Grand Canyon Family Vacations

Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock/Arina P Habich

Families Will Love

  • Dramatic canyon vistas from the Skywalk, 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon
  • Hiking into the canyon, if only for a short distance
  • Junior Rangers' badges for kids kids 4 to 14

Grand Canyon Family Vacations Overview

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Located in northern Arizona in what has become one of the U.S.'s most popular National Parks, the Grand Canyon won't disappoint. Despite spring and summer's crowds, the canyon itself still inspires. Created by the uplifting of the Colorado Plateau and the erosion caused by the Colorado River, the canyon is 277 miles long, and, in places, 10 miles wide.

It's not just the size, but also the canyon's shapes and colors that create awe. Near the South Rim's main information center, the canyon appears as a series of wheat-colored pinnacles and ridges, striated with pink during the day. Toward sunset, the colors deepen to rose and magenta. From a lookout offering a narrow view, the canyon's walls loom large, almost like a cathedral. Descend into the canyon and it reveals another perspective, one of an era millions of years ago when the land served as a seabed.

... Read More
Located in northern Arizona in what has become one of the U.S.'s most popular National Parks, the Grand Canyon won't disappoint. Despite spring and summer's crowds, the canyon itself still inspires. Created by the uplifting of the Colorado Plateau and the erosion caused by the Colorado River, the canyon is 277 miles long, and, in places, 10 miles wide.

It's not just the size, but also the canyon's shapes and colors that create awe. Near the South Rim's main information center, the canyon appears as a series of wheat-colored pinnacles and ridges, striated with pink during the day. Toward sunset, the colors deepen to rose and magenta. From a lookout offering a narrow view, the canyon's walls loom large, almost like a cathedral. Descend into the canyon and it reveals another perspective, one of an era millions of years ago when the land served as a seabed.

When President Theodore Roosevelt viewed the Grand Canyon in 1903, he said, "What you can do is keep it for your children, your children's children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American should see." In 1908 Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon a National Monument. In 1919, it became a National Park.

Nearly five million people visit the Grand Canyon each year, 90 percent of them accessing the park via the South Entrance, about 60 miles from Williams and 80 miles from Flagstaff. Only 10 percent of visitors explore the less accessible North Rim, a 220-mile, five-hour drive from the South Rim. Open from mid-May through mid-October, the North Rim also offers scenic views, plus some demanding trails.

You don't need to endure a multi-day hike from the north to the south rim to access the canyon's wonders. Even kids in strollers enjoy the scenic overlooks. If your family can, however, hike into the canyon, if only for a short distance.

At the Grand Canyon, kids 4 to 14 can earn Junior Rangers' badges. Pick up a Ranger Activity Booklet, available at the visitor centers. Typically, children are asked to attend a ranger-led program, answer questions about the park and write down their observations. Upon returning the completed booklets, children receive a ranger patch. Read Less

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Top-Rated Family Rentals in Grand Canyon

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Things to Do in Grand Canyon

10355 Family Reviews

Desert View Drive

Stretching east for 25 miles from the Canyon ...

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Grand Canyon South Rim

Start your tour by gathering information abou ...

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Grand Canyon Railway

See the Grand Canyon via rail car aboard the ...

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Grand Canyon Family Restaurants

273 Family Reviews

Arizona Room

The Arizona room serves lunch and dinner (clo ...

66 Family Reviews

Bright Angel Bicycles and Cafe

Open daily in the summer from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m ...

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Bright Angel Fountain

The canyon view is terrific at this rim-side ...

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Latest Grand Canyon Family Vacation Reviews

Carenwithac1

08/23/2014

Add this to your Bucket List

This summer, we took our kids to Arizona for 2 weeks. A week in Phoenix, and we couldn't wait to get out of the heat. After a short drive, we reached the charming town of Tusayan, at the base of Grand Canyon National Park. We stopped at the National Geographic Center, and watched the amazing movie T ... This summer, we took our kids to Arizona for 2 weeks. A week in Phoenix, and we couldn't wait to get out of the heat. After a short drive, we reached the charming town of Tusayan, at the base of Grand Canyon National Park. We stopped at the National Geographic Center, and watched the amazing movie The Hidden Secrets of the Grand Canyon. An amazing history and preview of what was to come. The following morning we drove to to see the canyon. The entire experience was breathtaking. The kids took a short Ranger class geared toward their age group, and earned their Junior Ranger badges. Our ranger was amazing! Then, following the advice of other Family Vacation Critic families, we led our children, 3 and 6 down the Bright Angel Trail. This had to be the most spectacular part of our day. The beauty, magnitude or our surroundings, and people we met made this another special part of our holiday. We almost made it to the first water station, but fearing I would have to carry my 3 year old back up the canyon, we turned back after about an hour, knowing it would take twice as long to get back up. All told,our day wasn't long enough. We probably could have spent another few days just exploring this amazing wonder of the world. We could not have been happier we made the trip. Read More Read Less

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Map of Grand Canyon