To be honest, I didn’t expect to be that amazed by Grand Canyon National Park when we visited, but I was! The Grand Canyon is a natural wonder of the world that lives up to the hype. The Grand Canyon is one mile deep, 18 miles broad, and 277 miles long as it follows the Colorado River over the Colorado Plateau. If you are planning a road trip across America or simply traveling to Arizona, you must see the Grand Canyon. Here are some ideas for activities to do in the Grand Canyon to make the most of our visit.
Activities in Grand Canyon National Park
We visited the Grand Canyon as part of a fantastic American road trip. Grand Canyon National Park is a popular destination on a Route 66 road trip, and anyone taking a road trip through Arizona should not miss it.
COVID-19 may have an impact on some activities, museums, businesses, and trails. Before visiting Grand Canyon National Park, check for closures and limitations. For current conditions, please visit the NPS website. More information is accessible at www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Before going, please check the park’s website to see if it is open. The South Rim, East Entrance, and North Rim are all open as of June.
South Rim Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a national park with an admission fee. The Grand Canyon entrance fee is $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle for a seven-day pass. A park pass is $70 per year.
The Rim Trail, Hermit Road, and Desert View Drive are the three main portions of the South Rim to explore. All are easily accessible for scenic drives, and shuttle buses transport visitors from the Visitor Center to the trailheads.
There are so many things to do in the Grand Canyon that it can take days to see everything. It’s no surprise that it’s at the top of so many people’s bucket lists. However, deciding what to do can be difficult. Never fear, we are here to assist you. From the best hiking trails to the best view locations, we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to enjoy the Grand Canyon. So, are you ready to witness this incredible marvel? Let’s get started!
Grand Canyon Village
Begin in Grand Canyon Village. This is a fantastic place to stay when visiting the Grand Canyon. You can arrange Grand Canyon tours here, it’s a center for hiking trails and shuttle buses, there are hotels and shops where you can buy hiking gear, and you can visit some of the Grand Canyon’s main attractions, such as the Lookout Studio, Kolb Studio, and Grand Canyon Railway. If you are RVing, there are even restaurants, coffee shops, and a market where you can fill up on food.
Have a short time at the Grand Canyon? Book this entertaining Pink Jeep Tour – In a luxury jeep, enjoy a 2-hour tour that includes admission to the Grand Canyon National Park and views of the top viewpoints on the South Rim. This is a wonderful alternative if you only have a limited amount of time in the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon Village Accommodations:
Staying in the village is expensive, and the hotels have been in operation for decades. Expect to pay a lot if you don’t want the frills of your normal stay. But remember, this is a national park and you cannot beat the setting. You can fully explore all of the best things to do on the Grand Canyon’s south rim if you put a couple of nights here into your budget.
El Tovar Hotel – This ancient hotel first opened its doors in 1905. It’s a pricey hotel, but you’re paying for history and location. Prices at the Grand Canyon are high due to the location, and this is the most expensive option. Mid-Range: Yavapai Resort – This lodge is less expensive, although it is roughly a mile (1.6 km) from the South Rim.Trailer Village RV Park: For RV owners The Trailer Village RV Park accommodates RVs up to 50 feet in length. It’s inside the park, and the good news is that the bus route stops directly in front of it. Read our guide on how to live in an RV for $2000 a month. There are several campgrounds in Grand Canyon National Park that are less expensive. Bright Angel Campground and Indian Garden Campground are two options for hikers. Mather Campground is one of the village’s camping options. Check out our Ultimate Camping Gear List. Thunderbird Lodge, Bright Angel Lodge, Kachina Lodge, and Maswick Lodge are among the other hotels in the hamlet.
South Kaibab Trailhead
The South Kaibab Trailhead is yet another excellent shuttle bus point for exploring the Grand Canyon. It is a popular stop for hikers on the South Kaibab Trail, which leads down to the Colorado River, although there are other paths to explore here as well. Take the orange line shuttle bus from the Visitor Center or Grand Canyon Village to the trailhead, then choose from a variety of day hikes. From here, you can also go on multi-day expeditions.
The orange line stops at many Rim Trail locations, including the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, Mather Point, Yavapai Point Geology Museum, South Kaibab, Yaki Point, and Pipe Creek Vista.
Hermit Road Shuttle Bus
You can take the Hermit Road Shuttle Bus to Hermits Rest from Grand Canyon Village. Hermit Road is one of the most spectacular drives in the Grand Canyon, but it is closed to traffic from March 1 to November 30. We took this bus to the Grand Canyon. The round trip itinerary allows you to hop on and off at some of the most picturesque lookouts along the south rim.
