It would be almost impossible to have a bad time at Grand Canyon National Park but there are some key things you need to remember so that you have a good trip.
Plan Ahead: Plan your trip as far in advance as possible. Ideally most reservations should be made from five months to one year in advance. Most programs and tours have waiting lists for no shows, but these lists are typically long and no shows are rare. If you are camping and planning to stay at a campground that does not accept reservations, call ahead and get there as early as possible in the morning.
Don't Drive When Visiting The South Rim: The South Rim of the Grand Canyon has serious congestion problems during the summer months and limited parking. To prevent driving in circles or being stuck in traffic, arrive as early as possible and park your car at the Grand Canyon Visitors Center or the Yavapai Cafeteria by Babbit's General Store. From there you can catch a free shuttle bus that will take you almost anywhere in Canyon Village on West Rim Drive.
Bring Water: High altitude and limited shade are part of the classic recipe on becoming dehydrated. Even if you do not plan to hike be sure to carry at least one quart of water with you. Water is not readily available in all places within the park, even in improved areas, so don't wait until you are thirsty to have a drink.
Stay On The Trails: Don't take a chance on the Canyon's edge. In some places the drop can be as far as 3,000 feet! Keeping on the trails protects the fragile environment and maintains ground cover.
Enroll Your Children In The Junior Ranger Program: The self guided program can easily be completed in one day. It is an excellent opportunity to share the Canyon with your children that greatly enhances your family's visit. Program is free and your children will receive a certificate and a patch ($1.50) for completing the program. Make the Grand Canyon visit a memorable one for your children that will last a life time.
Don't Forget The Camera and Extra Film: There are a number of locations within Grand Canyon National Park where you can buy film, disposable cameras and other photographic supplies. If you do not own a camera and are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, we recommend purchasing a camera from $80 to $150 that uses Advantix™ film. Even if you have a camera you should purchase at least one disposable camera to carry with you. That way a broken camera, dead battery or jammed roll of film won't get in your way of taking pictures.
Spend More Than One Day: There is so much to see and do at the Canyon. You could spend a lifetime here and not see every corner. Try to plan a trip to the North Rim while at Grand Canyon. The two rims offer different opportunities and have different climates and terrain. The North Rim is far less crowded, and offers a lot of opportunity for solitude.