The Grand Canyon is one of America's most defining landmarks, with its sandstone cliffs, facades, and valleys, it's hard not to be enamored with this beautiful creation of nature.

One of the overlooked, yet most enjoyable activities available in the area is the extreme sport of whitewater rafting. Here are 5 reasons why the Grand Canyon is a good whitewater destination.

1. Rapids are ranked over the charts

Usually, rapids are graded one to five, according to intensity, the Grand Canyon features rapids graded from one to ten, promising thrills for the extreme traveler, and chill cruises for newbies.

"My nerves would rise slowly every time we approached a major rapid, especially the ones that our guides had to scout from shore before running in our raft," says Stuart Thornton of Paste Magazine, "As we approached, the roar of the river would get louder and louder...The waves could be as tall as their ocean-based brethren. The chilly 50-degree water washing over the bow would inevitably wake you up no matter now early in the morning it was."

2. Historical surroundings

Going down the river, there's bound to be moments of respite in between rapids. The wait however, is anything but boring with high canyon walls bearing down on the slender river. Guides know the best places to show you where ancient remnants and hidden treasures remain.

3. Believe-It-Or-Not Stories

Much folk literature has revolved around the Canyon, including that of the one-armed explorer John Wesley Powell. We won't spoil the story for you, take a trip and find out yourself!

4. Professional Guides

In this extreme sport, you really have to hire someone you can entrust your life to, and guides at the Grand Canyon are committed to every traveler's safety. Guides also specialize in the Canyon itself, such as Katrina Cornell, who holds a Master's degree in Geology from no less than MIT. Other guides include paramedics, doctors, and Postgraduate students.

Besides their obvious expertise, all the guides are warm and friendly.

5. You can hike, if you're not yet tired

Though optional, some trails are only accessible via the river, making it an ideal activity during a rafting trip. Fodors suggests visiting Deer Creek Falls and Shinamu Creek Falls, twisting slot canyons, enchanted hanging gardens at places like Elves Chasm, and the unbelievably blue waters of oases like Havasu Creek.