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A Family Travel Guide:

Grand Canyon With Kids

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YOUR GUIDE TO GRAND CANYON

 

Visiting the Grand Canyon with kids and family is an exhilarating experience: your trip will not only be grander than it sounds, but also would be an adventure for your kids like no other you’ve undertaken. 

A view of the rock strata of the Grand Canyon National Park, in Arizona. This is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

 Facts About Grand Canyon:
The Great Rock Star

The fact is that there are too many facts sprinkled about the Grand Canyon in travel guides around the world, and don’t be surprised to find your kids rattle out a few of these. You might hear that the Grand Canyon is larger than the entire state of Rhode Island; or that even though the canyon is littered with fossils, the Grand Canyon doesn’t contain a single dinosaur bone within its designated park area because the rock strata had formed long before the dinosaurs ever walked the earth; or that the Grand Canyon creates its own weather and ecosystem.

The Grand Canyon is a massive structure formed millions of years ago and is one of the natural wonders of the world. It is known to creates its own weather and ecosystem

 

"There's not really a best time to visit the Grand Canyon.

It's  an awesome sight to behold no matter when you see it."

While all of these facts about the Grand Canyon are true, no amount of facts would prepare you and your kids for the feeling of wonderment and miniaturization everyone will feel when you face one of Earth’s seven natural wonders.

 

 

"No amount of facts would prepare you for the feeling of wonderment."

The Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA, is one of the largest canyons on the planet. Visitors coming here with family and kids have many adventure activities to choose from.

Living  a stone’s throw distance away from the park, I often get asked about the best time to visit the Grand Canyon with kids. Let me tell you that the Grand Canyon is an awesome sight to behold no matter when you see it. But then there is some caveat to keep in mind. For one, during the wintertime, it snows quite a bit in the area, so your trip to the Grand Canyon might not go as smooth as you’d like. While the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is open year long, its North Rim gets closed during mid-May through October. Most visitors, however, choose to stick with just the South Rim of the Grand Canyon even when both are open.

As we’ve painfully found out, unless you’d like to get stuck in snow, winter is also the time you should seriously consider chains while driving to the Grand Canyon National Park. Of course, summer brings its own set of issues as well, mainly the bone-shattering Arizona heat. The silver lining here is that being at a higher elevation it’s not as hot within the Grand Canyon as it is in, say, Phoenix. During these times, as well as during Phoenix Valley school closures, you’ll have hordes of local residents traveling to the Grand Canyon to escape the relatively higher temperatures of their hometowns, so expect to run into a lot of traffic. You’ve got a lot of choices to time your trip well, but if you like less crowds in and on the way to the Grand Canyon, try to avoid out those peak seasons.

 

 

"Summer brings the bone-shattering Arizona heat."

As we’ve painfully found out, unless you’d like to get stuck in snow, winter is also the time you should seriously consider chains while driving anywhere in the region. Of course, summer brings other issues as well, mainly the bone-shattering Arizona heat. The silver lining here is that being at a higher elevation it’s not as hot in Grand Canyon as it is in, say, Phoenix. During these times, as well as during Phoenix Valley school closures, you’ll have hordes of local residents traveling to Grand Canyon to escape the relatively higher temperatures of their hometowns, so expect to run into a lot of traffic. You’ve got a lot of choices to time your trip well, but if you like less crowds in and on the way to the canyon, try to avoid out those peak season.

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 Grand Canyon With Kids:
Safety First

Before getting into how you can make the most out of your family vacation in the Grand Canyon with kids, a word of caution for you. Although it’s rare, visitors have been known to slip and fall into one of the many crevices of the Grand Canyon. Selfies are an unavoidable pastime of this generation, but when taking them be very careful of your surroundings. Also, keep in mind that the region is extremely dry, and as such many of the rocks all over the Grand Canyon can be dislodged quickly when stepped upon. You’re surely trying to capture the moment, not the headlines of the nightly news in the Grand Canyon Daily Gazette.

 

 

"It’s important to keep a close eye on your kids; restrain them inside a carrier or harness."

In other words, when you’re having a terrific time at the Grand Canyon with kids, it’s important to keep a close eye on them, or better yet, take the time to restrain your kids inside a carrier or harness. Wear safe and comfortable hiking shoes, and especially during the summer, carry a thermo-flask to carry ample supply of cold water when you go on a long hike across the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon was formed many millions of years ago through geological processes and is now one of the great natural wonders of the world. it is an excellent destination for an adventurous family visit.

