With exciting adventures, stunning overlooks, and educational opportunities hiding around every corner, there’s no denying that the Grand Canyon is a fantastic destination for families.
Every year, millions of parents bring their eager children to the Grand Canyon to explore one of America’s most beloved attractions, many of whom are concerned about safety. The Grand Canyon is perfectly safe for visitors of any age, but like any destination, it comes with its share of dangers. All you need to keep your family safe on your vacation is common sense and a bit of preparation, so to help you get ready for your next adventure, we’ve compiled a list of our best tips for keeping your kids safe at the Grand Canyon.
1. Keep a close eye on your kids at all times.
Treat the Grand Canyon the same as you’d treat a busy street. If you’re visiting at peak season, chances are it’ll be just as busy anyway!
The simplest and most effective thing you can do to make sure your kids stay safe on your Grand Canyon adventure is to watch them closely at all times. Don’t let your kids wander off to explore on their own – many accidents occur when both children and adults leave the trails and either enter an unsafe area or get lost.
2. Bring lots of snacks and water.
It can get hot on the Rim, especially if you’re hiking the Rim Trail, and it’s even hotter below the Rim. Save some cash and stop those temper tantrums before they happen by keeping a supply of snacks on hand – snacks can be expensive to purchase, and you may have to wait in line for awhile.
Image Source: Grand Canyon National Park
You should also pack a reusable water bottle for each member of your family. There are water fountains located throughout the park, so it’s easy to stay hydrated all day long.
3. Pack toys and activities
You may have to wait in line for food or ranger demonstrations. Keep your kids occupied while you wait with a few of their favorite toys and activities.
Here are 11 other things to pack for your Grand Canyon vacation.
4. Don’t let your kids (or anyone!) explore beyond safety railings.
The safety railings are there for a reason. The terrain beyond the railing can be loose or unstable, so don’t be tempted to venture beyond the fence to get a better view of the Canyon, even for that perfect #CanyonSelfie! The same goes for climbing on the fences.
There are tons of safe, spectacular viewpoints to explore at the Grand Canyon. Check out our Grand Canyon photography tips and make sure you come home with a great shot!
5. Don’t rely on your stroller.
If you have small children, consider bringing a carrier instead. The terrain can be rough and the shuttles can get busy, so strollers aren’t always the most convenient way to transport small children.
6. Plan your trip according to your kids’ ages and interests
You know your kids better than anyone. Keep their interests in mind when planning and scheduling activities for your Grand Canyon adventure. If your 12 year old doesn’t enjoy hiking, don’t plan a hike into the Canyon! Try taking a helicopter flight or a boat tour instead. Similarly, if your kids are very young, hiking may not be the best idea.
Image Source: Grand Canyon National Park
Ranger demonstrations are a popular activity for kids of all ages. Your kids can even become an official Junior Ranger by completing the Ranger Badge booklet, available for free at visitor centers throughout the park. Learn more about the Junior Ranger program.
7. If you want to hike, stick to the Rim trail
The Rim trail, which doesn’t descend into the Canyon, is ideal for families with kids of any age. The trail starts at Mather Point beside the Visitor Center, is mostly paved, and has lots of fantastic viewpoints along the way.
If you have younger kids, consider renting a bicycle. Bikes are ideal for exploring the Grand Canyon Village or the Rim trail, and you can also rent trailers to carry small children.
Be aware that fences and guardrails don’t run the entire length of the trail, so be sure to keep an eye on your kids along the way.
8. Don’t feed the animals
One of the most common injuries at the Grand Canyon is squirrel bites sustained while trying to feed the squirrels!
Not only is feeding the animals potentially dangerous for you, but it also disrupts their natural diet and encourages the wildlife to remain the populated areas rather than their natural habitat.
Don’t let concerns about safety stop you from visiting the Grand Canyon! With a little preparation, you and your entire family can safely enjoy your Grand Canyon adventure.
Get more great tips for visiting the Grand Canyon with your kids.