I often google “most popular National Park for families” and it’s inevitable – the Grand Canyon is a favorite year after year. This is going to age me, but I can’t help but think that my generation – the generation that grew up watching National Lampoon’s Vacation – considers the Grand Canyon at least part of the ultimate family road trip, if not the main destination for the ultimate family road trip. When I asked bloggers for their favorite U.S. and Canadian National Parks, the Grand Canyon was definitely a favorite. So, if you’re thinking of hitting the road with your family, here are the best children’s books for a trip to the Grand Canyon National Park.
Before we get into the books, I just want to take a brief moment to give background to the park.
About Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is located in the Northeast section of Arizona. It’s close to Utah and Nevada. The closest airport is Flagstaff (FLG), however most people fly into Phoenix (PHX) or Las Vegas (LAS).
There are two major sections of the Grand Canyon. The North Rim and the South Rim. The South Rim is the more popular location and is opened year-round. The North Rim is more complicated to get to and has a limited season. (Please note: there’s a separate Junior Ranger program at the North and South Rims.)
For the purpose of this post, unless otherwise mentioned, I’m referring to the South Rim.
Things to do in the Grand Canyon National Park
Visitors can participate in hiking, riding a mule, visiting a museum, whitewater rafting, photography, scenic drives and more.
Places to stay around the Grand Canyon National Park
There are multiple lodging options available year-round in the South Rim, and in season in the North Rim. This includes a bottom of the canyon ranch, lodges, and several camping options. You definitely want to make reservations as soon as you can.
Grand Canyon Links
Board Books about the Grand Canyon
Good Night Grand Canyon
by Adam Gamble (Author), Mark Jasper (Author), Cooper Kelly (Illustrator)
The Good Night series is a popular board book series for parents to collect. It’s part introduction, part check list, and part souvenir.
Picture books about the Grand Canyon
by Jason Chin (Author)
I love everything Jason Chin. So do my kids. Get this book even if you aren’t going to make it to the Grand Canyon. Gorgeous illustrations. So much interesting information.
I’m Reading About the Grand Canyon
by Carole Marsh (Author)
This is an early reader about the Grand Canyon by one of the most prolific kid’s travel books (the books, not this site) authors. We appreciate anyone doing things to get kids excited about the world.
Whose Tail on the Trail at Grand Canyon?
by Midji Stephenson (Author), Kenneth Spengler (Illustrator)
At National Parks it’s important to look all around. Up, and definitely down. This book helps kids get excited about looking down. What kind of tail trails can you identify?
The Adventures of Salt and Soap at Grand Canyon
by Lori April Rome (Author), Tim Jessell (Illustrator)
This is based on a true story about two puppies who end up in the Grand Canyon.
Scout Moore: Junior Ranger, Grand Canyon
by Theresa Howell (Author), Jeffrey Ebbeler (Illustrator)
I think part of the reason I like going to National Parks, besides their natural beauty, is that the Junior Ranger program is awesome. They get kids involved, the kids learn thing, and a free badge at the end – amazing! This story is about a junior ranger – who wants to be a real ranger.
Information books about the Grand Canyon for Kids
The Grand Canyon, Ready-To-Read
by Marion Dane Bauer (Author), John Wallace (Illustrator)
The Ready-to-Read series is a fun way for kids to learn about a new place on their own terms. With definitions
Where Is the Grand Canyon?
by Jim O’Connor (Author), Daniel Colon (Illustrator)
My kids love the Where is/Who is series of books. I think they like the information and just collecting them.
Who Pooped in the Park? Grand Canyon National Park: Scat and Tracks for Kids
by Gary D. Robson (Author), Elijah Brady Clark (Illustrator)
Kids love talking about poop. This book will definitely help your trip to the Grand Canyon take on a distinct tone.
What I Saw in Grand Canyon: A Kid’s Guide to the National Park
by Julie Gillum Lue (Author), Christopher Cauble (Photographer)
Use real pictures to create a kind of photo scavenger hunt checklist while visiting the Grand Canyon.
A True Book: National Parks, Grand Canyon
by Josh Gregory (Author)
Learn about the Grand Canyon through information and gorgeous photographer.
Grand Canyon National Park
by Lisa M. Herrington (Author)
Ranger Rick introduces kids to the Grand Canyon.
Chapter Books set in the Grand Canyon
The Ghost of the Grand Canyon
by Carole Marsh (Author)
Yes, it’s by the same Carole Marsh who wrote the book above. This is a chapter book and a mystery. Fun for kids.
Mysteries in Our National Parks: Over the Edge: A Mystery in Grand Canyon National Park
by Gloria Skurzynski (Author), Alane Ferguson (Author)
This is the Grand Canyon book from the National Park series of mysteries.
A to Z Mysteries Super Edition #11: Grand Canyon Grab
by Ron Roy (Author), John Steven Gurney (Illustrator)
The Roses are visiting the Grand Canyon and see a famous television star. They want to meet the star, but before they get a chance – the star is kidnapped. Now the Roses are on a mission to find him.
Path of the Thunderbird, A Grand Canyon Adventure
by Sara Miller (Author), Pat Toole (Author), Theresa Howell (Editor), Scott Brundage (Illustrator)
The 12-year-olds trip to the Grand Canyon doesn’t go exactly as planned. Instead, they’re on a treasure hunt and go from clue to clue.