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Explore the Grand Canyon -- by foot, water and air -- in one weekend

Explore the Grand Canyon -- by foot, water and air -- in one weekend
Visitors to Travertine Falls indulge in the water that rushes down the canyon wall. (Grand Canyon West)

Get ready to experience the Grand Canyon in a whole new way. A new tour combines whitewater rafting, a helicopter ride and a walk on the glass Skywalk bridge — all in one weekend.

And you won't need to wait for a rafting or camping permit, either.

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The Walapai Experience on Native American lands (separate from the national park) takes visitors from the rapids of the Colorado River to the blue skies overlooking the world-famous canyon.

Guests check in on Friday night at the tribe's lodge in Peach Springs, Ariz. — roughly three hours southeast of Las Vegas — before the action begins Saturday morning.

FromColorado River raftingto a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon, a new tour offered by a Native American tribe offers a weekend full of adventure.
FromColorado River raftingto a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon, a new tour offered by a Native American tribe offers a weekend full of adventure. (Grand Canyon West)

The only road leading to the base of the canyon is on the tribe's reservation. Participants take this route to the river's edge and begin a daylong paddling trip. The journey is broken up with a lunchtime hike to seldom-seen Travertine Falls.

Saturday night's dinner is followed by an overnight camp-out in Spencer Canyon.

Guests and their guides paddle their way through whitewater along the Colorado River during a daylong journey.
Guests and their guides paddle their way through whitewater along the Colorado River during a daylong journey. (Grand Canyon West)

After rafting, you'll take a motorized raft trip farther down the Colorado River on Sunday. Then it's off to a helicopter ride up to 4,000 feet in the air to the canyon rim at Grand Canyon West.

Activities include taking a walk on Skywalk, a glass-enclosed bridge that swings out over the canyon for exceptional views below.

The tour is offered by Hualapai River Runners and Grand Canyon West, which are operated by the Hualapai Tribe based in northwestern Arizona.

Mather Point, the Bright Angel Trail and more from the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

The Walapai Experience is offered weekends through Oct. 30. Individual packages start at $650; a group tour for four is priced at $3,225.

Info: Hualapai River Runners, (888) 868-9378.

The tribal land is west of Grand Canyon National Park. For other rafting options, the park's website includes a list of rafting trips in and outside the park boundaries. Reservations for some must be made one or two years in advance.

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