Home DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT Grand Canyon AZ: Mother Nature’s Masterpiece
Grand Canyon AZ: Mother Nature’s Masterpiece PDF Print E-mail

When planning your visit, realize you can't experience this fantastic setting in just a day or two. Spend at least a week, and even that may seem inadequate. After a million years, this wonder of the world is still being sculptured by Mother Nature out of the rocky Arizona landscape.

Basics: The Grand Canyon is 80 miles from Flagstaff, 230 from Phoenix and 278 from Las Vegas. If you have physical limitations, the Grand Canyon website provides information on wheelchair access, handicap parking, special hotel accommodations and other ways to make your visits more comfortable and convenient.  

Grand Canyon Visitor Center: It’s located at the South Rim, the more popular tourist area. As you arrive, stop there to catch up on weather, new exhibits, events and other current happenings. The Center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and staffed by friendly, helpful rangers.

Choices Of Activities: Things to do at the Grand Canyon are almost endless. Just a few include hiking, RVing, camping, rock climbing, nature studies, birdwatching, boating, swimming, horseback and the Canyon’s famed mule rides. Be at a Caynon Rim during the beautifully quiet and awe-inspiring moments of dawn and sunset. The colors range from brilliant yellows to deep purples. The best places to enjoy those experiences are at Hopi, Mohave, Yaki and Yavapai Points.

Mules Are Favorites: Book the mule ride down into the Grand Canyon’s lowest point to the banks of the Colorado River. Because of its great popularity, reservations must be made as much as a year in advance.

In addition to the mule rides down the trails, hikers can also trek along it. The steep, rocky trails may be challenges to those seniors with vision and mobility problems.  

There are varieties of mule ride choices originating from both the South and North Rims. Mule ride costs per person range from about $125 for a three-hour ride, to about $600 for the trail adventure and overnight camping by the Colorado River.

Bright Angel Lodge, 9 Village Loop Drive, Grand Canyon Village AZ 86023: This is the South Rim point where the mule rides begin. Rates at this handicap-friendly facility are much higher from late May through early September. Daily rates at Bright Angel are from $100 for a basic room with shared bath, up to $400 and more for private luxury suites.

Arizona Room At Bright Angel Lodge: A typical meal could include the dinner sampler ($30), which includes filet steak, chicken breast and baby back ribs. It’s served with a baked potato and prickly pear sauce. A favorite dessert is New York cheesecake ($8) covered with prickly pear cactus syrup. Prices listed are estimates. For more updated info, go to www.nps.gov/grca

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