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AAA World | National Parks


The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular destinations in the United States and has always been at the top of my bucket list.  My family and I recently traveled to this coveted destination and were overwhelmed with all the opportunities to explore this impressive terrain.  While we unfortunately only planned two nights outside of the South Rim, we could have stayed another five to explore this magnificent canyon from multiple vantage points fully.

In hopes to assist those planning to embark on a journey to the Grand Canyon, here are some tips for planning an adventure to the most visited part of the Grand Canyon, the South Rim.  

Our accommodations were at the Best Western Premier Squire Inn, which is located mere minutes from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park. It’s an ideal location, especially when traveling with teenagers who can enjoy both the indoor and outdoor pool, an arcade and a bowling alley on the property. The rooms are spacious, and the restaurants on site are delicious. Located in an exceedingly small town, this hotel provides everything you could need. 

In addition, it’s quite effortless to travel to and from the park, and we took full advantage of that each night as we drove back to view the sunset, which should not be missed.

Multiple private tour companies will escort you to the most desirable spots within the canyon. Options include rim hiking, donkey rides, helicopter rides, white water rafting, Jeep tours, and Hummer tours.  We took a Buck Wild Hummer Tour, which was booked by visiting  Pick-up and drop-off are included in the tour, which was extremely convenient. I definitely enjoyed being a passenger in a stadium-style seat in a large Hummer, complete with a blanket to shield me from the cool breeze.

Fun fact: The weather at the Grand Canyon drastically changes depending on where you are, even within the same day. Be prepared for multiple climates.

This specific tour was two hours long, and was available during the morning hours or as a sunset tour. We found the tour to be filled with exciting and unique facts about the Grand Canyon as we explored different destinations along the rim. We had one small hike included, which allowed us to walk below the rim, which less than 2% of the population does. This provided a glimpse at some of the most impressive scenery the South Rim has to offer. It was indeed a feast for the eyes.

The North Rim and the South Rim are five hours apart by a car, but there are also opportunities to view the canyon between them with the east and west viewpoints.   The canyon is eighteen miles across and almost 6,000 feet deep. One may be incredibly shocked to learn that people live in the Grand Canyon in a small village of just 208 people called Supai Village. Here they receive their mail via pack mule, as the village is not accessible by roads. 

Our next adventure will take us to the West Rim, where the Skywalk is located. It is highly regarded as one of the best locations to view the staggering size, vivid colors, and the contours of the canyon, second only to an aerial view.

As President Roosevelt once said, “In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which, so far as I know, is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world.”