27 Super Fun Things to Do at the Grand Canyon with Kids

Looking for the best child-friendly activities to do at the Grand Canyon with kids? Read on for my top suggestions!

The Grand Canyon is the 4th most visited national park in the United States for good reason – it’s truly awe-inspiring and jaw-droppping. That first look over the canyon is one that I won’t ever forget.

The gorge cuts deep into the earth, with multiple layers and plateaus visible. And the canyon isn’t just one straight line – it’s jagged and zigs and zags through the earth, with many other little canyons running into the main canyon. There’s dozens of vantage points along the South Rim, and tons of cool opportunities to interact with the world famous Grand Canyon.

And one of the best parts of the Grand Canyon? There’s a TON of things to do, no matter your age, interest, or hiking ability.

This guide is all about exploring the Grand Canyon with kids. We are making some assumptions here – mainly, that you probably aren’t doing the MOST intense hikes with your kids, and want things that steer closer to easy than strenuous.

For a little context, we visited the Grand Canyon with our four girls, ages 5,7, 9, and 11, and they have some, but not tons, of hiking experience. This Grand Canyon with kids guide is specifically for the South Rim – but we will have a North Rim guide coming soon!

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27 Best Things to Do in the Grand Canyon with Kids

So let’s jump right into the list of the best things to do in the Grand Canyon with kids. This list is divided into several sections, with our top experiences listed in each section.

➡️Great Kid Hikes in the Grand Canyon

When hiking in the Grand Canyon, remember, mules have the right of way!

1. Bright Angel Path

Bright Angel is one of the most popular trails in the park, and for good reason. It has gorgeous views down into the canyon as you hike, and, if you stay on it, it eventually does take you down to the Colorado River. At the river, you can hook up with the North Kaibab trail, which takes you to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Most people don’t go anywhere near that far. In fact, if you’re hiking with kids, you will probably want to hike just to the first, maybe the second waypoint on the trail. The first waypoint is 1.5 miles (one way) into the canyon, and the second is 3 miles in. At the first stop, there is a fresh water spigot, a emergency telephone box, and a restroom house and shelter.

The first part of the Bright Angel path is the most steep – it drops over 1000 feet in elevation in 1.5 miles. Thankfully, the path has many logs built into it to create a staircase effect, which does help. A lot of the path is in the sun, but if you are hiking the morning, there are spots that are shady too.

Is this a good path for kids? Our 11, 9, 7, and 5 year-old did fairly well on this hike. They did get tired, but managed to make it up without too much difficulty, even with having had minimal hiking experience prior to this.

I think this trail has many features that makes it accessible for kids, as the path was wide and level (no rocks), had plenty of interesting rocks features, and even some animal sightings. Although it was decently sandy, which made it a bit slippery on some downhill sections.

2. South Kaibab Trail

I loved South Kaibab Trail! Like Bright Angel, South Kaibab immediately leaves the rim and steeply descends into the canyon. The very first part of the trail is a set of tight switchbacks along the face of the sheer wall, and then you start following the canyon wall out and along. South Kaibab goes all the way down into the canyon to the river, but there are a series of milestones along the way.

The first viewpoint is Ooh Ahh Point, which is a couple of really big rocks that overlook the canyon. The views are great here! This point is just 0.75 miles into the canyon, so if you want a hike that is shorter but feels like you still reach a destination, this is a good option. Cedar Ridge is the next viewpoint and it is 1.5 miles one-way to this spot.

The trail is really well kept, with a lot of steps built into the trail to help minimize slipping. However, with the significant amount  of sand on the path, slipping is still fairly easy to do, so wear your best shoes with the most traction.

The view from Ooh Ah Point. Our kids loved this Grand Canyon hike.

With a cool trail and gorgeous views, this is a good mixture of short and manageable, but is definitely a “real” hike with some elevation changes and fantastic lookout spots.

We did Bright Angel and South Kaibab at about the same time of the day (8am) but found that South Kaibab still had a lot of shady areas at that time of day, whereas Bright Angel was mostly in sun.

