By: Domonique Matthews of The Simple Proof
Children: Three, aged 10, 7 and 4

 

Why Go

The amazing thing about the Grand Canyon is that it really is grand in every sense of the word. It’s the kind of take your breath away grand that you won’t soon forget. It is so much more than a photograph could ever depict, an emotion we all felt deeply from the first glance at the vast magical wonder.

 

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

 

 

Where To Go

We began our Arizona family adventure in Scottsdale, AZ. It was Spring Break so we spent the first 2 days resting and playing at the Scottsdale Kierland which was exactly what we all needed to get on vacation mode quickly. The kids had a blast in their pools and Flowrider.

 

Scottsdale and Flowrider

Scottsdale, Arizona. Flowrider (top right)

 

From Scottsdale we drove north to the Grand Canyon. We were amazed at how quickly the geography changes once you leave the sprawling Phoenix area. The cactus end, the concrete turns to red rock and you quickly realize how diverse the desert really can be. On our drive north, we stopped in the Verde Valley to stretch our legs and check out Montezuma Castle. The Native American caves are nestled into a limestone cliffside. There is a short self-guided trail we walked to learn more.

 

Verde Valley & Montezuma Castle

Verde Valley & Montezuma Castle

 

From here we continued on to the Grand Canyon. When we reached the park, none of us could wait to make the walk out to catch our first glimpse. My husband and I both have been before as teens, but it has been quite a while. It’s also so much fun to take your kids to see one of the natural wonders of the world. {Insert super cool mom moment.}

We took pictures, let out grand sighs, were left speechless and mesmerised. If you are like us, we get really excited by the power of nature. Not only am I continually in awe of what has been created here on Earth over time, but how I feel being amongst natural beauty. We are only one minuscule part of this big picture here, helps put my worries in perspective.

 

The Grand Canyon with Kids

The Grand Canyon with Kids

 

The Grand Canyon is easily accessed by all ages and abilities. We spent our first day up on the South Rim. (North Rim is closed until May 1st) The paths are well paved, vistas all around, park rangers giving talks, happy visitors to take photos, gift shops, nature centre, markets and more. The shuttle service is really helpful.

We stayed just outside of the park (about 5miles from the rim). We had been a little disappointed that we missed the boat on making reservations in time to book one of the rooms or cabins at the El Tovar Lodge or The Bright Angel, but it turned out just fine this way too. Lesson learned, book early, earlier than you think especially for a family of 5!

The Grand Hotel was just what we needed and was very close to the park entrance for a good clean room, a restaurant and a good price. We had dinner at the Bright Angel Lodge in the Arizona Room. Lots of good options for everyone and fantastic views of the canyon while you eat. There are a few shops in old artists studios and even an ice cream shop. All was right in the world!

The next day we got up early and took the shuttle towards the South Kaibab Trailhead. This is a pretty steep trail with loose dirt and gravel and while it does not have much shade, it has unbeatable views on your quick descent into the canyon. My kids were big troopers and love to hike which helps. Definitely allow lots of time, bring water for everyone and pack a lunch.

 

Bright Angel Lodge

Bright Angel Lodge

 

As the sun was setting I snapped a few more shots of the amazing canyon in all it’s warm red glory. Feeling very fortunate to have been able to take my family here and share with them the true beauty of the world. I passed by this sign hanging on one of the little studios perched out over the canyon. It read as I felt; Blessed by this wondrous beauty. Good Night Grand Canyon.

 

"Blessed by this wondrous beauty" Sunset at the Grand Canyon

“Blessed by this wondrous beauty” Sunset at the Grand Canyon

 

Next we said good-bye to the Grand Canyon and made our way south to Sedona. Wow. Just Wow. Sedona was every bit as stunning as every single photograph I’ve ever seen of that insane red rock country.

We took Hwy 89 south through Oak Creek Canyon. Impressive is the best word for this scenic drive. The canyons, the rock formations and the trees made for one remarkable drive. We stopped at Slide Rock State Park for some fun in the canyon and sliding on rocks into the chilly creek waters. One of those fantastic afternoons when the kids are asking ‘are we there yet?’ and then, BAM, mom pulls this one out of her bag. {If you don’t have kids 10 and up, you won’t understand the growing need to occasionally be considered cool.} Slide Rock will not disappoint you.

 

Slide Rock State Park with kids

Slide Rock State Park

 

After an afternoon playing here, we continued on to our hotel in Sedona. We stayed at The Enchantment Resort. It is one place we have heard about for years and feel fortunate to be able to finally experience this beautiful place through the looking glass of the Enchantment. It is located within Boynton Canyon. A breathtakingly beautiful part of Sedona.

We were greeted by gracious and helpful employees who showed us around and presented us with our lovely accommodations. From each and every angle a view was to be seen, one as sensational as the next. We swam and hiked together. The girls had a morning at the Camp Coyote while my husband and I took a few minutes to exercise and relax poolside at the Mii Amo spa. My son played on their putting course and played tennis safely navigating himself at the resort on his own. {getting so grown-up}

 

The Enchantment Resort, Sedona, USA

The Enchantment Resort, Sedona

 

Exploring Boynton Canyon

Exploring Boynton Canyon

 

I can’t recommend a trip to the Grand Canyon enough. We have already started plotting our return. We have only just begun to explore this part of the west. Next time we want to see it from the bottom of the canyon. Sedona will forever hold a special place in our hearts. The red rock is one of the most striking and impressive landscapes I’ve ever seen. Traveller at heart.

 

The red rock at Sedona

The red rock at Sedona

 

The Best Part

When we walked up to the rim of the Grand Canyon and saw it’s majestic size for the first moment. Our kids have always enjoyed being outdoors and actively interested in hiking, but seeing the looks on their faces the moment we took in the Grand Canyon was when I’d realized we had finally arrived as a traveling family after many years of baby and toddlerhood, the best was about to begin.

 

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

 

Three Things You Should Definitely Do

1) When trekking, allow lots of time, bring water for everyone and pack a lunch. Also be advised that the trails are very dusty and when raining, they will become mud quickly. Bring appropriate shoes and clothes and remember the temperatures can drop quickly in the evenings.

2) The shuttle service is really helpful and advised. The shuttles take you from point to point along the South Rim. You only need to park once at the main Visitors Center, then make your way to the different lodges, campsites, and trails via the shuttle service which runs continuously throughout the day and into the night. This is not only an easy way to get around, it practically eliminates traffic surrounding the South Rim.

3) Book accommodation well in advance. We wanted to stay at El Tovar Lodge or The Bright Angel but they were fully booked. In Sedona I highly recommend The Enchantment Resort.

 

Enchantment Resort 3

Views from The Enchantment Resort

 

 

PIN FOR LATER! (See: How to create a Pintastic Bucket List)

My Family Adventure: The Grand Canyon & Sedona with Kids

 

About the Author

The simple proof

 

Domonique Matthews is a wife, mother of 3 and a traveller at heart. She is also the founder of The Simple Proof, a stylish lifestyle blog with inspiration covering every aspect of family life. Domonique writes about family life as it comes together through their adventures at home in Northern California and around the world. Dominique and her family enjoy the outdoors, travelling and seeking out the beauty in everyday moments.