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Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Fast Facts
Natural Wonder
Historic Interest
Pack & Saddle
Horseback Riding
Places to Visit
Things to Do
Points of Interest Nearby
Family Travel Tips

Grand Canyon


Photo by National Park Service

Grand Canyon National Park, a World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is a top family travel destination and a must see, at least once. And it offers something for everyone. Take a day trip to the South Rim or Grand Canyon West and take in the beauty and magnitude of the Grand Canyon. Spend a week or more and explore. Take a train, plane or helicopter tour. Hike, raft, or take a mule ride along the canyon floor. Enjoy the view from above on the recently inaugurated glass-bottom Skywalk. Experience the backcountry on the Grand Canyon North Rim. And if you're traveling with older teens ready to test their survival skills, make the journey to Toroweap, also known as Tuweep, and enjoy the best views from the rim. A Grand Canyon vacation can be as brief or as adventuresome as you desire.

Stretching 277 miles (446 km) and spanning up to 18 miles (29 km) across, there is no other canyon in the United States, or elsewhere, that is quite so large. But the Grand Canyon's significance goes beyond its size. Here, one can fully appreciate the power of erosion over 2 billion years and take note as the area's history unfolds. Rocky gorges plunging one mile (1.6 km) to the canyon floor. Cliffs and pinnacles aptly named after mythical heroes, Wotan's Throne, Brahma Temple, Isis Temple and Cheops Pyramid. Multiple layers of strata each belonging to a different time and, in many ways, a different place. Ruins and artifacts left by Pueblo communities and desert cultures that once inhabited or passed through the Grand Canyon.

Toroweap and the North and South Rims lie within the Grand Canyon National Park. Grand Canyon West is located in the Hualapai Indian Reservation and is not managed by the park. Once off the beaten path, the West Rim is quickly becoming a hotspot. In summer, the crowds at the South Rim and can be unbearable but nothing that a short hike from the major overlooks and shopping strips can't fix. The remoteness of the North Rim substantially limits the throng and ensures that a trip here is all about nature and the great outdoors. And Toroweap, due its rugged nature, is almost empty at any time of the year.
History & Culture
Family travel to the Grand Canyon National Park provides an opportunity to introduce the kids to the history and geology of the Grand Canyon as well as the cultures and individuals that have left their mark here. Learn more about the Desert Archaic, Puebloan and Native America cultures as well as the expeditions by Francesco Vasquez de Coronado and John Wesley Powell. Find out what makes the geologic record of the Grand Canyon unique.
Online maps are a great travel planning tool and great way to get the kids involved in family vacation. Use online maps of the Grand Canyon to plot your route and pinpoint attractions and hiking trails - rim, inner canyon and backcountry - whether you are visiting Toroweap or the North or South Rims. Map the Grand Canyon and enhance a tween or teen's knowledge of Grand Canyon history as well as the politics of the land. Maps are a great way to turn an adventure into an educational journey.
Books are a great way to introduce younger children to a new adventure and get teens and tweens ready for a family trip. Find recommended reading lists for adults and kids and learn about the Grand Canyon through guidebooks, novels and historical fiction before you depart on a backcountry adventure or cultural holiday with kids.
Music & Sound
Natural sounds are a big part of any trip to the Grand Canyon. Listen to animals big and small. Discover the sound of wind, water and rain. Play each sound separately or more than one sound at a time. Find out why the Grand Canyon's natural noise is getting harder to hear.
Local newspapers provide insight to a family travel destination and can help identify upcoming events. Read state and local newspapers online. Brush up on local current events from politics to economics and from sports to entertainment. Find out what the locals are reading.
Kids' Stuff
Online resources make learning about the Grand Canyon lots of fun. Learn about the Grand Canyon's early explorers. Trace John Wesley Powell's expedition along the Colorado River. Find out which events happened first. Discover the Anasazi Indians and get fun facts about the people that made their home here 7,000 years ago. Find out how to earn a junior ranger badge before you depart on a Grand Canyon family adventure.
Associations and non-profit organizations can be a valuable resource as well as a means to get involved. Learn about a few of the organizations active in Grand Canyon education and research.
Travel Trivia
Arizona is the:
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