Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park, located in northern Arizona, is one of the most-popular family vacation destinations in the world. People from all walks of life enter the park to view the masterpiece created by the natural forces of weathering, erosion, and uplift over countless years.

The canyon itself is a massive collection of smaller canyons all created over time by the powerful Colorado River. The park encompasses over 1.2 million acres of land and is well known for its geologic significance. Several ecosystems help create a biodiversity that can easily be seen throughout the park. Because of the park’s extreme altitude differences, you may descend through several different “life zones” as you visit the park.

Most generally people visit the southern rim of the park via Arizona Highway 64 (or US Highway 180) from either Williams or Cameron, AZ. Either route takes approximately an hour until you enter the park boundary. From the north, Arizona Highway 67 will take you to the higher elevations and more forested side of the park. This section of the park is less-visited, but offers fewer canyon views as well.

Popular activities in the park include hiking, mule riding, photography, and white water rafting. All of these activities carry some element of risk, so be sure to follow all of the safety precautions that are suggested in and around the park or through the Ranger Stations or vendors.

The Park is open year round (South Rim only) and 24 hours a day. Some facilities may be closed at times due to the weather, so be sure to check with the Visitor’s Center or Ranger Station for current closings and conditions.

Since the park is such a great geologic classroom, you can discover a lot about how our planet has changed over the millions of years of geologic history. Some of the oldest rocks found on the earth are located in the Grand Canyon. If your children are the inquisitive types, then they will want to participate in a Ranger led Adventure Hike or participate in the Junior Ranger Program. Both are great for children or all ages.

All around the park you will also find shuttle routes. These are provided to limit the traffic and congestion that the park often experiences. Parking is plentiful in the park, but be sure to check out the Park Maps to better plan your trip.

Weather conditions are generally mild (winter) to very hot (summer) but can change rapidly. Be sure to check weather conditions before planning any hikes. And, since the ground is very hard, flash flooding is very common during thunderstorms.

Because the canyon is so wondrous, we have several different tour suggestions for you listed below. These can enhance your visit to the Canyon!

Check out these Popular Grand Canyon Tours

 

New sightseeing tours in The Grand Canyon What’s New: Grand Canyon

Traveler ratings and reviews for The Grand Canyon Top Rated: Grand Canyon

 

Image by Fundenburg