The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular destinations in the United States. It’s located in southern Arizona and is more than 277 miles long. People from all over the world visit this canyon every year to experience its majestic beauty. The canyon has many different features, such as waterfalls, rock formations, and wide open spaces. There are also several trails that you can take to explore the canyon more. You can go hiking or horseback riding. If you want to see some of the most popular parts of the canyon, you can ride a helicopter to Angel’s Landing or hike Bright Angel Trail. You can also go camping at Phantom Ranch if you want to stay overnight. There are a lot of things to do at the Grand Canyon, so you will definitely find something that interests you.
- Grand Canyon South Rim Attractions
- Grand Canyon West Rim Attractions
- Grand Canyon Tours
- Best Grand Canyon Scenic Points
- FAQ about Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon South Rim Attractions
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon offers a different perspective than the north rim and is considered to be more scenic. It’s also the location of many visitor centers, shuttle services, and lodges. The South Rim is home to several trailheads and overlooks. There are also several trails that lead down into the canyon, making for some truly spectacular views.
The South Rim contains more than 100 miles (161 km) of trails. These range from short strolls to long-distance hikes with varying degrees of difficulty. Most trails start at the Grand Canyon Lodge or other ranger stations located on or near the rim. You can also walk around the rim in less than an hour by following one of the marked paths along the rim.
Visitors can also explore the South Rim via cable car, tramway, or airplane.
There are three main viewpoints at the South Rim: Yavapai Point, Wetherill Point, and Mohawk Bend. All offer sweeping views of the canyon and its tributaries.
The Grand Canyon South Rim Visitor Center is located on the South Rim, at the Canyon’s western edge. Visitors can view exhibits about the Canyon, its geology and human history, as well as the local area. There are also exhibits about hiking, photography, and rim-to-rim trails. The center also offers a gift shop and cafeteria.
There is no admission charge for visitors to the visitor center, but parking fees apply. The center is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (5:00 pm during winter months). Admission is free for children under 12 years of age.
Mather Point Overlook
The views from Mather Point are breathtaking, but it’s not the only reason to stop there. The overlook is plenty busy and has limited parking, but if you want to find a quiet spot away from the crowds, it’s possible. As long as you don’t mind hiking a short distance, Mather Point is worth a visit. It’s right next to the campground, so you can easily get there on foot.
There are a number of trails leading up to the overlook, so choose whichever one suits your interests best. If you’re looking for an easy hike with stunning views of the canyon, try the short Trail 1 (1/4 mile). If you just want to get away from the crowds and explore some of the park’s less-visited areas, go for Trail 2 (two miles).
South Rim Trail
A trail more than 1600 feet above sea level, the South Rim Trail is a must-see for any visitor to the park. The trail’s high elevation provides spectacular views of the canyon and surrounding region, as well as opportunities to see wildlife and other visitors. Highlights include the Bright Angel Lodge, which sits in a valley surrounded by cliffs and Kaibab limestone rock formations.
The trail is open year-round, though snow sometimes makes parts impassable. The trail is paved most of its length, but it can be rough and uneven near the rim, making it not recommended for those with disabilities or limited mobility. The trail can also be very crowded during peak seasons.
The trail begins at the South Entrance (on the west side of the canyon), just south of Grand Canyon Lodge. It passes through Cottonwood Campground and ends at the South Rim Visitor Center (about a mile from Hopi Point), where there are restrooms and a gift shop. There are no water sources along this portion of the trail, so be sure to bring enough to keep you hydrated.
Located at the base of the canyon, the Canyon Geological Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in geology. Visitors can learn about the history of the area as well as get up close with some of its native wildlife. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for seniors, children under 6 are free. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. The museum is closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
The Canyon Geological Museum was founded in 1954 by W.C. Crawford, a local gold miner and businessman who was also an avid amateur geologist. Crawford wanted to share his passion for geology with others and so he donated his collection of rocks, fossils, minerals and books to the town of Grand Canyon National Park to form the first permanent geology museum in America. Today, visitors can explore Crawford’s original collection along with a variety of new exhibits covering different aspects of geology, including paleontology, volcanology, tectonics, plate tectonics, erosion, groundwater and climate change. Admission to the museum includes access to the park’s visitor center as well as guided tours and ranger programs that focus on topics like erosion control, canyon ecology and cultural resources management.
