A Guide to Great Things to Do at Grand Canyon National Park by Erica Moseley
New Mom New You blogger & stay at home Mom, Erica Moseley gives us her tips on things to do when visitng the Canyon.
During a stay in Las Vegas my partner & I wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip for a day. The Grand Canyon National Park seemed like a perfect option; afterall, who doesn‘t want to see one of the most famous U.S. national parks? We decided to visit the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. The West Rim’s main advantage is its proximity to Las Vegas. It is only a two-hour drive from Las Vegas, whereas it requires at least five hours driving to the Grand Canyon South Rim Visitor Center.
The West Rim: When we arrived at the Visitor Center, we were able to choose between three different tours: -Basic tour with bus transfers to three different points – Tour as above plus included meals and gift voucher – Tour + coupon + entry to Skywalk
The Skywalk: The Hualapai Tribe charges about $29 per person to visit the West Rim, which includes free rides between attractions on its shuttle busses. They charge an additional $29 per person to walk on the Glass Skywalk, and a $20 per car parking fee. If you go via tour group, these fees are usually included in the price of your tour. The Skywalk guarantees both thrill and a truly breathtaking view. This horseshoe-shaped ramp with floor and sides constructed entirely of plate glass extends out from the rim of the canyon 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. You walk almost through the sky on a trail of transparent glass.
Tours: In addition to the above packages you can also book many other Grand Canyon tours, including helicopter tours and scenic flights. The Grand Canyon is a truly spectacular natural wonder and it can be difficult to grasp its sheer size. But if you stay on the ground, you only see small parts of the wonderful landscape. What could be better than to look at the famous gorge from the sky? Grand Canyon helicopter tours make this possible since such flights are now very popular with tourists. We recommend booking a tour where a landing in the valley of the gorge is on the program. It is precisely these landings in the valley and flights over the Grand Canyon that one should experience at least once. A boat trip on the Colorado River can be planned as well, since boats also offer a great view of the majestic scenery all around. Mule rides are great fun for Grand Canyon hiking tours.
North Rim: Due to extreme temperatures, the North Rim is only open from May to October. The Grand Canyon Lodge is the only hotel on the North Rim. Campground space is available, but reservations are required. North Rim visitors can also stay outside the park at the Kaibab Lodge and Jacob Lake Inn, which are 18 and 45 miles north of the park. The North Rim has a visitor center but does not have shuttle buses.
South Rim: During their Grand Canyon vacations, visitors should stop at the Visitors Center at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim and visit the IMAX Theater. The Grand Canyon movie The Hidden Secrets is presented in the air-conditioned theater on a 6 story high and 82 feet wide screen. This visual delight is enhanced by sensory 6-track Dolby® stereo surround sound. Plush seating is available for 487 guests plus access for 8 wheelchairs. The Grand Canyon IMAX schedule has shows beginning hourly at half-past the hour (34 minute film presentation) 365 days per year. Admission Prices: Adults (Ages 11+) $13.72, Youth Tickets (6-10) $10.42. Children 5 and under are admitted free.
A Few Grand Canyon Facts: The Grand Canyon attracts over 4 million visitors each year. The national park is located in Arizona near the Nevada and Utah borders. Flagstaff is only a 90-minute drive from the South Rim. The Grand Canyon became a national park in 1919 and stretches along 277 miles of the Colorado River.
Fees:Park entrance fees are $25 per vehicle and $12 for individuals. Come prepared (water, sun block, comfortable shoes, and light jacket) and check the weather in advance as temperatures vary according to season and what part of the park you are visiting. Overnight trips require a backcountry permit which costs $10 plus an additional $5 for each person in the group. The South Rim is open year-round, while the North Rim is only open during spring and summer.