In July of 2015 we set out on a grand vacation through the southwest. We traveled for 21 days and over 6,000 miles, visiting 5 states and 9 National Parks. We explored new places and met up with old friends. Overall, it was an incredible journey and everyone learned so much. You can view all posts about our wild west adventure here. I divided my information about Grand Canyon into two separate posts, you can read part 1 here.
Destination: Grand Canyon National Park
Date of Visit: July 2015
Kids: Cole (age 8) & Kiley (age 5)
Length of Stay: 3 Days
As I mentioned in my first post about Grand Canyon, we entered the park on the East side of the South Rim and started by exploring the Desert View Watchtower. Our second day in the park, we started off by exploring Grand Canyon National Park. The kids were up early and it was amazing because it felt like we had the entire canyon to ourselves. We decided to hike a little into the canyon and while we were down there the kids completed some items from their Junior Ranger books. The rest of the day was spent visiting the main visitor center, and the Geology Museum. We finished with dinner at El Tovar in their spectacular dining room.
The early bird gets the best view.
Bright Angel Trail will lead you all the way to the bottom of the canyon. We didn’t go very far, but we did venture down a little for a great view.
Getting sworn in as Junior Rangers at the Grand Canyon.
The kids agreed that Grand Canyon had the best gift shops of all the parks we visited. They had been waiting to spend some souvenir money and were excited to find some good treasures. Cole picked a deck of Night Sky Constellation Cards and Kiley picked a “Ranger Andy” doll. It’s a park ranger doll that just happens to look like my good friend, who is a park ranger.
Highlights: Staying at El Tovar was by far one of the highlights of our visit to Grand Canyon. We loved getting up early and having the canyon all to ourselves. Rooms at hotels and lodges inside the canyon fill up fast so be sure to make your reservations early.
What We Would Change: As I mentioned in my Part 1 review, Grand Canyon was our least favorite park on our trip out west. It was the most crowded and had the largest number of tourists and trash on the ground. I’m glad we went and saw it but I really don’t feel the need to ever go back.
Recommended Reading: I highly recommend the Foder’s guide to National Parks of the West, we used it when planning our trip and it was a great resource. I liked that there were plenty of suggestions to exploring the parks with kids.