We left the hotel and headed north towards the Grand Canyon. We took a slight diversion to Walnut Creek which is a unique canyon where ancient tribes lived in rock caves and dwellings.
We arrived in Tusayan, the Grand Canyon Village, which is really just a line of hotels and eating places a few miles south of the Grand Canyon National Park. It looked very new and recently established, but I could be wrong!
I had booked via TrailFinders to stay in the Best Western Squire Grand Canyon This was one of the first hotels on driving into Tusayan – very large and modern.
At this point, I was not a member of the Best Western scheme for rewards, so I was not going to earn any points or benefits for our stay. However, the room rate did include breakfast. We checked in to our deluxe king bed room, which had 2 beds. It was large and very comfortable, better than I was expecting. Breakfast was plentiful, and the evening hamburgers were great!
The shuttle buses into the park have 3 stops in Tusayan, one of which was right outside our hotel. I had to show my Annual National Parks Card to get entry on the bus and to the park, 20 minutes away to the visitor centre. This cost me £77 (purchased in UK) and is valid for a year and gives entry to all the National Parks which was great value.*
Once in the park, there are 3 bus routes which can take you to different parts of the Grand Canyon’s hiking trails. I would strongly recommend staying in Tusayan and using the buses and not taking your car into the park. The canyon was breathtaking and awesome. And the helicopter trip was the icing!
*I paid $30 for entry to The Grand Canyon in April and another $30 for our trip into Yosemite in August; so if you are visiting three or more parks in the year the Annual Card is well worth the cost! You can buy them in the States for $80, so cheaper to buy there