We had the best New Years Eve ever this past December, we went to Grand Canyon National Park for 24 hours. It was just as stunning as I thought it would be. Pictures can’t do it justice, but I’ll try with a couple.
These pictures were taken on New Years Eve. In the Winter the North Rim is closed, only the South Rim is open. All of these pictures were taken from the South Rim. I have a lot of experience traveling with our little one, we’ve gone cross-country road trip, a long weekend trip to California, a cross-country plane trip and much more that I haven’t written about just yet. This trip was very easy…here’s how we did it!
How to Do the Grand Canyon in 24 Hours with a Baby
–Stay at a Hotel inside the Park. This made everything much simpler. We could walk out of our room and BAM, Grand Canyon. We wanted to stay at El Tovar, but it was booked. BOOK EARLY. We stayed at the Kachina Lodge, which is right next door. The rooms are fine, not fantastic, but they are fine.
– Do the Trail of Time. It’s right outside the El Tovar and Kachina. Since we were staying for such a short time, we just wanted to soak in the sights… we weren’t concerned with doing serious hiking. The Trail of Time is PAVED. My husband used his super hiking baby carrier because he had just gotten it for Christmas, but we could have used a stroller.
–Take the Bus Back to the Hotel. Chances are the baby is tired by now. There’s a bus system in the park…it’s very easy to follow. Just hop on and you’ll be back in 10 minutes.
–Watch the Sunset. We did this from outside Kachina, but this was not the best view. If you have time, hop on the bus and go to the Western part of the South Rim. The concierge desk at El Tovar is very helpful. They can give you the best location to get off at. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of bubbly like we did…everyone was jealous!
Eat Dinner at the El Tovar Dining Room- Make a reservation! If you are not staying at El Tovar, you can only book a MONTH out. Yes, you read that right, a month. The restaurant is very good. And it’s worth it. It’s not the type of restaurant you would normally bring a baby to, but because you’re at a National Park…it’s just fine. It’s not a super quiet restaurant and Vi (who was 8 months old at the time) did great.
Here are our pictures from the next day.
Watch the Sunrise- Let’s face it, if you have a baby…you’re up anyways. If your baby gets up really early, catch a bus to one of the best spots. Again, ask the concierge at El Tovar for a suggestion. Violet is not a super early riser, so we just watched it from outside Kachina. It may not have been the best spot, but it was still lovely.
Eat Breakfast at El Tovar- Yes, you just ate there there the night before, but the breakfast there is also really good! Be bolder than we were and ask for a window seat. Gorgeous view.
Go To the West Part of the South Rim- So parking really stinks inside the park, but this is worth taking your car to…especially if you’re leaving after. There are a lot of stops along the rim trail. We drove to the end and got out and walked a bit. My favorite spots were Powell Point and Pima Point. Powell has a very cool monument and amazing views. You can see (and hear) the river from Pima Point.
This is how we did it in 24 hours. We had a great time! I would only change one thing about our trip…I wish we would have scouted out the best views for sunrise/sunset. Other than that, it was quite perfect. Don’t forget if you are military (like we are) you get into the park for free!
Where have you taken your little ones lately? Let me know in the comments section.