I’m embarrassed to admit that we live just hours from the Grand Canyon and we’ve never taken our kids…until now! Because if we were going to hit Bryce and Zion, it only made sense to add Grand Canyon on our way home. The most popular entrance is the south entrance – it gives you the iconic canyon views you see everywhere. But we opted for the north entrance because it was closer as we made our drive home.
My hesitation in the past about going to grand canyon with young kids is there’s not a lot you can do. Part of the fun of this area is hiking down into the canyon. With little kids, this wasn’t a good option. So our next best option was to do a couple short hikes to lookout points. Even this was a little stressful with our young kids. There were several areas on the trails with drop offs on both sides and it required holding little ones’ hands to ensure safety.
Although this may be contrary to popular opinion – this stop was a little disappointing. Steve may argue this was his favorite but he would be wrong. 🙂 Hallie walked out and saw the view for the first time and turns to me, “This is it?!” (It didn’t look like what she was expecting.) She took the words right out of my mouth. Yes it is grand and magnificent in scale, but in our eyes it didn’t compare to the last two national parks we had visited. Having said that, Steve and I have spent time in the canyon and it was beautiful! Havasupai Falls is a must see and a trip for another day. However, this was not an exploration trip.
This visit was really just a pit stop so the kids could see it – as they get older we’ll take another opportunity to explore the canyon.
We did some hikes and found a lookout tower that provided some good distance from anyone falling off a ledge!
In all reality, I think they had the most fun in the parking lot/park area where we set up shop to eat lunch and they played and played and played some more. Bikes and frisbees and footballs and hammocks. They were disappointed when it was time to load up the car and make the drive home.
What’s interesting about this area is you can have magnificent views like this:
But the drive getting their looks like this:
I didn’t know how well we had timed our fall visit until we started making the climb up the mountains and these yellow leaves were around every corner. The contrasting blue sky made for a beautiful drive.
And in case you’re wondering – hiking with masks is a dirty business! We didn’t wear them all the time but we wore them in more crowded areas and they were nice and clean by the end!