Grand Canyon with its beautiful rock formations and the deep blue Colorado river is considered to be a natural wonder. With extensive opportunities to explore the Canyon all round the year, it is nature lover's paradise. However, there are certain suggestions that need to be considered before you embark on your journey. This UStravelia article will help you plan a hindrance-free Grand Canyon family vacation.
Planning the Vacation
Planning the Route
Grand Canyon can be ascended from three sides, viz. the southern rim, the northern rim and the western side. The northern rim is a lot steeper and popular with explorers, hikers, young couples and all those who value tranquility. While the southern rim is popular for family vacations. You might want to view the Canyons from the southern rim if you are not a very good hiker or have young children with you.
Grand Canyon is full of activity all round the year. Summers happen to be the peak visiting time while winters might be slack and a bit more peaceful. However, if you want to spend at least a couple of days in the Grand Canyon area, then you might have to get a confirmed hotel reservation at least 6 months prior to your actual visit. The Grand Canyons have approximately 6 hotels at their southern rim and just 1 hotel at the northern rim. If these are booked, then you may have to choose options like tents or book a hotel room at places near Grand Canyons. Before you are set to leave on the trip, care to confirm the bookings once again. If you happen to plan the vacation in winter, then you can expect some discounts from hotel owners.
Traveling to Grand Canyon
The two nearest city airports to Grand Canyon are the ones located at Las Vegas and Phoenix. From there, you might opt to rent a car and drive to the destination or opt for commuter flights up to Flagstaff or Page in Arizona State. When traveling by air, book your tickets well in advance to avoid any last-minute disappointments. Also, get a second confirmation of your tickets a week prior to your visit. Alternately, you might opt for driving down all the way up to Grand Canyon in your own car.
Places to Visit in Grand Canyon
While traveling to the Grand Canyon national park, there are some amazing sites that you just can't afford to miss. Here is a list of places to visit and things to do in Grand Canyon:
- The Grand Canyon sky walk
- Lake Powell
- Hoover dam
- Paria Canyon
- Bryce Canyon
- Desert view watch tower
- Monument Valley
Other fun activities include white water rafting, hiking, grand canyon mule rides, train tours, ranger guided activities, jeep safaris and grand canyon helicopter rides. There are a number of private helicopter services that offer family rides on their choppers. You may expect some spectacular views of the grand canyon at a price of approximately $200 to $500 per passenger. The duration of the ride can be anything between 2 to 5 hours depending upon the number of stopovers included in the schedule.
Some Traveling Hints
- Dress as casually as possible. Use some light shaded cotton clothing as they are really comfortable.
- Opt for some smart and sturdy footwear that will give a good grip while hiking in the rocky terrain.
- Make sure to carry along a broad rimmed hat and a good pair of sunglasses. For those who wear contact lenses while at home or at work, it is suggested that they use their spectacles instead. If possible, get your optician to spray a layer of UV resistant solution on the glass surface.
- Carry plenty of drinking water as the excursion can be really stressful and dehydrating.
- Carry plenty of fragrant wet wipes to cool yourself throughout the journey.
- There are no artificial lighting along the excursion paths of Grand Canyon. If you happen to start your descent when it starts getting dark, it is always better to carry minimum two portable torches or a headlamp with you that will make your descent easy.
- Carry a first aid box as a safety precaution to treat some unforeseen injuries.
- Do not forget to carry your favorite sunscreen lotion, moisturizer, lip gel and hair conditioner along with you.
- Care to carry a good map and a satellite phone when traveling.
- Carry a complete set of your vacation dossier with you throughout the journey. It should ideally include all your plane tickets, printouts of your booking confirmations, hotel addresses and contact numbers, travel insurance documents and your itinerary.
- Carry a good digital camera to click or videotape some memorable and breathtaking shots.
So go ahead and experience the true American culture of the south-west with your family. It is bound to be a vacation like none other!