Tag Archive for: grand canyon destinations

2 girls jumping at the grand canyon

Best Places to Stay at the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is perhaps one of the most iconic landmarks in the world – certainly in the United States of America. Set slap bang in the middle of arid Arizona, it is a bucket list destination for almost every self-respecting traveler.

A rare but beautiful landscape, the Grand Canyon spans an awesome 4,926 km². Many people tend to believe that the Grand Canyon is just one specific viewpoint, but how wrong they are. The Grand Canyon is, in fact, a whole national park area that is crisscrossed with hiking trails and bouldering routes galore. That one specific viewpoint, however, is Mather Point.

Welcoming in excess of five million visitors every year, the Grand Canyon National Park is very well set up for the onslaught of eager tourists. There are a hotel, motel and B&B to suit every budget and travel style.

Although the Grand Canyon is Arizona’s most loved landscape, there are a number of other beautiful national parks to explore in the state too. This one is really just the beginning.

Let’s take a look at where to stay in Grand Canyon and where else you can visit in the area.

Grand Canyon Lodge

This North Rim hotel features both basic rooms and cabins, meaning that everyone’s budget can be catered for; some rooms even feature views across the stunning canyon itself. Seasonal events such as outdoor barbecues are held here. The Grand Canyon Lodge also offers free shuttles to the Kaibab trailhead, making it great for hikers. As an added bonus, since children aged 15 and under stay free at this hotel, it’s a very good option for families.

However, this is the only lodge that offers accommodation inside the national park boundaries of the North Rim; therefore, booking a year in advanced is advised. Stay amid the solitude and remoteness in this historic lodge; choose from cabins and lodgings nestled among ancient trees around the canyon edge, and after the day’s hike you can dine in the lodge’s restaurants with magnificent views of the night sky.

Grand Canyon Village – Tusayan

Grand Canyon Village is the most popular place to stay in Grand Canyon and it is not hard to see why. This tiny township has been purpose-built for easy access to the National Park’s main entrance gate. Unless you camp inside the park, you can’t stay any closer than this.

Grand Canyon Village is home to just 2,000 permanent residents, who take great pride in living so close to this national treasure. In the town, you will find Hopi House, an interesting historical landmark well worth a quick visit. The gift shop is one of the best around and offers a wonderful selection of authentic Native American gifts.

By staying in Grand Canyon Village, you are within walking distance of trailheads of some of the National Park’s most famous hikes – Bright Angel Trail, Rim Trail and even Mather Point.

Naturally, no visit would be complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon Visitor’s Centre.

El Tovar – Grand Canyon lodging

El Tovar Grand Canyon first opened for service in 1905. The premier hotel and restaurant at the Grand Canyon were originally operated by the Fred Harvey company. It was designed by Charles Whittlesey (who also designed the Riordan Mansion in Flagstaff, Arizona). The El Tovar has been the most sought after lodging for over 100 years. In 2005, the 100th anniversary was celebrated for this classic historic National Park lodge. It was originally built to accommodate those distinguished passengers who arrived on the Sante Fe Railway. You can make the El Tovar a part of your Grand Canyon vacation if you plan far enough in advance. If you desire to stay at the El Tovar, we recommend that you call Xanterra Parks and Resorts at 1-888-297-2757 at least 13 months in advance. With the exception of January and February, the El Tovar normally books up 13 months in advance.

The El Tovar has 78 rooms. Each one of them is unique and distinctive. Interestingly enough, Charles Whittlesey specifically designed the El Tovar so that you would have to leave your room to enjoy a view of the Grand Canyon.

Tuba City and Moenkopi

These neighboring communities can be found on native Navajo lands about an hour due east of Grand Canyon National Park. Small but welcoming communities that are proud of their heritage ties, Tuba City and Moenkopi are a little off the tourist trail but well worth a visit.

For budget backpackers or road-trippers, Tuba City and Moenkopi are great places to stay in Grand Canyon, as they offer all the facilities you could need and are a gateway to some of Arizona’s best landscapes. The awesome – in the true sense of the word – Antelope Canyon is less than 80-miles north of Tuba City and surely gives Grand Canyon a run for its money.

There are some wonderful family-run diners to explore in Tuba City and Moenkopi. Even out here in rural Arizona, there are all your usual big chain fast-food outlets too, should you fancy something more familiar.