Personally, I thought that the South Kaibab was the better hike in the Grand Canyon to do with children. We thought the trail was a little more interesting, the kids appreciated the shadiness, and it’s nice that there is a viewpoint at 0.75 miles, instead of 1.5 miles, giving you more flexibility on how long you want to go. (Of course, you can stop whenever you want, you don’t have to wait for the official “spot”, but I’m not going to lie, it feels nice to reach a milestone before turning around!).

3. Shoshone Point

Shoshone Point is a great hike to do with kids at the Grand Canyon.

Shoshone Point is a bit of a hidden gem, and is a great Canyon Canyon hike to do with kids, as the trail is only 2 miles round trip, and the trail is very flat and easy.

Unlike many of the other hikes in the Grand Canyon, the hike was to the rim, not along the rim, or under the rim, which makes it unique.

Most of the hike to Shoshone Point is through this pine forest.

At the very end of the hike, you’ll walk out on a narrow ledge with steep drop-offs around you (it reminded me a little bit of the spine of Angel’s Landing, though not nearly as skinny or precarious). The very end of the viewpoint widens a bit and you have the most spectacular panorama that stretches all around you. You can catch a glimpse of the Colorado River and the North Rim just feels really close from here.

We had seen many viewpoints by the time we hiked Shoshone, but it still absolutely took my breath away.

If you’re hiking with younger kids, this would be an area to definitely hold their hands, or just stop before the skinny part of the trail starts. Older kids may need a safety reminder, too.

The stone pillar at the end of Shoshone Point was something our kids found fascinating.

Logistics: This trail is located on the eastern section of the South Rim, off of Highway 64, which is not serviced by shuttles – you must drive yourself. Pay attention because the parking lot/trailhead is not marked on the roadway, so you’ll need to follow navigation.

There are enough spots for about 20-30 cars – when we went at the beginning of June about 1/3 of the spaces were filled. There is an overflow lot on the other side of the road about 1/4 mile down the road.

4. Rim Trail

The Rim Trail is a paved, relatively flat trail that goes riiiiight along the edge of the Rim and provides incredible views over the canyon. It also passes through all the viewpoints on the western half of the South Rim.

It starts at the South Kaibab Trailhead and ends at Hermit’s Landing, the very western point that is accessible of the South Rim, making the total length 12.8 miles!

While not as exciting as the other hikes on this list, this trail is great if you have low mobility or are pushing a stroller. Kids also appreciate that it is nice and flat and has several paved sections. It also includes the Trail of Time as part of its length.

Luckily, you don’t need to commit to the full length to enjoy this trail. Many of the main amenities available at the South Rim are located right off the Rim Trail, and it is easy to walk sections as you move between these attractions or viewpoints.

You can also access the shuttle bus at many points on the trail, so you can walk between some viewpoints and then pick up the shuttle bus for other stretches. It’s a very customizable trail.

➡️Admire the Viewpoints

There are 18 viewpoints on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon that are located along the entire 32 miles of the South Rim. Some of these viewpoints are serviced by the shuttle buses, others you have to drive to yourself.

All of these overlooks provide a unique view of the Grand Canyon, and truly, all are magnificent. But if you don’t have time (or desire!) to visit all 18, these were our favorite viewpoints to visit in the Grand Canyon with kids:

5. Trail Overlook

Looking into the Grand Canyon from Trail Overlook. Bright Angle Trail forms an orange, winding line down the side of the canyon toward the river below.
Admiring the stunning views from the viewpoints is a child-friendly activity at the Grand Canyon.

Trail Overlook (as well as the next 3 overlooks) is on the Red shuttle line, which is on the western side of the Grand Canyon South Rim. As the name suggests, it has great view of Bright Angel Trail. You can see the trail snaking down the side of the cliff, and out towards the river.

Our kids really liked seeing the hikers on Bright Angel Trail. If you’re planning to do this hike with your children, I’d recommend doing the hike before you do the viewpoint; it’s cooler when you can say “that’s where we just were!”

