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Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Over the last six million years, the headstrong waters of the Colorado River have carved out the jagged corners of the Grand Canyon, revealing some of the most ancient exposed rocks on the planet. The result is one of the greatest wonders your eyes will behold. Discover the myriad of mysteries hidden in the shadows of the park’s massive gorges and ravines. With expert instructors explore, photograph and learn about the fascinating geological history of this world wonder on foot, by raft, by rail or by helicopter.

Want to learn more about travel to our National Parks? Check out these National Parks tips.

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Grand Canyon Tours for Seniors & Families

Over the last six million years, the headstrong waters of the Colorado River have carved out the jagged corners of the Grand Canyon, revealing some of the most ancient exposed rocks on the planet. The result is one of the greatest wonders your eyes will behold. Discover the myriad of mysteries hidden in the shadows of the park’s massive gorges and ravines. With expert instructors, you can explore, photograph and learn about the fascinating geological history of this world wonder on foot, by raft, by rail or by helicopter. Discover the Grand Canyon with Road Scholar tours, designed for seniors and families seeking multigenerational adventures. Explore its ancient marvels with expert guidance, crafting lasting memories.

Want to learn more about travel to our national parks? Check out these National Parks tips.


Grand Canyon National Park Trips

At Road Scholar, our expert-led Grand Canyon tours bring you to some of the top attractions in the park. From watching sunset Mather Point to exploring Grand Canyon Village, these are some of the top features worth seeing. Visiting Grand Canyon National Park allows you to get a deeper understanding of the canyon’s six million-year history carved by the Colorado River. 

Whether you’re interested in exploring the park’s massive gorges and ravines by foot, train, or helicopter, we have a wide selection of National Park vacation packages for amazing Grand Canyon trips to choose from. Explore more of your options below.


Highlights of Grand Canyon National Park Tours

The Grand Canyon has some of the world’s most ancient exposed rocks up for display, making it one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. With that said, there’s a lot to see when taking a Grand Canyon trip. Take a look at some of the top highlights below.


Grand Canyon Village

As one of the more popular entryways of the park, Grand Canyon Village is a great place to visit when you first enter. Here, you can walk the grounds of the historic El Tovar Hotel, built in 1905, stop by the gift shop and visitor center, and get a view of the canyon from one of the best vistas in the park, Yavapai Point.

Get a day to roam the Grand Canyon Village on the Road Scholar Grand Canyon Odyssey Tour. 


Bright Angel Hiking Trail

This is the most popular hike in the park, which departs from the Village, where the shuttle bus to Hermit's Rest begins its route. The Bright Angel Hiking Trail brings explorers to Plateau Point, which provides some exceptional views of the park, perfect for photography and discovering the ancient cliffs.

The more serious hikers go to Indian Garden Campground, a nine-mile round-trip hike that includes 3,000 feet of elevation change and takes between six and nine hours. 


South Kaibab Trail

For those looking to explore the Grand Canyon, the South Kaibab Trail is a great option. This seven-mile trail traverses down the canyon, where adventurers can reach the Colorado River. The South Kaibab Trail is a well-defined and well-maintained dirt trail offering expansive views. The openness of this trail lends itself to extreme heat during the summer months and little to no protection from storms. 

The Hiking the Grand Canyon: Adventures On and Below the South Rim Road Scholar trip is a 6-day hike that descends below the canyon’s rim on the historic Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails.


North Rim

The less crowded area of the park is the North Rim, due to its more rugged terrain, sparse facilities, and fewer viewpoints. However, the North Rim offers visitors a great way to explore a less tourist-filled area and hike along isolated trails, such as the North Kaibab Trail.

Explore the North and South Rim of the Grand Canyon with Road Scholar as they take you through the awe-inspiring landscape and even fly you above the Colorado River for a bird’s-eye view!


