey to seasoned riders and first-timers alike. Seeing the scenery from the back of a horse was a wonderful experience, and showed me a side of the mountain range I hadn’t seen from other directions.
Floating down Snake River
Later that same afternoon, my group was treated to another angle of the Grand Tetons during the Snake River Float excursion. This relaxing raft ride took us down the Snake River, which flows through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming. Nature takes its course in this region, so the scenery is always changing. Our guide had been out along the same route earlier that day, and noticed that a tree had fallen since that morning. Along with more incredible views of the soaring Grand Tetons set against the blue sky, there were some unexpected surprises along the way too. My favorite one? Catching a glimpse of a moose at the edge of the water.
Flying high above the Grand Canyon
When I woke up on the fifth day of the trip, my first thought was “Today, I’m going to do something I’ll always remember!” And I did. Walking along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon was absolutely incredible. The views of the orange-hued rock formation were unbeatable. Or so I thought, until the next day. Seeing the massive canyon from a bird’s-eye view proved to be even more awe-inspiring.
The Grand Canyon Helicopter Ride was the most thrilling half hour of my tour. I wasn’t alone—every traveler that joined this excursion felt the same way. As we took to the sky, with between 4 and 6 travelers in each helicopter, we could see the Colorado River running through the steep walls of the canyon. Having an aerial view of the Grand Canyon made me appreciate its immensity in a way I couldn’t when I was standing on the ground.
While many travelers want to see the Grand Canyon, this tour offers so much more beyond that. Every day of this trip brought new natural beauty to marvel at, and having the chance to see the same unbelievable sites from multiple perspectives made this trip so memorable.
Have you ever visited North America’s national parks? Which one was your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.