Ballooning Over the Grand Canyon

By Wendy Pan

The Grand Canyon, located in Arizona, is one of the most visited tourist spots in all of America, and the entire world. This immense gorge, carved out of steep rock and nearly fully encompassed by the Grand Canyon National Park, is a full 277 miles in length. It ranges from 4 to 18 miles wide, and has a depth of 6,000 feet (over one mile). The force of the Colorado River created it over the span of 6 million years.

With such amazing beauty at our fingertips, why would we choose to simply stand at a scenic overlook, grasping the rails in our hands? Why not take one of the spectacular Grand Canyon Balloon Tours.

This area has far too much to offer by simply hiking or stopping and taking pictures. What better way to view the immensity and history the Grand Canyon offers than in a hot air balloon. Even more spectacular than a helicopter tour, balloon tours are peaceful, quiet, and the best feature is simply being outside with the elements, feeling the heat of the Grand Canyon sun on your face. You'll be able to see the striations in the rock that are from the Paleozoic era. The Grand Canyon is unmatched throughout the world for its wide sequence of archaic rocks that are exposed by the canyon walls.

The best thing to do when planning for one of the Grand Canyon balloon tours is to be prepared. Generally, balloon rides are held at dawn and at dusk, when the winds are at their calmest. Bring a light sweater, or possibly something heavier, as it may be cool at the altitude you'll be floating. Dressing in layers is best because if the sun is hot that day, you'll want to be able to discard some clothing.

There are so many ways to see the Grand Canyon:

-On foot by walking or hiking,
-In certain areas in your car or rented SUV or rented Hummer
-Donkey ride down into the canyon
-Helicopter ride
-Rafting Tour
-Boat Tour
-Bus Tour
-Balloon Tour

Grand Canyon balloon tours are by far one of the most awesome, scenic, thrilling ways to experience the wonder of the Grand Canyon. Some might be hesitant to step inside the basket of a hot air balloon and give over the trust to the hot air balloon pilot. This is understandable. How does a hot air balloon work? It's such a simple idea and the concept is abundant in our every day life. Hot air rises, cool air sinks. The balloon captures the hot air released by the burner, the more the air is heated, the higher the balloon will fly. Crank down the burner, so there is less of a flame, and the balloon will gradually fly lower.

Because the air currents in the atmosphere travel at different speeds, it is possible to be floating at a lesser or greater speed when traveling vertically. To those who might fear the winds, this isn't a concern at all. The balloon actually floats on the wind, therefore, the balloon glides and the occupants in the basket never feel wind on their face, just an effortless motion along the currents of the air. Grand Canyon balloon tours are just one of the many great opportunities to see one of the wonders of the world up close and personal.

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