Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park
The Colorado River used to be called the Red River by the Spaniards, and it is the primary river of the American Southwest - from the states of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, California and of course involving our state, Arizona!
You can get a glimpse of it in certain viewpoints of the Grand Canyon, and it is difficult to spot at times because it is 5000 feet below the rim!
If you want to hike down to the river, it takes a two-day hike to it (or more!) and back from the South Rim and a longer hike if you are exploring through the North Rim. But make sure you do a lot of research before doing this and that you are in good physical condition since you don’t want to be the receiving end of a rescue team.
You can also drive to the Colorado River --- at Lees Ferry (near Marble Canyon, Arizona), a 2.5 hour drive (one way) from the South Rim. Lees Ferry is considered as the official beginning of the Grand Canyon.
And then there’s the rafting which comes at several degrees of difficulty. These are great adventures offered by several companies, and can last for two weeks of FUN!
The Colorado River flows along the bottom of the canyon, 5000 feet/1524 m below the rim. Because of the enormous depth of Grand Canyon, the river is visible only from certain viewpoints.
The Colorado River was responsible for carving out the Grand Canyon. It is almost invisible from the top, but as you hike down, the views get more and more impressive.
From certain viewpoints along the south rim such as Yavapai Point, the greenish and toxic-looking Colorado River winds through the Grand Canyon as it has for ages. Instead of the muddy churn I was expecting given the erosion of the canyon walls, I drove over a thousand miles to witness what appeared to be a polluted stream.
We don't really know how the Grand Canyon was formed. It antedates all of us living today. We suspect that it was primarily carved by erosion, from water (and ice) and the wind. The course of the Colorado River itself was probably a major part of it. Also vulcanism, continental drift and slight variations in the earths orbit which in turn causes variations in seasons and climate have been indicated as possiblilities.
Looking directly down from an overlook, it is almost unimagineable (especially to someone from more humid climates where the air is thicker) how far down it really is.
How wide would that tiny stream be if we got up close to it?
Standing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon listening to the gentle sounds of the nearby Colorado river while sunlight is breaking over the canyon wall. There aren't many things in life that are better than this.
Rafting the Grand Canyon is a sublime experience not to be missed by anyone who loves beautiful scenery, the outdoors and has a sense of adventure on a grand scale. There are rafting trips that you can hike into or out from, in the Phantom Ranch area, and helicopter into or out of downstream in the Western section, but best is to do the whole thing, which will take one week on a motor raft or two weeks on an oar raft. The longer the better, there is a one-day in the far western section, but this is only the slightest taste of what a full Grand Canyon trip has to offer. You might see this site for more info on planning rafting in the canyon http://www.ehow.com/how_4511365_book-grand-canyon-raft-trip.html
At pima point you get a beautiful view on the river rapids. At most of the other viewpoints you can't even see the river. It's also very nice and easy to hike from Pima Point to Hermits Rest on the rim trail (1.8 km)
What an exciting adventure to raft down in the Grand Canyon! Be sure to read all tips and FAQs from your tour company so you bring the right clothes and shoes, as you may be hefting all your things every morning and evening if you are camping on the banks of the river. Good sunscreen, hat and strong muscles are a plus.
Plane ride recommended to see where the Colorado River flows.
White water rafting/kayaking is open to anyone. There are several tours available.