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Safety and Other Things for Parents

  • For emergencies, you can dial 911 from any phone in the Grand Canyon area. The exception is from within the hotels, where you must dial 9-911.
  • As noted, there are places without sidewalks. Careful.
  • We didn't see any, but we were told there are poison snakes in the woods, so be careful if you hike off the trail, and don't let your kids reach into rock crevices and the like.
  • The Grand Canyon area is very dark after dark and while we encountered no crime or even threats, you'll want to remain alert. Also, wear reflective clothing to avoid unpleasant problems with cars at night.
  • Here and there toilet facilities are provided courtesy of portable toilets. You can usually find clean, indoor plumbing with drinkable water and sit down toilets but might need to plan ahead for such if portable potties are not in your kids' vocabulary, or if you need to change diapers or perform baby maintenance.

Grand Canyon

  • The Grand Canyon Rim has no railings in places and presents a multiple-story sheer drop off at times. Keep kiddies by the hand.
  • We found no place to rent strollers or bikes anywhere in the park. Bring your own.
  • For some travelers, the air at the Grand Canyon, well above sea level, is thin. Our kids felt grumpy and slow for a day or two (though they may just be grumpy or slow) and we noticed it when attempting to jog.
  • There are gift shops liberally sprinkled throughout the Grand Canyon area, many of which include both decent educational kind of stuff and cheesy junk souvenirs. Have a plan and policy for gift shops laid out before you get to the park and cling tenaciously to it to avoid spending all of your time either a) arguing or b) in the darn gift shops.
  • The tap water around the park tasted very minerally to us and might not appeal to all kids (and some adults). You might end up buying bottled water instead. Bottled water, by the way, is available all over the place.
  • Squirrels near the Grand Canyon Rim and at some of the popular picnicking areas were very aggressive, climbing onto our arms to beg for food. Fun at times, an annoyance at meals, and maybe scary as heck to a small child about to lose her ice cream. Defend yourselves and don't feed them!
  • In fact, the Rangers ask that you not feed any wildlife anywhere in the Canyon.
  • There weren't any mosquitoes that we saw.
  • The only place we found that sold paper diapers and sanitary pads was the Grand Canyon Village Marketplace, near Yavapai Lodge, the Post Office and the ATM.