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Grand Canyon First Timers

Hi Everyone!

In a couple of weeks, I will be flying my family out to Las Vegas for a week on our first official family vacation (Saturday to Saturday trip). For the first couple of days of the trip we planned to show my son (17) and daughter (11) the Las Vegas Strip; then the Hoover Dam; then the Grand Canyon; then meet up with my brother for the last few days before we head back home. Our plan for the Grand Canyon was to make a day trip of it: setting out early for the 4-hour journey to the canyon and spend as much time as we could there before we make the trip back to Vegas that night. Based on my research, I know there's is an overabundance of sights to see so I am not trying to cram everything into our short time there, but I have never been and have no idea where to begin planning an itinerary for the day.

I'd love some suggestions on things to see. Thank you in advance!

Posted by
7465 posts

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/index.htm

Vegas to S Rim is 280 miles per google maps. google shows 4.5 hrs. I have found their estimates to be optimistic.

You may want to consider spending the night in Flagstaff on your way back. If you can spend it in the park even better. Sunrise is a real treat A 17 and 11 year old do not need 2 days to see the Strip.

If you spend a night at/near the Park you can see Hoover Dam on the way back to Vegas, You have to go past it anyway, so it is really easy

Posted by
3888 posts

I've been to the Grand Canyon a few times. I've spent about 2 hours in my 60 year life in Las Vegas. So, I'm pretty biased. When we took our kids, we flew into the Vegas airport drove down the strip and past UNLV (called that a college tour, haha) and stopped for a bit (maybe a half hour) at the Hoover Dam and then drove to the Grand Canyon. We were there in October so we (I think you will as well) had the advantage of fewer crowds. We spent a day doing the overlooks and then the following day took a couple hikes into the Canyon, using the Bright Angel trail and the South Kaibab trail. I really don't think you get a good idea or really see the Grand Canyon unless you hike into it at least a bit. My husband and I have done the hike down the south rim and halfway up the north rim.

It sounds like you would have half a day to see the canyon, at most. Without hiking in it a bit, some kids feel underwhelmed by the canyon. With your time, you could spend maybe a half hour at the visitor's center, and then try to catch as many overlooks as you can. Personally, it seems like you'd be on the road for 8 hours just for a few hours at the canyon. I strongly suggest you spend at least one night at the Grand Canyon before heading back to Vegas.

Posted by
9779 posts

I have been to the Grand Canyon numerous times and I think your plan is a bad idea. You are looking at about nine hours round trip in the car. I would really suggest spending at least one night there. Watching the sunset over the Canyon was something I really enjoyed and can't be done on your schedule. The same is true for sunrise.

But, if you must only spend one day, how about taking a flight from Las Vegas to the South Rim. The scenery on the flight is amazing and it also includes sightseeing at the Canyon. It's pricey but I've done this a few times. The biggest company running these tours is Scenic Airlines

What you want to do depends on what you like to do. Hike? Photography? History?

Whichever way you go, you want to tour the South Rim, not the West Rim.

Posted by
4740 posts

The Strip is fun, but including popping into some of the famous casino hotels, one full day is probably as much as you can take.

I have been to the Hoover Dam twice. The first trip was when you had a more thorough visit, before 9/11. The second visit was more superficial, but still interesting.

I too think that your experience would be enhanced by staying near the Canyon. I stayed in Flagstaff and ate at a great microbrewery.

I took a helicopter tour over the Canyon on my first visit, which was expensive but worth it. The weather didn’t cooperate for a flight on my second visit.

Posted by
6714 posts

My advice is to minimize the Las Vegas/ Las Vegas Strip part of your trip to a bare minimum, and maximize everything else. Grand Canyon in a day doesn’t do it justice, give it more time. There are other interesting outdoor activities outside of Vegas.

Posted by
12479 posts

Hi Nebbish -
'Fraid I'm going to pile on with the others: GC as a day trip from Vegas is a bad idea for all sorts of reasons, one them being the distance to get there and back. It's usually estimated to be abt. 5 hours each way so not really day-trip accessibility. Yes, be sure you're planning for the Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim and NOT Grand Canyon WEST. The latter is an expensive rip-off that, while closer to Vegas, isn't as deep or as "grand" as the park.

