Arizona Travel Tips

Navigating the Grand Canyon

January 27, 2016
South Rim of Grand Canyon

I realized that I never got around to blogging about How to Navigate The Grand Canyon, so never better a time than now. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out my other two Arizona posts on Top 10 Things to Do in Sedona, AZ and Pitstop in Flagstaff, AZ. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, The Grand Canyon is a trip to add to the travel bucket list. This amazing canyon that runs up to 18 miles is a “unique combination of geologic colors and erosional forms.” Here are some tips on how to plan your visit to the Grand Canyon:

When is the best time to visit?

Being Summer time is when all the kiddos are out of school, it’s peak season for the Grand Canyon. If you’re time is flexible, then you may want to try visiting March – May or September – November.

Grand Canyon Colorado River View

View of the South Rim

Determine Point of Entry

The South Rim is the most populated and the most visited in the Grand Canyon. It’s easily accessible by only a little over an hour drive from Flagstaff. The South Rim also has the most abundant views which are the ones normally seen in publications. The North Rim generally tends to be chillier and have longer lasting snow. East and West Rims have a few great points of interest, so you want to do your homework to find out which location to tackle.

How much is it?

The 2016 entrance fee to the Grand Canyon is $30 for a vehicle parking permit. The permit is good for 7 days and includes entrance for both the North and South Rim. There are additional fees for camping so be sure to check out the National Park Service website.

Check Traffic Conditions

Traffic can be tight or some roads may be closed. Once again, you want to check the National Park Service for Weather and Road Conditions before you go.Wildlife in Grand Canyon

Utilize the shuttle service

I love the fact that free shuttle service is provided. Unless you’re adamant about driving your own vehicle, I highly suggest taking the shuttle. Park your car, save on fuel, and enjoy the ride. There are different points of interest in which you can get off to take in the views. You also have the option to walk to the next point if you want to get in a little exercise.

Review Hiking Info

There are no easy trails in the canyon so make certain you know where you’re going and that you know what you’re doing. You don’t want to be one of those people that has to be rescued. My daughter and I started out on the Bright Angel Trail, and in the short short distance we hiked, the narrowness and steepness of the trail made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Knowing we weren’t experienced hikers, we patted ourselves on the back for the short stint we accomplished and headed back. Check out these hiking tips for more information.Hiking Trail Grand Canyon_Travel Elixir

Hiking in Grand Canyon_Travel Elixir

Hard to see me & my daughter in this pic, but this is our hiking accomplishment photo.

Bring Binoculars

You never know what you’re going to see in the Grand Canyon. If you’re a nature lover then you don’t want to be without binoculars. I was excited not only to witness these amazing Condors, but capturing this incredible shot.California Condor_Grand Canyon_Travel Elixir

Pack Food

Although there are restaurants/cafeteria within the Grand Canyon park, I wasn’t highly impressed with the food and the cost. Next time, I plan to bring a picnic basket with all our favorite eats and find a scenic spot (which shouldn’t be too hard to do) to enjoy our grub.

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