The Canyon Rim Trail, Greenway Trail, Trailview Overlook, Powell Memorial, Mohave Point (where we took in the sunset), The Abyss, Pima Point, Hermits Rest, and Hermit Trial are among the nine destinations during the seven-mile (14.4 km) trip. You can get off at any stop, explore the trails and overlooks, and then board the next bus. If you are not trekking the Grand Canyon, this is a terrific way to see a lot in one day.
South Kaibab Trail
The South Kaibab Trail is a 7.3-mile (11.7 km) one-way trip down into the canyon to Bright Angel Campground. If you accomplish this in one day, you should depart early because the ascent back up is tough. It will take around 4 to 5 hours to travel alone to the Colorado River campsite. If you intend to camp, make a reservation in advance because spots fill up rapidly. The campground is on the north bank of the Colorado River, and you’ll cross the magnificent Kaibab Suspension Bridge to get there.
Would you like to see the Grand Canyon from above? Book this magnificent flight above the Grand Canyon to see the Zuni Corridor, Imperial Point, the confluence of Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers, the Kaibab National Forest, and the Kaibab Plateau.
Yaki Point and Ooh Aah Point
There are two other popular paths here if you don’t want to do the entire South Kaibab Trail. Yaki Point is about a 1.6 mile (2.5 km) round trip journey from the trailhead, or you can hike to Ooh Aah Point, which is only.8 miles (1.2 km) from the trailhead. You should surely see both of these points of view before proceeding. Many people say that their favorite view of the Grand Canyon is from Ooh Aah Point.
The Rim Trail is one of the most popular hiking pathways in the Grand Canyon. This 13-mile paved walking path runs along the south rim from the South Kaibab Trailhead to Hermit’s Rest (20 km). The hike lasts about 5-6 hours and includes stops at the visitor center, the village, Powell Point or Mojave Point, Monument Creek Vista, and Hermit’s Rest. You can board this train at various spots, so you don’t have to walk the entire distance.
Mather Point is a popular stop from the Visitor Center if you aren’t planning on doing many hikes. It’s a short walk, but it packs a big punch; you’ll see some magnificent sights. This is the most popular viewpoint in the Grand Canyon because it is only a short walk along the trail before arriving at the canyon vistas. But be prepared to share this view with a large audience. Mather Point is only a five-minute walk from the Visitor’s Center, and it’s also a good place to stop if you’re hiking the Rim Trail.
Yavapai Point is yet another spectacular vantage point on the Grand Canyon’s south rim. You may hike to it from Mather Point; the round trip distance is only 1.5 miles (2.5km). It has the greatest view of Bright Angel Canyon on the North Rim and houses the Yavapai Museum of Geology. This is one of the best spots in the Grand Canyon to watch the sunset.
Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden
The Bright Angel Trail is a popular day trip to Indian Garden in Grand Canyon National Park for those looking for a more difficult hike. The trail runs from Grand Canyon Village to the Colorado River. Bright Angel Lodge serves as the trailhead for the Bright Angel Trail. It’s a steep slope, and what goes down must come back up, so plan for the ascent and allow plenty of time.
If you are planning a day trek, Indian Garden is a good place to stop, although you may continue on to other routes from the Bright Angel Trail. If you have time, you can go on to Plateau Point, but be aware that it is a 14-mile round trip (22 km) hike, and getting up is considerably more difficult than going down. Long hikes should not be completed in a single day. I know we won’t be able to finish this in a single day.
Bright Angel Campground
If you want to do a multi-day hike, continue along the Bright Angel trail too. Bright Angel Campground is located to the north of the Colorado River. The Bright Angel suspension bridge crosses the Colorado River to access the campground. The Grand Canyon’s early planners considered everything!
Mules use this trail as well, so allow them the right of way. And when the mules pass, stay on the cliffside and give them plenty of room. Mule rides will take you to Phantom Ranch, a historic ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon that offers cabins and dorm rooms. Reservations are subject to a lottery system, so plan ahead of time. Phantom Ranch information can be found here.
North Kaibab Trail to the North Rim
If you wish to go it even further, Bright Angel Trail connects with the North Kaibab Trail, which leads all the way to the North Rim. The Phantom Ranch is also located on the Colorado River and may be preferred over the Bright Angel Campground. This is the classic rim-to-rim hike, and if you want to be the talk of the Grand Canyon, do it! We’ve heard that the Grand Canyon’s rim-to-rim journey is comparable to ascending Mt. Whitney. Don’t worry about transportation; shuttle buses go between the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon.
Shuttle buses, taxis, guided tours, bicycle rentals, and auto rentals are all available for getting around the Grand Canyon. Shuttle information can be found here.
