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Can’t-miss experiences in the U.S. national parks

Mar 04, 2020 by Courtney Keller

Like many travelers around the world, the Grand Canyon was at the top of our staffer Katie’s bucket list. So, when she set out on our U.S. National Parks: The Grand Canyon to Yellowstone tour, she knew she was in for the experience of a lifetime. One thing Katie didn’t expect? To be amazed by the stunning scenery from so many different angles. Here are the excursions she recommends for finding new perspective on a U.S. national parks tour.

Snake River Float

Floating down the Snake River

Later that same afternoon, my group was treated to another angle of the Grand Tetons during the Snake River Float excursion. This relaxing raft ride took us down the Snake River, which flows through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming. Nature takes its course in this region, so the scenery is always changing. Our guide had been out along the same route earlier that day, and noticed that a tree had fallen since that morning. Along with more incredible views of the soaring Grand Tetons set against the blue sky, there were some unexpected surprises along the way too. My favorite one? Catching a glimpse of a moose at the edge of the water.

Grand Canyon Helicopter Ride

Flying high above the Grand Canyon

When I woke up on the fifth day of the trip, my first thought was “Today, I’m going to do something I’ll always remember!” And I did. Walking along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon was absolutely incredible. The views of the orange-hued rock formation were unbeatable. Or so I thought, until the next day. Seeing the massive canyon from a bird’s-eye view proved to be even more awe-inspiring.

The Grand Canyon Helicopter Ride was the most thrilling half hour of my tour. I wasn’t alone—every traveler that joined this excursion felt the same way. As we took to the sky, with between 4 and 6 travelers in each helicopter, we could see the Colorado River running through the steep walls of the canyon. Having an aerial view of the Grand Canyon made me appreciate its immensity in a way I couldn’t when I was standing on the ground.

While many travelers want to see the Grand Canyon, this tour offers so much more beyond that. Every day of this trip brought new natural beauty to marvel at, and having the chance to see the same unbelievable sites from multiple perspectives made this trip so memorable.

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On AssignmentTraveler stories
About the author | Courtney Keller
A lover of travel since studying in France, Courtney strives to inspire others to get out and see the world. When she’s not writing, she’s trying new restaurants, reading, doing yoga, baking, walking her rescue pup, or planning her next trip.

Tours that visit U.S. national parks

zion national park in utah
U.S. National Parks: The Grand Canyon to Yellowstone
with Missoula & Glacier National Park extension
12 or 15 days
254
On sale from
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