Welcome to THE Grand Canyon – you’ll never experience anything like it anywhere else. It’s impossible to comprehend the vastness of this beauty without being there. It’s one of the U.S.’s most recognized landmarks, twisting and turning to around 277 miles of the Colorado River, spanning 18 miles across in spots, and boasting a depth of a mile.
Get inspired to visit by exploring the depths of one of MI OLA brand ambassador Becca’s (@roamwildandfree) favorite National Parks, the Grand Canyon, through her eyes.
Hola Mermaids, Becca here from our mobile home on wheels. My husband and I spend our time traveling the American West finding the greatest spots to explore. I’ve visited Grand Canyon National Park many times over the past 3 years and each time I can’t believe what I’m seeing is real. Read on to plan your trip and experience the beauty for yourself! Grand Canyon National Park divided into the North Rim and the South Rim. For this guide, I’ll be referring to the South Rim it is the most accessible and (in my opinion) most beautiful.
What to Do – The Best Hikes!
The best way to experience the majestic views of the Grand Canyon is to put on your hiking boots and explore! I’ve listed my favorite trails with difficulty ratings so you can choose the best option for you.
- Easy (No training necessary):
- South Rim Trail – Begin anywhere in the village area and follow the obvious trail along the rim. You can go as far as you want westward and when you’re finished you can hop on the bus heading back to the village area!
- Enjoy the sunset at one of the many viewpoints along the South Rim Trail. As you’re looking at the canyon, the sun will be setting to your left. As the sun sets, you’ll be rewarded by the most beautiful landscape painted before you.
- Medium (Some fitness required):
- Bright Angel Trail – By far the most popular hiking trail, this well maintained trail descends into the canyon at a moderate grade. Go as far as you are comfortable and then hike on back out! There are seasonal water stations as you descend into the canyon.
- South Kaibab Trail – My favorite trail going into the canyon, South Kaibab trail is steeper than Bright Angel, a bit more rugged, and does not have any water. Go as far as Ooh Ahh Point (1.8 mile round trip) or Cedar Ridge (3 mi RT).
- Difficult (High level of fitness. Planning required):
- South Kaibab Trail to Tonto Trail to Bright Angel Trail – For those motivated hikers looking for a long day hike, go down South Kaibab and hike along the Tonto Trail until you reach Bright Angel Trail and hike back up! Start early, carry at least 1 gallon of water and be prepared for any situation.
Hiking into the Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful landscapes you will ever encounter. However, it is very serious. There are over 1600 calls of distress in Grand Canyon per year. Be prepared, do your own research, and have fun!
What to Pack
- Always more water than you think you need
- Iodine water purification tablets
- 5-6 power bars for a dayhike (I carry extra incase I come along an ill-prepared hiker in need)
- Standard first aid kit
- A lightweight down puffy jacket
- Hat or sunscreen
Best Time to Visit
March thru May and September thru November offer the best temperatures (not too hot, not too cold) and you will also escape the peak tourist summer season.
Where to Stay
I love to camp and seek out any location where I can sleep under the stars. Mather Campground is just inside the South Rim entrance gate and conveniently located right near Grand Canyon Village. If you’re not into dirt, bugs, and a million stars, there are semi-rustic lodging options within a mile of the Grand Canyon Rim. Bright Angel Lodge, Thunderbird Lodge, and El Tovar Hotel are all excellent options. Reservations fill up quick, call ahead as soon as you know when you’re planning your visit. If lodges are all booked up inside the park, no need to worry. Tusayan, AZ is just 7 miles with plenty of hotel options.
Grand Canyon National Park is located in Northwest Arizona. If you’re traveling by plane, the two major airports nearby are Las Vegas and Phoenix. Both airports are roughly a 4 hour drive from the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Happy Hiking Mermaids!
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