Grand Canyon National Park: A Travel Breakdown

grand canyon national park arizona
History

Northern Arizona is home to the vast towering walls of the Grand Canyon and best known for its expansiveness and warm, colorful landscape. Like any rock formation, the canyon is steeped in history with each layer of rock concealing or revealing a snapshot of the Earth’s history. Spanning over 270 miles long, almost 18 miles wide and one mile deep, its diverse terrain has been a destination for human occupancy for centuries.

Ruins and historical artifacts found in the canyon date back nearly 12,000 years in some cases! The U.S. government took a stronger hand in historical documentation in the early 1800s, sending teams of explorers to map the canyon. After being declared a Forest Reserve by the Federal government in 1893, the park later gained the title of National Park in 1919.

Since then, the Grand Canyon National Park has gained an average of 5 million visitors each year, all of whom enjoy its 1 million acres of amazing landscape and natural wonder.

Where To Stay
America's Best Value Inn/Flagstaff: Starting at $49/night > Book Now
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites/Grand Canyon: Starting at $84/night > Book Now
Ramada West/Grand Canyon Area: Starting at $90/night > Book Now
Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn: Starting at $100/night > Book Now

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Find More Grand Canyon Hotels Deals Here!

Travel Tips

  • North Rim closed:  Mid-October through mid-May due to weather conditions and related road closures.
  • August: Grand Canyon Music Festival. For three weekends in late August–early September, this festival hosts eloquent chamber music at the Shrine of Ages amphitheater at Grand Canyon Village.
  • December: Mountain Village Holiday. Celebrate the winter holidays with a parade of lights, holiday decorations downtown, and live entertainment from early December–early January.
  • Mule rides: Reserve at least 6 months in advance.
  • Rafting trips: Reserve at least a year in advance.
  • Park Fees & Permits:
    • 1 week total access: $25 per vehicle/$12 per person for pedestrians and cyclists.
    • Grand Canyon Pass ($50) gives unlimited access to the park for 12 months.
    • Annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Recreational Land Pass ($80) provides unlimited access to all national parks and federal recreation areas for 12 months. 
    • No permits are needed for day hikers.
    • Backcountry permits are $10, plus $5 per person per night and are necessary for overnight hikers camping below the rim. Permits are limited!

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Things To Do

  • Hopi Point: Great vantage point of the Colorado River
  • Mather Point: Iconic view of the canyons and easily accessible from the visitor’s center
  • Yavapai Point: Located on the South Rim, best seat in the house to watch the sunset
  • Highway 67: Thick forestlands and uncharacteristic springs offer a great contrast to the canyons
  • Bright Angel Point: Get your hike in with this destination and overlook the canyon
  • Point Sublime: This camping area offers the best of both worlds with sunrises and sunsets galore

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Unique Factor:
It’s a year-round destination! Lovers of the outdoors can bike, boat, camp, fish, hike, ride mules, white-water raft, watch birds and wildlife, cross-country ski, and snowshoe!

 

 

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