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Maritime Museum of San Diego

Maritime Museum features historic ships that display both permanent and temporary exhibits on board. You can see what it was like to live and work on these vessels at Maritime Museum of San Diego. Look into the cabins where ship crew mates would sleep, walk by the kitchen and dining areas to see where they had meals and satisfy your curiosity by seeing the very small bathrooms and showers. San Diego Maritime Museum offers daily public tours so that you and your friends or family can explore this place often - and learn plenty about ship life. Maritime Museum San Diego has public events that make for great experiences and quality bonding time with family and friends. During the Family Overnight Adventure at San Diego Maritime Museum, you and your loved ones can spend a night on the Star of India. Maritime Museum will tell you all about how the immigrants and crew lived and worked on this ship. Guests can participate in ship chores. You might raise the sail or rig a bosun's chair at Maritime Museum of San Diego. Your kids will know how to hoist cargo and sing sea chanteys like they were the original passengers on this ship after a fun day at the Maritime Museum.

https://www.sandiego.com/maritime-museum

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Railroad Museum
The Railroad Museum in San Diego in Balboa Park presents one of the largest indoor train models in the world, and it is also the only accredited railway-themed museum in the United States. San Diego Model Railroad Museum is educational, exciting and interesting for adults and children of all ages. Whether you grew up creating and playing with your own train models or you are a railway connoisseur, the Railroad Museum San Diego will provide you with entertainment as you admire the impressive designs and learn about the history of the railway systems in California. Guests will witness the transformation of trains and the railways through time and gain facts about the early railroad women in history. Visitors at the San Diego Railroad Museum will recognize the miniature version of famous San Diego sites and landmarks while trains zoom through the landscapes. The San Diego Railroad Museum features imaginary prototypes and the hypothetical design of the Pacific Desert Lines that were surveyed but constructed. The Railroad Museum San Diego also presents the real-life mountain scenes in the Tehachapi Loop and the Goat Canyon trestle on the San Diego and Arizona Eastern line, as train history and authenticity is preserved in each exhibit. The toy train gallery is also an exciting must-see attraction as it has four tracks and operating accessories. The kids will enjoy pressing the buttons to operate the coal trains, which blow horns, whistles and even smoke at the San Diego Railroad Museum. https://www.sandiego.com/san-diego-railroad-museum
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San Diego Zoo
An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California, with more than 4,000 rare & fascinating animals. See giant pandas, Komodo dragons, orangutans, koalas, flamingos, polar bears, and more. With animal encounters, interactive experiences, and a lively atmosphere, it's a great place for family fun and gathering friends. http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/
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Balboa Park
Balboa Park, originally called City Park, used to be 1,400 acres of undeveloped land. Landscaping began in 1892, followed by the construction of water systems and roads through 1910. In 1915, San Diego was to be the host of the Panama-California Exposition. Nature lovers have a lot to see in the gardens at Balboa Park in San Diego. The 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden at San Diego Balboa Park features massive cactus and succulent plants. Visitors will even find exotic African and Australian Protea plants at this area within Balboa Park San Diego. The Botanical Building and the lily pond in front of it are some of the most popular areas that are photographed in Balboa Park - and with good reason. There are over 2,100 permanent plants inside the building and a changing collection of cycads, ferns, orchids and palms. The California Native Plant Garden shows visitors thousands of plants that thrive here in their San Diego habitat. Bring your kids to the Balboa Park Carousel. This fun destination is adjacent to the San Diego Zoo and features plenty of hand-carved animals so that your kid has lots of choices. All but two of the hand-carved animals on the Balboa Park San Diego Carousel are original from 1910! While you're on the merry-go-round, you can even play the brass ring game. Balboa Park's Carousel is one of a small number around the world that still have the brass ring game for riders to play. The Balboa Park Miniature Railroad takes families on a fun journey across four acres. https://www.sandiego.com/balboa-park