6. Powell Point

Powell Point is a fun overlook for kids because you get your first view of the river here, plus the scenery is just very dramatic. There’s also a really fun mesa in this section shaped like a crescent (you can see it in the above picture on the left side in the middle).

There’s also a small ledge you can climb down to that is in front of the official viewpoint – this is where the above picture is taken.

7. Mojave Point

Mojave is a REALLY fun viewpoint for kids. This overlook has a great view of the Colorado River, as well as a condor nest really close to the viewpoint. There is often a ranger there, pointing out the birds and the nest and helping you spot it. Our kids had a great time here.

8. Moran Point

Moran Point is on Desert View Drive, on the eastern side of the South Rim, and is only accessible by car, not shuttle. This particular viewpoint is really nice because it feels like you can see the canyon stretch on forever, and there’s not many people here.

9. Desert View WatchTower

Desert View Watchtower is the easternmost point in the Grand Canyon South Rim, and it has a lot to offer. This overlook has this cool old brick watchtower that was constructed in 1932 and is now a National Historic Landmark. The upper sections of the tower are closed to visitors, but you can go in the main level.

This is also the best viewpoint in the entire Grand Canyon to see the Colorado River, as you are oriented to look up the canyon head-on towards the river.

At this overlook, there are some of those binoculars where you pay a quarter to use the machine – I think it’s worth the quarter (or 3) to get a closer look at the way the bright turquoise water cuts through the canyon.

The binoculars here were a hit with the kids

This overlook is fairly popular, and has a large parking lot (though it wasn’t even half full when we visited in summer). There are also a lot of amenities at this overlook, including bathrooms, water fill stations inside the gift shop, a gift shop, rangers, etc.

10. Watching the Sunset

Facing west

Sunset in the Grand Canyon is magical. The way that the sun dips below the western horizon filled with the ridges and mesas of the canyon is incredible, and the warm glow on the orange rocks on the eastern horizon is just gorgeous.

Facing east

There are a bunch of good sunset spots at the Grand Canyon, including Mojave, Powell, and Hopi Points (thanks to the direction they’re facing). The area around the Geology Museum is a great spot as well. This is where we went to watch the sunset, and we started at the Geology Museum and walked east along the Rim Trail until we found a spot we wanted to chill at – there are a lot of good spots.

Make sure you get to a spot around 30 minutes before sunset for time to admire the view, and the glow, and take pictures, and then watch the sun dip below the horizon.

➡️Get Around In a Unique Way

There are several ways to get around the Grand Canyon, and it’s important to know about them all!

12. Bicycles

Bicycling around the Grand Canyon is both allowed and encouraged! You can bike on most roads on the South Rim on the Grand Canyon, and if you get tired, you can hop on a shuttle bus and put your bike on the front of the bus.

You can bring your own bikes or rent them from Bright Angel Bicycles, located right next to the Visitor’s Center in the national park. They offer bike rentals, as well as bike tours.

We saw a ton of families biking around the Grand Canyon – it’s a great way to break up the pace and do something that most kids really enjoy, while still enjoying the beautiful scenery and views of the Grand Canyon.

Get more information on bicyling in the Grand Canyon here.

13. Shuttle Bus

The Grand Canyon has a very well-designed shuttle system, with 5 different lines servicing different spots in the park. Three of these lines run year round, and two of them run only seasonally. Most of these lines service the western side of the Grand Canyon South Rim.

One of these lines actually runs from the town of Tusayan (the closest town to the main entrance, about 15 minutes away) to the South Rim Visitor’s Center. This shuttle is only open in the summer, but can be a great way to avoid lines and parking during the busiest times of year.

Shuttles usually come every 15-30 minutes. The National Park Service warns that you may have to wait to board during the busiest times of year – we did not experience overly full buses and having to wait for the next bus when we visited in early June.

Between March and November, you can only visit the string of 8 viewpoints between Trail Overlook and Hermit’s Rest by shuttle bus, walking, or biking. While you *can* walk the Rim Trail to all the viewpoints, it is a LONG walk. The distance between a few of these viewpoints is pretty short (e.g. Powell Point to Hopi Point was less than a 10 minute walk), but otherwise you may want to just take the shuttle.

