The Grand Canyon: America’s southwestern must-see
The Grand Canyon is one of the most amazing, breathtaking natural attractions in the world. Located in Arizona in the United States’ southwest region, the Grand Canyon was carved out by the Colorado. The entire area is 277 miles which gives visitors plenty of space when touring the site.
A reported five million people a year visits the Grand Canyon. Many of these visitors are outdoors loving men and women looking to camp, hike, and explore one of the seven wonders of the natural world.
When is the best time to visit the Grand Canyon?
The two best times to visit the Grand Canyon are during spring and autumn. The two times of the year give visitors the chance to miss the extreme heat of the summer. They also give tourists the opportunity to miss winter and the colder temperatures that hit the area.
In the springtime, visitors can enjoy the Grand Canyon from March through May. Not only will daytime temperatures be reasonable, but tourists won’t have to fight the summertime crowds. Due to schools in the U.S. being on holiday from May to August, the Grand Canyon can fill-up with families. Visiting just before the school holiday hits can mean bypassing the packs of people.
The same is true for the autumn as schools will be open once more and many foreign tourists will be back home. Once again, visitors can expect cooler temperatures during these months. September through November is perfect and these months give visitors a different feel to the Grand Canyon National Park than the springtime.
While summer is the busiest and most expensive time to visit the Grand Canyon, winter can be the cheapest. There will be fewer people exploring the area. One reason for a lack of people is the North Rim of the park closes after the first snow fall. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon will remain open to visitors, but with a large part of the park closed, it takes away from the experience.
Hiking the Grand Canyon
Hiking is one of the reasons people descend on the Grand Canyon. Hiking the park isn’t a simple thing, and each year 250 people are rescued while trekking. Anyone planning to hike the Grand Canyon must be prepared physically, mentally, and with supplies. The good news for any hiker is there are water bottle filling stations set up in the park. However, these are limited. It is important for hikers to always have water with them when venturing through the Grand Canyon.
There are a number of trails and treks available to hikers. Both the North Rim and South Rim offer trekkers some amazing adventures. Due to the heat between May and September, hikers are told to use caution when hiking. For less adventurous folks, there are paved trails to walk. However, the park has a number of dirt paths that give outdoors lovers a challenge. The Grand Canyon not only has day hiking and organised trips available, but there are night trekking trips, too.
Camping the Grand Canyon
Visitors interested in ‘backcountry camping’ can rough it anytime during the year. Visitors can set-up camp anywhere they like outside of a designated campground. A permit is required and must be applied for well in advance. Travellers planning to explore and camp in the backcountry need to prepare beforehand. Supplies, permits, and a place to camp should all be researched before embarking on the trip.
The South Rim offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to camp in designated campsites. There are also areas to park an RV. North Rim has places to camp too. However, these are not as extensive as those in the southern region of the park.
Grand Canyon sites
The Grand Canyon isn’t just the Colorado River and hiking trails. Visitors can explore a number of sites and other attractions. The Geological Museum gives information on the rocks that make up the canyon. Just outside the Geological Museum’s windows visitors will be able to see some of the best examples of the rocks that make up the Grand Canyon.
Desert View Watchtower is located at the park’s east entrance. It is home to the old Indian Watchtower. The tower was built in 1932 and was designed by Mary Jane Colter. It was designed to look like an Anasazi watchtower. The structure is now quite famous and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular vacation stops in the U.S. It provides millions of travellers with an outdoor venue that teaches them about the American southwest. Whether visitors are just passing through or stopping to explore the Grand Canyon for a few days, it is an unforgettable holiday spot in the U.S.
Article by Drew Farmer
We are excited to announce that Drew will be a regular writer for us (bio coming soon)
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