Posted on January 30, 2016
The Grand Canyon is one of America’s national treasures. People can spend weeks on weeks touring the canyon and hiking down to the bottom of the canyon. But what do you do if you have a limited amount of PTO and need an adventure? You make the most out of your road trip and see everything possible that the Grand Canyon has to offer.
If you’re driving from San Diego to the Grand Canyon it will take you about 9 hours depending on how many bathroom/gas/snack stops you make, how fast you drive, and traffic. Given that it takes about a whole work day to get there, I recommend leaving early. My friend Charlotte and I left at 6 in the morning in order to get to the Grand Canyon by 3 pm. The best part about road tripping is having the ability to stop anywhere you want and explore the sleepy towns or see the world’s largest collection of turquoise jewelry.
The Grand Canyon has a local airport (FLG) that you can fly into or consider flying into Sedona (SDX), rent a car and drive to the Grand Canyon.
Take it way back and take a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, Arizona. Pick the perfect package for you and discover a new way to see one of America’s most beautiful national parks.
Things to Know
In order to get into the park every vehicle needs to purchase a pass. Passes for private vehicles are $25 dollars.
The Grand Canyon welcomes millions of visitors a year with peak season during the Summer months when school is out.
One of the best times to go to the Grand Canyon is between September-November but make sure to dress in layers and bring a warm jacket as the temperature can drop depending on where you are in the Canyon and throughout the day.
The Grand Canyon is a national park, when driving be aware of the animals that inhabit the area.
Where to Stay
As one of the most popular tourist attractions in the United States, the Grand Canyon has many hotel options. Get into the mood of the great outdoors and stay at the lodge theme The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon conveniently located right outside of the national park. There are also lodging options inside the hotel such as the El Tovar Historic Hotel or the Yavapai Lodge.
What to Do
To say the Grand Canyon is massive would be an understatement. It is 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide and obtains a depth of over a mile. You can hike the canyon, bike the canyon, and go white water rafting. But with only a weekend, how do you see all of it? Divide and conquer! The best times to see the Canyon are during sunrise and sunset.
The Grand Canyon is broken up into different rims. The most popular spots are the North Rim and the South Rim. To see the South Rim book a Pink Jeep Tour right before sunset so you can see the changing colors of the Canyon and learn the history of how the Grand Canyon came to be. Your ticket on the tour also includes a free viewing of the Grand Canyon IMAX movie.
Get a good night’s rest and set your alarm to catch sunrise at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. You can drive into the park and head to a lookout where you can watch the sunrise. No matter what time of the year you plan your trip, dress warmly.
Where to Eat
There are many restaurants in Williams and inside the park. Many hotels and lodges have restaurants and bars. Many of the hotels will offer breakfast, grab some pastries and coffee before heading out for a day of exploration. If you want the best breakfast sandwiches in the park head to RP’S Stage Stop, a coffee house and souvenir shop. If you plan on being out exploring during lunch time hours, visit the local deli and pick up some sandwiches for you and your crew. While there are many dining options for dinner, there is only one way to cap off a day of exploration and that is at the El Tovar Dining Room located on the rim. The restaurant serves traditional steakhouse fare and has a selection of desserts that will satisfy any sweet tooth, such as the chocolate taco.
With so much to see and do it’s important to make sure you make an itinerary that will be filled with new experiences and adventures.