For most people at most stops, you generally have enough time to get out, look at the viewpoint, take it in, take your pictures, all before the next shuttle bus comes.

You can get a lot of detailed information (plus a map) of the shuttle system here. You will also receive a map with the shuttle information and stops on it when you arrive in the park.

14. Drive the Desert View Drive

While there is a lot of infrastructure and shuttles servicing the western side of the Grand Canyon, the eastern side (basically from the South Kaibab Trail eastward) does not have shuttles running, and this area has a lot fewer services.

This meant that the eastern section of the park was definitely less popular and less trafficked than the western region, but it was really beautiful! As you drive along the Desert View Drive (aka Highway 64), you’ll be among the juniper forests, with several impressive overlooks (plus a few extra unnamed overlooks) to stop at.

There are also several picnic areas that are just un-named pulloffs on Highway 64, with picnic tables in the middle of the woods.

➡️Fun, Educational Activites for Kids at the Grand Canyon

Our children have had a great time participating in these educational activities at the Grand Canyon – all are free, interesting, and engaging activities for children of varying ages.

15. Jr Ranger Program

Every National Park in the United States (and many other sites in the National Park Service system) offer a Junior Rangers program for kids. To participate, ask for a Jr Rangers booklet at the Visitor’s Center. You’ll be given a really well-designed, fun, and interactive booklet with pages of activities to complete as you tour the Grand Canyon.

Usually, kids are required to finish between 5-8 pages (depending on their age), and then they can get the book checked by a park ranger, and awarded a Junior Ranger badge. These wooden badges are different and unique for each park you visit, and are a fun activity and collectable to get from a trip to the Grand Canyon.

I don’t have a picture of their Grand Canyon Jr Rangers badges, but this picture is from Washington DC – just to give you an idea of what they look like!

16. Ranger-Led Programs

Our kids have really loved the interactive and engaging Ranger Programs found at National Parks, making this a great activity for children at the Grand Canyon. Rangers lead discussions, show great hands-on visuals, and do demonstrations centered around wildlife, geology, plant life, history, and more.

Meet at the Visitor’s Center at 3pm to participate in these free programs (this time can change throughout the year, so check the times the day you arrive).

17. Yavapai Geology Museum

The Yavapai Geology Museum is a great stop at the Grand Canyon with kids, particularly during the heat of the day when you may need a break from the sun!

This is a small museum, but it has some really interesting displays. Annotated displays at the base of the panoramic windows show you where to look to see each group of rocks.

There’s a model of a cross-section of the canyon walls, which points out different layers and the geologic history of each section of the rock.

Our kids particularly enjoyed the large, topographical 3D map, which shows a detailed view of the canyon, and can be touched and explored up close.

➡️Spot Wildlife

Observing the animals and wildlife around the Grand Canyon was one of our kids’ favorite part of our visit – and there are many animals to watch for in the area. Here are the most common:

18. Elk

Elk are very common sightings at the Grand Canyon. You’ll almost certainly see some walking along the road when you’re shuttling, or maybe even by a water station. In many ways, elk look like essentially very big deer.

We saw this elk hanging around the water spigots at the South Kaibab Trailhead. The water is enclosed because elk regularly come, try to get the water, and break the spigots.

Despite the elk being very accustomized to humans, you should not approach, touch, feed, or water the elk.

That being said, this particular elk was incredibly curious, and actually came up behind our 9 year-old daughter when she was sitting on some rocks and started licking her hair! (Probably for the salt content in her sweaty hair) We all laughed, but then quickly moved away from the elk.

You may also run into them at in the nearby campgrounds at and around the Grand Canyon.

19. Wild Horses

While wild horses don’t live in the national park itself, we did see some horses roaming freely on the sides of the road on Highway 64, as we were 5-10 minutes away from the entrance. We talked to a ranger inside the park and they said that yes, there are wild horses that live just outside the park.

So, watch the sides of the road as you approach the Grand Canyon and maybe you’ll see them too!

20. Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep are a common animal to see in the Grand Canyon. They can scramble impresively well on the sides of the cliffs. Keep your eyes open for them as you do hikes down into the canyon – we saw this guy on the Bright Angel Trail!

21. Condors

The California Condor is a very rare and endangered bird found in the American southwest. It is also the largest bird in North America – they weight around 20 lbs and have a wingspan of almost 10 feet!

You can regularly see these birds gliding around the Grand Canyon – they have a very hooked nose and a “fingered” wing tips. Mojave viewpoint is an especially good place to spot them.

22. Mules

While not wild animals, mules are one domesticated animal very common and traditional to the Grand Canyon. These hardy and strong animals have been used since the 1800’s to transport people and goods from the rim to the river, and back again.

Remember, mules on the trails have the right of way, and don’t be surprised if you see mule poop while you’re hiking.

23. Lizards and Snakes

As it is the desert, it probably comes as no surprise that the Grand Canyon is home to reptiles. There are 41 species of lizards, snakes, and tortoises in the Grand Canyon. While many of the little lizards you’ll see are harmless, some snakes and the gila monster lizard are poisonous, so just keep some distance if you see a snake or very large lizard.

While we saw some cute little lizards, we didn’t see any snakes when we were at the Grand Canyon with our kids. Snakes generally try to avoid humans, so it’s rather unlikely you’ll see one when you’re staying in the higher trafficked areas closer to the rim.

➡️Enjoy Amenities at Grand Canyon Village

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon has a lot of amenities and infrastructure. While the viewpoints, hiking trailheads, and other attractions are spread out along the miles of the south rim, a lot of the infrastructure is centered around the Grand Canyon Village.

This area is right by the Bright Angel Trailhead and includes 5 hotels and lodges, as well as restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, gift shops, a clinic, garage for car repairs, kennel, the Lookout Studio, the Verkamp’s Visitor Center, and the Train Depot.

➡️Adventure Activities

These three adventure activities are perfect for doing something a little bit off the beaten path when visiting the Grand Canyon with kids.

24. Ride the Grand Canyon Railway

This train ride on the Grand Canyon Railway is an extremely fun and entertaining way to experience the “wild west” and get some time with in the canyon. You’ll start at the 1908 historic train depot in the town of Williams, about 60 miles south of the Grand Canyon. At the depot, you’ll see a Wild West re-enactment, and then onboard the train you’ll enjoy the beautiful views of the Kaibab Forest, music from strolling musicians, an Old West train robbery, and “the antics of western characters as they recreate train travel as it was back in 1901.”

When you arrive at the historic 1910 Grand Canyon Depot, you’ll have several hours to explore the Grand Canyon, and then hop back on the train to take it back to your origin point.

This is a very exciting way to spend a day in the Grand Canyon with children, with all the re-creations and nods to the Old Wild West.

👉Check rates and availability for the Grand Canyon Railway here

25. Take a Mule Ride

Riding mules in the Grand Canyon has long been a way for people to get people and supplies down into the canyon. Today, at the south rim, you can participate in one of two different mule riding activities.

The first is a 2 hour long mule ride that goes along the rim. You’re with a guide, who stops several times to give explanations of what you are seeing.

The second option is much more involved and gives you the incredible experience of riding a mule down into the canyon, all the way to the Phanton Ranch (about 10 miles down and in). You’ll stay the night at the ranch, and then ride the mules back up to the rim.

These experiences are very popular, so you need to reserve well in advance! Additionally, currently the mule rides to Phantom Ranch are suspended due to restoration projects in the Grand Canyon – but they will resume in the future.

You can get more information about the mule rides here.

26. Take a Helicopter Ride Over the Grand Canyon

Want a rush of adrenaline as you experience the Grand Canyon from an entirely new angle? This helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon takes you on a long 45-minute ride with bird’s eye views over the vast chasms in the rock. You’ll take off from the town of Tusayan, and watching the trees stop and the ground open up into the canyon below you is an experience you won’t soon forget.

👉Check rates and availability for this helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon here

➡️Bonus Activity!

