[at-l] Grand Canyon

Jim and_or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 27 20:37:16 CDT 2010

The Grand Canyon is best visited in spring or fall.  Summer is extremely hot (110+ at the bottom of the Canyon) and very crowded (Disneyland crowds).   South Kaibab is a good trail to get to the bottom of the canyon, if you can get a reservation at either Phantom Ranch or the campground.  It's not recommended going down to the river and back in one day.  It's doable, but it's not easy, especially when it's hot.  I think South Kaibab is much more spectacular than Bright Angel Trail (but BA is an easier climb out).  Backcountry reservations can be hard to get without advance notice. 
As others have said, there are a lot of great ways to get to northern Arizona, and lots to do along the way if you have the time to linger a while.  If you want some fun family activiites - spend time in southern Colorado where you can climb peaks, bike jeep roads through the mountains, and raft the rivers.  New Mexico has some great places to visit as well if you are coming from the south:  Carlsbad Caverns is cool in the summer as are the mountains around Albuquerque.  I really enjoyed our visit to Bandelier and Petroglyph National Monument. Northern NM and Northern Arizona are generally fairly cool in summer (except at the bottom of the Canyon).    The Grand Circle of Zion, Bryce, Arches and the Grand Canyon make a fantastic vacation of two weeks or more - but if you go after mid-May it will be very hot and full of tourists.  
That said, the Canyon is gorgeous and worth seeing at least once in your life.  I've been a dozen or so times, and it still awes me.

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