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Lovers Cove
Lovers Cove is on Pebbly Beach Road just a short distance east from Avalon on Catalina Island. It is a short walk to this cove from town and even shorter from the Catalina Express ferry landing dock. Unfortunately there isn’t much of a beach between the road and the water at this location. This rocky shoreline is mostly a snorkeling destination. Inquire in town about nearby snorkeling spots and they might send you to this location. Snorkeling gear, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, bikes, golf carts, and more can be rented in town to explore the area. The Catalina Express operates boats daily to Catalina Island from the mainland in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Dana Point. https://www.californiabeaches.com/beach/lovers-cove-on-catalina-island/
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Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden
The Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden is a thirty-minute stroll up Avalon Canyon from town center. The Botanic Garden is the primary gateway to access one of the Island's most popular hikes, the Garden to Sky Trail. The Wrigley Memorial honors the memory of William Wrigley Jr., who lived from 1861 to 1932. Although best known as the founder of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, largest manufacturer of chewing gum in the world, he also played an instrumental role in the history of Santa Catalina Island. https://www.catalinaconservancy.org/index.php?p=wrigley_memorial_and_botanic_garden&s=visit
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California Science Center
he California Science Center is a dynamic destination where families, adults and children can explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and awe-inspiring films. The Science Center is open to the public seven days a week, 362 days per year, with free general admission to its permanent exhibit galleries. The facility, which opened in February 1998, spans more than 400,000 sq. feet and includes four major exhibit areas. World of Life probes the commonalities of the living world, from the single-celled bacterium to the 100-trillion-celled human being; Creative World examines the ways people employ technology to meet their needs for transportation, communication and structures; and Ecosystems, a major expansion opened in March of 2010, features an unprecedented blend of nearly 400 species of live plants and animals, and hands-on exhibits in 11 immersive environments. Ecosystems highlights include a 188,000 gallon kelp tank populated with live kelp, fish, and other marine life, a desert flash flood, and a special gallery dedicated to the urban ecology of Los Angeles. The Ecosystems experience empowers explorers with the science knowledge to become better stewards of the environment. https://californiasciencecenter.org/
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Disneyland
Enter a magical kingdom where you can sail with pirates, explore exotic jungles, meet fairy-tale princesses, dive under the ocean and rocket through the stars! Disneyland Park is a beloved Southern California destination where generations of families have made their Disney dreams come true. Walt Disney’s original Disneyland theme park, which first opened on July 17, 1955, is now divided into 8 extravagantly themed lands: Main Street, U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown, Frontierland, Critter Country, New Orleans Square and Adventureland. https://disneyland.disney.go.com/
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Arlington Garden
Pasadena's only dedicated free public garden, Arlington Garden was built in 2005 on the former site of the historic Durand Mansion. The garden includes thousands of California-native plants such as poppies, sunflowers, cactus and succulents, orchards of orange and olive trees, and many more species. Arlington Garden also features a variety of benches and tables, birdbaths and statuary. A classical, seven-circuit Labyrinth was built at the garden in October 2010. In November 2008, 21 crepe myrtle trees were donated and permanently installed at Arlington as part of Yoko Ono's Wish Tree series. This garden is not only friendly to people and pets, but also exists as a refuge for Pasadena’s native fauna. Birds, bees and butterflies are particularly abundant and can be seen throughout the year. http://www.arlingtongardenpasadena.com/
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Hollywood Sign
