We booked a full-day, private (our family only) Grand Canyon tour for our family of five (kids ages 14, 10 and 7.) Our guide was Ethan who can only be described as outstanding on every level. We loaded up around 8:30 am at our hotel and Ethan immediately made us comfortable with chilled water. Ethan has immense knowledge of the geology and history of the southwest and we asked him to share all he knew. Our first stop was at a drinking well in a gorgeous canyon. W loved seeing this lush oasis since we never knew anything like that existed in Arizona (we are from Michigan and erroneously assumed Arizona was all desert!). Then we proceeded to the Little Colorado overlook which was fantastic! Absolutely a front row seat to view the rock formations that makeup the walls of a high desert canyon. We all thought this site was a thrill and we never would have known about it on our own. Ethan kept right on telling us about the geologic history, and he encouraged our children to ask him many questions. He was so wonderful in engaging us not only with what we saw, but also with what we could learn. We then drove to the Grand Canyon, where Ethan let us establish our own pace to spend time taking in the splendor of the views. He suggested a majestic spot for lunch and we asked him to eat with us and continue imparting his knowledge and passion for the Arizona landscape and history. We continued to stop at the best overlooks, while skipping the ones where the views weren't as good. Ethan knew the very best spots. He even drove us over to an area where a herd of elk were sleeping on the roadside! On the way home we ate healthy snacks he provided for us and continued to enjoy incredible high plateau views from the van's huge windows. I should also add that Ethan is a very safe and careful driver. This was important because I was more than a little nervous on the switchbacks up to Flagstaff! I've never seen anything like that and I was very glad that I wasn't at the wheel.
We did meet up with the other Silver Spur tour groups and the other tour guides were equally impressive. This is a first-class operation. You get what you pay for -- outstanding communication, service and personal attention, plus knowledge of the BEST ways to see the canyon and the sites on the way. Absolutely worth every penny, and more.
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