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The Grand Canyon National Park is located about 3 hours north of Phoenix, Arizona and encompasses 277 miles (446 km) of the Colorado River and nearby land. The park is obviously home to the Grand Canyon which is a mile (1.6 km) deep, and up to 18 miles (29 km) wide.
There are multiple entrances to the canyon with the two most crowded being the North and South rims. The South rim entrance is open 24 hours a day and provides access to overnight accommodations if you’d like. The North rim is only open for day use.
There is an entrance fee into the park which with last for 7 days and includes both the North and South Rim. If you are driving a single car the price is $35, while a motorcycle is $30, and if you come by foot - which who does that, the cost is $20. No refunds are given due to inclement weather.
In 2020 there are five free days such as National Parks Week, Veterans Day and more. So you might want to check that out if you are looking to go and there will be more days for sure in 2021.
The easiest place to stay if you are going to the South rim is Tusayan. The town is extremely small and rooms are pretty pricey but cheaper than staying in the park. There are also only a few restaurants in the town that seemed to be all overpriced and not the greatest quality.
The hike that we did was the Plateau Point which is a little over 12 miles and breaks off the Bright Angel Trailhead which is a 8 mile hike to get to the bottom. The trail zigzags down 3,195 feet over roughly 100 switchbacks. These are popular trails and will be heavily trafficked.
If you are not interested in making the round trip in one day you do have option to be able to camp overnight at the Indian Gardens. A lot of sites stated that a round trip hike to Plateau Point will take anywhere from 8-12 hours. We did it in just under 6 hours so it is possible to do it faster.
The one awesome thing is as you make your decent you will come upon a restroom and water station every 1.5 miles.
There are mixed information about whether you should train before your hike. We did not train but hike regularly and work out. The hike is challenging and is a gradual incline as you come out so you should be prepared.
I highly recommend you wear comfortable shoes. We wore trail running shoes because we liked the look of those better than hiking boots and appreciated the added cushion and support!
The canyon traps in heat and the sun gets extremely hot at the bottom of the canyon so we started early, wore hats, and sunscreen. This past summer the rangers sent out a tweet saying that it can get so hot at the bottom of the canyon it can literally melt your shoes.
This goes without saying but I’ll do it anyways - water and snacks are a must.
If you are like us are aren’t going to stay over night after your hike you can stop by the camp grounds to take a shower before heading home - you will need to pay a small fee.
What To Bring
See what I bring on all my trips here!
If you are interested in getting travel insurance I recommend TravelInsurance.com. They are considered one of best in the industry, you can easily compare coverages and get the right one for you.
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I'm Jake, a dude interested in personal finance and travel creating the life I choose.
In 5 years I went from living in a basement with Craigslist roommates to paying off 90k of debt, backpacking 3 continents, getting a house for myself and 5 rental units.
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