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Planning a Trip to the Grand Canyon- the Ultimate Grand Canyon Weekend Road Trip Guide

The Grand Canyon is one of the most jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring sights I have ever seen. If you haven’t yet had a chance to visit Grand Canyon National Park, you should definitely add it to your travel bucketlist! Keep reading for my guide for planning a trip to the Grand Canyon.

Overview
PTO/Vacation Days Needed: 0-1
Nights: 2
Cost: $
The first step in planning a trip to the Grand Canyon is to figure out which rim you will be visiting. This guide is for the South Rim area of the Grand Canyon. The South Rim is the more popular side of the Grand Canyon, featuring amazing, expansive views, and is open year-round. It is the most accessible and offers a wide range of hiking trails for any skill-level. The North Rim, on the other hand, sees about 1/10th as many visitors as the South Rim and is much more remote. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is only open from mid-May to mid-October.

Getting To the South Rim of the Grand Canyon:
The South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is about 5 hours from Phoenix or Las Vegas- you can easily make this into a Grand Canyon road trip if you are coming from either of these cities, or even from Los Angeles (about 9 hours). If you do not live in these areas, I recommend flying into either Las Vegas or Phoenix airports and renting a car for a Grand Canyon road trip!
You’ll need a park pass for entrance into the Grand Canyon, which costs $35 per car and is good for 7 days. Instead of risking having to wait in line at the park entrance to purchase, you can either buy online beforehand, or at a handful of gas stations in Valle, AZ on your way in.
Where to Stay in Grand Canyon National Park:
The next step in planning a trip to the Grand Canyon is deciding your lodging preferences. See below for the options:
Option 1: Camping

Camping is a great, affordable way to fully experience the Grand Canyon. Campsites tend to book up far in advance, so be sure to plan ahead. However, I only planned my trip one month in advance and was able to stalk the recreation.govwebsite to snag two campsites that someone had cancelled. We stayed at Mather Campground, which was great! They have nice bathrooms with running water, and clean campsites that are centrally located. It’s only $18/night.

Option 2: Lodging at Grand Canyon National Park

If you don’t enjoy camping, but still want to stay inside Grand Canyon National Park, they offer a few different lodging options inside the park which you can find here. Make sure to book well in advance!
Option 3: Hotels in the area surrounding Grand Canyon National ParkAnother option is to stay at a hotel in the area nearby Grand Canyon National Park, such as Tusayan, Valle, Red Lake, or Williams, AZ. See below for the latest deals:

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