The Grand Canyon is one of the greatest sights your family can experience. It’s 5000 feet deep, 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide. It will give you an experience of awe and wonder. More than 5 million tourists are attracted by the Canyon each year, and you can experience it by land, water or air. You will also find plenty of restaurants, art galleries and shopping.
Many people make the mistake of visiting the Grand Canyon without planning everything in advance. If you don’t make a hotel reservation, it’s very possible you won’t find a room at all, and getting a nice room on the rim with a view is really impossible.
Out of the 5 million visitors a year, most visitors go to the South rim, in the Grand Canyon Village. The south rim is open the entire year, but is most visited between April and October and weekends. Although you might find a room near the Canyon without a reservation, in order to get a room in the park, close to the rim, you need to start planning your family vacation to the Great Canyon three to six months in advance.
If you want to stay inside the park, the options are pretty limited: either El Tovar hotel, or one of the lodges (Bright Angel, Thunderbird or Kachina). The closest places outside the park are in Tusayan, located about 6 miles from the rim. The North rim is even more limited, being open to tourists just a few months a year and The Grand Canyon Lodge being the only place you can stay inside the park.
Located in Arizona, the Grand Canyon is about 247 miles north of Phoenix and 70 miles north of Flagstaff. There is a lot of driving to get there, so make sure you have a minimum of travel toys for your kids, to keep them busy on the road.
Things You Can Do There
There are really countless things you can do in your family vacation to the Grand Canyon, but here are some highlights:
- go white-water rafting
- fly over the Grand Canyon with the helicopter tours
- go hiking or camping
- nature walks with the National Park Rangers. These can be quite educative for your kids. Information about the schedule can be found at the park entrance
- exciting train trips with the Grand Canyon Railway – a century old railway located steps away from the south rim
- auto tours
A family vacation to the Grand Canyon will be a vacation to remember for you and your kids, and with proper planning you can take advantage of the best of its features.