Hello Las Vegas High Rise Life Vegas fans! I always look forward to writing my column “Off the Beaten Path” because I love to share the experiences of escaping the city for a getaway. This month I wanted to talk about the Grand Canyon, however, I cannot cover everything about the Grand Canyon into this one section, so I decided to write about the South because the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is the most visited rim at the Grand Canyon.
It’s open year round and has hotel and lodging options both inside the Canyon as well as in nearby towns. For most South Rim visitors, one day is enough to take pictures, walk around the rim and even take a helicopter tour or bus tour. If this sounds like your plan, consider staying in a nearby town like Williams, Flagstaff or even Sedona. These places offer more hotel, dining and entertainment options than in or near the Grand Canyon, and will enhance your experience of the Great Southwest.
However, if you’re planning on exploring the Grand Canyon in depth, then find lodging inside the park. This will allow you to take longer hikes, experience the sunrises and sunsets at the Canyon and learn more about what makes the Grand Canyon a Natural Wonder of the World. Hotels in the South Rim of the Grand Canyon include: El Tovar Hotel, Bright Angel Lodge, Maswik Lodge, Kachina Lodge, Thunderbird Lodge, Yavapai Lodge and Phantom Ranch. Just outside of the park is the town of Tusayan, which completely revolves around Grand Canyon South Rim visitors. You’ll be able to find comfortable family hotels just 6 miles from the South Rim entrance of the Grand Canyon.
This year marks the 97th year of the Grand Canyon National Park and they have preserved the area so that it remains in its natural beauty. You can take donkey rides down and do a group camping trip with a professional guide. Or you can choose to go by water. I chose the Grand Canyon helicopter ride. They will take you down inside and you can get a larger perspective of the vastness of this amazing natural phenomenon.
I remember when I took my kids when they were young to visit the Grand Canyon, they were in awe from the vast depth of the canyon, but they were also intrigued by the wildlife there. The squirrels will come right up to you and eat from your hand. However, they have signs posted not to feed the animals. I would not let my kids break the park rules, but some other visitors were giving them chips and cookies and we were able to get very close to them and take a lot pictures. 25 years later, my kids still have fond memories of their trip.
Directions from Las Vegas, NV to Grand Canyon South Rim:
Take Highway 93 south to I-40. Take I-40 east to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 north directly to the South Rim. It is about a 289 mile drive. But it is worth it. You can also contact Grand Canyon Tours and take a bus ride, go on the train or by boat. So any way that suits your adventurous side, you can be sure to have a great time. If you have not already been to the Grand Canyon, put it on your bucket list, because it is one of the 7 wonders of the world. Please write me and send me pictures of your outdoor excursions I want to hear all about it! Until next month… have a great July everyone.