Grand Canyon National Park

We have made several quick trips to the south rim of the Grand Canyon in recent years but have not hiked into the canyon.  We hope to do that in the future.

Whenever we plan a vacation we I always feel the need to get out of our home state so the Grand Canyon has yet to be a destination.  It always ends up being someplace we stop at when we are in the area.

The Grand Canyon is absolutely incredible.  I could sit on the side of the canyon all day marveling at its beauty.  However, my kids are always with me and they do not like my idea.  One does not like being near the edge and the other does not enjoy sitting for an extended period of time.

There is an easy trail that follows along the edge of the canyon and you can walk for as little or as long as you would like.  One of the great things about the Grand Canyon is that it is truly accessible by anyone.  You can marvel at its beauty without having to walk very far or you can hike into the canyon.

If you’re in the area I recommend stopping by to see the Grand Canyon, even if you only have a few hours.  Pictures do not do the canyon justice.  One year we took the kids to ride the Polar Express train in Williams and stopped by the Grand Canyon on our way home.  Little Mister and I visited on a school field trip and most recently we stopped by on our way home from a trip to Zion National Park.

There is a great picnic spot near Desert View with several benches and a great view of the canyon.  It’s southwest or left of the Watchtower.  Little Mister’s class sat there and did an art project but it would also be good for lunch or a snack.  The view of the canyon is pretty incredible.  It’s the view in the picture above.

As I was looking through the pictures from our trips, the difference in how light, clouds, and sun change the canyon jumped out at me.

The next picture is from a visit in April/May with full sun and the colors look totally different than they did when we were there in October.  We did not see the sun once in October and the river was brown instead of green.

Same picture as above but taken in October.

We have stayed in several of the hotels on site and enjoyed each stay.  They were always clean and the staff friendly and helpful.  We have eaten at the Arizona Room several times and have never had a bad meal.  The bar in the Bright Angel Lodge turns into a coffee bar in the mornings and my favorite thing to do is to get up early, grab a latte and sit on the edge of the canyon watching the sun come up.  If you have not done this you must add it to your bucket list.

If you come in the east entrance you will pass by the Little Colorado River Gorge.  It’s on the Navajo Reservation and they ask for a donation if you stop.  It’s a nice stop, particularly if you have been driving for a while.  The gorge is nice but nothing compared to the Grand Canyon.  I recommend stopping here on your way to the Grand Canyon, not after you visit the Grand Canyon.

Little Colorado River Gorge

When I was with Little Mister’s class we stopped at the IMAX movie theater in Tusayan and watched the Grand Canyon IMAX Movie on our way to the canyon.  Tusayan is the town just outside the south entrance of the park.  The movie provided a great overview of the park and everyone enjoyed it.  I am sure you could learn all of the same information at the Grand Canyon itself but this is an option if you want to watch the IMAX version.

Happy New Year, friends!  I hope your year is filled with lots of wonderful memories.

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