Updated Feb 24, 2020
Spring break is on its way and everyone is trying to make the most of their time off. Getting away from school or work is necessary for folks to relax by going on a journey before heading back to their day-to-day routine. For many people the Grand Canyon is one of the best vacation destination spots in the country, and with good reason.
There are several great activities to do at the Grand Canyon that provide a great mix of rest and adventure for students, singles, and families alike. It can be a memorable experience with wonderful sights and unforgettable experiences. That is, if you plan correctly.
If you properly plan, a trip to the Grand Canyon can be one of the best vacations you’ll ever have. Getting yourself prepared and doing a little bit of legwork can allow you to enjoy a fully enjoyable trip with as little hassle as possible. Here are some suggestions on what amazing activities you can indulge in at the Grand Canyon along with how to properly plan for a Grand Canyon spring break trip that is as hassle-free as possible.
First, the fun stuff.
One of the biggest draws of the Grand Canyon adventure are the hikes along the trails. The hiking trails on the North Rim can provide a serene walk among nature while the day hikes along the South Rim are bustling with beauty along the storied Hermit Road. Fresh sights, fresh air, and fresh photo opportunities await you.
Going out to camp at the Grand Canyon is the ultimate bonding time for your family and friends. Hanging out among nature, eating around the campfire, and reliving the day’s experience while nestled in a sleeping bag can make for a relaxing time mixed in with quality adventure. Whether you camp at a designated RV park or in a tent along a trail, there is much fun and many s’mores to be had while “roughing it.”
One of the best parts of the Grand Canyon other than the canyon itself is the majestic Colorado River. Spring breakers can enjoy the serenity of the water and gaze upon nature in a leisurely ride on a raft. However, if you crave a bit more excitement, there are segments of the Colorado River that offer high-energy whitewater rapids to paddle through. There’s plenty of good times to be had on the water at the Grand Canyon.
In late January 2020, the National Park Service (NPS) announced the return of its coveted permits to raft the Colorado River, right through Grand Canyon National Park. It’s a bucket-list journey, no doubt, however, getting one of those permits is a lot harder than you may expect.
In total, NPS will release just 461 permits for 12- to 25-day river trips in 2021. For reference, in 2019 NPS received more than 7,800 applications and awarded just 463 spots.
If you want to take a break from the action to learn more about the Grand Canyon and American history as a whole, the Grand Canyon National Park has plenty to offer. Spring breakers can learn more about the landmark by going to the visitor centers and museums located at the North and South Rims. You can also do some research online to find guided tours and activities involving the local Native American tribes to learn more about their history.
If that’s not enough, there are additional activities at the Grand Canyon that can get your heart racing. Grand Canyon West offers a 3,500-foot zipline that allows visitors to whiz by over the Grand Canyon. They also offer a chance to walk over the see-through Grand Canyon Skywalk for spring breakers to look at the Canyon directly under their feet. Thrillseekers can also investigate into bungee jumping at various parts along the Grand Canyon’s North Rim as well.
All of these activities make the Grand Canyon the ultimate spring break destination, but you still have to put the work in to make it the best trip possible. In order to avoid frustration and hassle, you have to do some homework.
You probably already know how you’re getting to the Grand Canyon National Park in terms of whether you prefer to fly out there or take a road trip, but you have to do more planning than that. Due to the popularity of the Canyon during the spring season, the roads near the park are expected to be packed with heavy loads of traffic.
Find out which areas of the Grand Canyon you wish to visit and familiarize yourself with the quickest routes to get there. Planning out your routes can help you arrange your travel time more effectively so you can spend more time outside of your vehicle than being stuck on the road.
However, there is an alternative option to driving everywhere yourself when you arrive at the Grand Canyon. Taking advantage of the Grand Canyon’s shuttle bus services can significantly cut down on your travel time when you properly plan out your route each day. Looking over the shuttle schedule can help you arrange a full day’s worth of activity in with little hassle.
The spring break season is one of the busiest times for tourism at the Grand Canyon, so it is best for you to make reservations as far in advance as possible. Locate hotels, cabins, or campsites near the areas you wish to visit and make proper reservations. Take the time to think of what amenities you want during your stay (utility hookups, pet friendly areas, etc.) and you’ll have a more relaxing time knowing that your needs will be met.
Not only should you make reservations for where you will stay, make reservations for your activities. Check do Internet searches to see if you can purchase tickets or take advantage of tourist bundle packages to not only reserve a spot for certain activities such as ziplining or hiking tours, but to take advantage of any possible discounts. This will not only ensure you a spot in a tour, an attraction, or experience, but it can also save you time physically waiting in line for a ticket.
If you want to go on a hike or a rafting trip, it’s important to know your limitations. You would hate to be halfway through a hike and feel too tired to finish it. The air is much thinner in the Grand Canyon, so you’ll need to build stamina if you plan doing rigorous physical activity. If you are traveling with young kids or pets, you’ll have to take their physical fitness into consideration when you plan.
Take some time before your trip to go on nature walks at your local park and do some extra exercise to build up stamina. This helps prepare your body to fully enjoy hiking and other physical activities during your trip. This can also help you plan on whether to take longer or shorter trails/tours and properly plan breaks between adventures based on your endurance.
Know What to Pack
What’s the weather going to be like when you visit the Grand Canyon? Will you be able to get drinkable water nearby? How much money should you bring for food? You have to answer these questions so you won’t be caught unaware and unprepared. You would hate to wear a t-shirt during the day then wish you brought a jacket during a cold evening. It’d be terrible to not have dry clothing available if you get soaked during a rafting trip. Take time to look over the climate, know what activities you are doing, and how much money you’ll need to budget in order to indulge in certain activities.
Always Think “Just In Case”
Do you have a bandage if you cut yourself on a branch during a hike? What if you’re thirsty and it’s a long way to the nearest water bottle refilling station? What if you get a flat tire on your RV? It’s important to be prepared in case certain hazards like this can happen. Pack up an emergency bag with a first aid kit, extra drinking water, and other such items.
Learning some important skills can help you, too. Take some first aid and CPR classes in case you or someone in your party needs medical attention. If you plan on roughing it, learn some survival techniques and have proper equipment on-hand in order to properly put out campfires, deter wild animals, etc. You hope you’ll never need to use these skills, but you’ll be glad to have that knowledge with you.
By picking the right activities and planning ahead, you’ll be in for the best spring break of your life at the Grand Canyon.