 Grand Canyon With Kids:

What You Can Do

If If you’d like to hit all the scenic sites it will take you the better part of the day, since things will obviously go slower when visiting the Grand Canyon with kids, and more so if you’re here during the peak times when the roads are packed. Almost all the scenic spots at the Grand Canyon will require that you walk a little, and this can get to be substantial when the nearest parking lots get quickly filled up during the summer. If most in your family are hikers at heart and your kids don’t mind walking a little, you might want to plan for at least a couple of days at the Grand Canyon. For the very serious folks in the family who would not mind going down all the way to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, you should know that this takes upwards of 4 hours.

There’s a wide range of activities around the Grand Canyon National Park for everyone in the family. Viewing wildlife, hiking to the waterfalls, riding the helicopter, watching a Native American dance, are some of the exciting activities that families and kids will enjoy.

Naturally, the climb back out of the Grand Canyon would be substantially longer, between 6 and 8 hours depending on the amount of energy you still have inside you. For such long hikes, always wear closed-toed hiking boots and bring plenty of water. I know that hiking the Grand Canyon with kids is high up on many family’s bucket list, but I cannot stress enough that if you’re not completely fit, you should consider training seriously for a few weeks before this grueling journey. Contrary to popular beliefs, kids can partake in this Grand Canyon odyssey – again, as long as they’re extraordinarily fit. Even then, they might not want to miss this opportunity only to brag about their cool Grand Canyon accomplishment inside their school classrooms.

The deep red rocks of the Grand Canyon National Park hold a geological history dating back many millions of years, and the region is one of the fascinating destinations for family travel adventures.

 Grand Canyon With Kids:
Camping Inside The Park

 

When traveling to the Grand Canyon with kids, many families prefer to camp, and if this is going to be the case for you, make your reservations way in advance since spots are known to tie up about a year in advance. Follow this recommended backpacking guide to the Grand Canyon I’ve compiled. And if you have questions regarding any part of your trip whatsoever, please feel free to leave a comment or query and I’ll quickly respond with my best advice.

 

 

"For staying inside the park, make your reservations way in advance."

Remember, we live quite close to the Grand Canyon National Park, and we’ve been here dozens of times, so have specific information about the park that you’d likely not find elsewhere. 

Not far from the Grand Canyon lies the spectacular Antelope Canyon, one of the most scenic places not only in Arizona, but also a world-famous dream destination for photographers and adventurers alike.

 Grand Canyon With Kids:
Watching Native American Dance

highly recommended activity that you ought to do while at the Grand Canyon with kids is to watch a Native American dance performance. Hopi House usually has an announcement detailing the times, and these are usually scheduled several times during the day over the summer months.

 

 

"The traditional dance routines are authentic, enjoyable, and truly educational."

The traditional dance routines, played by the Navajo troupe, are not only authentic, enjoyable, and give you a break from the sequence of constant sightseeing activities at the Grand Canyon, but they’re also going to be truly educational to your kids.

The topography of the Grand Canyon has been carved out over eons by geological activities and still evident everywhere you look. Hiking here is a great pastime for families and kids alike.

 Grand Canyon With Kids:
Taking A Helicopter Ride

Drones aren’t allowed in any of the US National Parks, and the Grand Canyon isn’t obviously an exception to this law. That gives you a good reason to fly high yourself if you’d like to get a bird’s eye view of the Grand Canyon National Park.

 

 

"Drones aren't allowed in the National Park."

 

 

"What’s so cool is that you could choose to land your chopper on the canyon floor deep inside it."

You can do this by taking a helicopter ride, and it will be nothing like the general disinterest you’re used to getting from the rest of the family while flying a drone. In this case, your kids and family are going to remember the helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon for the rest of their lives. What’s so cool about this is that you could actually ask to commandeer your chopper right on the canyon floor over 4,000 feet deep inside the Grand Canyon.

 

 

"You're going to remember this for the rest of their lives."

All the waterfalls around the Grand Canyon National Park are stunning, but the Havasupai Falls is the best among them. A great hiking destination for all families.

