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Grand Canyon Vacation Trip Planning

Preparing For Your Vacation Experience

A vacation trip to the Grand Canyon is an experience like no other. Every view is like a real life painting by the great masters of natural visual art. It's a vacation that provokes in every emotional sense. It's the trip of all trips where every experience imbeds a lifetime of memory of what took nature a billion years to sculpt. You want to ensure a pleasurable vacation experience through proper planning of your Grand Canyon trip.

Morning at Point Imperial

Know The Part of the Grand Canyon You Want to Visit

First there is a South and North Rim of the Grand Canyon and although they are a relatively short distance between them as "the crow flies" , the actual driving mileage distance between the two rims is over 200 miles. That's quite a trip. Then there's the Inner Canyon of deep depth that's accessible down hiking trails or through river rafting down the Colorado River. All river rafting trips through the Grand Canyon begin at Lee's Ferry just below Glen Canyon Dam, which creates the massive Lake Powell. Of course, one could meet a raft by hiking down canyon cliffs to a point on the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Trip To The South Rim

Over 90% of the 5 million people that vacation to the Grand Canyon visit the South Rim which is very family-friendly with an abundance of convenient amenities, restaurants, lodging, hotels, shuttle service and tour companies that offer spectacular tours of the Grand Canyon South Rim. The primary base of your vacation trip is Grand Canyon Village where over 2,000 hotel rooms offer the comforts of home.

Other vacation lodging is available a short driving distance at Williams Arizona which is 58 miles from the South Rim and Flagstaff Arizona at about 78 miles. Williams is a laid-back western rustic town of quaint vacation enjoyment. Flagstaff is much larger with more options of hotels and resorts, and offers close proximity to Sedona Arizona and Oak Creek Canyon . The entire area offers an abundance of other interesting tourist destinations.

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon has easy hiking trails, short scenic drives along the rim and amazingly beautiful views into the depths of the canyon with peeks of the Colorado River far below. For the more adventurous family, an overnight hike or mule trip to Phantom Ranch will be an unforgettable vacation experience.

Trip To The North Rim

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is for the more adventurous where hiking trips are more demanding and require greater physical endurance. The North rim is closed to public facilities during the winter months and is tranquilly remote with few services. The views are equally spectacular, but has minimal sights of the Colorado River.

Proper Vacation and Trip Planning

The summer months, which are most active, offers comfortable daytime temperatures in the 70° - 80°s at the rim levels. But a hiking trip to the full depth of the canyon can bring hotter temperatures as high as 115 degrees.

Expect vacation crowds during spring, summer and fall while much cooler winter temperatures can become quite cold but with rewarding views of a snow-dusted Grand Canyon.

Your vacation trip to the Grand Canyon South Rim will be an enjoyable experience for both young and old. However, at 7,000 feet altitude, air is thin making it difficult for those with respiratory problems. Walking and even an easy hiking trip can be strenuous on those that are not healthy and physically fit.

Trip Safety, Convenience and Being Prepared

These are suggestions to make your Grand Canyon vacation and getaway trip more enjoyable.

  • Avoid hiking in high temperatures if you're sensitive to heat.
  • Stay hydrated; eat often with carbohydrates and salty foods.
  • Unless in superb physical shape, on hiking trips - rest often and do not attempt a hinking trip to the canyon bottom in one day.
  • Bring extra sets of car keys. There are no locksmiths.
  • Service and check the condition of your vehicle. There is an auto mechanic at the South Rim but long delays are likely waiting for repair parts.
  • Keep your gas tank full. There can be long distances between gas stations.
  • Carry drinking water in your car, particularly during the summer months.
  • Film is available at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon but camera repair is not.
  • Be prepared for your vacation trip with clothing and foot wear fitting the season climate conditions and spontaneous rain.
  • A first aid kit is imperative and don't forget your binoculars.

Other Vacation Trip Planning

Make hotel, lodging and camping reservations well in advance. The same can said for car rental and tour arrangements. Rafting trips down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon are typically in high demand. The official beginning of the Grand Canyon is at Lee's Ferry and Marble Canyon, which is over a two-hour drive from the South Rim. The driving distance between the South Rim and the North Rim is over 200 miles. If you plan on experiencing the entire Grand Canyon, plan on a several day trip. It will make for a more enjoyable vacation experience. This is particularly true if you want to enjoy the sites of Lake Powell above Lee's Ferry.

Remember that a rafting trip begins at Lee's Ferry and if you enjoy trophy rainbow trout fishing, make sure you bring fishing gear. It makes for a great fishing trip.

Cape Royal For More Information:

Grand Canyon Vacation Overview
National Park Service
Camping at Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon Map
Flagstaff Arizona
Williams Arizona
Sedona & Oak Creek Canyon
Lake Powell & Page Arizona

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