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ATV Riding in the Grand Canyon

Grand CanyonVacations are no reason to leave your thirst for ATV adventure at home. While you’re out and about enjoying the splendor of America’s National Parks, there is plenty of opportunity to hop on a guided ATV tour and use your favorite mode of transportation to view the wonders of the great outdoors.

One of the most popular destinations for ATV riding within the National Parks System is the Grand Canyon. Located in Northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a sight to behold. Nearly 1 mile deep and 277 miles long, there’s plenty of terrain to take in at this majestic wonder. The National Park is primarily accessible from two main entrances; one on the North Rim of the canyon and a second on the South Rim. However, much of the outlying park land is operated by the Bureau of Land Management and open to ATV recreation.

A wide range of tour companies based in both Arizona and Nevada offer guided tours throughout the land surrounding the National Park boundaries around the canyon. In the instance that you’re unable to bring your own ATV or UTV due to travel distance (I know, it’s completely ridiculous that you can check a dog as luggage, but not  your quad…) working with a touring agency is a great option. For anywhere between $80 to $250 per person, depending on your package choice, you’ll be able to ride along on a guided tour as you soak up interesting tid bits of Grand Canyon knowledge from your guide.

However, trucking your own ATV to the Grand Canyon opens up a whole world of trail adventures. First and foremost, it’s important to remember that the Bureau of Land Management requires all ATV’s to display proper registration and be equipped with a spark arrestor. The last thing you want is a ticket from the ranger on your canyon excursion. Second, take the time to plan out a realistic route.

Some of the trails around the Canyon, such as those departing from the Southern Nevada town of Mesquite, will lead you to overnight accommodations at working guest ranches. Making reservations ahead of time will allow you to plan multi-day excursions if you’re hearty enough for days of dusty desert riding. However, beginning closer to the Canyon and engaging in a one day trip to the rim and back is also a viable option. Talk to BLM officials for advice on the best trail routes.

Regardless of whether your ATV adventure at the Grand Canyon is led by a guide or forged on your personal machine, there’s no doubt that a ride near the rim will inspire your sense of awe. ATV’s are a man-made machine, however their ability to connect us with the wonders of nature are what make them so desirable.

Saturday, November 01, 2014