We parked the van and opened the doors to realize our trip to the Grand Canyon was going to be much chillier than originally expected. I immediately started digging through the duffle bags in the back of the van in search of the jackets and hats I had packed - anticipating the cool autumn air as we traveled back north. Niki saved the day! I had taught her how to knit shortly before our big excursion. She passed the time on the drive by knitting and listening to the audio book we were all enjoying - "Gathering Blue" by Lois Lowry. By the time we got to Arizona, she had knitted 3 scarves. Those were snatched up in a hurry!
There are free shuttles that take you around to different stopping points along the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Most of these stops offered by the shuttles are not accessible by your personal vehicle so you need to park in the public parking and choose one of the buses for a ride to view the canyon below.
I will have to say, I'm very glad my mom came along with me. There are areas with no guardrails and kids can easily fall into the canyon. Chris didn't believe us and told grandma, "Don't worry, if I have a pillow, I'll be fine." Um...no Chris. That's not how this works. We had to explain it to him on a 7 year-old's level of what would happen if we got too close to the edge.
Later we saw in the gift shop a book about all the known people who have accidently fallen into the Grand Canyon - 600. So...if you have small kids, you may want to think twice about taking them to the Grand Canyon or alternatively have a high ratio of adults to children.
The kids are farther away from the edge than it appears in the photo. Off to the side, outside the frame of this picture, is my mom ready to grab any child that moves unexpectantly...just to be safe. Gotta love grandma!!!
At our first bus stop, there was a short path before seeing an unguarded (no rails or walls) view of the spectacular canyon below. We had fun posing for photos on our way to the outlook.
An example of the drop offs at the Grand Canyon
I picked up a handy dandy, fold out guide to the types of rock readily seen from the cliffs of the Grand Canyon. The kids enjoyed finding the layers and identifying them using their guide.
It started to snow while walking around and the kids were getting antsy because of the drop in temperature. We ended up looking at the canyon below us at four different stops before climbing back into our van in search of hot chocolate and coffee. Overall, the kids, myself, and my mom enjoyed looking out into one of nature's phenomenal wonders. The kids begged to hike down into the canyon...but that will be saved for a few years down the road.