Two Grand Canyon Tours?
There are multiple places that you can view the Grand Canyon. Many people think that the Grand Canyon is only the area inside of the national park, but this is actually not true. The Grand Canyon itself is many miles long and stretches for large amounts of space outside of the protected area that is located near Page AZ. The real difference is that the most spectacular views and impressive scenery is within the protected space, and if you are looking to just see a smaller version of the dramatic canyon walls there are many alternative areas to visit. The specific area of the national park was created by judging the total area of the canyon that was controlled by the United States, then choosing the best area for tourists to visit. There are areas of the Grand Canyon that are not controlled by the US government, and instead are controlled by Navajo Nation. Naturally, these areas will have different rules regarding visitation and development.
The difference between the main viewing areas in 2019 is the south rim or the west rim. The south rim is the traditional viewing point that was designated by the US government within the national park. It is protected from development, and has been outfitted with both convenience elements to make visitation to the area easy, as well as developed for tourist adventures. This means there is a wealth of things to do once you are in the area, ranging from donkey and helicopter rides to hiking and photography. Camping is also permitted within the national park area. The west rim is a more recent development. Navajo Nation installed a glass walking bridge into the canyon wall within their area in order to create a tourist attraction. This area is not protected from development so this type of thing is allowed there. There is not nearly as much to do in the area, so the premise of busing tourists in from Las Vegas for short tours where they walk the bridge and then leave makes more sense. These are not approached as exploration or adventure tours, but more like waiting in line to ride an attraction at an amusement park. The area itself is less scenic and has less wildlife than the national park area.
The issues began with the advertising campaign. This campaign put forth by Navajo Nation simply states “see the Grand Canyon” but does not discuss that it is not the national park area that they are taking you to. When people end up at the location and notice that it does not look like the pictures they have seen in books, there may be a sense of regret due to the fact that you cannot allocate more time away from your vacation to now correct your mistake and see the right area. Always ask your tour before you book if it goes to the national park area, or another portion of the Grand Canyon. Just asking the question can save you regretting the choice.