With international travel being quite cumbersome these days due to covid we have done a lot of domestic travel over the last year. Our most recent spur of the moment trip took us to northern Arizona to visit the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. We chose to stay in the central location of Uptown Sedona, Arizona and you can read all about that HERE
We had one day to visit the Grand Canyon and for us that was enough. Since our 5 children are all under the age of 6 they aren’t big enough to hike below the rim so one day on the south rim was enough for us to check out all that the Grand Canyon National Park has to offer.
We left our house in Uptown Sedona a little before 7am and headed 2 hours north to the South Rim entrance of Grand Canyon National Park just outside Tusayan, AZ. When we arrived there was just a short line of cars at the gate. It cost $35 per vehicle to get in and they are not accepting cash at this time so make sure you have a credit or debit card to use.
Once inside the park we headed straight for the main visitors center. The actual visitors center is closed right now but the coffee shop with bike rentals and gift shop were both opened were the shuttle buses. You can take the shuttle buses to all the main lookout points or you can use the paved trails to walk to them. Walking is obviously the better way to go because you get to take in all the speculator views. The South Rim Is extremely stroller & wheelchair friendly, all the walkways are paved paths.
There’s a market near the campgrounds that is a grocery store, deli & serves hot food. There’s also a full service sit down restaurant across the parking lot. Oh and a post office so be sure to mail some postcards to your family and friends! We stopped in the market to grab a quick lunch!
After lunch we headed over to the small museum and observatory to take in a some more views from a different location along the rim before making the 2 hour drive back to Sedona.
There are plenty of clean restaurants and water bottle refill stations located all over the park for guests. I keep seeing in the news that the national parks have been extremely crowded over the past year but this has not been our experience at all. Actually I felt like the Grand Canyon National Park was quite empty but then again we’re very used to peak summer crowds at Disney!