Flying Over, Walking Through and Jumping Into the Grand Canyon
Flying over is one way to see all of the Grand Canyon in one panoramic visual, but airplanes and helicopters have not been allowed to go closer than 1500 feet of the rim since the 1990’s, when an aerial crash. The last video footage from below the rim was recorded in 1984, so all those scenes you see in the movies where people fly inside the Grand Canyon are simply Hollywood magic.
Hiking through the canyon is allowed as is camping in certain areas. There are only 13,000 permits issued each year for camping so if you want to sleep in the Grand Canyon and wake up in the morning next to the Colorado River you need to put your name in early. Permits are available from the Backcountry Country Office (BCO) of the Grand Canyon National Park Service. More extensive camping is available at campgrounds on the North and South Rims if you’re unable to get into the Canyon itself.
There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails inside and around the G.C. It is recommended that amateurs do not venture out on these without a professional guide and some good physical fitness training ahead of time. There have been over 600 fatalities since it was made a national park in the early twentieth century and most could have been avoided by using some common sense. The most daunting of all of these trails are the three leading up to Toroweap Overlook, dubbed “one of the most remote in the United States” by the national parks service. These trails are 97, 62 and 64 miles respectively and the overlook where they end is 3000 feet high.
As far as jumping into the G.C. goes, don’t get your hopes up. Recreational skydiving is not allowed right now but there are some cool videos online of jumps. Check those out to get the sensation of diving in to the Grand Canyon and then book your Grand Canyon tour for the real thing.