The Grand Canyon is one of the most stunning places the U.S. and indeed the world has to offer. Located in Arizona, the canyon is divided by the Colorado River into two distinct areas, the North and South Rims. Due to its lower elevation, around 7,000 feet, the South Rim is open year-round and is more accessible, making it the most visited canyon location. It includes the historic Grand Canyon Village, Hermit Road, and Desert View Drive. The North Rim’s higher elevation, at about 8,000 feet is less accessible, and the lodging and restaurants are only open six months out of the year, May – October. The weather in the canyon varies by elevation, with the North Rim receiving more moisture and snowfall than its southern counterpart.
The canyon is an American icon, and has become one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. According to the National Park Service, nearly five million people visit the Grand Canyon every year. Whether you are vacationing in Arizona or road tripping for a Permanent Change of Station move, the immense size and vibrantly colorful landscape of the Grand Canyon make it a natural attraction that you truly have to see to believe.
If you’re an experienced hiker, pack your gear and get ready for the five-day, four-night Rim to Rim hike, traversing the entire canyon from north to south. The 34-mile hike gives you the opportunity to explore the inner canyon, stay at the famed Phantom Ranch, and relax next to the Colorado River. Proper preparation is a must for this strenuous journey, with long days and high elevations, but for avid hikers, it could certainly be an experience you won’t soon forget.
The Grand Canyon also offers day hiking options for those who simply want to explore the canyon. With 18 trails spanning a variety of difficulties, the Grand Canyon can offer something for every level of outdoor enthusiast. Remember to pack and prepare properly even when taking a day trip to ensure your experience is as safe as it is enjoyable. Start early, when temperatures are cooler, and be sure to carry plenty of water and snacks.
Guided Ranger Programs
Take the opportunity to learn more about the Grand Canyon by partaking in a guided ranger program. The knowledgeable park rangers will take you through all of the interesting science, nature, and history of the Grand Canyon. Your kids will also have the opportunity to become a junior ranger, and help preserve and protect the national park. Junior Rangers will earn a special patch and can share all their new knowledge with their friends, families, and classmates!
Whether you rent a bicycle or bring your own, the Hermit Road Greenway Trail provides cyclists with 2.8 miles of bike path. There are six overlooks along the trail where you can dismount, rest your legs, and take in the beautiful landscape. Guided bike tours are also available for those who want to combine an interesting Grand Canyon education with their daily exercise.
Five million people a year can’t be wrong. You owe it to yourself to visit one of the world’s beautiful treasures. Whether you want to hike and explore, or simply revel in natural beauty, you won’t regret your Grand Canyon experience! If you are looking to explore more of the great outdoors, check out our other adventure vacations.