Grand Canyon: 9 Reasons You’ve Got to See It
Putting together a list of vacation options? Add the Grand Canyon. The National Park has tons of incredible trails, abundant wildlife, and rustic lodging that’s steps from the edge. Not enough to get you over there? Here are nine more reasons why you’ve got to see the canyon:
1. Incredible sunrises and sunsets. Nothing beats the Grand Canyon for watching the sun start and end its day. For sunrise, go to Yaki Point or Mather Point. For sunset, go to Hopi Point. Some of the best times to watch are right after snowfall and during a summer Monsoon.
2. The disabled can enjoy it. Handicapped-accessible bathrooms, campsites, showers, parking lots, and guest rooms are just a few of the many amenities suited for travelers with disabilities.
3. Really cool events are held there. The canyon plays host to a number of unique festivities including the Native American Heritage Days on the North Rim in August and the Grand Canyon Music Festival in September at the South Rim. The holiday spirit kicks into high gear during Halloween and Christmas.
4. It’s fun for the entire family. The canyon has a fantastic Junior Ranger program wherein kids can go on nature hikes, capture insects, go rock hunting, and more. Park Rangers also give free talks on digital photography, the California Condor protection program, and Park history/geology.
5. The fresh air. The South Rim in particular is a great place to have your olfactory system (a.k.a. the nose) stimulated by the scents of Ponderosa Pine, Fir, and Aspen trees.
6. It’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. An honor it shares with Mount Everest, the Paricutin Volcano, and the Great Barrier Reef.
7. It’s a Mecca for travelers. Five million people visit the canyon annually. Now that’s an endorsement if there ever was one.
8. Perfect for photographs. There are no bad views at the Grand Canyon. Make sure you bring extra batteries and memory sticks for your digital camera.
9. It’s the quintessential American experience. Grand Canyon National Park is the among the oldest in the National Park system, and is recognized as one of the West’s most iconic landscapes.
This is not an exhaustive list. For that, I recommend picking up a free copy of “The Guide,” a free publication produced by the Park Service. It includes an updated calendar of events and a map of the shuttle system. This free guide, which is only available at the South Rim, can be found at the main entrance gate or inside most of the lodgings and shops inside Grand Canyon Village. It’s can be downloaded from the Park’s website at:
If you are looking for activities and sightseeing opportunities, Grand Canyon National Park is the ticket. It also makes the perfect day trip from Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Sedona. Tours include helicopter, bus, airplane, and river raft. And, when it’s time to relax, there are plenty of restaurants, accommodations, and easy walking trails from which to choose. No matter what type of adventure vacation you are looking for, the Grand Canyon’s got it.