Grand Canyon June family trip

Mar 24th, 2012, 06:53 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 76
Grand Canyon June family trip

We are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon in June with our children ages 6,8 and 10. There are mixed opinions about the weather and crowds in June, what do you think?
We want to go to Bryce and Zion as well. Maybe Sedona. What do you think would be fun to do with kids these ages? Thanks!!
ztrip is offline  
Mar 24th, 2012, 07:19 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,831
How much hiking will you do with the kids? Have you looked at where you would stay? Be aware that people make reservations way in advance to stay in these parks, but that also means that they sometimes cancel so if you are persistent and call frequently you might pick up a cancellation.

The distances can be quite far for kids, so do have some books on tape or videos to play during the trip.

Get out a good map and get the kids help make a plan for what your kids would like to do/see on this trip
emalloy is offline  
Mar 24th, 2012, 08:16 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,415
We went to Zion, Bryce and the North Rim GC the first part of June and it was great. No crowds and perfect weather. We flew in/out of Las Vegas .
MichelleY is offline  
Mar 24th, 2012, 08:20 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,415
Here is a link to our trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...rip-report.cfm

How long you have will determine if you throw in Sedona?
MichelleY is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 03:49 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
I think a walk thru The Narrows in Zion would be great fun.
spirobulldog is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 05:36 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 76
Thank you! I don't think we can go before June 15, will the crowds be crazy?

Regarding hotels I got a reservation for the Grand Canyon Lodge and wanted to do Phantom Ranch for 1 night, but it's booked. Is that a must? What do you think?

What do you think about Monument Valley and Capitol Reef if we have 1 week total?

Kids are pretty active, I think they'll like the hiking and may like biking. Is biking appropriate for their age?

Thanks again!
ztrip is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 06:07 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,183
Where were you planning on staying when you go to the Grand Canyon? It'll be a bit of a challenge getting a reservation in the park.

I'm also interested in people's opinion on going to the South Rim in June. I'm going to a wedding in Sedona towards the end of June and have been wondering if it's worth going to the South Rim afterwards. I remember thinking that it was pretty crowded there (Grand Canyon village) during a visit over 25 years ago, but my BF has never been there. Was considering visiting the eastern end of it and avoiding Grand Canyon Village.
Shanti is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 07:03 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,415
Ztip - if you are worried about crowds then go to the north rim. South rim may be crowded but it is still worth seeing the Grand Canyon. We went in July to SRim and there were lots of people but I wouldn't call it crowded. Just be sure to make all reservations ahead for lodging, meals and activities .

Shanti - if DB has not seen it, then go. Try to get there earlier in the day or spend one night. What a romantic memory
MichelleY is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 08:04 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,304
Phantom Ranch is not really an option for your trip. It is at the bottom of the canyon, either a 7 mile hike down and back up or a 9 mile trip on a mule. Mule riders must be at 4'7" tall - so I doubt your 6 or 8 year old would qualify. I don't think Phantom Ranch is realistic for you.

As for the South Rim, it will be busy/crowded. Just get up early and and walk around before the crowds get too bad. Sunrise is usually packed at the major viewpoints but I think it settles down a bit until afternoon when the tours start rolling in from Vegas.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 08:24 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,183
Thanks, Michelle. However, the kicker is getting a reservation in the park. I couldn't reserve ahead of time since I couldn't get a guarantee of my days off from work until last month. And the park lodging has been booked since then, although I keep checking back. So it may have to be a day trip.
Shanti is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 09:11 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 76
Thank you al si much. What do you think about Grand Canyon Lodge norte Rim?
ztrip is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 09:29 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,183
I think you should make a reservation asap, assuming that anything is still available.
Shanti is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 09:34 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Is Phantom Ranch a "must". NO. From your statements you say you think your kids would like hiking. A 6 year old is not going to like hiking to Phantom(nor anyone else in your party), if this is your first hiking experience. Which I assume it is since you say you think they will like to hike. This is a serious serious hike. You need to really study up on what you are doing.

If you thinking "crazy busy" or crowded. Don't worry, it isn't anything like Disney or an amusement park. Most national parks are big. Hike just a little bit from the road and you will encounter very few people.

If you have a week then I would spend
1 day and 1 night at the Grand Canyon. Most people see the South Rim. However, either would be fine. And yes the north rim see far less people.
Then I would spend 3 days at Zion and 2 days at Bryce. This still leave another day for travel.

While in Bryce consider a horseback ride. Do several of the hikes. In Zion definately hike The Narrows. I think Angels Landing is fine. But be aware that with this many kids and this young age it is a serious hike-serious meaning you fall and you die. Serious meaning that it is a tough physical hike. Canyoneering might be another good options with Zion Adventure Company.
spirobulldog is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 12:35 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 5
Sedona is great! I highly recommend the jeep tours and Red Rock BBQ.
TripRaiser is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 04:05 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
It sounds as if your kids aren;t doing hiking now. The GRand Canyon is not the place to start. You need to break in boot,s build up stamina - and downand up to Phantome Ranch is going to be way too much for kids that young. This is not flat hiking - it's very steep up and down - and very year they have to recsur adults who are in over their heads - never mind little kids.

