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How to get the most out of your Grand Canyon Vacation! - page 26 / 39





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  • Take part in a ranger-led program. Though most of these are outdoor programs, there

are many that take place indoors at locations such as the Shrine of the Ages, Kolb Studio, Canyon View Information Plaza, etc. Check your copy of the Grand Canyon Guide (a newspaper that you’ll receive upon entering the park), or visit www.nps.gov/grca .

All these activities are things you can do within Grand Canyon Village, the main visitor service area at Grand Canyon South Rim. If road conditions permit, take a drive along the 26-mile East Rim Drive of the Grand Canyon and do the following:

  • Visit the Tusayan Ruins and Museum - located three miles

west of Desert View and 22 miles east of Grand Canyon Village on Desert View Drive. Open daily year-round (but may be closed due to inclement weather), 9am to 5pm.

A visit to Tusayan Museum will provide a glimpse of Pueblo Indian life at Grand Canyon some 800 years ago, admission is free. A self-guiding trail leads through the adjacent 800- year-old ruin. Ranger-led tours of the Tusayan Ruins are offered daily. Educational materials about the park and region are sold in the non-profit bookstore

  • Visit the Desert View Watchtower and Trading Post:

Another masterpiece from architect Mary Jane Colter, the 70-foot watchtower opened in 1932. The structure is reminiscent of ancestral Puebloan (aka ‘Hisatsinom’ or ‘Anasazi’) towers found near Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, bearing strongest resemblance to a particular ruin preserved at Hovenweep National Monument. Those willing to climb to the top are rewarded with spectacular views of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River on a clear day. On a cloudy day, the tower’s interior also offers a glimpse of Indian culture in the form of ceremonial paintings by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie. Next door, the trading post offers a snack bar and souvenir shop.

Remember, the above activities are located on the East Rim Drive of the canyon, a very twisty, windy road, and one best avoided if it happens to be snowing. Just South of Grand Canyon Village, the community of Tusayan also offers a variety of activities that can help save the day (not to mention your vacation!):

  • Let’s Bowl! Bring the family down to the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn ’s

on-site play center, featuring a 6-lane bowling alley, video games, pool tables (at the Sports Lounge across the hall). Not staying at the Squire ? No problem - this facility is open to all area visitors.

  • Some mamas did let their babies grow up to be cowboys, and cowboys are celebrated

in several places in Tusayan. The Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn has a small cowboy museum located in the main lobby near the gift shop. You can see actual branding tools used on livestock in this area. Across the street at the Grand Hotel , fine examples of Western art can be found throughout the lobby. This hotel also has a wonderful Christmas craft show in December. The Grand Hotel pays “architectural homage” to the El Tovar.

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