National Park Geek Series - Grand Canyon


National Park Geek Series - Grand Canyon


Several years ago, I was working for a company that had an office in San Diego. I gladly travelled there several times per year for work and tried to squeeze in as much pleasure as time would allow. I wanted to bring my husband along but his work schedule never allowed for the opportunity. When we had a wedding in Las Vegas, I decided we would fly into San Diego for a few days and then gradually make our way to Las Vegas while making several stops along the way.

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Our first stop on the way to Las Vegas was the Grand Canyon. It’s so “grand” that even when you’re standing at its edge, it looks fake. We chose to explore the North Rim side instead of the South Rim side because it was closer to our next destination, Zion National Park, which you can read more about here.

Most of the surrounding land is owned by Native American tribes which can make lodging tricky. There aren’t many options and they aren’t trying that hard to make them luxurious. You will most likely overpay for some lackluster accommodations and be required to stay more than one night. Even most campgrounds require a two or three minimum night stay. We stayed for one night at a place that I thought was overpriced and kind of crappy. With that in mind, I would recommend you either plan on spending the day here and not the night or stay in (somewhat) nearby Paige or Flagstaff, Arizona.


The North Rim sees less visitors, mainly because it’s a bit harder to get to than the South Rim and there are also more tourist attractions on the South Rim, including the glass skywalk. It is only open seasonally from May 15 to October 15. We did the scenic drive on the north rim stopping at multiple scenic overlooks including Point Imperial, Cape Royal (my favorite), Roosevelt Point, Walhalla Overlook, and Bright Angel Point.


We also hiked the North Kaibab trail that goes to the base of the canyon floor. You can actually take this trail all the way to the South Rim of the canyon. For the sake of time and lack of equipment (and because we’re not fans of camping) we went to the base of the canyon and then turned around and came back up. I would recommend going at least half way down because the view changes incredibly the further down you go. If you do plan to hike in the canyon, be sure to pack plenty of water and avoid hiking during the middle of the day when temps are at their highest. If you are worried about your physical stamina, they offer mule rides along this same trail. If you have a larger budget, you can take a helicopter tour of the canyon (in which some will even take you to the base of the canyon.)

There are plenty of options for this national park and I definitely recommend that you put it on your bucket list.


Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon? What areas did you explore?


Images by Personal Branding Maven  Elise Kutt  at  Mod Bettie Portraits

Images by Personal Branding Maven Elise Kutt at Mod Bettie Portraits

My name is Anna VanAgtmael, and I am a certified yoga instructor with a passion for yoga, travel, and connecting with others.

I believe in trying everything once. My values lie in collecting memories over things. Though we desire adventure and authentic experiences, naturally our fear holds us back.

My ambition is to inspire and encourage you to unmask your fears and jump into the unknown.

Anna VanAgtmael | Yoga Enthusiast | Trip Planning Wizard