Secondly is the light: the peaks and valleys visually flatten in midday sun. The landscape and colors are at their dramatic best earlier and later in the day when the sun is at an angle. You'd miss those golden hours if arriving late and leaving early. BTW, it's not recommended to drive that part of the country in the dark; lots of critters about.

Thirdly is weather: I've been there when Mother Nature didn't cooperate. It wasn't a big issue for us as we always plan multiple nights there but the day trippers were not happy with the rain and fog. BTW, you don't mention what time of year this vacation will be? You can expect snow and ice in winter.

I'll throw in a 4th reason to cut Vegas short? I don't know if you've been there before but the Strip is personally not a place I'd take a child, at least not for more than a few hours. Shoot, that's about all the sleaze my OT and I can handle of it ourselves! Anyway, I'll leave it to you to research and decide but it's not really a family friendly destination, IMHO. If you've not been before, do be aware that your children are not allowed on the casino floors.

So I'd look into spending at least one night, if not two, at the one of the lodges at the South Rim. RESERVE WELL IN ADVANCE. What to do? Just for starters, there are 13 miles of Rim Trail to walk, most of it paved: 8 miles heading west of the Grand Canyon Village to Hermits Rest, and 5 heading east of the village to South Kaibab Trailhead. There are numerous overlooks along the way as well as some historic structures important to the park's history, most, but not all, in the village area. There are also shuttle stops for hopping on should you get tuckered along the way. There are, of course, corridor trails as well (Bright Angel, South Kaibab, etc) that descend below the rim. If not a conditioned hiker, you can choose to do short sections of them, being aware that what goes DOWN must also come UP!

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/RimTrail.pdf
https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/day-hiking.htm

As well there are visitor centers and some of those important structures that I'd mentioned earlier: Kolb Studio, Desert View Watchtower, Hopi House, the train station... Info on all can be found on the park's website. Oh, and the pioneer cemetery has many park-related individuals buried in its hallowed ground:

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/shrine-of-the-ages.htm

The 20 miles of Desert View Drive - heading east of the Village out to Desert View overlook - can be driven in your own car. If not coming in the park's East Entrance, which you won't be if coming from Vegas, I'll recommend driving it all the way to the end (Desert View) and then back to the Village, doing the 4 or so overlooks along the way. It can be easier to make righthand hand turns into their parking areas.

You can rent bikes as well, although they must be used only on designated routes:
https://bikegrandcanyon.com

And lastly, check for organized ranger walks or talks during your stay. They're expected to be authorities on 'their' park and any number of subjects; flora, fauna, indigenous or more recent history, geology, astronomy, etc. Great resources, the rangers.

Obviously, I"m a GC fan! The park's website will be your best resource but hope this helped a little. Please come back with more questions should you have them?

https://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm

Posted by
3 posts

Fantastic suggestions, everyone--keep them coming, please.

I did mention in my original post that we'll be heading out in a couple of weeks--we are heading out to Vegas the morning of Sept. 11th. I have been to Vegas several times and my wife and I have been a few times together. The novelty of Vegas wore off for us a long time ago, but my kids have never been. I set aside two days for the strip because there is a lot of walking and my 11-year-old has a way of leeching the fun out of something if she is pushed beyond her limits. Another reason is for some relaxation: we are headed to Vegas by way of Northern California where we've been dealing with high temps and smoke; we haven't a pool or clean air to breathe so we planned to spend some of our vacation parked at the hotel pool. My wife and I have also been to the Hoover Dam so we know what to expect there.

None of our vacation days are set in stone so we have the flexibility to add days to the Grand Canyon. I originally thought two days was a good start, but changed my mind when I began looking at the NPS website and saw mostly hiking trails; again hiking = walking (my son and I would have no problem, but the girls are lightweights) and looking at the weather, it will still be fairly warm there. However, everyone has made excellent points about time and travel distance so I will definitely bring a second day back into the plan. With that said, is the South Rim a better place to start rather than the North Rim?

Kathy, thank you for your to-do suggestions and your point about the sleaze of Vegas. I have been before and I would compare the Vegas sleaze with the sleaze we encountered in Hollywood back in 2016. I'll just say that I'd take my kids to Vegas 1,000 times before I took them to Hollywood again. Vegas wasn't my choice, it was my brother's; he and his wife are travelling to visit their sons. Because COVID cancelled our trip to visit them in Alaska last year and he knew the closest he'd be to us was Vegas, he invited us to rendezvous with him there on the last few days of his vacation.

