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Company using tribal land for Grand Canyon tours

PHOENIX -- Hundreds of international visitors have been planning trips to the Grand Canyon for years only to be disappointed by the park being closed because of the government shutdown.

However, Las Vegas-based tour company Best American Destinations is making sure those visitors can see at least part of the canyon.

Grand Canyon West is tribal land and it's still open despite the government shutdown. Allison Raskansky said her company is offering day trips by bus, Hummer and aircraft out of Las Vegas, Sedona and the Valley. Helicopter tours of Grand Canyon West are available, and they're even offering rafting trips on the Colorado River until the end of October.

"It is the only one-day whitewater rafting trip you can take at this point because the shutdown eliminated rafting trips on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon National Park," she said. "There's also tribal dwellings you can tour, hiking, live Native American performances. There's a lot of activity out there."

Tourists can also book tours to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge which extends over the canyon wall about 4,000 feet above the Colorado riverbed.

Raskansky said demand has increased so much that the company is now recommending travelers book a reservation.

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About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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