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Grand Canyon Travel Tips

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The Grand Canyon meanders and stretches over 200 miles from end to end - a seemingly limitless expanse of wild and rocky natural beauty that makes for the perfect escape from hectic city life. The area is steeped in a strong Native American heritage, which can still be experienced today. For lovers of the outdoors, there’s no shortage of hiking trails, camping spots, nature walks, and white-water rafting.

 

Best Time to Travel

 

If you plan to do some serious hiking when you reach the Grand Canyon, you should always check the weather in advance and plan accordingly. While it can be warm t-shirt weather deep in the canyon during winter, the canyon rims can be chilly and even snowy. During the height of summer, temperatures really do soar, so if you plan to explore the canyon but don’t fare well in the heat, this season is best avoided. The area hosts several festivals around the year, like the bustling Celebration of Art festival in September, and the immensely popular Music Festival in August.

 

Not to Miss

 

Science-buffs, history-fiends and architecture-lovers must check out the South Rim Historic District, which is full of grand buildings and museums, like the Yavapai Geology Museum and the Hopi House. While you’re near the South Rim, why not book an adrenaline-fueled whitewater rafting trip, or a relaxed donkey ride? If you’re after the urban energy of a theatrical show or bustling shopping scene, head to Flagstaff, an hour and 20 minute drive away. Of course, when in the area, you’ll want to spend most of your time exploring the canyon itself.

 

Getting around

 

The Grand Canyon is easily reached by air, road, and rail. A convenient airport for travelers to fly to is Phoenix Sky Harbor, which serves dozens of domestic cities, and international locations like London and Toronto. Once there, there are limited connecting flights to Flagstaff Airport. Alternatively, hop on an Amtrak train or Greyhound Bus to Flagstaff, and catch a connecting bus to the Grand Canyon. Driving through the sun-scorched desert to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix will take around 3 hours 30 minutes. Once there, shuttles and buses criss-cross through the area, but it’s always convenient to have your own car.

 

Cuisine

 

Like all of Arizona, the Grand Canyon region boasts a proud food heritage. While you’ll find no shortage of classic American fare, try some fine Mexican dishes with an Arizona twist, like spicy tamales with fresh avocado slices, or rich and cheesy quesadillas. Arizona also takes its Native American roots into its contemporary cuisine scene, creating fun fusions - get hold of some pancakes with prickly pear jam or mouthwatering mesquite-flour muffins.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Much of the area surrounding, and within, the Grand Canyon region is Native American Reservation land. While some Native American tribes on the South Rim welcome tourists, like the Hualapai and Havasupai Tribes - with their natural swimming pools and craft stalls - if you’re out hiking and find a territory fence, don’t cross over it into the reservation. When it comes to eating and drinking, don't forget to tip good service.

Fast Facts

 

Population: 2000

Spoken languages: English

Electrical: The USA runs on 120V, 60 Hz current

Phone Calling Code: +1 928911