Visiting the Grand Canyon should be on everyone’s bucket list. That’s a sweeping statement, but I stand by it! Pictures cannot do this location justice. I was lucky enough to visit once as a child, and always wanted to go back. That has now happened six times since we moved to Arizona. And each time, it’s been a different experience. Here are some tips for Grand Canyon safety.

Let's Be Safe Out There! Safety Tips for Visiting the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful places to photograph. Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

Grand Canyon Safety Tips

One of my favorite places in the world is the Grand Canyon National Park. Picture opportunities as far as the eye can see! Rocks for days! Sunsets that take your breath away! And plenty of opportunities to make my kids smile and wave like they are having fun. But Grand Canyon safety is my priority.

If you know me, you know I’m always stopping and taking pictures of interesting rocks, horizons, sunsets, or clouds. I find the beauty in nature all around me, but sometimes my front yard gets a little boring. And my kids are OVAH the same old sunset pics from the end of my street.

My family has traveled to the Grand Canyon about six times over the past three years, and each time we are simply stunned by its beauty.

It truly is a view like no other, and if you ever want to go, give me a call. We’re always looking for a reason to head north! One of these days I plan a rail excursion as well since we love trains around here.

However, there are a few things you need to know for Grand Canyon safety tips.

It’s easy to get carried away with wanting that perfect shot or just to get a little closer to the edge to look down. I know I’ve been guilty of pushing the limits myself.

Let's Be Safe Out There! Safety Tips for Visiting the Grand Canyon

Keep Your Distance

This is an obvious safety tip number 1. Even the most surefooted of hiker can trip, slip, or make the wrong move and end up tipping over the edge. If you give yourself a little buffer, you can protect yourself just that much more.

You should stay about 6 feet away from the edges and be mindful of the railings. Do not climb or stand on them, or lean too far over them if you are tall enough. Please don’t lift small children up either.

PLEASE don’t do this. I might have a mini heart attack if I see it happening. 

Safety tips for visiting the grand canyon

Don’t let your kids climb the railings. They can get a great view with both feet on the ground. That’s what the holes are for! Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

Respect Wildlife

Yes, we all want to take a picture of the moose, elk, deer, bear, etc. that we would never see in our neighborhoods back home. I get it.

But we also need to remember that they are wild animals, and we are in their home. If they feel threatened, bad things can happen. The National Parks Service recommends staying at least 75 feet (23 m), or about six arm lengths from the wildlife.

If you must take pictures, choose your shots carefully, and ideally from a distance. This one was taken from the car at a stop sign. No elk (or people) were harmed in this picture.

Safety tips for visiting the grand canyon

Animals are awesome. But they might not think the same of you! Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

Keep Your Children Close

I know this one is not easy, especially when they want to hike and explore. But it’s important that they understand and respect the trail and the limits as well. Having fun is important, sure, but safety is vital.

We chose to put our littlest one in a backpack for the first trip just to be extra safe. She was able to walk and didn’t need to be carried, but we were visiting the biggest hole in the world and decided it was probably best for all involved that she was contained with an adult.

Safety tips for visiting the grand canyon

We strapped the baby to my husband’s back. I wasn’t taking any chances with this little one wandering too close. Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

My father, the constant worry wort, especially appreciated this touch.

You’re welcome, Dad.

Be Mindful of the Weather

Most people equate the Grand Canyon with a hot Arizona desert climate, but you’d be surprised to know it can also experience harsh rains and snow. Elevation and all that.

Even in May, you can get snowed on at the Grand Canyon, as we discovered two years ago!

Safety tips for visiting the grand canyon

Who knew? May can bring snow. Not enough for a snowman, but we made a few snowballs out of it! Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

Prepare your vehicles for the weather and make sure your gas tank is topped off. Be sure to bring sunscreen, water, and an umbrella for summer visits and warm clothes for those winter and late spring trips.

I’ll also add to bring extra cell phone chargers. The reception may be spotty, but if you are in need of assistance a dead battery is worse that low reception.

Grand Canyon safety is an important topic to keep in mind when you are visiting.

Above all else (showing my age a little bit here with a Hill Street Blues reference): hey, let’s be careful out there!

This post was inspired by the recent tragedy at the Grand Canyon. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the hiker who lost her life in this accident.