I am a novice traveler and am hoping to gain some knowledge from the seasoned explorers. Again, thank you for your insight and input! PILE ON ;)

Posted by
3888 posts

I am going to add that if you do decide to stay over one night, I would try to book a park hotel/motel or at least something in Tusayan. Flagstaff isn't very close. I have no idea if you could get a room in the park at this point, but its worth a try.

Posted by
25 posts

Try the Grand Canyon Railway in Williams. We drove from NorCal, spent the night . Package included railroad transport to GC, overnight in Williams, overnight in GC, overnight in Williams. Scenic, walking musician on the train, and a train robbery. As I remember meals (except dinner in GC) were included. Easy to find on web. We learned via an ad in AAA magazine.

Enjoy the trip

Posted by
3888 posts

Definitely, visit the South Rim. The first thing you should do is go when you get there is go to the Visitor's Center and talk to a Ranger/Naturalist. Tell them what you like to do and they will have suggestions. Perhaps you hike and your wife and daughter do something else. You also can hike down a path for 30 minutes and then hike back up, or explain to your wife and daughter how much they would miss if they do not do some hiking into the canyon. The National park website is excellent. www.NPS.gov I haven't done this, but there is a glass skywalk. Maybe your daughter and wife could do that while you and your son hike. https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/skywalk.htm

I have occasionally called a National Park Visitor Center. If staff isn't busy, you may get to talk to someone and you could ask specific questions.

About a 1/2 hour from the south rim entrance there is a group of 4-5 hotels (maybe more since I've been there) There is a Best Western with a pool, I believe. What about hanging out there for 2-4 days? Some could venture into the park and some could stay at the pool.

Posted by
908 posts

When we arrived mid-afternoon the canyon was all fogged in and we couldn't see very much. The next morning it was clear and the canyon was beautiful. Stay at least 1 night!

Posted by
8235 posts

"I haven't done this, but there is a glass skywalk. Maybe your daughter and wife could do that while you and your son hike"

The Skywalk is actually Grand Canyon West and as Kathy mentions upthread this is really a location to avoid. It's expensive and not actually IN the Grand Canyon National Park. It's about a 5 hour drive there from the South Rim.

Posted by
3888 posts

Pam, thanks for the clarification. It's not something we'd ever do, so had never researched it. The first thing the NPS link states is that the skywalk is outside the park.

Posted by
9779 posts

If you can get a last minute cancellation at a hotel in the park itself, that would be great. If not, try Tusayan which is the town right outside the entrance.

It's 75 miles from the center of Flagstaff to the entrance of the park. If you can't get anything near the park, Williams, AZ is closer than Flagstaff.

I would also suggest taking flight over the Canyon if it is in your budget. Helicopter or Airplane.

https://grandcanyon.com/tours/south-rim-tours-2/

Posted by
12189 posts

Stay inside the national park if you can. And yes, you can:
Yavapai Lodge, which is inside the national park at the South Rim, has family rooms with King bed and a set of bunk beds available on Sept. 12 and Sept. 14. On Sept. 13 they have regular rooms with 2 queen beds.

https://www.visitgrandcanyon.com/yavapai-lodge

That is the official booking site for this one lodge. The other lodges inside the park are operated by a different company, Xanterra, and can be booked at www.grand canyon lodges.com
I did not check for availability there are they are likely to be fully booked, but you can check. none of their lodges offers family rooms with bunks, but 4 of the lodges have rooms with 2 queen-size beds.

I strongly recommend you book a room I at Yavapai now—-it can be freely canceled later (up to 2 or 3 days in advance of the arrival date) if you change your mind and wish to do something else.

All of these lodges are close to the rim and the walking trails, so if “the girls” tire and do not wish to walk far they can always retreat to the room, or have a look around the shops. Staying inside the park will also allow you to do your hiking or walking early and late—-in the morning before it heats up, or in late afternoon when it begins to cool off.

Posted by
770 posts

I'll just add a couple things. I used to do trade shows for a living, and I've spent months (aggregate) in Las Vegas. There are some things to show and enjoy with your kids, but even though it's much more family oriented than it was 30 years ago it still is basically a night time show. Days are spent inside or at the pool, or outside of the city. I highly recommend doing an ATV tour at Red Rock Canyon.