Grand Canyon Mule Rides
A mule rides down into the canyon is one of the most famous things to do in Grand Canyon National Park. These overnight rides take you down into the canyon to the Phantom Ranch, which is located at the Grand Canyon’s bottom near the Colorado River. This is such a popular tour that spots are restricted, there is a lottery to stay at the ranch, and bookings for mule rides are highly recommended: Mule rides can be reserved by dialing 1-303-297-2757 or 1-888-297-2757 from within the United States.
Yavapai Geology Museum
Grand Canyon Village is only two miles (3.2 kilometers) away from the Yavapai Geology Museum. The National Park Service offers daily activities onsite, although walking the Trail of Time is the most intriguing thing to do here. The Yavapai Geology Museum’s Trail of Time is a loop. Take this trail back to town; as you travel along it, you’ll learn about the Grand Canyon’s geological history through a geology timeline that goes back 1 million years. This interactive timeline includes signage and maps, as well as rocks and vistas, with each meter representing one million years.
Grand Canyon Visitor Centre
When visiting the Grand Canyon, this is one of the greatest places to start. The Grand Canyon’s South Rim is located near the Visitor Center at the south entrance. It’s worthwhile to walk inside to pick the park ranger’s brain, learn about the hiking paths, and learn about the national park. There are numerous Grand Canyon areas of interest leading out from the tourist center. From here, you can take the Rim Trail in either direction to see some of the greatest vistas.
Grand Canyon Railway
If you’re seeking a new way to see the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon Railway departs from Williams, Arizona, and provides a fresh perspective. There are actors and cowboys reenacting life in the wild west, replete with a huge train heist, in a true American manner.
Williams, Arizona is a fantastic Route 66 stop that truly feels frozen in time. The train will depart from here. The Grand Canyon Railway has been transporting passengers to the Grand Canyon since 1902, and you’ll be able to explore the canyon in the same way that the early explorers did. The train drops you off at the Grand Canyon depot, where you can explore the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
Many visitors combine their visit to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams. Williams is an excellent choice for lodging near the Grand Canyon.
Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon
Taking a helicopter trip is one of our favorite things to do when we travel, and it is also a unique way to explore the Grand Canyon. For an unforgettable Grand Canyon trip Reserve a helicopter tour of the south rim. This 25-minute flight provides a bird’s-eye view of the South Rim and Kaibab Forest. You’ll also experience a magnificent trek via Dragon Corridor, the canyon’s biggest and deepest section.
Grand Canyon South Entrance
Tusayan, located at the Grand Canyon’s south entrance, is another ideal area to stay when visiting the Grand Canyon. There are numerous hotels and restaurants, Grand Canyon Tours can be booked here, and an IMAX movie can be seen at the National Geographic Visitor Center. This is a wonderful activity to do with the entire family when you need a break.
Desert View Drive
Desert View Route from Tusayan is a beautiful picturesque drive. Desert View Drive connects Grand Canyon Village with Desert View and, unlike Hermit Road, is open to all cars, allowing you to drive yourself. There are other places along the way that you can explore for a half day or so. Take Highway 64 north from the South Entrance, then turn right away from Grand Canyon Village onto Desert View Drive. Duck on a Rock, Grandview Point, and Moran Point are among the overlooks and pullouts. Continue east past the Tusayan Museum to reach the Desert View Watchtower.
We are big fans of indigenous culture. When visiting Canadian or American national parks, chances are you’ll be on ancestral soil. The Grand Canyon National Park’s Tusayan Museum is located near Ancestral Puebloan ruins. Artifacts reaching back 2000-4000 years have been discovered. This is sacred ground, and you can climb the Tusayan Ruin Trail to a kiva utilized by Ancestral Puebloans while viewing the museum.
Whitewater Rafting the Colorado River
Rafting the Colorado River is a dream come true, and if you have the time, there are various programs that provide rafting in the Grand Canyon. Many of them begin in the upper canyon and end at the Phantom Ranch. So be prepared to climb over 10 miles (16 km) up the Bright Angel Trail to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Day tours to multiday trips lasting up to 5 to 8 days are available. There’s something for everyone, depending on how long you want to spend on the water.
Check out our Full Day Whitewater Rafting tour if you wish to arrange your Whitewater Rafting excursion ahead of time. To begin, it is a self-guided trip. Travel to Peach Springs, Arizona, to Hualapai Lodge. Where you will meet your guide and begin your 40-mile (64-kilometer) adventure through the canyon.
