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The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world

Elk are among the larger animals you might see if hiking in the Canyon
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You should plan to spend at least one night at the Grand Canyon if you want to enjoy it fully. If you like hiking then two or three nights would be better. You don't have to be extremely fit in order to hike into the Canyon, but it can be a tiring hike back up again, especially if the weather is hot, so take this into account. Some people hike in trainers but it is better to take even light hiking boots if you have them.

 

The most popular trail is the Bright Angel Trail which starts right in Grand Canyon Village. The advantage of this trail is that you can go as far as you feel comfortable with, and turn round and go back any time. If you're enjoying the hike then it will eventually take you to Phantom Ranch, right down in the canyon. There is accommodation at Phantom ranch but it must be booked up to a year in advance.

 

Another popular route is the South Kaibab Trail, which you can get to by taking the free shuttle bus or by walking along the Rim Trail. After about 3 miles (5kms) you reach Skeleton Point, which gives you wonderful 360-degree views of the Canyon. Even if you don't like strenuous walking, or are limited in the hiking you can do, you can still walk the Rim Trail without too much effort and get some wonderful views in places.

 

If you book ahead it is also possible to join one of the mule rides into the Canyon and back. These do seem an easier option but be warned that sitting on a mule for up to six hours is uncomfortable if you're not used to riding, and although the ride is perfectly safe it can still be nerve-wracking as the mule picks its way along the path.

 

One way of seeing the Grand Canyon in style and comfort is to take a trip on the Grand Canyon Railway, which has been in operation since 1901. It runs from the town of Williams and takes you the 65 miles (104kms) to the South Rim and back again. Currently one train a day operates, but there are plans to increase this in the future. The train leaves Williams at 9.30am and takes 2hrs 15mins to make the journey. If you go there and back in one day you will have almost four hours to spend at the Canyon, although you can also arrange to spend a few nights in Grand Canyon Village and return on a different day. There are several classes of ticket available, including the Observation Dome and the Luxury Parlor Car.

 

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