I have family in Flagstaff, and it's not bad if you commute from there to the Grand Canyon. But Williams is probably better, and that's if you can't get a place closer to the South Rim. There's no way I'd try to make a day trip from LV. I would suggest you look at Death Valley, which is only 2 hours away and much more realistic as a day trip. (But remember, as with all desert environments, and as mentioned above, the best times for viewing the scenery and taking pictures is in the late afternoon/evening.)

Posted by
12479 posts

Yep, staying IN the park is the best. That way you're right THERE for sunrises and sunsets. Personally, I wouldn't do the train from Williams; you can get to the park much faster (and less expensively) in your own vehicle, and there isn't any great scenery from the train either. Plus, you'll need your car to explore the 20 mile-stretch from the Village out to Desert View as the shuttles don't run on that road. I also would not stay in Williams or Flagstaff. 2nd best option would be one of the hotels in Tusayan.

Yavapaii would be a good choice for your gang. We're fans of Bright Angel but they can't really accommodate families. Yavapai is also really close to Grand Canyon Market and Deli, and closer to Bright Angel Bike Rentals/Cafe than the other lodges. You'll also be just a wee hop from that interesting cemetery and McKee Amphitheater, where some of the ranger programs are held. Here's a nice pocket map to get you started, and current ranger program schedule:

https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/news/upload/sr-pocket-map.pdf
https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/sr-programs.htm

Something to be aware of? Just like the rest of the country, they were unable to find enough help to keep all the South Rim restaurants open this season. Here's a list of what is currently open, and should be at the time of your upcoming visit:

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/restaurants.htm

I've seen people turn their noses up at the Maswik Food Court but we didn't think it was bad at all. Not fancy but lots of choices. With young people, I'd go there before I'd take them to dinner at EL Tovar (https://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/content/uploads/2021/02/Dinner.TEMP-2.12.21-BM.v4-1.pdf)....which is very expensive, requires advance reservations, and has a menu which isn't exactly young-folk friendly. Anyway, I'd bring a cooler FOR SURE and stock up on ice, drinks and snacks en route to the park. More supplies - such as lunch fixins' - can be purchased at the GC market/deli. The best lunch in the house is a sammie somewhere on the rim in front of THAT VIEW.

Unfortunately, the main visitor center, the one nearest Yavapai, is closed but others are open:
https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm

And yep, Skywalk is at Grand Canyon WEST: closer to Vegas but infinitely further from the quality N.P. park experience. You can't even take your own photos on the silly thing - you have to buy them from their photographers - and it's $60 PP JUST to walk out on it. Tack on the $$ for (bad) meals, zip lines or other activities and it gets REALLY pricey. The South Rim? $35 covers the entry fee for your car and all 4 of you in it. For 7 days. Free parking in the park, and free shuttles for getting around (mandatory for Hermit Road, from Village to Hermit Rest. You can also cover all of the 8-mile distance on foot via the Rim Trail, or do part on foot and part with the shuttles.)

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/shuttle-buses.htm

Posted by
3888 posts

I can't even believe I was the one that had suggested the skywalk. It sounds like an area my family would absolutely hate, not to mention the high price. Like the Wisconsin Dells of the Grand Canyon.

I was going to mention that there is quite a range of accommodations right in the park. We stayed at the Maswik Lodge which is quite budget friendly and even better, one room could accommodate a family of 6. We love the historic national park lodges, but they never had rooms large enough for our crew. We have eaten at many of the Lodges' restaurants, however, including the restaurant at the Bright Angel Lodge. The setting is beautiful and the food, at least the last time we were there, was excellent.

Posted by
1288 posts

Definitely skip the train ride as you are on their time schedule and not yours. The price is not worth it in my opinion. A day trip from Vegas is not good time management either. There isn’t much for teens to see in Vegas and can be done in one day. They won’t be allowed in the casino except to get to your room.
I’d take a couple of days in and around the Grand Canyon over anytime in Vegas with kids.

Posted by
12479 posts

Maswik Lodge would be fine too. Actually, any of them what can accommodate the 4 of you. I'm just not personally a fan of El Tovar as I don't think it's worth the $$$$ price tag.