Looking for a picture-perfect view of the Sign? For many visitors to Los Angeles, there is no more coveted photo than a shot of the world famous Sign. Though it is visible from all over the city from its lofty perch on Mt. Lee, it can actually be surprisingly difficult to get a well-angled shot. Stunning views of the Hollywood Sign unfold at your own pace on hiking trails that meander through the rolling chaparral of the Santa Monica Mountains. Trails originally blazed by paws, hooves, and yucca-thatched moccasins now connect us to cultural as well as natural wonders. The western frontier of Griffith Park offers hikers amazingly close encounters with the Sign, which is off-limits to human hands, just below the ridgeline at the 1,708-foot summit of Mt. Lee. On the longest hike, you can ascend above and behind the Sign’s 45-foot-tall aluminum letters, where you look out over a windswept vista encompassing the DOOWYLLOH sign, the dreamy towers of downtown Los Angeles, and, on a clear day, the ageless blue Pacific. https://hollywoodsign.org/seeing-the-sign/
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Descanso Gardens
Located in La Cañada Flintridge, the 160-acre Descanso Gardens was originally developed in 1936 by newspaper magnate Elias Manchester Boddy, whose numerous interests included horticulture and politics. Descanso Gardens offers numerous areas for exploring, including a bird sanctuary, five-acre rosarium, Japanese tea garden, water-wise garden, Oak Woodland, California garden, and the world’s largest collection of camellia flowers. https://www.descansogardens.org/
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Universal Studios Hollywood
Find a full day of action-packed entertainment all in one place: thrilling Theme Park rides and shows, a real working movie studio, and Los Angeles’ best shops, restaurants and cinemas at CityWalk. Universal Studios Hollywood is a unique experience that’s fun for the whole family. Go behind the scenes of a real working movie studio! Visit 13 city blocks on four acres of historic studio lot in the largest set construction project in studio history, built with creative consultation from Steven Spielberg himself. Or see what awaits you inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! From magical spells to magical creatures, from dark villains to daring heroes, it’s all here at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, now open at Universal Studios Hollywood. Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts castle, visit the shops of Hogsmeade, and sample fare from some of the wizarding world’s best-known establishments. Plus experience pulse-pounding rides and attractions that transport you into a world of magical thrills and excitement. https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/park-highlights/
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Malibu Pier
Malibu Pier isn’t one of the longest piers in California, but it is in one of the best locations. West of the pier you can walk for several miles when the tide isn’t high. In that direction you’ll cross Carbon Beach, La Costa Beach, and Las Flores Beach (the latter two are not easily visited from Pacific Coast Highway). East of Malibu Pier is Surfrider Beach where longboard surfers and stand-up paddleboarders play in the mild rolling break. Farther to the east, Malibu Lagoon State Beach offers a unique setting without million dollar mansions behind (although they are never far away in Malibu). The Adamson House and Garden (Tour) between the lagoon and the pier is cool to see when it’s open. Malibu Farm Cafe and Restaurant is at the end of the pier and has healthy food for hungry visitors. Nobu and other restaurants are nearby as well. Parking is available in the lot next to the pier and along PCH. https://www.californiabeaches.com/attraction/malibu-pier/
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Japanese Garden Suiho-En
Authentic 6.5-acre Japanese Garden created by Dr. Koichi Kawana to provide beauty, relaxation, inspiration and a better understanding of Japanese culture using reclaimed water. https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/activities/japanese-garden
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Van Nuys Airport
Van Nuys Airport (VNY) has all the elements of a blockbuster film—action, adventure, war, world records, movie stars, mystery, and suspense. It’s the story of success, defeat, and reinvention—the ultimate "little engine that could" —and yet it can be considered one of the largest "hidden gems" in Los Angeles because there is so much to learn and experience—and much of it is free. https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/things-to-do/van-nuys-airport-the-story-of-an-la-icon
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Point Dume State Beach
