Vacation to See the Grand Canyon Grand Canyon by Corey Grant - Travel Agent - June 7, 2018June 7, 20180 Who hasn’t talked about going to see the Grand Canyon at some point? The Grand Canyon is a must-see for you and your family at some point is your vacationing lives, now the question you may have is how do you explore a 277-mile long natural wonder? The Grand Canyon National Park has you covered. Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, there’s plenty to do, see, and experience. Of course the thing you need to do is get there from here. Great rates for the DIY Travelers can be found here as well as promotions for future discounts so check it out. People who visit the popular South Rim of the Grand Canyon fly into the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and then rent a car and drive about 3.5 to 4 hours up to the Grand Canyon. It’s highly recommended that you plan to spend a few days on either end of your trip either in Scottsdale, a safe suburb of Phoenix with plenty of activities regardless of the time of year. Take the Train on the Grand Canyon Railway One way people experience the Grand Canyon is to do it by train – just like they did it before the interstate and cars could get you there. You can book tickets for your family on the Grand Canyon Railway which departs daily from Williams, Arizona – a town just 30 miles west of Flagstaff and less than three hours from Phoenix. Drop your car off at the depot in Williams and enjoy a two-hour train ride north to the South Rim. The entertainment starts with an Old West shootout before boarding, and while riding, you’ll enjoy the roaming fiddlers and singers making their way through the cars. The train makes its return trip in the afternoon, allowing your family plenty of time to explore the Grand Canyon. Junior Ranger Program Immerse your kids in learning about the park through the Junior Ranger program. With free booklets, activities, and ranger-led programs, your kids may take over the planning of each day. Kid-friendly Fun at the South Rim You could drive directly to the South Rim. The South Rim is open all year and has numerous hotels, restaurants, and other park services. Leave your car in the nearest lot, and then tour on foot, or use the park’s free shuttles to quickly get to the various viewpoints and destinations. It no major surprise that the main attraction is the views of the Grand Canyon. The National Park Service has put visitor centers at the best viewpoints and clearly marking the rest of the vistas on the park map. Each one has its own perks, and you can make the experience interesting for your family by trying to catch different weather patterns, such as clouds, the sunrise, or sunset. More Family Entertainment It’s a gorgeous view, but after a while the kids might need a change of scenery and activity. Fortunately, there are plenty of things to do that don’t involve sightseeing. Trails for Everyone Avid hikers should head to Bright Angel Trail, one of the main routes that descends to the Colorado River. Although you can hike down and up in one day, the Park Service doesn’t recommend it (it’s 8 miles one-way to the river and 9.5 miles to get to the campground). With advanced booking, you can camp at the bottom. The hike down takes about four to five hours, and returning can take almost twice as long. You can choose to hike part of the way down and back — or even take a mule ride. Families with strollers or youngsters who can’t handle a rugged path or steep climb can venture onto the mostly flat, mostly paved Rim Trail that, as its name suggests, borders the Grand Canyon rim. The Rim Trail and accompanying roads are also ideal for biking. Bright Angel Bicycles at Mather House offers bikes and trailers for rent. Hopi House In the summer, the Hopi House showcases traditional Native American dancers outside while you can browse for souvenirs and gifts inside. Check the schedule when you arrive. The Hopi House is just across from the railway station and El Tovar Hotel. Take in a Movie A six-story IMAX movie screen fills your visual world with more of the Grand Canyon than you can see from the rim or by hiking. You’ll learn about the Native American tribes that lived there 4,000 years ago, and feel like you’re rafting down the Colorado River like the explorers did in the 1800s.