My family and I recently embarked on a multi-generational road trip across the United States. Our travels spanned two weeks and nine states, and to say that we are completely exhausted now would be an understatement! The purpose of our trip could not have been any more exciting. I received an invitation to the 2014 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, an annual event held for new and notable parenting writers. Disneyland Resort hosted this year's event, and my parents and I decided to take a family road trip rather than drive so that we could get the most from our cross-country travels.
We encountered many perilous driving conditions on our trek to the West Coast: rain, hail and multi-car collisions often brought our travel to a crawl. The return trip was much more enjoyable, as we got to take our time and experience several incredible American destinations. We explored Las Vegas, traveled across Route 66, discovered some hidden gems near the outskirts of the Petrified Forest, and even visited Grand Canyon National Park.
When our original plan of driving through Hoover Dam didn't work out (dam bypass!) we decided to spend extra time exploring the Grand Canyon and the area surrounding it.
Danger enjoyed looking over the canyon's edge at the world below. It amazed her that we were so high up. She even commented that we were on top of the world, an exclamation that certainly fit the nature that we observed.
I was a little concerned that she would trip and plunge through the rust-covered fence, but thankfully, this visit was rather uneventful. Danger did manage to trip on the sidewalk but luckily I was standing between her and an untimely fate.
The wildlife is fairly abundant, even in the areas that are frequented by travelers. We saw some new-to-us squirrels, butterflies and mule deer up close. Check out my Grand Canyon Google+ Album for more details of our trip (and make sure to circle me while you're there!)
Tips For Visiting The Grand Canyon With Children
- Bring your own water and snacks. It's easy to get dehydrated, especially when you spend a lot of time hiking outdoors. And on that note -
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will walk a lot, and not always on smooth pavement.
- Bring sunscreen and reapply every two hours. It seems so basic but sun protection can be easy to forget.
- Know how to read a map and follow the map that you are given upon arrival to the park. It lists the best spots to stop and gaze at the canyon, as well as shuttle stops and restrooms.
- Scope out some of the less-traveled spots before your trip. Lots of people take pictures at the South Rim's Mather Point due to it's proximity to the nearby cities of Flagstaff and Williams. Wouldn't it be unique (and less crowded!) to find a new location to photograph?
- Bring money to pay for parking. It cost $25 per car when we visited April 2014. The parking fee was a little more than we are accustomed to spending to visit our local Atlanta and Georgia parks, but it was a reasonable price to pay to visit this expansive national landmark.
- Smaller children might need to be tethered to you for safety. I kept a good grip on Danger's hand, hoodie or shoulder the entire time. The uneven ground and large drop-offs are definitely something to take note of.
- Plan to NOT have phone service at the Grand Canyon. Follow the tips that I outlined above and have a backup plan just in case something goes wrong. You won't know that someone will go missing or get injured until it happens, so be prepared. Something that I found odd: I had full phone service with T-Mobile at the Grand Canyon while my mother had no service whatsoever with AT&T. We spent the rest of the 2 weeks of our road trip the other way around.