Grand Canyon Travel Guide

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Grand Canyon Travel Guide

Grand Canyon Local History

Evidence of human habitation has been found in and around the Grand Canyon from as early as 2000 BC. The Ancestral Puebloans were definitely there later and a party of Spaniards who were searching for cities of gold passed through around 1540. In 1776 a Father Garces lived with the Havasupai.

It was, however, only when John Wesley Powell travelled along the uncharted waters of the Colorado in 1869 and 1871-72 that the canyon was brought to public attention. After attempting mining in different areas of the canyon which proved disastrous, it was realized that tourism was a far better option.

From 1901 after the arrival of the railroad, the Grand Canyon Village was the main centre for tourism at the South Rim. However, by 2000 the village had become completely ill-equipped for the daily visitors to the Canyon - there are about 5 million visitors to the canyon every year - The Park Service decided to introduce a scheme to reduce traffic congestion in the area by building the Canyon View Information Plaza. A second stage that will introduce a light rail system, which will ferry visitors to the canyon, is still in the pipeline. The Grand Canyon is now run exclusively for visitors with the exception of the Indian reservations.

Unfortunately there is the possible risk that the Grand Canyon could be covered by a layer of fog on the day that the visitor visits. This is due to the 250 tons of sulphurous emissions which are released every day from the Navajo Generating System in Page which is seventy miles upstream.

Grand Canyon Attractions

Grand Canyon Shopping

Most of the shopping areas in the Grand Canyon Village will carry Native American craft work; try the following for authentic local crafts:

Hopi House Grand Canyon Village They have the widest selection of Native American handicrafts in the area.

El Tovar Hotel Gift Shop West Rim Grand Canyon Village - They carry a wide section of Native American jewellery, souvenir gifts and some rather pricey casual clothing.

Desert View Trading Post Desert View Dr They sell a wide mixture of traditional Southwestern souvenirs and authentic Native American crafts.

Verkamps's West Rim Dr, Grand Canyon Village One of the best places to buy inexpensive souvenirs of your visit to the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon Activities

Pipe Spring National Monument Fredonia - The Park is 14 miles from Fredonia and 90 miles from the North Rim and contains a restored rock fort and ranch and exhibits the Southwestern frontier life, especially in the summer months when living-history demonstrations are held. There is a spring in the park which is one of the few reliable water sources in the Arizona Strip. There is also a museum and visitors centre.

Grand Canyon Deer Park Williams - Children will enjoy the Deer Farm as there is a petting zoo which houses pygmy goats, llamas and deer and every June and July fawns are born and are therefore included in the zoo. Cost $5.95. Open daily 9am 6pm in Mar May and Sept Oct. June Aug 8am 7pm Nov Feb 10am pm daily (weather permitting)

Grand Canyon Parks & Gardens

Desert Botanical Garden Phoenix The Botanical Gardens are set in 59ha of land and are home to thousands of desert species of flora. The best time to visit is during March to May when the flowers are in bloom and the colours are brilliant.

Saguaro National Park Tucson This national park has giant cactus, rare Gila monsters and real-life road-runners.

Grand Canyon Restaurants and Bars

It is best to bring your own food as meals can be very pricey due to the remoteness of the canyon.

Grand Canyon Restaurants

Arizona Room West Rim - This steak house in Southwestern style serves chicken, steak and seafood. The food is standard and quality what you would expect from a normal steak house. However, the prices a fairly high due to its location, but the views of the canyon from the dining room are the very best. The restaurant opens at 4.30pm for dinner and it is advisable to get there early to avoid the crowds. No reservations are accepted. They are closed from Jan mid Feb.

El Tovar Dining Room West Rim Dr This dining room is built out of hand-hewn logs with a beamed ceiling. It is modelled after a European hunting lodge and is definitely worth a visit even if you are not eating. The cuisine is modern and they serve breakfast, lunch and supper. The food is fantastic with meals such as hickory-smoked rainbow trout with wild rice and many more. Reservations are essential.

Pine Country Restaurant Grand Canyon Blvd This is a popular local spot and is cosy and spotless. The restaurant serves sufficient hearty meals and homemade pies. The interior decor is made of crafts created by local artists and are all for sale. They open at 5.30am and serve breakfast, lunch and supper.

Yvapai Lodge Cafeteria Grand Canyon Village This cafe offers eating on a budget and is a favourite with the locals and the park employees. You can get fast-foods such as burgers, pastries and pizza. They also serve pasta, chicken potpie and fried chicken. The cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and supper. No reservations will be accepted.

Grand Canyon children's activities

Pipe Spring National Monument Fredonia - The Park is 14 miles from Fredonia and 90 miles from the North Rim and contains a restored rock fort and ranch and exhibits the Southwestern frontier life, especially in the summer months when living-history demonstrations are held. There is a spring in the park which is one of the few reliable water sources in the Arizona Strip. There is also a museum and visitors centre.

Grand Canyon Deer Park Williams - Children will enjoy the Deer Farm as there is a petting zoo which houses pygmy goats, llamas and deer and every June and July fawns are born and are therefore included in the zoo. Cost $5.95. Open daily 9am 6pm in Mar May and Sept Oct. June Aug 8am 7pm Nov Feb 10am pm daily (weather permitting)

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