The Grand Canyon {Spring Break Recap 2.0}

John Wesley Powell, famed geographic explorer, famously stated back in the late 19th century that the wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately expressed with words and that graphic art resources are taxed beyond their powers in attempt to capture the magnificence. Despite all of the technological advances that have occurred over the past 100 years, his words still hold true. No matter how brilliant pictures of the Grand Canyon may appear, they fall short to the splendor of witnessing in-person one of the seven natural wonders of this world.

We arrived at Grand Canyon National Park mid-afternoon and used our National Park Annual Pass (currently free for military) to gain entry for the evening. We checked into the Yavapai Lodge, dropped our bags off in the room, and immediately made our way to Mather Point, which was less than a mile from our building.

Documentation of my first trip to the Grand Canyon and my mom’s 80’s hair.

I hadn’t been to the Grand Canyon since I was in grade school so I was excited to experience the park as an adult. It was Clay’s first time, as well as the kids, so we spent the next couple of hours walking around the South Rim – keeping a death grip on the children when we would venture close to edges with no railings.

When planning this little excursion to the Grand Canyon, we chose to limit ourselves to the National Park on the South Rim because of the little ones. Clay and I hope to go back again sans children and do a camping/hiking trip down to the river but for this trip, we stuck to the main trails that began at the National Park Headquarters.

As mentioned, we chose to stay in the park at Yavapai Lodge due to it’s central location to the kid-friendly trails we wanted to hike. Our room was basic, as were the amenities, but we were sleeping within 1000 feet of one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world so we certainly didn’t mind.

Not one view was the same.

After walking a couple of miles, we sat down along the edge and just soaked in the majesty of everything that enveloped us. The rock pictured under our feet was about three feet below so it made for a nice and safe spot to sit with the kids.

A woman came across us sitting along the edge and offered to take our picture because she thought it was a great shot – we really did feel like we were sitting on the edge of the world. One thing we noticed inside the park was just how there were so many nationalities, colors, races, and creeds represented among tourists. But everyone was nice, smiling, offering to take family photos, and just enjoying being in such a beautiful place. It was a shared experience – one that no one in the park that day will likely forget. This is why the National Park Service is so important, in addition to conservation, preservation, history, and heritage.

My new favorite picture of these two.

We hiked a little more before settling into a spot to watch the sunset.

Before long, the moon shined brighter than the set sun so we decided to grab some dinner in Tusayan, a little (tourist trap) town outside of the park. Our options were limited so we settled on ($8!) cheeseburgers from Wendy’s. Lesson learned – next time we will bring our own food into the park.

The following morning, we woke up early so we could do a sunrise hike. We were some of the only ones on the trail. That hike was easily one of the coolest experiences we’ve had yet as a family – it felt sacred and will definitely make the highlight reel of our life together.

The majority of the trail along the rim is as pictured. We were able to take use BOB stroller, which allowed us to cover more ground because both kids can fit in it when they get tired of walking.

Photo credit – Weston

Clay and I took turns walking out to the edge while the other parent stayed further back with the children. About 12 people die annually at the Grand Canyon and we wanted to make sure we weren’t included in that statistic. While we let our children explore and gave them a sense of autonomy in the park, we were safe about it and didn’t put them in any dangerous sitautions.

Along the trail, they had these viewing stations that the children loved. They could see the Colorado River, different types of rock formations, and a plethora of other cool things.

Weston wanted to hike out to an overhang in a place that we weren’t comfortable taking Violet so Clay took her on a little hike in the woods while the little guy and climbed some rocks and hiked over to the point.

Weston and I sat and talked and on our way back, he turned to me and said, “This was one of my favorite things I’ve ever done with you, Mommy.” Me too, kiddo. Me too.

By lunchtime, the trail was starting to get busy so we went back to our room, packed up the car, and exited the park – vowing to return sooner rather than later. We then grabbed a bite to eat at Anna’s Grand Canyon Coffee & Cafe in Williams, Arizona.

And then we were on our way. Next stop – Las Vegas!

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15 thoughts on “The Grand Canyon {Spring Break Recap 2.0}

  1. Kimberly M (@momgosomething) March 23, 2017 / 12:29 pm

    ABsolutely stunning! That is one place we want to visit some time in our US travels but when our son is older. I am always afraid that he’ll get too adventurous and run near the edge. I had no idea though that an average of 12 people do die each year! What?! That’s wild.
    Speaking of wild – Vegas?! Yeah baby!

    • Karen March 23, 2017 / 9:43 pm

      To be fair, the number of deaths isn’t just due to falls…heart attacks, heat-related hiking deaths, etc…are included in that number, along with falls.

  2. Beth Kondrick March 23, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    Oh my gosh, your pictures are breathtaking – the one that someone took of you all sitting on the edge together? WOW. I really want to get there someday, maybe when my son is closer to Weston’s age, I think he’ll like something like that when he gets a little older. It’s just so beautiful, thank you for sharing so many lovely pictures!

    • Karen March 23, 2017 / 9:42 pm

      I hope you can get there…it is such a special place.

  3. C H R I S S Y (@brave_wanderer) March 23, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    What amazing photos! Looks like such a wonderful trip! I have one of those 80’s pics from a trip there as well! Such great memories!

    • Karen March 23, 2017 / 9:40 pm

      80’s pictures are the best!

  4. Jen Smith (@ArmyWife304) March 23, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    We went to the Grand Canyon in 2012 when Kyle was at CCC and we absolutely loved it. It was breathtaking!

    • Karen March 23, 2017 / 9:40 pm

      We were (long-distance) engaged while Clay was at OBC so he never got to go during his time at Huachuca because he always flew to visit me whenever he had a 3 or a 4-day. Ha! I’m happy he finally got to experience the Grand Canyon.

  5. Lauren Becker March 23, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    Beautiful photos! I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon. It would be great to visit someday, despite my terrible fear of heights. It’s just a beautiful place, I imagine,and I’m so glad the kids had fun too! And I can’ wait to hear about Vegas! I want to go there too!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

    • Karen March 23, 2017 / 9:39 pm

      Well – it was Vegas with two kids so it didn’t get to crazy. Ha. 🙂

  6. Lindsay March 23, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    Wow, the views are just incredible, aren’t they? It’s a dream of mine to visit the Grand Canyon one day. So many breathtakingly beautiful places in the U.S.

    🙂

  7. mysideof50 March 23, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    Beautiful family and what a fabulous trip! I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon. It’s on my list.

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