 Grand Canyon With Kids:
Hiking To The Waterfalls

Not too many people visit the five waterfalls located in a remote area of the Grand Canyon not because they aren’t interesting but because very few visitors are allowed to this part of the canyon, and even then reservations have to be made in advance and these tend to fill up fast. All the waterfalls in the Grand Canyon are stunning, with the Havasupai Falls stealing the show.

 

 

"If you’re too lazy or have change to spare, simply take a ride on a helicopter."

The way to reach the falls can give you some pause, or perhaps excitement, depending on how your family and kids feel about taking a horse or mule ride. Alternatively, you can spend an entire day to hike down an extremely difficult path, or if you’re too lazy or have change to spare, simply take that Grand Canyon helicopter ride.

The Grand Canyon is a wonderful destination for a family adventure. Even kids can take part in a number of activities here, including whitewater rafting, mule and helicopter riding, and hiking to the base of the canyon.

 Grand Canyon With Kids:
Adventure At The Bottom

If you’re in the Grand Canyon with kids who are at least 9 years old, you could also choose to ride down to the canyon floor on a mule. The ride takes a few hours, but you are given a good deal of informational lecture along the way about the history and geology of the Grand Canyon, which your kids might or might not enjoy. Also, you cannot return on the same day, but instead stay at the cozy Phantom Ranch overnight. 

 

 

"Another mule ride will bring you back into civilization the next day."

Then, another mule ride will bring you back into civilization the next day. If you do like to explore this route down to the Grand Canyon, make sure you make early arrangements because each day only a handful of people can take this journey.

An exciting adventure families and even kids can take part in the Grand Canyon is whitewater rafting through the Colorado River.

 Grand Canyon With Kids:

Whitewater Rafting

If you really wanted to – yet can’t – make this Grand Canyon trip because your kids are only 8-year-old, you actually have an even more exciting adventure waiting for you in the form of whitewater rafting on the Colorado river with those kids. Of course, when you have kids of that age, you’ll be required to go on special motor-powered rafts.

 

 

"You can take the motor-powered rafts if you have younger kids or oar-powered ones for older ones for a fuller heart-pumping rafting."

If your kids are grown-up or teenagers, then you get to take the oar-powered ones for a fuller heart-pumping raft ride through the Grand Canyon. When you book your tickets, make sure to indicate whether you’re interested in a single-day or a multi-day itinerary.

The glass-bottom bridge is a newer feature at the Grand Canyon National Park and is ideal for families who aren’t scared of heights. Normally, kids love the experience of stomping on it, hanging 4,000 feet above the canyon floor.

Grand Canyon With Kids:

Glass Bottom Sidewalk

The Grand Canyon sidewalk is a relatively new feature, but it was clear right from the beginning that this was going to be more than just a cake walk for all the acrophobes among us. Suspended some 4,000 feet over the Colorado River, this unique bridge at the Grand Canyon is in the shape of a horseshoe and constructed with glass bottom. Yes, you do really get that sinking feeling in your stomach, especially when your kids start to stomp around on it advertising their valor like ours generally do. If you’d like to experience this from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, be prepared to keep your kids busy for several hours, because the drive isn’t a short one.

For families who like a more hassle-free visit to the Grand Canyon, the train ride from the small town of Williams is a great way to do so. Make sure you check with the train schedules before making any arrangements.

Grand Canyon With Kids:

Train Ride

Another great way to get to the Grand Canyon with kids – if you’d rather not have them stuck inside the car for too long – is taking the train. From the small Arizonan town of Williams, hop aboard the Grand Canyon Railway to experience this old-fashioned ride that your kids will love. The cabins on this train are all unique, so you could either choose to get into a traditional cabin or a more upscale one which would cost more but will serve you complimentary food and drinks. And not just kids, adults are also bound to love the Grand Canyon train ride for its great entertainment value. It has a number of Old West themes, from enacting a shootout to artists performing live music throughout the length of the train.

 

 

"Kids will especially love the fake train heist, where men on horseback ride close to the track, then board the train and ask for friendly tips."

And on your way back from the Grand Canyon, kids will especially love the fake train heist, where men on horseback ride close to the track, then board the train and ask for friendly tips. Just keep in mind that if your kids are too young, they might be terrified by the ordeal which frankly looks and sounds extremely real. All in all, it is indeed a superb add-on to your Grand Canyon experience that will make you feel like you’re performing in a Hollywood movie.