Jules, you aren't the first to confuse GC West (where Skywalk is) with the national park. Just the "Grand Canyon" part of the name has been confusing visitors since the Hualapai built the place so don't feel bad.

Posted by
1778 posts

IMHO the absolute best way to see the canyon is to do the 6 day motorized raft trip with Arizona Raft Adventures down the Colorado River. We took our two girls two summers ago and got to spend the night on the river camping. There is a 3 day/2 night that is much cheaper and does the lower part of the canyon and ends in Lake Mead. Highly recommended!

Posted by
3888 posts

@Tammy, nice suggestion! There are also one day raft trips. I have no idea where they would leave from. Also, I have a love/hate relationship with the mules, because I spent an entire day hiking down to Phantom Ranch trying to avoid mule poop, but there is the possibility of riding the mules into the canyon. People seem to enjoy it. I know they use the South Kaibab trail. Some of this stuff the visitor center would be able to help you with.

Posted by
12189 posts

The one-day raft trips are not in the Grand Canyon at the national park; they are well downriver in a less scenic area, and you actually only have a couple of hours on the river. I cannot recommend them.

But perhaps, after seeing the Grand Canyon from the rim, they would like to return next year for the longer multi-day raft trip through the canyon that Tammy is referring to. Start planning for that now, as they book up well in advance.

Posted by
12479 posts

Mule rides:
South Rim trips that go BELOW rim (down via Bright Angel; up via South Kaibab) involve an overnight at Phantom Ranch, and reservations are only available by lottery 15 months before the desired date. They're also very expensive.

The other option available in the park is a rim ride (4 hrs total; 2 hours of that in the saddle) that I'm told fills a number of months in advance during high season, although you sure could check for cancellations? Both are operated by Xanterra.

https://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/plan/mule-rides/

Tammy, I'm not seeing anything shorter than a 6-7 day trip on Arizona Raft Adventure's website, and all of those 6-7 day trips involve a mandatory hike out on Bright Angel. Maybe the 3-day version to Lake Mead is through a different company?

Posted by
12189 posts

Raft trips can be anywhere from 3 to 18 days, depending on the type of watercraft and which section of the river you cover. Some involve hiking hiking into or out of the canyon on the Bright Angel trail, or a helicopter ride into or out of the canyon (these are outside the national park. Authorized outfitters are listed on the park service webpage:

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/river-concessioners.htm

The 3-day trip mentioned above starts with a bus trip from Las Vegas to Bar 10 Ranch and helicopter ride down into the canyon to meet the boats at Whitmore Wash. The trip ends at Lake Mead and a bus ride back to Las Vegas. The entire trip is outside Grand Canyon National Park.

https://www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-river-trip/itinerary

The 6-day trip (7 days in April and September) offered by Western Rivers covers 188 miles of river, starting at Lees Ferry—-the put-in point for all the raft trips—-and going through Grand Canyon National Park and beyond to Whitmore Wash for a helicopter ride out of the canyon (the rafts will pick up people for the 3-day trip and continue down river from here).

https://www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-vacation/itinerary

This is the shortest possible “full canyon” trip, so-called because it covers the length of the Colorado River through the national park, the most beautiful part with the best rapids. The only access to the river between these points is by hiking; no commercial helicopters are allowed to land within the park boundaries. Some companies offer shorter trips than the “full canyon” trip, starting at Lees Ferry and going to Pipe Creek for a hike out of the canyon (the so-called “upper canyon” trip); or hiking down from the South Rim to Pipe Creek to meet the rafts to continue from there (called a “lower canyon” trip). And many companies offer longer full canyon trips than the 6-day Western Rivers one, using paddle rafts or dories with oars instead of motorized rafts.

I suggest that anyone interested in a Colorado River raft trip spend some time researching the various companies and trips to find the one that best suits your interests and needs. A raft trip is a major commitment in terms of time, money, and adventuresome attitude, and you want to get it right.

The OP has limited time at the Grand Canyon, but if they are interested in a rafting experience, I suggest the half-day smooth water float trip through Horseshoe Bend instead of the longer and wilder whitewater trips:

https://www.riveradventures.com/horseshoe-bend-rafting-trips/horseshoe-bend-rafting-experience/

This starts just below the Glen Canyon Dam and floats down to the take-out point at Lees Ferry, passing through iconic Horseshoe Bend on the way. They could head toward Page after a day and night at the South Rim for this adventure.

