Happy New Year!
I was fortunate enough to spend the new year in the Grand Canyon. It was my first trip to the park and there was much more to do and see than I had time for in just two days. If you're planning a trip and want to make the most of your time, I encourage you to check out today's Feel Good Friday
organization, the Grand Canyon Association.
The National Park Service only covers baseline support for operations of the park and so, enter the GCA. As explained on their website, "the Grand Canyon Association is the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park, raising private funds to benefit Grand Canyon National Park, operating retail shops and visitor centers within the park, and providing premier guided educational classes, hikes, and tours about the natural and cultural history of the region."
This is a great resource to help you plan your visit. I wish I knew about them before I went! They have links to maps, lodging options and activities, including guided hikes with the GCA Field Institute. They also host art exhibits, operate many of the visitor centers and bookstores and organize volunteer activities such as vegetation rehabilitation and wildfire management activities.
If you'd like to support the work of the GCA, you can make a donation or shop online for maps, books, videos, calendars, clothing and jewelry. You can also "Adopt a Lion" by making purchases that directly support wildlife research and monitoring of three mountain lions that roam the park. I'm glad to know they are there and glad I didn't see them in person!
As always, you can stay in the social media loop by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @GrandCanyonAssn.