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Great Outdoors
O.A.R.S. Introduces New-For-2014 Lodge-Based Grand Canyon Hiking Adventure

Widely recognized for their signature river trips on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, O.A.R.S. announces a new-for-2014 Grand Canyon Hiking trip that includes a hike from the South Rim to Phantom Ranch on the Colorado River and back. The trip starts at $1,399 per person for four days of guided hiking and three nights of comfortable lodging.

Expert guides will share their knowledge of the area's natural and human history making the journey as much about learning as it is about logging a few miles in the greatest canyon in the world. On some select departures, Dr. Andre Potochnik, who holds a Ph.D. in geology and has led O.A.R.S. river trips in the Grand Canyon for more than 40 years, will be the featured guide. 2014 departures include: April 10, 25*; May 1*, 12; Sept. 10, 15*, 22; and Oct. 6, 11*, 29 ( those guided by Potochnik marked with an asterisk).

"Every year there's a pent-up demand for our rafting trips through the Grand Canyon. We're all but sold out for 2014 and we're already filling up rapidly for 2015. By developing an intensive hiking experience escorted by some of the best guides in the canyon, we can accommodate active travelers this summer who want to experience the Grand Canyon on foot and hassle-free and in a short 4-day itinerary," notes Steve Markle, O.A.R.S. ( spokesperson.

The per person rate from $1,399 (based on double occupancy, single supplement $200) includes round-trip van transportation from Flagstaff, AZ; experienced hiking guide(s); most meals; overnight at Phantom Ranch; two nights of lodging at the South Rim; and round-trip transport of a duffel by mule between the South Rim and Phantom Ranch.

This epic hiking adventure brings guests into one of the deepest parts of the Grand Canyon with an overnight stay at historic Phantom Ranch. The adventure begins in Walnut Canyon, en route to the South Rim, with a close-up view of 25 unique cliff dwellings. Hiking in Wupatki National Monument features multi-story ruins of red sandstone blocks and mortar.  After gazing into the canyon's depths from the Desert View Watchtower, a night at the South Rim is the perfect spot to rest before an invigorating hike into the canyon the following day. The South Kaibab Trail, a seven-mile hike into the canyon, reveals panoramic vistas that overwhelm the senses as guests take in the canyon's grandeur.  Guests here keep an eye out for bighorn sheep and the California condor before arriving at Phantom Ranch by midday. The Bright Angel Trail offers a nine-mile hike out of the canyon, followed by a short stroll along the Rim Trail to Hermit's Rest before returning to Flagstaff on the final day of this hiking adventure.

"I enjoy opening people's minds to 'deep time' as revealed in the rock layers. The Great Unconformity especially makes people feel real small, like not all that important, yet somehow enduring, which is both exhilarating and relieving. Sometimes we think to be more important than we are," muses Potochnik.

Other O.A.R.S. hiking trips include adventures in Yosemite National Park, Crater Lake National Park and on Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon River plus a lodge-to-lodge Machu Picchu adventure in Peru.

For more information, availability, reservations and a copy of the 2014 O.A.R.S. Adventures catalog call (209) 736-4677 or (800) 346-6277, email, or visit: