March 4, 2012
The Grand Canyon — Arizona’s most identifiable landmark — is sure to take your breath away. It spreads 277 miles across, stretches one mile deep, and the wild Colorado River carves a winding path southwest along its floor. Whether you’re on a family vacation or an adult getaway, ideal springtime weather and plenty of outlets for recreation and magical views are sure to make your journey unforgettable.
Consider the Grand Canyon your hiking paradise. With miles of caves, plus plenty of wilderness and wildlife, the canyon offers unbelievable hiking trails with wonderment around every bend. From challenging switchbacks to slender bridges, narrow tunnels to cascading waterfalls, there are miles of paths to uncover.
For an exhilarating perspective of Arizona’s best-known natural wonder, explore the canyon from the Colorado River. Whether you choose a motorized or oar-powered rafting trip, a half-day adventure or a two-week excursion, splashing your way through mile-high red rock walls will be an experience of a lifetime.
After trekking the canyon, you’ll need a place to put your feet up. El Tovar, just 20 feet from the South Rim, offers awe-inspiring views and will wow you with its original charm. This rustic lodge, founded in 1905 and listed as a National Historic Landmark, is a destination all its own.
The town of Williams, “Gateway to the Grand Canyon,” is just an hour’s drive from the South Rim. Nestled in the world’s largest stand of ponderosa pines, complete with Western charm and Route 66 nostalgia, nature and American history merge here. While there, check out the Grand Canyon Deer Farm, an ideal place for children to interact with deer, pygmy goats, llamas, monkeys, miniature donkeys and peacocks. More of a thrill seeker? Head to “Bearizona” and experience wildlife right from your vehicle while driving three miles through the black bear, American burro, big horn sheep, dall sheep and bison enclosures.
Afterwards, hop aboard the Grand Canyon Railway, which made its first journey to the South Rim in 1901. Today you can enjoy this vintage locomotive en route from Williams to the captivating “Wonder of the World.” Many tours are available, from South Rim day trips with stunning views to overnight visits. Or get your kids excited about the free Junior Ranger Program designed by the National Park Service. By completing a list of requirements that can be completed in a day, such as writing down observations, answering questions about the park and writing poems, your child can get sworn in as a Grand Canyon National Park Junior Ranger.
With so many ways to explore the Grand Canyon, your trip is sure to be memorable.
Find your next adventure at 866.236.1519 or Arizonaguide.com.