Grand Canyon Travel: 5 Things to Remember
Some little nuggets of knowledge that can help you plan your trip
Most people dream of visiting the Grand Canyon at some point in their lives. The Grand Canyon is situated in the state of Arizona in the United States. It is just under 277 miles long and approximately eighteen miles wide. Not only this but the Grand Canyon is deeper than 4500 feet. There are three areas you just have to visit if you are going to the Grand Canyon. These include the inner Canyon, the North Rim and the South Rim. There are certain things you need to know before you plan your visit so that you don’t miss out on any of the marvel the Grand Canyon has to offer. Below are some of some top things to remember.
Think About the Logistics Before Heading Off
How you get to the Grand Canyon completely depends on where you are coming from in the first place. The Grand Canyon is easily accessible from McCarran International Las Vegas and Sky Harbor International Phoenix. It will take approximately four and a half hours from Phoenix and about five from Las Vegas. If you are coming from any of the other major cities situated within driving distance of the Grand Canyon it could take you up to thirteen hours.
There is not really a “wrong” time to visit the Grand Canyon as it will be virtually impossible to not find the entire area overwhelmingly impressive. Of course the busiest time of year is in spring and summer because people want to experience it in all its glory. This said, you will be amongst more travelers during those periods. The worst time to visit is from October to May due to the weather although the weather does not get bad often due to the desert climate in the region. There are two main events near the Grand Canyon: the Grand Canyon Music Festival and the Mountain Village Holiday. These take place in August and December.
Planning your Journey
There are a number of options when planning a trip to the Grand Canyon. You can do it in a day, a week, a month, it completely depends on your personal choice. If you want to take part in a mule tour you need to reserve as a far as thirteen months in advance. If you would like to participate in a rafting trip you must reserve at least a year in advance. Of course the most scenic areas are the most popular and therefore the most crowded but with the free guide you get at the beginning of your adventure you will be able to plan accordingly.
The South Rim
The Grand Canyon National Parks Airport is a great place to land so that you can access the Grand Canyon as quickly as possible. You are able to access the park from most areas via car. You enter with a car at all time of the year however the Hermits Rest is only accessible via bus for some parts. The Hermits Rest Route is open from March to November and The Village Route is open all year round and is also home to lodges, the store and the visitor center. During the summer months, the more popular roads are filled with traffic (for example: South Rim). Public shuttles run every fifteen to thirty minutes and start early in the morning until thirty minutes before sunset.
Information About the Park
If you are looking to enter a vehicle you will be charged $30. This fee will give you access for a week. Pedestrians and cyclists will be asked for $15 per person. This will give you access at both rims. For unlimited access to the Grand Canyon valid for twelve months it will cost $50. Backcountry permits are available at $10 as well as an additional charge of $8 per person per night. It is best to make reservations months in advance as there are a limited number of permits available. Remember, camping in the park is restricted to campgrounds. The park is open everyday depending on the weather. The North Rim is open from May to October. Be aware that if you are expecting a phone or need to make any you may find it a little tough as the signal can be tricky.
Last Few Things to Remember
To reserve lodging you will need to contact the Xanterra Parks & Resorts as they are responsible for all lodging and dining. Before moving into the park be sure to pick up a copy of the free planner available. The information center is home to all sorts of memorabilia and informational pieces of literature. The sales from these information stores go towards preserving the sites. The visitors center is named after the Verkamp’s family. This center is filled with informational pieces, a museum, a book store and the ranger station. The Grand Canyon visitor center can provide you with information about your visit before you start exploring the grounds. Last but not least, have a look at the onsite museum before leaving and enjoy your trip!
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