Regardless of how you view the Grand Canyon - braving the river rapids, hiking from rim to rim, riding a mule or stopping your car at lookouts - you won't leave without experiencing the wonderment that this awe-inspiring gorge evokes in the millions of visitors who come to see it each year. The majestic canyon, an ever-changing display of colors, stretches nearly 280 miles from end to end, is ten miles wide on the average and descends 6,000 feet at its deepest point. Take the scenic East or West Rim drive or descend into the "Inner Canyon" by foot, mule or a raft down the Colorado River, where thrilling rapids are interspersed with calmer waters. Hiking trails abound and, for the fittest of hikers, the 21-mile rim to rim hike, while grueling in parts, is a rewarding journey. Whether watching the incredible sunset from Lipan Point, trekking down the Bright Angel Trail, the backpackers favorite, or picnicking at the popular Vista Encantadora viewing area, you'll understand why President Theodore Roosevelt declared the canyon a National Monument in 1908, calling it "the one great site which every American...should see." http://www.nps.gov/grca/

Outside of Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon of the Colorado River and its Side Canyons

Havasupai/Supai

This is the location of the famous Havasupai Falls, where shimmering turquoise water cascades into travertine pools below. Because this is the Havasupai's tribal lands http://www.havasupaitribe.com/index.htm, they have their own regulations and are not subject to those of the National Park. You can hike down to their inner canyon village, but you can also take a horse ride or helicopter in and out (not possible in the park). They have a small lodge, cafe, and campground where you can stay to have enough time to explore all of the falls. The trailhead, Hualapai Hilltop is at the end of Indian Rd 18, east of Peach Springs (the Hualapai tribe's capitol) off of the famous U.S. Route 66. Permits and reservations are required to visit Havasupai lands. At present access to the falls is not permitted after severe damage by summer flooding in August 2008. See the tribal web site for further info.

Grand Canyon West

This is a private commercial enterprise, not to be confused with the " West Rim Drive" (located at the west end of Grand Canyon Village, in Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim). Grand Canyon West is the home of the Hualapai Tribe. As with the Havasupai, these tribal lands have their own regulations and are not subject to those of the national park. Not only can you drive there (the road is not yet completely paved), but you can also helicopter into their canyon. The elevation at their rim is about 4,000' (significantly lower than the south rim's 7,000' which is also lower than the north rim at about 8,000') and is where the "Skywalk" is located, a glass bottom shelf hanging over the edge of a side canyon of the Grand Canyon. This resort offers a number of activities, at both the rim and the river. One of the few places on the Colorado river where you can take a one day whitewater rafting trip (within the park, the limited number of put in and take out points and the one-way nature of the whitewater current mandates multiple day trips). http://www.destinationgrandcanyon.com... or call 1(877) 716-WEST (9378). Located 120 miles east of Las Vegas, NV/72 miles north of Kingman AZ.  GCW is about 190 miles by road from the South Rim in the actual Grand Canyon National Park. It should be noted that visits to GCW range in cost from $25 to $80 per person depending on attractions included. National Parks passes do not apply.

Combination air and ground tour packages to Grand Canyon West are also offered out of Las Vegas, Boulder City and Grand Canyon South Rim.   For more information on these, visit www.scenic.com or call (800) 634-6801 or (702) 638-3200; www.grandcanyonairlines.com or call 1-866-235-9422 or (928) 638-2407, or  www.papillon.com or call (888) 635-7272 or (702) 736-7243.