Grand Canyon

Arizona's Grand Canyon
Arizona's Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon Tour will no doubt be the highlight of your trip to Arizona. This compelling landscape is composed of a vast array of unusual shapes and brilliant colors. In daylight, the Grand Canyon takes on a glimmering, mystical glow. As evening begins to fall, the colors of the sunset are reflected in the rocks. Yet no matter what you have read or heard about the Grand Canyon Tour, at first sight, you will surely be overwhelmed.

Although millions of visitors take the Grand Canyon Tour each year, everyone comes with a different purpose. Some are fascinated by the formation of the rocks. Others are interested in the human element, and seek to explore the history of the people who have lived in this region. Some visitors want to study the unique plants and animals of the southwestern desert. However, once you take the Grand Canyon Tour, you will understand that all of these factors are interrelated.

Depending on your athleticism, there are many ways to take a Grand Canyon tour. Most people explore the canyon by foot. If you choose to hike during the warmer months, it's wise to start early. The afternoon sun can be quite hot. Also since the trails are rather narrow, you don't want to be hiking down when everyone else is hiking up. Be sure to bring plenty of water, especially if you live at a lower altitude.

At night, if you would like to stay at a rustic, luxury hotel, plan on staying at the Grand Canyon Lodge, located at the North Rim of the canyon. The lodge was built by Union Pacific Railroad in 1928. As you enter the lobby, walk towards the Sun Room, where three large picture windows give impressive views of the Grand Canyon. From the lodge, you have access to four types of cabins. The Western and Rim cabins are more luxurious, whereas the Pioneer and Frontier are more rustic. Grand Canyon Lodge is operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, a park-management company which the National Park Service has selected.

When planning your Grand Canyon trip, you should also consider looking for Grand Canyon lodging on the South Rim. El Tovar Hotel is an architectural masterpiece. It was built by the Fred Harvey Company in 1904, and was designed to resemble the hunting lodges of Europe. You cannot talk about the Harvey Company without mentioning the Harvey Girls. These women were recruited by newspaper ads from towns across the United States. They were expected to have an impeccable moral character, at least an eight grade education, clear speech and good manners. Outfitted in their black dresses and white aprons, they set the standards for excellent service. Today, the El Tovar stands by that tradition. Other Grand Canyon lodging in the South Rim includes the Bright Angel Lodge, Kachina and Thunderbird Lodges, the Maswik Lodge and the Yavapai Lodge.

If you are planning a last minute Grand Canyon trip during the busier season, you may not be able to find Grand Canyon lodging within the park. The Kaibab Lodge is located five miles north of the parks boundaries. A variety of cabin sizes are available.

Those of you who would like to minimize the use of a car on your trip to Grand Canyon, Arizona should consider taking the Grand Canyon Railway, which offers travel and lodging packages. The staff of the Grand Canyon Railway can also offer a wealth of information about the area. That being said, no matter which way you decide to travel, and no matter where you choose to stay, your trip to the Grand Canyon, Arizona will surely be a memorable one!

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