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Family Christmas Vacation at the Grand Canyon

Updated on November 25, 2009

The Grand Canyon can be a unique and memorable place to visit on your family Christmas vacation. Majestic scenery, interesting wildlife, and excellent hiking and walking trails will give you and your family plenty to do! Here are some tips to help you plan your Grand Canyon family vacation this holiday season.

1. Make your reservations early.

Most lodges around the Grand Canyon have plenty of room during the holiday season. However, if you want to stay at El Tovar, the Grand Canyon’s famous historic lodge, you will need to make reservations early. El Tovar is located on the rim of the canyon and is a Registered National Historic Landmark. With dining, a curio shop, and Christmas festivities, this is a great choice for your family for its atmosphere and convenience. Other options for families on a budget can be found in the surrounding Grand Canyon area.


2. Plan for inclement weather.


Weather at the Grand Canyon can be unpredictable. While a bit of snow can make your holiday at the Grand Canyon truly spectacular, there is also a risk of icy trails and traveling conditions. Check with a park ranger and local weather services for forecasts, and bring warm clothing and boots or other appropriate footwear for you and your family. Bringing layers will ensure that you and your family are comfortable in any weather.


3. Hike through the canyon to enjoy the scenery.


Pack hiking boots for you and your family to hike through or around the Grand Canyon. Families with older children or experienced hikers may be interested in some of the hiking trails within the Grand Canyon, while families with small children or those unaccustomed to hiking can enjoy walking around the many trails on the canyon’s rim. Shuttles run around the rim on a regular schedule, making it easy to walk as much or as little as you and your family like.


4. Don’t miss the Grand Canyon Railway Polar Express ride!


The Grand Canyon Railway offers a Polar Express ride throughout the holiday season. The train leaves from Williams Depot in Williams, Arizona and travels to the North Pole, where Santa and the reindeer are waiting for the travelers! Santa joins the train and hands out a toy to each child. This is a great experience for families with children! You can reserve tickets online to ensure that you and your family have a reserved spot.


Image Credit: Wolfgang Staudt, Flickr


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