What are the five best things to do with kids in the Grand Canyon?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Becky Bosshart

Grand Canyon National Park is a seminal trip for many families. Here are the Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the five best things to do with kids — all offer plenty of opportunities for photos:
1. Take a smooth water raft trip. Flat-water trips are a less intense river experience and are entertaining for younger children. Pick a half-day or full-day tour and ride the easy rapids of the Colorado River.
2. Go river camping. You can ride the river for up to 18 days in large motorized rafts, oared rafts, paddle rafts or dories. Several river concessioners operate these tours through the canyon; we like Canyon Explorations for its upscale options.
3. Travel by mule. For families with animal-loving children, take an overnight mule ride and stay at Phantom Ranch, where meals are included. If you don’t think the kids (or adults) can handle a full day on the back of a mule, opt for a half-day trip through the inner canyon on the North Kaibab Trail.
4. Take an interpretive ranger tour. The Grand Canyon’s South Rim and North Rim operate different programs at different times of the year. You can get a ranger’s point of view during walks, talks, hikes and even telescope viewing. Programs generally run from March to mid-October.
5. Hike the South Kaibab Trail. This 3-mile, kid-friendly hike cuts off at Cedar Ridge Trail and offers panoramic views on a ridgeline descent. There’s little shade and no water — don’t attempt long hikes here at the height of summer. Go to the Bright Angel Trail for guaranteed water stops and shade.

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