Point Dume State Beach features headlands, cliffs, rocky coves and vast beach access. The beach is presently operated by Los Angeles County, which also operates Zuma County Beach. These facilities are noted for swimming, surfing, scuba diving and fishing. Point Dume is a perfect place to watch for California gray whales during the December to mid April migration period. At the end of Westward Beach Road, access to Point Dume Nature Preserve begins from the cul-de-sac. A gradual ascending trail leads to an ancient coastal bluff sand dune. Visitors are asked to stay on the trail in an effort to help reserve this unique sand accumulation. An incredible view encompassing the entire Santa Monica Bay, north Malibu Coast, inland Santa Monica Mountains and distant Catalina Island may be enjoyed from the top on a clear day. A boardwalk, just below the summit, leads to a viewing platform - it tends to be more sheltered on a windy day. A stairway from the east side of the bluff-top preserve allows access to a more isolated beach and fine tidepooling opportunities. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=623
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Zuma Beach
Everything for an exciting day out whether you want to climb a rock, surf, swim or just relax in the sun. Check out the nearby restaurants for full sit-down meals with great views over the sea. Hike the ridge, or watch the Dolphins and Seals. It's all hear at your beach, Zuma Beach! http://www.zuma-beach.com/
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Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Think there’s no wide-open countryside left in Los Angeles? Think again. The Santa Monica Mountains stretch for 80km across the northwestern boundary of the Los Angeles basin. Within the range lie more than 60,000 largely undeveloped hectares of grassy swales, rock-studded hillsides, tree-shaded glens, and windswept beaches. A mosaic of state, local, and federal preserves protects this land, all managed under the umbrella of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the nation’s largest urban national park. One of the few mountain ranges in the United States to run east to west rather than north to south, the Santa Monicas can claim big nature bragging rights. Considered to be a “botanical island” in L.A.’s urban corridor, the slopes that run straight down to the Pacific are covered in chaparral, coastal sage, springtime wildflowers, and oak and sycamore forests. More than 20 species of endangered plants and animals thrive here. This is a place where you might see a bobcat stalk its prey, a coyote lope across the grasslands, or a golden eagle fly overhead. https://www.visitcalifornia.com/au/attraction/santa-monica-mountains-national-recreation-area
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Arizona Science Center
Arizona Science Center provides exploration, education and entertainment for all ages. Nestled in the picturesque setting of Heritage and Science Park, the Science Center is a unique landmark designed by renowned architect Antoine Predock. The combination of ramps, hallways, galleries and terraces in this 140,000-square-foot building creates an intriguing environment of investigation and discovery. The Center contains four levels of exciting “hands-on” exhibits, a state-of-the-art planetarium, and a 5-story high giant-screen theater. The exhibits and galleries are designed to educate and entertain kids of all ages – from pre-K to gray! Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, the Science Center is within walking distance to nearby attractions such as Heritage Square, Phoenix Convention Center, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Chase Field, the Arizona Center and more. The Center is located at 7th and Washington Street and is accessible from Interstates 10 and 17, as well as the Metro Valley Light Rail. https://www.visitphoenix.com/listing/arizona-science-center/54/
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Camelback Mountain
Camelback Mountain is an amazing natural attraction in Phoenix, Arizona. The mountain gets its name from its unique shape. For the most part, it looks like the hump and head of a camel on its knees. It is located in the Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area and is a well-known landmark near metropolitan Phoenix. The area is one of the best places to indulge in a spot of hiking and rock climbing. The mountain is believed to be a sacred site of the Hohokam, the prehistoric North American Indians, up until the 14th century. There are 2 hiking trails to explore at Camelback Mountain. For a shorter hiking experience you could choose the Echo Canyon Trail, which is 1.14 miles long. On the other hand, if you are game for a longer adventure then 1.4-mile long Cholla Trail is the ideal alternative. The trails are challenging with steep grades although there are sections with handrails to make things a little easier. There is also a red sandstone rock formation known as the Praying Rock, which resembles a person kneeling down to pray. Avid rock climbers will find the region most challenging. https://www.visitacity.com/en/phoenix/attractions/camelback-mountain
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Bear Creek Golf Complex
Chandler's Bear Creek Golf Complex is a 36-hole inland links golf facility consisting of both a championship course and an executive course. Both golf courses and practice area at Bear Creek Golf Complex were created by the Nicklaus Design Group and architect Bill O'Leary. https://www.visitchandler.com/listings/bear-creek-golf-complex/672/