This full-day whitewater rafting tour takes you on a whitewater adventure along the Colorado River if you are staying in Vegas, which is just over 2 hours from the Grand Canyon, and want to enjoy Grand Canyon national park in all its majesty. A Native American Hualapai Guide leads this Grand Canyon Tour through class 3 and 5 rapids.
Grand Canyon West
Grand Canyon SkyWalk
If you’re traveling from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon West Rim, odds are you’ll be stopping there. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a popular day excursion from Las Vegas and is only 2 hours away. This horseshoe-shaped glass bridge is a great way to capture those amazing Grand Canyon vistas from the West Canyon Rim. It is 10 feet wide and 70 feet tall, with a drop of 4000 feet. I don’t care if folks aren’t fans; I enjoy these breathtaking glass floor excursions.
If you’re in Vegas, book this Las Vegas helicopter tour. You will fly 3,500 feet below the Grand Canyon’s rim and land near the Colorado River in Hualapai Territory, where you will have champagne while overlooking the Colorado River and the spectacular Grand Canyon.
Take advantage of this Grand Canyon Tour from Vegas – On this day excursion from Vegas, you’ll visit the West Rim and see Eagle Point, Guano Point, and Hualapai Ranch. In addition, there is the possibility to enjoy the world-famous Skywalk, as well as rim views and rim walking.
Bonus: Little Colorado River Overlook
The Little Colorado River Overlook is one of the most unusual things to do near the Grand Canyon. It is near the Grand Canyon National Park but not within it. However, it is a good stop on the way between the Grand Canyon’s north and south rims. The Little Colorado River, a branch of the Colorado River, formed this gorge. Mother Nature has a nice sense of comedy if something is small.
Facts About Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is a national park with an admission fee. The Grand Canyon entrance fee is $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle for a seven-day pass. A park pass is $70 per year.
The Grand Canyon is a national park in the American state of Arizona. In 1919, it was classified as a National Park. It measures one mile deep, 277 miles long, and 18 miles broad. (1600 metres, 445 kilometres, 29 kilometres) The Grand Canyon may be seen from the North Rim, the West Rim, and the Grand Canyon East, although the South Rim is the most popular and contains the most attractions, lodging, and overlooks.
How to Get to the Grand Canyon?
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is 3-4 hours from Phoenix, Arizona, and 5 hours from Las Vegas.
We traveled to Grand Canyon National Park from Las Vegas through Zion National Park, which allowed us to enjoy the spectacular drives of the north and south rims. We recommend having a car when visiting the Grand Canyon, but it is possible to travel without one.
If you fly into the Grand Canyon, you’ll land at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport, which is located just outside of Tusayan. Tusayan is near the Grand Canyon’s south rim.
You may also take tours from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, which is a popular activity because the West Rim is much closer to Vegas than the South.
Getting Around the Grand Canyon
If trekking isn’t your thing, the Grand Canyon Shuttle bus provides free shuttle service along the south rim. There are several shuttle buses available: The Orange Route (Kaibab Rim Eastbound) shuttle departs from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center for the South Kaibab Trailhead, Yaki Point, and Pipe Creek Overlook. A Hiker’s Express shuttle will also take you out early in the morning. You can ride the bus to several stops, and it comes every 15 minutes.
When to go to the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is open all year, with summer being the busiest season. This is when the prices are the highest, but it is also the most congested and heated. Shoulder season, like many other travel destinations across the world, is the greatest time to visit for reduced rates, fewer crowds, and less traffic. Plan for the spring and fall when the weather is still pleasant. It’s actually ideal for hiking in the fall because of the dry weather and colder temperatures.
The Grand Canyon’s North Rim is only open seasonally. It is closed in the winter and opens from mid-May to mid-October in the spring.
Where to Stay Near the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon Village, which we discussed earlier, is the greatest spot to stay when visiting the Grand Canyon. But it’s pricy, and you don’t get what you pay for in terms of accommodations, but it’s close to the south rim and all of the Grand Canyon’s vistas and attractions. However, to save money, we recommend avoiding Grand Canyon Village (unless you decide to splurge for a night or two).
- South Entrance
Grand Canyon Village is only 13 minutes away from the Grand Canyon’s South Entrance. There are numerous restaurants and a visitor center, and it is conveniently located near the airport.
- Williams Arizona
Grand Canyon Railway Hotel – Williams Arizona Grand Canyon Railway Hotel It is designed to seem like a century-old train depot and is a great site for families to board the Grand Canyon Railway. You can have your luggage delivered to the Grand Canyon so that you can board the one-way train to the Canyon’s South Rim.
And these are some of the top Grand Canyon activities. This is definitely a bucket list location, so include it in your road trip through America or plan a whole itinerary around a visit to Grand Canyon National Park.
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