27. Visit Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is only 1 hour 45 minutes from Desert View WatchTower (the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon), and is an absolutely gorgeous place. It’s also basically a precursor to the Grand Canyon, as the river that wraps itself around the rocks at Horseshoe Bend is the same Colorado River that cuts through the Grand Canyon.

Horseshoe Bend is located right outside of Page, Arizona, and entrance fee is $10 per car, and a 20 minute walk to reach the overlook. There’s an official, paved viewpoint with a railing, but there are also long stretches of open rock where you can walk around, explore, and get some pictures without the railing.

My kids liked climbing up that little hill you see on the right side of the picture below (this is just to the right of the official viewpoint)

While there isn’t a railing along this open edge, in most places the rock is actually tilted up at the edge, making it much harder to just fall off.

And of course, from Page, Arizona, you can easily go kayaking on Lake Powell, do more hikes around Page, or even extend the road trip by visiting Monument Valley, 4 Corners, or Mesa Verde National Park.

Practical Information for Visiting the Grand Canyon with Children

Hours and Entrance Fees

Opening Hours: The Grand Canyon is open 24/7

Fees: A single vehicle costs $35. This is good for one week and covers both the North Rim and South Rim. If you are going to visit a few national parks (or sites within the National Park Service), its definitely worth purchasing the America the Beautiful Pass (aka the National Parks Pass). This pass costs $80 and is good for an entire year.

Where to Stay When Visiting the Grand Canyon with Kids

Inside the Park

There are quite a few options for hotels to stay at inside the Grand Canyon National Park. Most of these hotels are located in the Grand Canyon Village. If you want to stay inside the park, you’ll definitely want to book early, as rooms regularly sell out.

Here’s a brief run-down of your options:

✔️Bright Angel Lodge: This historic lodge has views of the Grand Canyon, a history room with exhibits, two restaurants and a coffee shop, and is right on a shuttle stop. 👉Check availability here

✔️El Tovar Hotel: This hotel is the most upscale hotel on the South Rim, and is a National Historic Landmark. It has views of the canyon. 👉Check availability here

✔️Kachina Lodge: This is the most contemporary of the hotel options on the South Rim. It also has Grand Canyon views 👉Check availability here

✔️Thunderbird Lodge: Another option in the Village, has Grand Canyon views 👉Check availability here

✔️Maswik Lodge: Has a cafeteria and a pizzeria on site, is a budget-friendly lodging option, is right at a shuttle stop. 👉Check availability here

✔️Yavapai Lodge: This budget-friendly lodge has a restaurant, coffee shop ,and shuttle stop, but no Grand Canyon views. This is the only hotel on the list not in Grand Canyon Village. 👉Check availability here

✔️Mather Campground: This campground is in the national park. You can make reservations here.

Outside the Park

The closest town outside of the Grand Canyon is Tusayan, which is about 15 minute drive from the Park. Within Tusayan, the Red Feather Lodge and the Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon are two of the highest rated hotels.

Safety Tips

There are a few safety things to consider when visiting the Grand Canyon with you children.

✔️First, make sure you pack plenty of water and vessels for holding water. There are many free water refill stations around the park, and you want to be able to carry several liters of water per person. Heat exhaustion in a very common form of injury in the Grand Canyon. They say it over and over on signs around the canyon, but it is absolutely true – bring more than you think you’ll need.

Know that it gets hotter as you descend from the rim into the canyon. The canyon floor tends to be about 20 degrees hotter than the rim, and even going a few miles down the South Kaibab or Bright Angel Trail results in an increase in air temperature.

✔️While the elk around the Grand Canyon are very used to humans and are not shy at all, they are also wild animals and should not be approached, fed, or given water.

✔️There are many spots in the Grand Canyon where there isn’t any kind of railing protecting you from falling off the cliff. If you have littles, keep a close eye on them as you explore the viewpoints and walk along the rim.

When is the best time to visit the Grand Canyon with kids?

Winter is a great time to visit the Grand Canyon with children, as the weather is chilly during the day, but crowds are low. Highs are usually in the 40’s.

