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Celebrate the Grand Canyon's 100th Anniversary this Long Weekend with One of These Activities

Paul Biasco | May 21, 2019 | Lifestyle

This year marks the 100th anniversary for the country’s most recognizable national park, the Grand Canyon. What better way to celebrate than taking on some of the area’s wildest challenges and adventures that nature has to offer in our backyard? Let our compilation of some of the unique opportunities available this summer be your starting line to experience the wonder of the canyon.


1. Cool Runnings
Every year, more than 100 of the world’s top long-distance ultrarunners dare to take on one of the most grueling runs on Earth, all for a chance to run along the historic stagecoach line dating back to the 1800s. This year is special, as runners who finish will have a chance to peer over the canyon at the finish line and celebrate the National Park’s Centennial. Sept. 21-22


2. Ride the Rapids
Not everyone can take weeks off of work to raft the 200-plus-mile stretch of the Colorado River, but for a shortened version of the majestic voyage, Rivers & Oceans is offering a one-day trip capped off with a helicopter ride out of the canyon. The journey will include 35 miles of rafting through rapids of easy- to intermediate-level diffulty, a hike to Travertine Falls and lunch on the riverbank. $489 per person, trips launch from the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, 928.440.0912


3. Glamping Goals
Located on 160 secluded acres of forest, Under Canvas is just a quick drive from the South Rim entrance of the Grand Canyon National Park. The new glamping resort offers five tent options, camp cookouts and expertise in booking offsite adventures. Suites from $380, 979 Airpark Lane, Valle, 918.248.8808


4. Last Drop
There’s no better way to take in the grandeur of the sprawling canyon than by flying alongside it with little more than a tightly packed parachute on your back. Hook up with Paragon Skydive, the only company planning jumps in the area, and prepare to jump from 18,000 feet. Normal skydives take place at around 12,500 feet, so you will get extra airtime to take in the view. $299 for a tandem skydive, Grand Canyon National Park Airport, 871 Liberator Drive, Grand Canyon Village, 928.224.9661


5. Flying High
One of the only ways to truly fly through the Grand Canyon and digest its breadth is by helicopter. Hop aboard the eco-friendly EC-130 aircraft with stadium seating for a 40 to 50 minute flight through some of the widest and deepest regions of the South Rim of the canyon. The intimate flight has room for six passengers and the pilot. $299 per person, Papillon Heliport, 3568 Airport Road, Grand Canyon Village, 702.736.7243


6. Rim to Rim
For many hikers, a rim-to-rim tour of the Grand Canyon is an ethereal quest. This one is likely on the bucket list of many hardcore hikers out there, so why not take on the round-trip journey during the centennial year? This three-day, two-night trek includes lodging each night and meals. Transportation from Phoenix/Scottsdale is included. $1,595 per person, 480.945.2881


Photography by: 1. Kristin Wilson Photography 2. rivers & oceans 3. under canvas 4. paragon skydive 5. papillon heliport 6. arizona outback adventures