Yavapai Lodge – Grand Canyon lodging

The Yavapai Lodge is located close to a General Store, has a cafeteria-style restaurant, and is within a quarter-mile of the South Rim.

Yavapai Lodge is the largest lodge at Grand Canyon National Park with 358 rooms. It is located adjacent to the Canyon Village Market Plaza, and houses the Guest Registration Desk, Transportation Desk, Gift Shop and the Canyon Café. The entire complex is surrounded by Pinyon and Juniper woodlands, and is a half-mile from the canyon rim. The rooms are often referred to as Yavapai East and Yavapai West. Yavapai is a favorite destination due to the wide range of services available. The Market Plaza includes a general store, deli, bank and U.S. Post Office. The National Park Service Visitor Center is within a short walk — approximately a half-mile. You will also find a coin-operated laundry within walking distance of the lodge.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan and Book Your Trip with Sweetours!

Contact us for further information
Phone: 702.456.9200
Fax – 702.434.7163
Email – info@sweetours.com

sources: thecrazytourist.com, grandcanyon.com, touropia.com

7 Hidden Gems at the Grand Canyon You Might Have Never Known Before

The geological marvel Grand Canyon is a wildly popular place. Wide vistas and majestic views attract over 6 million visitors each year. As a result, it can get a little crowded. But it does not mean that you cannot find some privacy there. You only need to know where to look. If you’d rather take the road less traveled, there are quite a few hidden gems of the Grand Canyon area. Here are 7 hidden gems of Grand Canyon we think are the best.

1. Grand Canyon East Entrance

Since the South Rim is where most canyon visitors tend to congregate, you’ll enjoy a bit more solitude on the east side. The famed Horseshoe Bend is visible from here, so consider this a trick to experience it without craning your neck around a sea of people.

2. Shinumo Creek

Shinumo Creek Grand Canyon
If your feet get tired from hiking, hop in a raft and explore some side canyons. Shinumo Creek culminates in a shallow, waterfall-fed pool that is perfect for splashing away the sweltering desert heat. The best part? You likely won’t have to share the space at all.

3. Blacktail Canyon

Blacktail Canyon Grand Canyon
Blacktail Canyon is another area accessible by boat. Unique, ancient rock formations and wildlife make the experience an unforgettable one.

4. Clear Creek Trail to Cheyava Falls

Paralleling the pristine Clear Creek, this trail takes hikers on an unforgettable journey across the canyon floor. It passes Bright Angel Campground, where you’ll encounter a few dozen people at most (and likely a herd of bighorn sheep). Finally, upon reaching the tallest waterfall in Arizona, its majesty will overtake your every sense.

5. Tonto Trail

While many trails wind through the Grand Canyon, they’re often plagued with bumper-to-bumper tourist traffic pretty much all year long. Tonto Trail in the South Rim is a 70-mile respite from the crowds. You don’t have to hike the entire thing, of course – just pick a segment and enjoy some solitude while marveling at the gently flowing Colorado River.

6. Diamond Creek Road

This road leading down into the canyon is so remote, you’ll need a permit from the Hualapai people to drive on it. If you so desire, there is a campground at the bottom. It doesn’t have facilities but is still a viable option for those who would rather not traverse the risky route back out of the canyon after dark.

7. North Rim

Grand Canyon North Rim
A mere 5% of park visitors gravitate to the North Rim, which is much cooler and features plant and animal life unable to thrive in other parts of the canyon. The views are incredible and your photos won’t be filled with strangers.

It is only open from mid-May through mid-October due to heavy snowfall during the winter months. The vistas are different from the South Rim with wide open space rather than views of the Colorado River.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan and Book Your Trip with Sweetours!

Contact us for further information
Phone: 702.456.9200
Fax – 702.434.7163
Email – info@sweetours.com

sources: onlyinyourstate.com, grandcanyonhelicoptertour.net

winter hiking tips from sweetours grand canyon

Winter Hiking Safety Tips at Grand Canyon

While most visitors to the Grand Canyon experience its beauty in the spring, summer and fall, winter is still a great time to visit – mild temperatures in the inner canyon for the Grand Canyon hiker, fewer people, and the scenery is still amazing, especially when the rim is dusted with snow. It’s obvious that a winter hike in Grand Canyon is much different than a summer hike, and there are few things you need to know to help make your hike an enjoyable and safe one. Your clothing, food, and shelter are all critical elements that can make or break your hike.