Spring tends to be quite busy during the spring break period of March-April, but the weather is cool and pleasant.

Late spring to early summer is a lovely time to visit, as the weather is mild and the summer crowds haven’t picked up yet.

Summer (July-August) are very hot, and the canyon floor can get well over 100 degrees. This is also the busiest and wettest time of the year to visit. However, if you’re visiting with kids and staying near the rim, it can still be manageable.

How long should I spend at the Grand Canyon with kids?

You can see and do a lot in the Grand Canyon with 1 day. If you have 2 days, you have plenty of time to see and do all the things on this list.

Fall, like late spring, is very beautiful. You can see higher crowds during fall break times.

How do I get around at Grand Canyon National Park?

We’ve discussed biking, walking, and the shuttle buses a bit in previous sections, and I’ll say that all of these are great ways to get around the Grand Canyon. If you drive yourself in, there are several big parking lots by the Grand Canyon Visitor’s Center, which is one of the first places you’ll come to after arriving from the South Entrance. However, you’ll either need to take a shuttle bus or walk for a ways along the rim to get to any of the viewpoints or trails from this parking lot.

There is some parking by the Verkamp Visitor’s Center, but this lot was quite a bit smaller. When we visited at the beginning of June, the lot filled up by 8am and stayed full until sunset. There is also a limited amount of parking in the Grand Canyon Village area.

What to Bring

Here are a few of our must-have’s for visiting the Grand Canyon:

Camelbacks – These backpacks are designed to hold a water bladder and have a little straw you can sling over your shoulder to easily take a sip of water. They are incredibly helpful for carrying enough water and staying hydrated when exploring the Grand Canyon.

Sunscreen Stick: We always have this stick with us to easily apply sunscreen to little faces.

Body Sunscreen: This is my absolute favorite “regular” sunscreen. It’s a high SPF, and is very thin, so it spreads and rubs in really easily. This is the best sunscreen I’ve tried and a bottle lasts forever.

Hiking Backpack: This is an awesome backpack for traveling and hiking. It’s not too big, not too small, has a whole bunch of pockets and pouches to keep things separated and organized, and can hold plenty of snacks and water bottles.

You also don’t want to forget:

  • Hats: For more sun protection
  • A light jacket: Even in the summer, evenings can get chilly

South Rim vs North Rim

We’ve visited both the South Rim and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and each side has a unique feel and their own set of pros/cons. The South Rim has a lot more infrastructure, is bigger, has shuttles, and there are more viewpoints and hikes to see. The North Rim is smaller, no shuttles, and has less to see. We did feel like the mesas and rock formations in the Grand Canyon were closer to the North Rim than the South Rim. However, you can see farther along the rim at the South Rim.

The South Rim is open all year long, but the North Rim is closed during winter. The North Rim is also 2000 feet higher in elevation than the South Rim, so it is cooler on the north side.

In general, we felt that there were similar amounts of people on the North Rim versus the South Rim (while the North Rim does have less people, there are also less places to visit, so there ended up being a similar level of crowds for the most part).

Kid-Friendly Activities at the Grand Canyon – The Wrap Up

Visiting the Grand Canyon is a great family vacation – the views will blow them away, and there are tons of activities and hikes to keep everyone in the family happy and entertained. This has been a highlight trip for our family, and I’m sure it will be for yours too.

Planning a Roadtrip Around the Southwest? Check Out My Other Articles:

Zion National Park:
Top 7 Hikes in Zion, Ranked
How to Hike the Narrows in Winter

Bryce Canyon
One Perfect Day in Bryce Canyon National Park

Las Vegas
20 Incredible Things to Do in Valley of Fire State Park
10 Best Things to Do in Cathedral Gorge State Park

The Ultimate Guide to Hiking in Arches National Park
How to Do the Fiery Furnace Hike in Arches
How to Hike Tower Arch

Other Southern Utah
How to Hike Peekaboo and Spooky Gulch Slot Canyons
9 Best Hikes in Snow Canyon State Park (St. George, Utah)

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