Posted by
1778 posts

@Kathy-the 3/2 night as well as the 6 night motorized raft trips did not involve any hiking! Well, there were some optional hikes when we were on the river, but otherwise no. Perhaps they are not doing the 3/2 night trip this year because of covid, I don’t know I have not looked. In normal times, you can fly to Las Vegas, fly to canyon, raft the river and then bussed back to Vegas. This is what we did. My girls loved it!
If you decide on rafting, I don’t recommend Hatch. The owner is a jerk.

Posted by
12479 posts

Ah. OK, so the 3-day thingie is with a different company than the Arizona Raft Adventures previously mentioned. That's why it didn't show up on their site. Thanks, Lola! :O)

Tammy, it's possible they changed their 6-day tours since you took yours? For sure, both 6-day versions (Classic Upper Canyon and Paddle Raft Upper Canyon) now include that required B.A. hike out. Even two of the longer trips, such as the Lower Canyon 9-10 day classic and 9-day Paddle Raft Lower Canyon require a long hike (in both cases, down B.A. to the river to board the rafts/boats).

But however one chooses to be wonderstruck by our grandest of canyons, it sure is good to be amongst all of you enthusiasts! The only wrong way is National Lampoon's 2-second hit-and-run. Or pulling a Thelma and Louise, of course. Bit of trivia? Their Thunderbird wasn't launched off the edge there; that was filmed near Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah (a nice stop along the way to Canyonlands Island in the Sky unit).

Posted by
12479 posts

Sorry, one more post....
I'm probably a little over-passionate about the GC as we woke up our very first morning of our very first visit (South Rim) on a you-never-forget-where-you-were day: 9/11/2001. I think I spent a lot of that day taking in the grandeur through a blur of tears.

Hard to believe it was 20 years ago.

Posted by
6587 posts

Do not visit the Grand Canyon as a day trip! Stay overnight. It is a much more important place to visit than Las Vegas.

Posted by
203 posts

A bit late but, years ago in April, I was at a conference in Vegas and after two or three days had to get out of that town so rented a car and drove out to the Grand Canyon. I arrived at the Park late afternoon, with no hotel reservation but was able to rent a room at El Tovar. It was getting dark so it wasn’t until the next day that I saw the incredible canyon view from my room. Spent the morning wandering around the rim and even hiked down the trail a bit, and then drove back to Vegas the long way through Page. Arrived back in Vegas late that night and left the next day, never to return!

Posted by
12479 posts

So, Nebbish?
Your trip is likely behind you now and I'm wondering how the G.C. plan ended up (hope you didn't try to do it in a day from Vegas) and how it went for you and your tribe? Care to share a brief trip report? :O)

Posted by
3 posts

Hi Everybody!

I have been meaning to get back here and update all of you so I apologize. I took the advice for two days at the Grand Canyon and, as everyone that suggested we do so surmised, it was definitely worth it.

We left LV at 7AM Monday morning and arrived at the Grand Canyon just after 11AM. We hiked around Mather Point for awhile before retreating to Yavapai Lodge for a late lunch. After lunch, we took the car up to Desert View Drive to log some time at the Watchtower. On the way back down, I hit every one of the vista points to take some panoramic shots, then we headed to the Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel just outside the park (I was too late to obtain a reservation in one of the GC lodges) and had a late dinner at the Big E Steakhouse.

Day 2 began with an 8AM rendezvous at Bright Angel Bicycles to pick up the bikes we reserved. I had planned to have the family bike all the way up to Hermit's Rest, but made it as far as the Village Route Transfer point when the girls decided they could not bike that far up. Annoyed and disappointed, I reluctantly turned the family around and brought the bikes back to BAB so we could take the bus. We hit almost all of the stops along the route for more panoramic shots and had lunch at Hermit's Rest. We finished up at the Park Store to grab some souvenirs and then made our way back to LV.

Overall, the Grand Canyon was definitely the highlight of our trip. It was 20 degrees cooler than Las Vegas and the drive in was more picturesque than I had expected. I appreciate all the suggestions and hope to get back there soon with my son to do some hiking inside the canyon!