Hermit Road Drive
The Grand Canyon Hermit Road is a 68-mile drive along the south rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The road is a popular hike and bike tour, but it’s also a great place to experience the desert solitude of the canyon.
The road begins at Grand Canyon Lodge and heads east to explore the Kaibab National Forest and Hualapai Tribal Park. You can stop at viewpoints along the way for panoramic views of the canyon.
At the end of the road, you’ll find yourself on Hermit Trail Road (near mile marker 35). This unmarked trail leads down into the canyon to explore an ancient Indian village and natural bridges.
There are multiple hiking trails along both sides of Hermit Road, so you can easily extend your trip for a few days or longer if you want to stay in one spot.
Bright Angel Hiking Trail
The Bright Angel Trail at the bottom of the Grand Canyon is one of the most popular hikes among tourists. The trail is approximately six and a half miles long and takes about three hours to complete. It begins at the North Rim and ends at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. During peak season, visitors often have to wait in long lines to enter the canyon. The hike itself is not strenuous, but it can be hot and crowded on the trail during peak season. You should bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and rain gear during peak season to ensure a safe, enjoyable hike.
The Bright Angel Trail starts on a paved path at Bright Angel Lodge near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. There are two trailheads for this hike: one near Bright Angel Campground and another near Jacob Lake. Both trailheads receive similar levels of foot traffic. The path gradually climbs up through a rock outcrop called Kaibab Limestone before eventually reaching the rim of the Grand Canyon. Along the way, hikers will get great views of both sides of the canyon as they cross over several small streams.
Desert View Drive
Located in the heart of the Grand Canyon, Desert View Drive is just one mile north of the main entrance to the national park. You’ll see a number of parking lots along this road as you make your way into the canyon. The main drive follows the rim of the canyon and offers amazing views from overlooks and viewpoints. Note that vehicles with low clearance are not allowed on this road, so if you are planning on visiting here, make sure that you check for safe passage before leaving your vehicle.
If you’d rather go off-road, there are many other routes that you can take into the canyon. These include Rainbow Point Road (also one mile north of the main entrance) and Indian Canyon Trail (one mile south). While it may be more challenging to reach these areas than Desert View Drive, they offer truly spectacular views of the canyon floor and surrounding area.
Desert View Watchtower
The Watchtower is a famous landmark that’s located at the south rim of the Grand Canyon, in the city of Williams. It’s one of the few places where you can get a sense of how big the canyon really is. It’s also a great place to get some beautiful views of the canyon, as well as a good spot to take pictures.
The tower was built in 1909 and is 33 feet high. There are several stories about how it got its name, some saying it was built as a lookout for people traveling on the railroad, while others say that it was built as a lookout for federal agents looking for people smuggling liquor from Mexico into the United States. However, these stories are probably just myths.
The Lookout studio is a unique and extraordinary space to explore the beauty of the Grand Canyon. The Lookout was built on a platform high above the canyon floor, offering 360-degree views of the entire valley. It’s one of the most photographed spots in the park, and its location makes it a popular stop for photographers who want to capture iconic images of the canyon. The Lookout is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, but it’s best to visit during spring or fall when it’s cool. Visitors should be prepared for extreme temperatures: summer heat can lead to dehydration, while winter cold can lead to frostbite. So bring plenty of water and dress in layers.
The Lookout is also an excellent place to spot wildlife such as mule deer, bighorn sheep, black bears, and bald eagles.
The gallery was built by Albert and Virginia Kolb, who were among the first people to visit the canyon. In 1959, they began building a small wooden structure at the overlook to promote their business, which sold souvenirs and postcards. By 1968, they had expanded the building into a gallery with a view of the canyon. The Kolb Gallery is now used as a museum and visitor center for the park. Visitors can see photographs of the canyon taken over the years, along with artifacts from people who have visited it. The gallery also offers guided hikes down into the canyon, as well as ranger talks about its history and geology.
