Grand Canyon National Park is located in Coconino and Mohave counties, Arizona and protects over 1.2 million acres of the famous Grand Canyon. The canyon is a massive gorge formed by the Colorado River and is considered on of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles across at its widest and up to a mile deep.
Grand Canyon National Park was created in 1919 and is the United States 15-oldest national park. Over 4 million people visit the park annually to view the natural wonders of the canyon.
Hiking is a popular activity at the Grand Canyon. There are a number of trails that fall within four main classifications. The Corridor trails are the most used trails which are regularly patrolled and maintained by the National Park Service. Threshold trails are used less than Corridor trails and the Park Service does not actively maintain them other than to reconstruct sections that are damaged by environmental forces. Primitive trails are used even less and are rarely maintained unless damage to the trail presents a hazard. Routes are footpaths that are not formal trails and often quite difficult to traverse. Families are advised to research individual trails before setting out on a hike.
Rafting in the Colorado River is a great way for families to enjoy the Grand Canyon. There are opportunities for both whitewater and stoothwater rafting. Commercial operators are a great way to take in rafting in the canyon and trips can last from a half day to over 25 days.
Families can camp at one of the campgrounds in the park. Campground reservations can be made for the Mather Campground on the South Rim and the North Rim Campground. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Desert View Campground (South Rim) and the Tuweep Campground (North Rim).
Most people visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon since it is much easier to access. The South Rim offers lodging, restaurants and camping. The National Park Service publishes an updated South Rim Guide with information on the area.
Kids can participate in specific activities to receive the Junior Ranger of Grand Canyon National Park designation.