The Grand Canyon in winter

We all know the scene - 350 Lbs of hamburger meat with a head from Idaho breaking some poor donkey's back getting in the way of all your snaps and destroying the silence of the canyon....Not what you want out of your once in a lifetime Grand Canyon adventure. So avoid the crowds of oversized tourists at the Grand Canyon by heading there in the offpeak winter season: you'll have one of the most awe-inspiring places in the world all to yourself.

Although the canyon is a desert, it's akin to an oasis in the winter. It is a place of peace, sequestered from the rest of the world. In three days of hiking you might only see two or three mule trains, each carrying baggage, not riders, and perhaps two dozen hikers.

Get there with Virgin Holidays www. virginholidays.co.uk who offer a seven-night fly-drive to Las Vegas from £499, including flights and car hire.

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