To help you on your hike into the canyon, here are some tips for a safe and enjoyable Grand Canyon hiking trip, during the winter or whenever.

Clothing: Light but functional

Let’s start with clothing. Temperature and weather conditions can vary dramatically from the rim to the river. You are dropping nearly a mile in elevation as you trek down the trails. The difference between the temperature on the rim and at the Colorado River can range as much as thirty degrees. So on the rim, you may start with a thick fleece jacket, a parka, long underwear, a hat and gloves, but by the time you are halfway down the trail, you may be comfortable in just pants and a shirt. The lightweight and waterproof material is the key to ideal clothing. Although functional clothing has its price, the investment is well worth it.

The fiber content of your clothing is extremely important. You do not want to wear cotton. Once cotton gets wet, it takes a long time, which cools down the body temperature. Hypothermia is a very real threat during a Grand Canyon winter. Go with synthetic fabrics since they do not absorb water and dry quickly.

The right footwear is important

Before you start your hike, you need to purchase optimal footwear. Ill-fitting shoes can cause pain, blisters and a bad mood. Find a specialty store with a great selection and let the trained staff advise you. A hiking shoe for the winter should be waterproof with outer leather and breathable lining. The shoes should be as light as possible and not add unnecessary weight to your feet.

Another important item to have along are instep crampons, Kahtoola Microspikes or Yaktrax Traction devices. The trails at the Canyon can be covered with slick ice for the first mile or two or even more. It is treacherous and scary to be slipping and sliding while walking on the edges of cliffs!

However, the use of snow traction devices as those mentioned above, will allow you to actually enjoy hiking on the icy trail. No kidding! The Canyon Village Marketplace in the Village also sells instep crampons very at very reasonable prices. Check for availability to make sure they have them in stock. Their phone number is (928) 638-2262; ask for the camping department.

Hiking sticks are also very useful when hiking in mud and ice. In fact, hiking sticks can be some of the most useful items you can take with you on your hike! Read my Walking Sticks & Trekking Poles for all the benefits of their use.

Go on a guided hiking or backpacking tour

You don’t even have to read the rest of this article if you hire a guide – he or she knows the trails, knows how to stay safe, will be sure you are safe, is prepared before you even show up, and can even teach you a thing or two about the Canyon’s history, flora, fauna and geology. Most guide services will also supply the gear you need, so no worrying about being underprepared or forgetting the essentials.

Don’t underestimate the Grand Canyon or overestimate your abilities

Hiking the Grand Canyon is like nothing else in most of the rest of the world. There is a different dynamic in hiking down first, then up. If your knees and ankles don’t feel the strain of constant gravitational pull down the steep trails, you may unintentionally hike too far, forgetting that the hike out is strenuous. Give yourself twice as much time to hike out than it takes to hike in. If you hike out in is less time than expected – good job! – now take in the sites from the rim and enjoy the rest of your day worry and relatively pain-free. If you are a generally sedentary person, stick with hiking along the rim.

Eat and drink

Yes, it is cooler this time of year, but the desert is very arid and you will lose fluids quickly so be sure to drink water often. Also, eat! When hiking, you can and should take plenty of snack breaks. It is best to replace electrolytes with food rather than through electrolyte replacements such as Gatorade. Take these items as a quick fix, not as a replacement. The calories in food also warm you up as your body burns them, so even if you don’t feel hungry, the fuel will warm you up!

Follow trail etiquette for a safe and fun hike

Aside from many other hikers, especially on the main trails – South Kaibab and Bright Angel – there are also mules on the trails carrying gear and people. When you are approached by a mule going uphill or downhill, always move as far off the trail as possible to the inside of the canyon (by the wall of the canyon, not by the exposed area) to allow them to pass. Failure to move over can put you in a battle between mule and human – mule will win and human will likely be at the bottom of the canyon at record speeds. If you are unsure, listen to and follow the trail boss for instructions. When you approach other hikers, it is an unwritten rule to always yield to hikers going uphill. Uphill hikers are slower but are also moving steady and once you are hiking uphill, you will too find that stopping for the energetic downhill speedster makes it much more challenging to keep going (unless you need to take a breather anyway). You will find slow and steady is much better than fast with numerous stops. And for those of you going downhill, the hiker hiking uphill will be looking down most of the hike and likely wearing a brimmed hat. These two factors make it very likely that they will not see you barreling down the trail. In the case of ice and snow – slipping down the trail – so intentional, slower speed is better anyway.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan and Book Your Trip with Sweetours!