(Shouldn't attempt this unless they can easily do 15 or 20 mile hikes with steep ups and downs.)
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 27th, 2012, 09:07 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 73
A better activity for your kids would be the Colorado River Half Day Float Trip out of Page/Lake Powell AZ. You have to pass through Page anyway on the way to Zion and Bryce. But the float trip is appropriate for children as young as 5 since it doesn't go through any rapids, and at just 5 hours in length, it's just the right length - not too long so that they'd get bored stiff. They do a nice easy hike into an alcove to see a panel of petroglyphs and give the kids a chance to swim (although the water's cold!) For more information visit www.raftthecanyon.com or call 928-645-9175
K_Bot is offline  
Mar 27th, 2012, 09:55 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,277
I have a 6 and a 9.5 yo. There are plenty of hikes along the rim that you can do in the Grand Canyon--walks really. I have backpacked extensively in the Grand Canyon and I don't recommend hiking into the Canyon unless you are in good shape. But there is plenty to do on the rim! The float trip can go either way--my kids could not handle sitting in a boat for 3 hours--they need to moving around. But different kids like different things. If you are going to the GC this June, it should be fine to go to the North Rim--we have not had a lot of snow like the last 2 years. If you can't get lodging in the park, try Tusyan--kid friendly hotels and not a long distance to the park. At the North Rim, you could try Jacob's Lake which is the nearest lodging outside the park but it is a good 45 mins-1 hour to the North Rim.

At Zion--the Emerald Pool trails are great. There is no way on God's green earth I would take a 6 yo on the Angels Landing trail. No way. YOu can walk some in the Virgin River/The Narrows but that can be really hard for a 6 yo and the water will probably be cold and high in June. Try to stay at the Desert Pearl Inn or Cable Mountain Lodge in Springdale--both great for families (MUCH better than the lodge in Zion when you are talking 3 kids--pool, TV, kitchenettes, room etc). For a less crowded experience, you can try a trail in the Kolob Canyon section. I thought it was gorgeous. You can search my user name for my trip report on taking kids to Zion.

Bryce is actually my least favorite but that's just me. Stay at Ruby's Inn. There are plenty of hikes to do on the rim there as well.

Most horseback rides are open to kids 8 and older so that leaves out the 6 yo. I am just waiting till my youngest is 8!

There really are not good biking trails in these parks for kids. I would not bring bikes. Be sure to do the Junior Ranger programs--those are fun! My kids did fine with a small hike, some junior ranger activities and pool time.

The driving distances are long--we love books on tape. You obviously have different ages--you could get different books on tape from the libray and load them on ipods/touches/pads/phones and everyone could listen to their own book!
StantonHyde is offline  
Mar 27th, 2012, 11:52 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Apparently more people have died on the Emerald Pools trail than AL.

Has a single kid under age 12 ever fallen at Angels Landing?
I think there has been on teen and the rest were adults.
Here is a link directly taken from the NPS website(although, I think there has been more like 10 deaths than 5-so it may be out of date). I think AL gets a bad rap. Yep, its scary, but it makes you pay better attention. It totally depends upon you and your children. It isn't for everyone. I personally didn't think it was that big of a deal. My wife said, absolutely no way was she going across. My daughter thought it was pretty scary(i think she was about 14 when we did it). So everyone is different. I saw kids and one man that I asked his age and he said 82.

http://www.nps.gov/zion/frequently-a...ing-trails.htm

Q. How many fatalities from "falling" have occured in Zion National Park?
A. Below is a list of fatalities from "falling" in Zion National Park, dating back to the parks establishment. The info below is incomplete. The below list includes only incidents where suspicious activity was not involved.
Angels Landing 5
Cathedral Mountain 1
Emerald Pools 7
Lady Mountain 2+
Mt. Kinesava 1
Mt. of the Sun 1
Observation Point 2
Watchman 2
East Rim Trail 1
Checkerboard Mesa 1
Crazy Quilt Mesa 1
Deer Trap Mountain 1
Hidden Canyon 2
spirobulldog is offline  
Mar 27th, 2012, 04:06 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
After reading a few other websites, it appears that a couple of the deaths have actually been at Scouts Landing.
spirobulldog is offline  
Mar 28th, 2012, 11:59 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,277
Emerald Pools did have a number of deaths before they put the chain up at one of the overlook pools in the last couple of years--turns out the signs that say "don't go here" were not sufficient and people went to the edge of the pool, slipped and went over. The trail itself does not have severe exposure issues like AL.

Again--we are talking SIX years old. I don't know a 6 year old with the attention span to pay the kind of attention needed to make AL safe. And with the original poster's family--she has THREE children--granted one is a teen--but that makes supervision trickier. Younger kids may very well not die on AL because they are too scared to try it, their parents don't let them, and/or their parents are on top of them the entire way.

I do lots and lots of severe exposure with a heavy backpack and poor footing. And I have never had a problem. But I am not doing that with my kids until I am sure they can pay attention and not freeze in terror!!
StantonHyde is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:15 AM.