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Veterans Oasis Park and Environmental Education Center
Chandler unveiled another dynamic, mixed-use facility in April 2008 with the Veterans Oasis Park and Environmental Education Center located in the northeast corner of the city at the intersection of Lindsay and Chandler Heights Roads. The center includes four classrooms for wildlife preservation and environmental awareness, exhibit areas, outdoor amphitheatre, nature store and an urban fishing lake, all surrounded by more than four miles of trails. A primary purpose of the facility is to recharge reclaimed water into the ground for later use. The staff works with local schools to develop nature-oriented activities that complement their curriculum. Programs offered for residents and visitors cover topics such as birdwatching, green living, gardening, water conservation, nature photography, orienteering, alternative energy and stargazing. Entrance to the Environmental Education Center is free and visitors are welcome to view the exhibits and walk the trails around the urban fishing lake. https://www.visitchandler.com/listings/veterans-oasis-park-and-environmental-education-center/276/
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Tuweep
At 3,000 vertical feet (880 m) above the Colorado River, the sheer drop from Toroweap Overlook offers a dramatic view. The volcanic cinder cones and lava flows in this ancestral home of the Southern Paiute people make this area unique. Situated below the iconic rim of Grand Canyon, a visit to Tuweep provides an opportunity for an uncrowded, rustic, and remote experience. Access is challenging and demands skill at negotiating difficult roadways. Summer brings monsoonal rain and lightning. Winter includes rain, snow and freezing temperatures. Be ready for quickly changing conditions. https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/tuweep.htm
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Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Focused on the preservation of the Sonoran Desert, The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum will turn your idea of a museum inside out. Guests will experience a quintessential Sonoran Desert experience which includes: an unforgettable fusion zoo, botanical garden, natural history museum, aquarium and art gallery. https://www.visittucson.org/business/arizona-sonora-desert-museum?clientid=25386
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Havasu Falls
The phrase “Havasu Falls” is often referencing the actual waterfall called “Havasu Falls” and it’s also often referencing the area where all 5 of the Havasupai Waterfalls exist on the Havasupai Indian Reservation in the Grand Canyon. Havasu Falls itself, the waterfall, is arguably the most aesthetic of the 5 waterfalls at Havasupai. It is the third and middle waterfall from top to bottom, and provides the best swimming, cascades, shade, places to relax, and general amazing ambiance. Havasu Falls is approximately 80 feet high, where the turquoise waters of Havasu Creek plunge from the travertine terraces above down to a large, idyllic pool of water below. From the pool below the waterfall, the water cascades down through a series of pools, each one a wonderful little swimming pool. http://waterfallsofthegrandcanyon.com/havasu-falls/
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River Trips
There are different river trip opportunities through Grand Canyon National Park: half-day and full-day smooth water trips on the Colorado River or noncommercial trips that launch from Diamond Creek and takeout at Lake Mead typically are 2 to 5 days in length. These are also professionally guided raft trips, available to the public and often reserved a year or two in advance. https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/whitewater-rafting.htm
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Hermit Road
Hermit Road is a scenic route along the west end of Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim which follows the rim for 7 miles (11 km) out to Hermits Rest. This extremely popular route is accessed by free park shuttle bus, foot, bicycle, or commercial bus tour most of the year, with private vehicles allowed only during winter months of December, January and February. Along the canyon rim are nine designated viewpoints where the free Hermits Rest Route shuttle bus stops. The Canyon Rim Trail also follows the rim of the canyon for 7.8 miles (12.6 km) along Hermit Road and offers the opportunity for short or long walks between viewpoints on both paved and dirt trails. In addition to the Rim Trail, three miles of paved greenway trail provide additional views for cyclists and hikers. https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/hermit-road.htm
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Grand Canyon Village