South Rim

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is the more popular area of the park, and for good reason. Here, visitors can explore the Grand Canyon Village, walk to Mather Point, learn in the Yavapai Geology Museum, and access a wide range of trails.

Make the Grand Canyon tour a family affair with the popular Road Scholar tour, Exploring the Grand Canyon’s North and South Rims With Your Family.


Geological Museum

The site of the Geological Museum inside of the Grand Canyon National Park was specifically chosen for its views of the canyon. The museum describes in detail the layers of rock visible as you look out the long wall of windows. Huge diagrams describe how the canyon formed.


Hermit Road Drive

Hermit Road is a seven-mile scenic drive along the Grand Canyon rim with many unbelievable viewpoints over the canyon along the way. This drive is the most popular route in the park. You can find some of the most photo-worthy spots from Maricopa Point, Hopi Point, and The Abyss. 

Road Scholar offers the six-day Scenic Railroads of Arizona Grand Canyon tour for a unique adventure exploring the Grand Canyon trains. 


Kolb Gallery and Lookout Studio

The Lookout Studio and the Kolb Gallery are both located in the Village, perched along the canyon wall. The Lookout Studio is housed in one of the Mary Jane Colter Buildings that are found throughout the park, with a traditional stone design. The Studio sells souvenirs and has two outdoor viewing decks that look out over the Grand Canyon. 

Just a short walk from there is the Kolb Gallery housed in a historic Victorian home built in 1905. It is now an art gallery with changing exhibits with a small bookstore. The Kolb Gallery is near the start of the Bright Angel Trail.

If you’re planning on hiking the Grand Canyon, make sure to check off these must-see attractions on your list.


Tips for Visiting Grand Canyon National Park

National Park trips in the Grand Canyon are a great way to learn about some of America’s unique landscapes. If you’re planning on taking a national park vacation in Grand Canyon National Park, keep these National Park travel tips in mind:

  • Respect the park by cleaning up after yourself and picking up trash
  • Stay on designated trails to remain safe
  • Pack plenty of food and water, especially when venturing into the canyon
  • Pack sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses when visiting in the warmer months
  • Follow the directions of your group leader or guide
  • No pets allowed below the Canyon Rim
  • Park campgrounds and lodging both fill up months in advance. Reserve a place to stay before you arrive at the park.
  • Arrive at the park before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m. or wait up to two hours to enter.  


Activities to Enjoy on Grand Canyon Tours for Seniors

The many activities visitors can enjoy make this national park one of the most visited in the United States. When booking Grand Canyon trips for seniors and families, you will find unique opportunities for everyone in your group to enjoy. Some of the top things you should consider doing for Grand Canyon family tours include:

  • Rafting: Grand Canyon rafting trips for seniors are an excellent way to explore the deep canyon walls from a unique perspective. Rafting the rough waters of the Colorado River brings excitement and adrenaline, making for an unforgettable adventure. Through Grand Canyon family rafting tours, you and your family can experience the canyon’s beauty from the water and learn from your raft instructor about the geology and landscape of this national park. Go rafting through the Grand Canyon with your family with Road Scholar.
  • Jeep tours: For visitors interested in more relaxing Grand Canyon tours, consider booking a Jeep trip that allows you to explore the backcountry and traverse rugged terrain to reach remote viewpoints and hidden gems. Through Jeep tours, you can experience an off-road adventure that brings an adrenaline rush from the safety of a vehicle and expert guide.
  • Stargazing: Grand Canyon senior tours aren’t complete without spending one night under the stars. The Grand Canyon covers a vast and remote area with limited light pollution, making it an excellent viewing point for stargazing, where you can marvel at the celestial wonders above. As you peer at the sky, you can learn more about astronomy and mythology from your guide.
  • Photography: From rugged cliffs to the waters of the Colorado River and diverse wildlife and plant life, Grand Canyon National Park tours are an excellent opportunity to hone your photography skills. You can also find photography-specific tours where your guide will provide tips and techniques for capturing stunning images of the canyon’s landscapes at different points of the day.
  • Hiking: Grand Canyon hiking tours for seniors are another excellent opportunity to explore the park on foot. The Grand Canyon has several notable trails, including the Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, Rim Trail, and Grandview Trail. Visitors can find paths that suit various ability levels, so you can find a route that’s comfortable to traverse while taking in the park’s natural landscapes.
  • Educational tours: Educational national park tours are fulfilling programs that consist of interpretive talks offered by park experts and National Park Service guides. Through these one-of-a-kind learning programs, you can gain a deeper understanding of the park’s cultural history, landscapes, geology, wildlife, and conservation efforts.
  • Helicopter tours: For a truly unforgettable experience, enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the Grand Canyon through a helicopter tour that brings you above the canyon to witness its vast expanse. Helicopter tours provide a thrilling aerial experience with narration from knowledgeable pilots to help you learn and see more of the Grand Canyon.