The Kolb Gallery is part of a larger interpretive area called Inspiration Point, which contains parking lots, restrooms, and picnic tables. Visitors can view panoramic views of the canyon from various vantage points around Inspiration Point.
Little Colorado River Overlook
The first sign-posted scenic lookout offers an incredible view of the Little Colorado River from the east side of the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. At this stop, Navajo artists sell handmade jewelry in the parking lot.
A short walk on a wide trail leading away from the parking lot takes you to two picnic tables with an amazing view of the gorge. The Little Colorado River can be seen quite far down the mountain when you look down from the top of the mountain.
Grand Canyon West Rim Attractions
The Skywalk was the first of its kind when it opened in 1973. The 7-story, glass enclosure connects the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to the North Rim. It is located at the South Rim on the Navajo Reservation. The Skywalk has been a tourist attraction ever since it opened, but it has also had its downsides. In 1999, a woman died after falling from the Skywalk while her husband filmed her fall. Three years later, another woman jumped to her death from the same ledge. The deaths prompted an investigation into whether there were any design flaws with the structure that led to these tragic outcomes. There were no major design flaws found, but there were several other problems that contributed to these people’s decisions to end their lives on the glass walkway. The Skywalk has received rave reviews for its beauty and accessibility, but also serious criticism for its dangers and lack of safety measures.
Eagle Point is a small but spectacular part of the Grand Canyon that can be seen from the South Rim. It is named after the huge eagle rock formation in the area. This area is best explored on foot or by boat, as it is not easily accessible otherwise. The hike is also strenuous, as it takes about an hour to get from the trailhead to Eagle Point.
There are two ways to reach Eagle Point:
1) From the South Rim Visitor Center:
Take the shuttle bus (free with a Park Pass) across Bright Angel Creek and then hike up the Bright Angel Trail for about 45 minutes to the Eagle Point parking lot.
2) From Grand Canyon Village: By car, take State Route 67 east into Grand Canyon National Park from Lees Ferry, Arizona, or west from Tusayan, Arizona. Follow signs south into Grand Canyon Village. At the north end of town, turn right on North Rim Drive and drive south until you get to Lees Ferry. Take a free shuttle bus across Bright Angel Creek and then hike up the Bright Angel Trail for about 45 minutes to the Eagle Point parking lot.
Grand Canyon Tours
Take a 25-minute Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour to get a bird’s-eye view of the Grand Canyon’s impressive beauty. To reach the South Entrance of the park, tourists only need to get into their vehicles and drive for less than 10 minutes from the Grand Canyon Airport. With this flight, you will soar above the vast and magnificent Dragon Corridor, plus several other critical sights.
Grand Canyon White Water Rafting Trip from Las Vegas
On a one-day white water rafting trip starting from Las Vegas, raft 40 miles down the Colorado River. This trip starts at 4:00 A.M. and will take approximately 15 hours, with one night of hotel accommodations, a van ride, a short helicopter flight, a full day of white water rafting on the Colorado River, and a return trip to Las Vegas.
South Rim Mule Rides
The Grand Canyon south rim mule ride is one of the most popular ways to experience the Grand Canyon. This ride takes you on a scenic journey through the canyon where you can hike, view the canyon’s stunning vistas, and take in beautiful views of the canyon. The mule ride is a unique way to experience the Grand Canyon because it allows visitors to hike alongside their guide. Hiking through the canyon is an exciting adventure that will leave you with lasting memories.
You can book your mule ride at any of the park’s visitor centers or by contacting Xanterra Parks & Resorts directly. The mule rides are offered during all seasons, but they tend to be busiest during spring and summer months as visitors flock to see this iconic landscape.
Best Grand Canyon Scenic Points
Grandview Point is the most southern point of the Grand Canyon. Standing at an elevation of 866 feet, it is one of the highest points on the South Rim. This point also acts as a dividing line between Kaibab and Coconino national forests.
The point itself was named for William Pepperrell who, in 1867, used his telescope to survey the area for potential mineral deposits.
The view from Grand View Point takes in a large section of the canyon, including the Colorado River and Bright Angel Creek. It’s a good spot to see how far you’ve traveled into the canyon, which can be over 20 miles (32 km) in length. The view also includes the West Rim, which is less than a mile away.
