USA June 07, 2018
7 Things You Need To Know Before You Visit The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of America’s most popular natural wonders and should be on everyone’s bucket list. Since visiting this dramatic spot requires a bit of planning and know-how, here are all the most important things you need to know before you visit the Grand Canyon.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. You need to book everything way in advance.
Like, months in advance. The canyon sees four to five million visitors a year, and the summer months are the busiest. If you think you can find a hotel room when you arrive, you’ll probably be paying through the nose for a subpar spot. And that’s if you can even find a room.
If you want to stay in the park, plan on booking at least six months in advance, though you’d be safer looking a year out. For dining reservations, the six month rule applies if you want to get a table between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. If you’re interested in riding a mule to the bottom, be sure to book six months to a year in advance. Basically, anything to do with exploring or getting to the canyon should be booked as far in advance as possible.
2. It’s much hotter at the bottom.
Many people don’t take temperature variation into account when they plan a hike around the Grand Canyon. In August, South Rim of the canyon is about 82 degrees on average. However, the bottom is usually much warmer – it averages 103 degrees. Make sure you plan accordingly.
3. If you’re planning on hiking to the bottom and back, you need to be in really good shape.
This might be obvious, but training is an absolute must if you’re interested in hiking the canyon. It’s an incredibly arduous trek in intense heat and not for beginners. Plan on training for at least a few months (preferably at high altitudes) before attempting the hike.
4. Nothing is cheap, so be sure to make a budget.
You may not feel like paying $4 for a small McDonald’s coffee, but anticipating the higher cost of goods in and around the park will take away some of the sting. Generally, the restaurants in the park are a bit cheaper than those in town but there are a few general stores in town where you can load up on sandwich fixings and picnic supplies.
5. You really should consider staying in the park.
The park has five lodges and a camping area. Though you might save a bit of cash staying outside the park, you’ll be missing out on spectacular views and will have to battle other tourists and traffic every day in order to get in. Plus, meals and goods outside the park can actually be more expensive. Skip the headache and opt for an in-park stay.
6. Learning a bit about geology will make your visit much richer.
The Grand Canyon is one of the best places to learn about geology and how the Earth has changed over millions of years. Stopping by the museum at Yavapai Point is a great way to educate yourself on what you’re actually seeing when you look down into the canyon.
7. It’s not all about the canyon itself.
There are actually plenty of other attractions within the canyon or in the surrounding area that are worth your time. Hopi House is a re-creation of a Hopi pueblo and is a great place to buy Native crafts like Navajo rugs, jewellery and pots. The Skywalk is horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that extends about 70 feet from the edge of the canyon over the Colorado River, and is a stellar way to experience the grandeur of the canyon if you don’t have a fear of heights and don’t mind dropping about $80 for a ticket. If you’re driving, you should also stop by the nearby Painted Desert east of the Grand Canyon and continue on to Petrified Forest National Park.
What else do you think everyone should know before visiting the Grand Canyon? Let us know in the comments! For another amazing American landmark experience, learn
how you can ride a zip line high above Niagara Falls.