Welcome to our National Park series, where each week I will be highlighting a national park that my family and I have visited in 2020/2021. This year my son is in 4th grade which meant that he qualified for the Every Kid Outdoor Pass. The Every Kid Outdoor Pass is a free pass for 4th graders that gives 4th graders and their families free access to hundreds of parks, lands, and waters for an entire year! This includes our National Parks and many other government agencies. This year was our year of National Park vacations and since September we have visited over 10 parks with plans to visit more this summer! If you are also interested in visiting some of our national treasures, I hope that my experience can help you to prepare and have a great family trip.
Grand Canyon National Park is located in Northern Arizona and is a big park with lots of opportunity for family fun. I would recommend two days or more to fully explore Grand Canyon National Park and the surrounding area. The most popular area of Grand Canyon National Park is the South Rim, this is where you will find most of the lodging, services, trails, and more. The North Rim is open during part of the year but it will take 4 hours of driving to get from the South to North Rims. Here are 5 ways to have your family fun on the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park.
1. Ride Grand Canyon Railway - Beginning in Williams, AZ. the Grand Canyon Railway takes you the 60 miles into Grand Canyon National Park. Not only is it a fun way to travel, but during busy times you won't have to worry about parking inside the park. While you are in Williams, take some time to discover the history of Route 66. Williams is home to the best preserved stretch of Route 66.
2. Drive Desert View Drive - The popular Desert View Drive is a 25 mile long scenic drive that connects some of the best viewpoints in the Grand Canyon. My favorite part was the last stop, the Desert View Watchtower. Don't forget to download the GyPSy Guide app before going to get some great information during your drive.
3. Walking/Hiking - When out in a national park, walking and/or hiking is a must do! For an easy walk, try the Rim Trail. For more challenging hikes click here. Not many people take the chance to hike down into the canyon, so even if you are able to walk a few feet down into the canyon, you will be part of an experience that not many people take advantage of.
4. Take a bike ride - There are about 13 miles of of roads for bicyclists. If you can't bring your own bike, you can rent at Bright Angel Bicycles by the visitor's center.
5. Become a Junior Ranger - Pick up a Junior Ranger Activity Book at one of the following locations, Grand Canyon Conservancy Main Store (Visitor Center Plaza), Yavapai Geology Museum, or Kolb Studio. You can also download booklets here.
Have a great time at Grand Canyon National Park!
Check out the other parks in our National Park Series
Keep finding your family fun -