These are some of the many activities you can enjoy on Grand Canyon tours for senior citizens.


Book Your Grand Canyon Trip with Road Scholar

Our Grand Canyon tours give you the chance to discover one of the world’s most iconic destinations. From group National Park tours to rafting down the Colorado River and getting a birds-eye view in a helicopter, these are just some of the unique learning experiences we offer in the Grand Canyon.


Grand Canyon National Park FAQs

How big is the Grand Canyon National Park?

The park is home to over a million acres of land — 1,904 square miles / 4931 square kilometers. Many people measure the canyon in river miles, which totals 277. The Grand Canyon is a whopping 6,000 feet vertically from the rim down to the river. The width of the canyon in some areas is up to 18 miles.

How old is the Grand Canyon? 

The canyon itself has formed in the past five or six million years. Geologically, the Grand Canyon is considered to be very young, but some of the rocks at the bottom of the canyon are 1.8 billion years old. 

When is the best time to visit the Grand Canyon?

There are fewer crowds in early spring and late fall. Expect heavy crowds during the summer, spring, and early fall months. The South Rim is open year-round. The North Rim closes from late October to May every year due to snow.   

Which rim is most visited? 

The South Rim is the most popular part of the Grand Canyon, offering more spectacular viewpoints than the North Rim. The South Rim is famous for its expansive views deep into the canyon. It also has more lodging options and lots of opportunities for adventure.  

Can I bring my dog to Grand Canyon National Park? 

Leashed pets are not allowed below the rim of the Grand Canyon. You may take your pets on the trails in the developed areas around the park. Certified service dogs are an exception to this rule. There is a kennel for your dog on the South Rim but not on the North Rim. 

Are reservations necessary for lodging at the Grand Canyon?

The Grand Canyon is a popular site with almost six million visitors every year, meaning lodging will completely book up in advance. Make reservations for accommodations well in advance. It is recommended to make lodging reservations at least six months to a year in advance of your visit. 

Is it difficult to hike into the Grand Canyon?

Hiking the Grand Canyon trails are steep, involving a downhill trip into the canyon and a  strenuous uphill climb back. Hiking in the Grand Canyon is a difficult exercise, yet still possible for children, people with disabilities, and small children. A positive, determined mental attitude and adequate water supply are essential for a Grand Canyon hike.

Do I need a permit to hike into the Grand Canyon?

If you are just heading into the Grand Canyon National Park for days hiking below the rim, you will not be required to have a permit. If you are planning to camp overnight in the park, a backcountry permit will be required.  

What kind of weather will you find at the Grand Canyon?

Summer temperatures are beautiful in Grand Canyon National Park, with an average between 50 and 80 degrees around the South Rim. The inner canyon temperatures can be more extreme and can exceed 100° F. Winter temperatures at the South Rim are cold with snow and icy roads. If you are traveling to the Grand Canyon during the winter months get your parkas ready because temperatures can reach below zero degrees with a bone chilling wind.