Contact us for further information
Phone: 702.456.9200
Fax – 702.434.7163
Email – info@sweetours.com

sources: explorethecanyon.com, hitthetrail.com, justroughinit.com

4 Grand Canyon Destinations You Must Visit. Contact SWEETours now for more information!

4 Grand Canyon Destinations You Must Visit

Even the most skeptical of travelers becomes awestruck at the sight of the Grand Canyon’s massive expanse of gorges, ridges and rock formations. So simply enjoying the view—from a variety of vantage points—is an activity that could take hours. One of the best ways to admire the canyon is on a hiking tour that takes you to the bottom.
For most people, a visit to the Grand Canyon is to the south rim rather than the remote north rim, approaching either along US 180 from Flagstaff and the south or AZ 64 from Williams and the west.

But south rim is not the only destinations at Grand Canyon. In this article, we have compiled 5 most visited places at the park, just for you.

Mather Point

Located on the South Rim and known as one of the best spots at Grand Canyon to take pictures, Mather Point is by far the most visited section of the Grand Canyon, offering many trails and overlooks, and all necessary facilities including hotels, shops, shuttle buses, and a historic railway.

On the south side of the Colorado River, the panorama at Mather Point extends from the lower end of Garden Creek taking in some of the Bright Angel Trail, over the deep canyon of Pipe Creek and eastwards to Cedar Ridge/O’Neill Butte, along which runs the South Kaibab Trail starting from the next point to the east – Yaki. Some of the Tonto Trail is also in view, near Pipe Creek. On the North Rim, the vista is centered on the long, straight Bright Angel Creek, flowing for 10 miles between a collection of tall red buttes and other ravines.

Grand Canyon Village

Grand Canyon Village is the most popular entryway into the park and, as such, often suffers from heavy crowds during the peak seasons in spring, summer and fall. But there’s a reason the area is so appealing. It’s home to Yavapai Point, one of the best places to view the canyon. If you don’t like camping but want to stay within the park, you should consider looking for lodging here. (Take note: Lodging within the park can be very expensive).

If you’re staying elsewhere, anticipate spending at least half a day visiting the village’s sights. Stop by the rustic Grand Canyon Railway Depot, which welcomes Grand Canyon Railway passengers to the village. Here, you’ll learn about how the expansion of the railroad had an impact on Grand Canyon tourism.

For authentic Native American souvenirs, head to the Hopi House, an adobe-style building representing a traditional Hopi crafts studio. Meanwhile, art aficionados should stop by the Kolb and Lookout studios for works of art inspired by the Grand Canyon.

Bright Angel Trail

Take this steep trail, which starts just west of the Bright Angel Lodge in Grand Canyon Village, to Plateau Point for some great views of the river.

But you should be warned: The Bright Angel Trail is a little more than 6 miles long one-way, and both recent visitors and travel experts say that attempting to hike to the river and back in one day is not a good idea. Make sure to pack camping gear if you plan on going all the way to Plateau Point and carry plenty of water with you – some rest stops along the trail only offer water seasonally.

For a unique Grand Canyon experience, consider traveling the Bright Angel Trail by mule. Riders are taken to Phantom Ranch for an overnight stay, with a lunch break at Indian Garden. While trips are usually safe, those who are not used to spending time in a saddle may find the ride grueling. The overnight, 10 ½-mile and 5 ½-hour ride costs $588.43 per person. Xanterra Parks & Resorts offers additional mule ride options that vary in price and duration. Visit its website for more details.

Grand Canyon Visitor Center

Who better than the Official Visitor Center to help you create the trip of a lifetime? This is where your Grand Canyon adventure begins.

The Visitor Center, located in Arizona at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is the first place for guests to stop, both online and offline, to find the most comprehensive information to help create their Grand Canyon experience.

The local representatives that are on staff have lived in the area of the Grand Canyon for a long time and have experienced all that the National Park and surrounding areas offer. They are a great source of information and can offer guests excellent advice about traveling in and around the Grand Canyon areas.

SWEETours is currently offering a Summer Special on both our South Rim and West Rim tours! Talk to one of our customer service agents for more info.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan and Book Your Trip with SWEETours!

Contact us for further information
Phone: 702.456.9200
Fax – 702.434.7163
Email – info@sweetours.com

source: americansouthwest.net, usnews.com, explorethecanyon.com