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Grand Canyon, climbing out with Mules
Photo Credit: Gar the Bold

Grand Canyon National Park

2 Albright Ave. Grand Canyon Village, Arizona 86023
South Rim and facilities = usually open year round. North Rim = seasonal closures.
928-638-7888 1 Week
August 2012 Summer, Fall, Spring
$10-29 Grand Canyon Arizona
Website Nature National Parks
 
Everyone knows that the Grand Canyon is one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, and as such, one might expect it to be overcrowded with tourists. However, my family visited over a spring break, and even though the park was at capacity with visitors, we never felt crowded or rushed. The frequently running shuttle bus system used to take people along the rim eliminates traffic that might otherwise spoil the beautiful experience.

A first time visitor with 5 or fewer days to spend will probably want to stay in the Grand Canyon village on the South Rim. If you can hike a little, you can see some spectacular views. For an easy day hike with little elevation change, the Rim Trail offers excellent walking for quiet views of the inner canyon. Other good day hikes have steep descents, but they give more of the feel for the immensity of the canyon. Our favorite was the South Kaibab Trail with best views for a relatively short hike. Even if you don’t want to hike, the shuttle buses take you to incredible viewpoints along the entire South Rim.

On the East end, take in the Desert View Point with the stone Colter Watchtower for a panoramic view that extends for more than 100 miles on a clear day. On Desert view route, stop at Grandview Point where the first hotel on the South Rim used to be.

Try to take in the Yavapai Geology museum and a ranger talk. The rangers are great. Mule rides and river rafting are possible with enough advanced notice. Plan your trip using the U.S. park service official site: http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm. Seven or eight lodges are available. Prices range from up to $400 per night, but most rooms are in the $95 to $150 per night range. Mather campground is also available.

Really spectacular, well worth the trip!
Author:
Gar the Bold
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guyonthego
9/13/2012 1:27:31 PM
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Great overview of the park. Really liked that picture of the guy riding out on the mule from the canyon too.