Thursday, June 23, 2016

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

This guide will walk you through how to plan your visit to this majestic and expansive park, and also what to do while you're there.

Planning your visit
The enormous Grand Canyon can be one of the greatest places to visit with your family, but it can also be extremely difficult to decide how to visit the park.  What side should you visit?  Is there a difference?  What should you plan on bringing?  Etc.

Grand Canyon National Park

Well first of all, it is important to note that while the Grand Canyon is huge, the views on both the south and north rim are amazing, and well worth the drive no matter which side is closest to you.  The most important part of planning your trip to the Grand Canyon, however, is to decide which side you will visit as this will also influence your choice on where to stay.

There are a great number of hotels and campgrounds available around the Grand Canyon, but since the park is extremely busy much of the year, it is wise to book a hotel well before your trip as the spots are very limited, and often reach occupancy early on in the year.  That being said, don't write off the Canyon if you are just planning a quick trip in the near future. There are plenty of hotels and campsites to go around, you may just have to stay a little farther away.

Food and water:
During the summer the Canyon can get extremely hot, and for those who hike down into the canyon, it is important to bring enough water, and remember that every step down means another step back up the canyon.

Additionally make sure to check the weather reports in the area as the Canyon can flood, which normally is not super dangerous, unless you plan to camp near the water's edge.

Grand Canyon National Park

What to do
There are a whole host of ways to enjoy the Grand Canyon.  First of all, you can take one of many tour buses into the area to enjoy the sites at a quick but relaxed pace.  You can also get helicopter tours over the Canyon.  One of my friends did this, and she absolutely loved it.  Personally, helicopter tours aren't my favorite, but if you want to see the expansiveness of the canyon, this is a great way to do it.  Finally, you can drive around the rim of the canyon and take it in at your own pace.  If you do this, you will also have more time to hike down into the canyon and even get backpacking permits and overnight camp down in the canyon as well.

Additionally, you can visit the canyon by rail as there is a Grand Canyon rail that brings over 230,000 people into the park every year from Williams, AZ.  You can also get a mule tour and take some mules down into the canyon.

Grand Canyon National Park

Finally, one of the funnest ways to see the Grand Canyon is to take a rafting tour.  The tours last anywhere from 3 to 21 days and they sell out very quickly each year, so if this is what you want to do, you need to plan well in advance or be willing to fork out a lot of cash.

If you are visiting the South Rim, you can go to the Desert View Point where you can climb a replica tower to get a great view of the canyon.  If you do this, be prepared to pay extra as the trip up the tower isn't free.

Grand Canyon National Park Desert View

Other places to visit
Regardless of whether you visit the north or south side, you will be near Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend.

Horseshoe Bend

There are many great after destinations if you hit the Grand Canyon along the road to somewhere else.  Heading north you come to Kanab, where you can find Arches National Park, Canyonlands, and the vaunted Wave.  A little north of there you find Capital Reef and a little farther west is Zion and north of there Bryce.

If you are nearer the South Rim, you will be right next to Havasu Falls (takes a lot of planning to visit) or close to Sedona if you head south.

If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute click here to send me an email.  If you would like to sponsor my trip somewhere to showcase your business or to work with me please send me an email as well.

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