The Yaki Point is one of the most popular viewpoints in the Grand Canyon. Located on the south rim, it’s a short drive from the parking lot. The viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the canyon and surrounding area, as well as a view of the South Rim Bridge.
The Yaki Point is also unique because it has two viewing areas. The first is an area that looks out onto Bright Angel Canyon and the second is an area that looks out onto Yaki Point Trail. This second area is often used by hikers who are looking to get a different perspective of the trail they’ve been hiking.
The Yaki Point is also popular for its snack bar and restrooms. They’re open all day long, so visitors can rest up before or after their trip through the canyon.
When you want an inspiring and rustic view, visit the lookout studio. The lookout studio is situated on the rim of the Grand Canyon, overlooking Bright Angel Lodge, and offers expansive views of the diverse and spectacular scenes ahead. It’s now operated as an observation point and a gift shop thanks to the Mary Coulter designed natural building.
Yavapai Point is a popular hiking destination near the north rim of the Grand Canyon. The trailhead is located off U.S. Route 89 in Peach Springs, Arizona and can be accessed by car or by shuttle bus from Williams. Hikers need to be prepared for strenuous conditions, as the trail crosses several waterfalls and climbs over 6,000 feet in elevation. Yavapai Point provides spectacular views of the canyon and is considered one of the most scenic hiking trails in Arizona.
It’s also a great place for photography, with a backdrop of the canyon and its outstanding red-rock formations.
The trail is about 10 miles round-trip and offers great views of an old mining town with colorful houses made of stone and metal sheeting. There are also several lookouts along the way that provide stunning vistas.
Vishnu Temple and Temple of Zoroaster, which are separated by a vast distance on the southern rim, are able to offer up-close and uninterrupted views of these conspicuous pinnacles. This lookout looks out over the western half of the Grand Canyon, giving you an excellent view of sunsets.
Located in the northwest corner of the Grand Canyon, Moran Point is the most accessible viewpoint along the rim. It is a steep climb down to the canyon floor, but it is rugged and beautiful terrain throughout. The views from here are incredible, with views of the canyon and its tributaries as well as Mount Moran and Mt. Davidson. There are several trails leading down to the point, including one that follows a route along the rim and another that descends a series of stairs carved into sheer rock walls. Several parking lots can be found nearby for those who prefer to stay on the ground level. Getting to Moran Point requires a fairly lengthy hike from the South Rim visitors center, but it is well worth it for anyone looking for an up-close look at the Grand Canyon’s vast expanse.
Desert View and Watchtower
The Desert View and Watchtower were built by Mary Colter in 1932, and these ancient-looking structures almost merge into the surrounding landscape. The tower naturally blends into the surroundings with its natural architecture, offering fantastic views of the nearby mountains, the San Francisco Peaks, and the Painted Desert. Approach the river bend in Marble Canyon from the south and as it makes a 90-degree turn to the west, keep your eyes open for it.
Vermilion Cliffs – Marble Canyon
There is also Marble Canyon in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, which is located a few miles further east on the Desert View Drive scenic route. Watch as the thousand-foot cliffs are covered in swirling ripples of dynamic color as the sun sets.
Do you want to get an early start by capturing the morning sun’s brilliant vermillion lighting as it illuminates the canyon’s vermilion landscape? Then, take a tour of Point Imperial, which has superb views overlooking a rather regal section of town. This scenic outlook, situated along the eastern rim of the Grand Canyon, offers the best views of the colorful Painted Desert and Grand Canyon’s eastern canyon. It is an ideal spot for photo enthusiasts and hiking enthusiasts.
This is a nice point, with an excellent deal on it – Enjoy a stunning sunset along with an excellent view of the Colorado River, as well as Gorge layers and the Grand Canyon Supergroup. Nothing could possibly get any better than this.
FAQ about Grand Canyon
Where is the Grand Canyon?
Grand Canyon is located in Arizona's northwest region, near the Utah and Nevada state borders. Although the Colorado River, which flows down the canyon, drains water from seven states, the Grand Canyon is wholly inside the state of Arizona.