Listed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon offers genuinely spectacular views. With a length of 277 miles and a width of about 18 miles, the canyon is a breathtaking example of the power water can have on natural rock over millions of years, breaking down the earth's sediment until this canyon was formed. Now, with the exposed layers of the earth's crust, the Grand Canyon shows scientists from all over a prime example of geological structure. To an unscientific visitor, the colors, shapes and lingering archaeological wonders to be discovered here make the Grand Canyon such a grand place to vacation.
Grand Canyon hotels can be found at many different points in the canyon. For those looking to stay on the north rim, lodging lies both inside and outside of the park. Staying inside the park gives you immediate access to hiking trails and designated lookout points. If you choose to stay in lodging outside of the park, shuttle services are available to bring you to its entrances.
This is the most popularly visited section of the Grand Canyon, so for booking a hotel on the South Rim, it's suggested that you make reservations far in advance, especially during summer months. For lodging outside the park, the closest to the entrance is about 30 miles away.
Phantom Ranch is the ideal lodging resort for those who visit the Grand Canyon for more than just sightseeing. More than just a hotel, this little ranch offers its guests their own little cabin, adding to the outdoor adventure and nature experiences. Because Phantom Ranch is located inside the canyon, hiking trails can begin right outside of your very own cabin. Alternatively, guests can take guided mule rides, learning the geography and history of the Grand Canyon from a well-trained mount.
The Lookout Studio, designed in 1914, is a beautiful architectural accomplishment. Built from natural stones from the surrounding areas, the Lookout Studio seems to meld right into the side of the mountain, providing magnificent views of miles of the Grand Canyon. Not only are the views from the lookout beautiful, but the building itself is also striking. The building was designed specifically to allow natural vegetation to grow through the cracks in the stone, melding the indoors and outdoors in a very unique way.
Train tracks are laid throughout some sections of the Grand Canyon and prove to be an excellent way to safely view large portions of the canyon with limited time. Hop aboard the Greenest Train in America and enjoy a tour of the canyon filled with historical information about the nature and human settlers.
Although the Grand Canyon is surrounded by dry desert landscaping, the canyons themselves are not the desert some may expect. Summers on the southern lengths of the canyon max out at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, while the north side is only 10 degrees cooler. Inside, the canyon is not so favorable, summer temperatures for hikers below the rim commonly reach above 100 degrees. July, August and September are known for severe storms, so it isn't suggested to hike inside the canyon during this time. If you choose to do so, always consider the possibilities of flash floods and bring appropriate gear and clothing.