We started a bucket list of places that we want to visit before we leave Las Vegas, and high on my list was the Grand Canyon. It’s a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas traveling through Utah and Arizona. We passed by Zion in Utah, which is another amazing place to hike. I love exploring with our little family, and our little sweetie did a great job with hiking on this trip!
Patrick planned a great overnight trip for us on the North Rim, complete with staying in a log cabin in the forest 🙂 The North Rim is a bit cooler and only open from May-Oct. The South Rim is the more popular tourist destination and is open all year long. I liked that the North Rim wasn’t too crowded and the temperatures slightly cooler because it sits at a higher elevation.
We stayed at the Grand Canyon Lodge, and while it’s a no frills kind of place, I thought it was perfect for the setting. The main lobby area has huge windows that overlook the Grand Canyon, and a nice deck area where you can sit and enjoy the view.
There are trails that start out right from the lodge, and we were pleasantly surprised that our 2 year old daughter could actually hike some of them herself as long as we kept a close eye on her. Bright Angel Trail is an easy paved path that leads to incredible vistas of the canyon, and all the different colored layers of rock.
Just a short drive from the Lodge were some beautiful lookouts and short trails that were great for kids. They call this Angel’s Window, and if you look closely you can see the Colorado River through the “window”. You can actually walk out along the top of Angel’s Window (see the railing to the far left), and the views are spectacular!
We hiked along another trail at Cape Royal that leads to Wotan’s Throne and Vishnu Temple. These were my favorite lookout points of the day, truly natural wonders! It’s amazing to think of the Native Americans making this canyon their home thousands of years ago.
Nearing sunset, we stopped at a few lookouts on the way back to the Lodge. Then, it was time to eat and settle in for the night. Our daughter was so excited to sleep in the cabin!
There are other trails on the North Rim, including the Kalbab Trail that leads into the canyon. A friend of ours tried to set up a trip where we hiked from rim to rim, starting at either the north or the south rim and staying overnight in the canyon at Phantom Ranch, but you have to reserve Phantom Ranch a year in advance. It’s around 22 miles total, and I still think this would be a great experience! One of the rangers told us that the fastest anyone has hiked rim to rim was a marathoner who RAN it in just over 3 hours! There are others who do Rim to Rim to Rim in a day, and the fastest anyone has done that is just under 7 hours!
Overall, it was a great family vacation and I’d definitely recommend staying at the Lodge if you travel to the North Rim as it gives you easy access to all the trails!
What are some places on your bucket list?