You can generally travel to the Grand Canyon in the winter as well as in the summer, although the North Rim remains closed down during the winter months. If you’re traveling in snow, make sure you get snow chains.

Grand Canyon With Kids:

Where To Stay

It’s all the more important when you’re visiting Grand Canyon with kids that you plan for accommodations inside the park; however, if you do plan to stay here then you need to make your hotel reservations months, and sometimes up to a year, in advance. But these can typically get more expensive, so if you don’t mind the idea of staying a little outside the park, then the choices are plenty, and advanced reservation isn’t required. You can book hotels in Tusayan, Williams, or even Flagstaff, which is just a couple of hours from Grand Canyon National Park.

We list some of the greatest activities families and kids can take part in at the Grand Canyon National Park, and provide information on timings, schedule, and various other important aspects.

Visiting the Grand Canyon with Kids:

a reference guide to everything you need to know

Anyone interested in striking one of the seven natural wonders of the world off their bucket list needs to seriously consider experiencing the grandeur of Grand Canyon with their family and kids. But what can you expect during a visit to the Grand Canyon, an epic place no matter what you compare it to? We list here all activities – small and large – that your family is bound to fall in love with so you can use it as a quick and handy reference guide to the Grand Canyon..

  • Grand Canyon Activity

     

    general hiking

    Can you take your kids with you?

    absolutely!

    Will your kids love this?

    yes

    Time needed?

    varies, but between an hour to an entire day

    When 

    mostly in the summer when the Grand Canyon remains open

  • Grand Canyon Activity

    hiking to waterfalls

    Can you take your kids with you?

    maybe, good physique necessary to tag alongside adults

    Will your kids love this?

    yes, but could be tiring

    Time needed?

    an entire day

    When?

    anytime, although Grand Canyon’s North Rim is closed during winter

  • Grand Canyon Activity

    camping

    Can you take your kids with you?

    absolutely!

    Will your kids love this?

    very much!

    Time needed?

    overnight to several days

     

    When?

    anytime on the campgrounds

  • Grand Canyon Activity

    whitewater rafting

    Can you take your kids with you?

    yes, but 8 year-old motor-powered, 9 year-old oar-powered

    Will your kids love this?

    yes, kids should love the experience

    Time needed?

    throughout the day

    When?

    when the Grand Canyon National Park is open

  • Grand Canyon Activity

     

    riding the helicopter

    Can you take your kids with you?

    yes

    Will your kids love this?

    very much!

    Time needed?

    throughout the day

     

    When?

    anytime the Grand Canyon National Park is open

  • Grand Canyon Activity

     

    watching Native American dance performance

    Can you take your kids with you?

    yes

    Will your kids love this?

    yes, it’s a great learning experience

    Time?

    several times on most days, but check with Hopi House for details

    When?

    summer

  • Grand Canyon Activity

    walking/stomping on glass bottom sidewalk

    Can you take your kids with you?

    yes, kids of all ages are welcome

    Will your kids love this?

    100%, especially the stomping part

    Time?

    throughout the day, although it's a long drive to get to the bridge

    When?

    during the daytime when the Grand Canyon National Park is open

  • Grand Canyon Activity

    riding a mule to the canyon floor

    Can you take your kids with you?

    yes, but only 9 years and older

    Will your kids love this?

    depends, but normally kids love the ride

    Time?

    early morning

    When?

    during the daytime when the Grand Canyon National Park is open

  • Grand Canyon Activity

    staying overnight at the bottom of the canyon

    Can you take your kids with you?

    depends on the mode of transportation

    Will your kids love this?

    yes, it’s an unforgettable experience

    Time?

    early morning

     

    When?

    summer and shoulder months

  • Grand Canyon Activity

     

    riding the train from Williams

    Can you take your kids with you?

    yes, kids of all ages are welcome

    Will your kids love this?

    100%, except that toddlers might take the heist part too seriously

    Time?

    check train schedules

     

    When?

    seasonally to the Grand Canyon National Park

The vastness of the Grand Canyon becomes apparent even before you’re standing close to it. It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and visited by millions of people from all over the world.

recent travel notes

1/1

THE ANIMALS

OF GRAND CANYON

THE TOWER

OF GRAND CANYON

SOUVENIRS

AT GRAND CANYON

HELLO

FROM GRAND CANYON!

 

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