Although summer is certainly the most popular time to visit the spectacular Grand Canyon, a visit to this natural wonder in winter has its own magical qualities.  Only the South Rim of the Canyon is open in winter and although the breathtaking views remain the same, there are far fewer crowds to contend with.  At almost 7,000 feet in elevation, there is sometimes snowfall in the Grand Canyon, with daytime temperatures ranging anywhere from the 30s to the 60s, often quickly melting any measurable snow. A wonderful wintertime Sedona Arizona vacation!

Taking a day trip to the Grand Canyon from nearby Sedona, Arizona is a great way to enjoy the South Rim and its various sights. Sedona’s original pet friendly hotel, El Portal, offers a variety of Grand Canyon tours with experienced guides year-round.  The beautiful Rim Trail is accessible in winter, providing amazing views and photo opportunities without venturing too far.  Taking in the Grand Canyon IMAX movie provides a wonderful overview of information on the canyon and its history, as well as the thrilling, big screen IMAX experience. You can bring your pet, and the luxury inn will keep an eye on them as you take in the sights. They will water, walk and feed them, letting you tour worry-free.

El Portal owner, Steve Segner, finds that winter guests enjoy experiencing the added bonus of the Canyon’s unique offerings during the holiday season.  Stops at the South Rim can include El Tovar Lodge, the stately hotel that features a grand lobby decorated for the holidays.  In winter the massive stone fireplace in the lobby is roaring, and you can take in the canyon views while relaxing in one of the seating areas or having lunch.  Hopi House is another interesting sight at the South Rim.  This 1905 building was designed by American architect, Mary Colter, in the image of a Hopi pueblo.  This three story building made of local stone and adobe masonry was built to offer visitors insights into Native American culture and artwork.  Native American blankets, baskets, pottery, jewelry and more are on display and for sale at Hopi House today.  During the holiday season, Hopi House is decorated with glowing luminaria along the roofline in the evening.

For those who want to experience the magic of Northern Arizona in an unforgettable way take a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway. This journey takes travelers through the wilderness, the terrain changes from high desert to prairie to pine. It’s a view that’s ever-changing – until a view comes across that changes so dramatically, it could very well change you.  Each train engine and each train car has been painstakingly restored to its original state by a staff of mechanics that see their work as more a labor of love than a job. During the train tour, the crew is no less enthusiastic. Each is bursting with local and Grand Canyon folklore and history, as well as Grand Canyon Railway knowledge. Strolling musicians play what was hot way back when. And there’s even fun re-creations of an old fashioned shoot out and a train robbery.

El Portal’s staff works with guests to customize Grand Canyon tours and day trips, with the 12 room Sedona hotel serving as home base.  Guests returning to El Portal Sedona Hotel after a Grand Canyon excursion can relax in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine, or enjoy the comfort of their own well-appointed suite.  The luxury inn was designed and built with painstaking attention to detail, featuring turn of the century Southwestern design.  El Portal encourages guests to make themselves completely at home throughout the property’s indoor and outdoor living spaces.  This pet friendly bed and breakfast has pet patios for your canine companion as well. El Portal’s welcoming atmosphere and personalized concierge services Sedona will make a winter trip to the Grand Canyon an unforgettable experience.

Call El Portal for Sedona Hotel Packages for your Sedona Arizona Vacation – 1-800-313-0017!