Find everything you need for a Grand Canyon adventure in Grand Canyon Village. This historic village has excellent shopping for all the hiking and camping gear you need, as well as authentic American Indian crafts and plenty of canyon souvenirs. The village also has stellar lodging options and a top-rated walking tour. Grand Canyon Village, located on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Northern Arizona, holds some of the best scenic overlooks in the park, including Yavapai Point. Begin your Grand Canyon tour at the visitor center. Here you can pick up a copy of the self-guided walking tour brochure for in-depth information on the canyon and its history. Highlights of the tour include Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar Hotel Buckey O’Neill Cabin, Hopi House, Lookout Studio, and Kolb Studio. You’ll also learn how Grand Canyon Village grew up around the Santa Fe Railroad starting in 1901. Stop by the rustic Grand Canyon Railway Depot, which welcomes Grand Canyon Railway passengers to the village. https://www.visitarizona.com/cities/northern/grand-canyon-village
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Desert View Drive
Desert View Drive is a scenic route to the east of Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim which follows the rim for 25 miles (40 km) out to the Desert View Watchtower and East Entrance of Grand Canyon National Park. Along the way there are: Six developed canyon viewpoints, Four picnic areas, Five unmarked pullouts and Tusayan Museum and ruin site (Ancestral Puebloan). Private vehicles, are allowed on Desert View Drive. https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/desert-view-drive.htm
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Desert View
Desert View is a small settlement on the South Rim located 25 miles/ 41 km east of Grand Canyon Village, and near the eastern edge of Grand Canyon. Arizona Highway 64, Also known as Desert View Drive, is a scenic road that connects Desert view with Grand Canyon Village. Also discover The Tusayan Ruin, is the remains of a small Ancestral Puebloan village located 3 miles (5 km) west of Desert View. This was a thriving community that created pottery, arrowheads and other household artifacts. https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/desert-view.htm
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Phantom Ranch
Phantom Ranch, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, is a popular destination for both hikers and mule riders. Overnight hiker dormitories and cabins can be reserved and meals are available for purchase. Advance reservations for meals and lodging at Phantom Ranch are required. Reservations are made through Xanterra via an online lottery 15 months in advance. The park's Backcountry Information Center does not make reservations for Phantom Ranch lodging or meals. Overnight guests of Phantom Ranch who have advance reservations do not need to obtain backcountry camping permits. Taking a mule ride at the Grand Canyon is a tradition that began more than 100 years ago. Trips into the canyon - as well as rides through the park's woodlands to scenic canyon overlooks - are offered on both the North and South Rims https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/photosmultimedia/grand-canyon-in-depth-03.htm
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Santa Catalina Mountains
Located on Tucson's north side, the rugged Santa Catalina Mountains in Coronado National Forest are Tucson's most prominent range with the highest average elevation. The highest point is Mt. Lemmon at 9,147 feet, noted as the southernmost ski destination in the United States. A trip from the Tucson valley to Mt. Lemmon takes you from 2,000 to about 9,000 feet, with scenery that resembles a trip from the Mexican to the Canadian border. https://www.visittucson.org/things-to-do/hiking/santa-catalina
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Rincon Mountains
Located on Tucson's east side is the Rincon Mountain Wilderness Area of Coronado National Forest. The most popular way to experience the Rincons is at Saguaro National Park East, which offers numerous trails, and Colossal Cave Mountain Park, a massive underground labyrinth and one of the largest dry caves in the world. https://www.visittucson.org/things-to-do/hiking/rincon
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North Rim
A worthwhile trip for those who enjoy the road less traveled, the North Rim, or "other side" of Grand Canyon is visited by only 10% of all Grand Canyon visitors. The North Rim is over 8000 feet/2438 m. in elevation. For classic North Rim views, start at the Grand Canyon Lodge patio, then walk the paved trail out to Bright Angel Point. From the main parking area it is a relatively short, easy walk to Lodge itself. During winter months, the North Rim closes because of snow. https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/north-rim.htm