On the last week of March 2017, we decided to make our way to three different destinations in three days across three states. From California, we drove across to Utah, then to Arizona in order to visit some of the prestigious national parks and scenic attractions in the nation: Zion National Park, Antelope Canyon, and the Grand Canyon. After seeing these places, we hope that what we have presented to you will encourage you to venture out there yourselves, and possibly go even further then we have gotten.
If you’re expecting the Grand Canyon to be “grand,” then you won’t be disappointed. Seeing even only a part of the Grand Canyon will leave you breathless and amazed, . Created over a span of millions of years, the Grand Canyon covers almost 280 miles long and 18 miles wide, exposing the various rock formations you see on the mountain sides. With over 10 trails to take to explore the different parts of the canyon, you can see for yourself why over 4 million visitors come to see the Grand Canyon every year.
Visit the official National Park Services page here to learn more about the history and culture of the Grand Canyon, which spans over 12,000 years.
When you enter the Grand Canyon National Park, you can enter in one of two entrances: the South or the East Stations. Like all of the national parks, you are required to pay $25 for a 10 Day pass to enter the Grand Canyon. The station closes at sundown (8PM or so,) but don’t fret if you get to the park past closing hours. The park is technically open 24/7 and you are able to pay for a pass at a pay station, but if you fail to pay for a pass and you park somewhere, park rangers will see that you didn’t pay for a pass and penalize you heavily.
Almost 5 minutes into the drive from the Eastern gate, you will be able to see the entire canyon from the cliff side of the road as you swerve through the narrow road. Although, around the time we got to the Grand Canyon, it was very dark out so we could not see the expanse, even though we knew that we were driving pass an open view of the canyon.
Whether you are staying for a day or a longer duration, make your way over to Grand Canyon Village, which is the main hub of the park where you can find camping spots, supplies and medical resources, as well as a bus station where it will take you to the popular hiking trails and overlooks along the Rim Trail. Camping rates are listed on their website, but if you are staying over for one night and don’t have a reservation made in time, go over to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center parking lots right across from the bus station and the RV parking for a spot to sleep in. Take note of the stars in the sky as well, as they are very visible in the night.
Depending on where you want to start hiking in the Grand Canyon, you will have to take the bus station. There are four bus stops and three bus lines in the Visitor Center bus station: the Yellow, Green and Red. For the purposes of our experience here, take the Yellow Bus shuttle headed east towards Yaki Point and Kaibab Trail. The shuttle is free to take and there are also maps located near the entry doorway on the bus. To take the South Kaibab Trail, exit off the Kaibab Trail stop. Click on the picture below to go to our review of the South Kaibab Trail!