One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon boasts some of the most mind-blowing landscapes in the United States. Spanning 277 miles (446km) in length, 18 miles (29km) wide and roughly one mile deep, the Grand Canyon is among the largest geologic formations you will ever find.
Its layered red-rock cliffs, jaw-dropping vistas and winding rivers are a paradise for nature lovers. Whether you wish to tackle its adventurous hiking paths, go for a scenic drive or raft down the historic Colorado River, there are numerous tours and activities available to plan a trip to the Grand Canyon.
Best Time to Visit the Grand Canyon
Although visually stunning year-round, there are certain times of year that will provide more enjoyable Grand Canyon vacations. Spring (March-May) and fall (September-November) offer more comfortable temperatures and avoid the hordes of crowds during the peak season.
Summer (June-September) can be brutally hot, crowds tend to be overbearing and prices for lodging increase. Winter (December-February) is when much of Grand Canyon National Park closes due to snow.
However, the South Rim remains open during the frigid winter months and reveals captivating images of snow-lined cliffs and native wildlife.
Grand Canyon Things to Do
From scenic viewpoints to cascading waterfalls, there are enough things to do in the Grand Canyon to fill a lifetime of memories. Feel your heart race when walking along the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Hike the thrilling trails in the North Rim to connect with Mother Nature. Visit the Havasupai Nation Reserve to learn about Native American food and culture.
Whether you only have time for a day tour, or you include the trip with a multi-destination travel package, witness all the incredible things to do in the Grand Canyon.
Featuring several famous views of the craggy landscapes, the South Rim will surely top your must-see list on your Grand Canyon trip. Hop on this thrilling three-day tour and see the canyon’s majestic beauty from Mather or Yaki Point.
The South Rim is open 24-hours per day and offers a wide range of opportunities to explore the region. Catch a glorious sunset contrasting against the sandstone rocks, explore the hiking trails deep into the canyon or visit the well-developed Grand Canyon Village.
Often overlooked by Grand Canyon visitors, the North Rim offers spectacular views with far fewer crowds. Beautiful vantage points like Bright Angel Point and Cape Royal provide sensational vistas of red-rock cliffs and rugged gorges.
Enjoy the more laid-back vibe than the more frequently visited South Rim by exploring hiking trails, taking magnificent snapshots at sunrise or sunset and simply relaxing in the great outdoors.
Grand Canyon Railway
This fun-filled train ride is a wonderful outing for family trips to the Grand Canyon. Take a journey back in time on a classic train car and get the grand introduction to the local culture.
The train picks up guests at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and transports them roughly 65-miles through diverse terrain. Festive music fills the airwaves and characters from the Wild West provide rip-roaring entertainment for all ages.
Check out this exciting Grand Canyon South Rim Tour that comes with an upgrade to include this renowned railway.
Desert View Drive
If you have the luxury of your own car while planning your Grand Canyon trip, the Desert View Drive is one of the most picturesque drives in the area. This 25-mile route hugs the South Rim and has numerous stops to relish the canyon’s beauty.
The drive begins roughly one mile from Grand Canyon Village and has four picnic areas to have lunch. Popular stopping points along the drive include Pipe Creek Vista, Grandview Point and the interesting Tusayan Ruin and Museum.
Grand Canyon Skywalk
For a heart-racing perspective of the West Rim, the Grand Canyon Skywalk is simply a must on your trip to the Grand Canyon. Only a two-hour drive from the bright lights of Las Vegas, the transparent glass walkway lets you glance at the canyon below.
Admire the exhilarating views of the red-rock formations from Eagle Point and Guano Point as you are perched over 4,000-feet above the canyon floor.
Havasupai Nation Reserve
Learn the fascinating Native American customs by visiting this charming village nestled within the Havasu Canyon. Residents of the Supai Village hold the land sacred and witnessing their traditions first-hand is a wonderful experience on this Grand Canyon bus tour.
Many Grand Canyon trips will include some of its world-renowned hiking expeditions tailor-made for avid trekkers. Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail are two of the most notable paths that offer scenic views of the canyon walls.
The West Rim Trail is a lengthy route of nearly 13-miles but is a fantastic adventure for all skill levels. For a tougher challenge, take on the North Kaibab Trail for serious elevation change that’s away from the crowds of more touristy trails.
A large portion of the hiking trails will require a minimum of two days of trekking and it is important to plan wisely.
No trip to the Grand Canyon is complete without experiencing the majesty of the Colorado River. Spanning over 1,400-miles, the Colorado River is the body of water that carved the Grand Canyon and is an important source of water for millions of people.
Feel the power of the river by going on a rafting excursion or simply admire its grace from the top of the cliffs. Traveling the area along the river might just be the most intimate way of spending a Grand Canyon vacation.
Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend
Although nearly a two-hour drive from the South Rim, the striking colors of Antelope Canyon and the iconic Horseshoe Bend are two beautiful destinations to add when planning a trip to the Grand Canyon.
Hike through the narrow slot canyons of Upper Antelope Canyon and watch the sun’s rays bounce off the spiraled geologic formations. Cruise the elegant waters of Lake Powell to marvel at the towering canyon walls.
Complete this adventurous Grand Canyon tour by taking the legendary snapshot of the Colorado River sharply turning against the rocks at Horseshoe Bend.
Save time for a pit stop to this ground-breaking engineering feat. The massive concrete dam was the largest in the world when the risky construction project was completed in 1935. It proved to be of vital importance to irrigate roughly two million acres of land, provide hydroelectric power and restrict flood waters of the mighty Colorado River.
Whether you view this incredible human achievement from the car or high in the sky, it is one of the most remarkable man-made sights in the Southwest.
It takes a grueling trek to reach but this pristine waterfall rewards you with possibly the most breathtaking sight in the Grand Canyon. A tumbling waterfall plunges into a turquoise pool that contrasts against the craggy orange rocks. Sumptuous greenery surrounds the pool and creates an environment that feels like heaven on Earth.
If you add Havasu Falls to your Grand Canyon trip planner, make sure to account for all the necessary time and costs required. A permit of $100-$125 is required and it is highly recommended to purchase it online well in advance. Once you arrive at Havasu Canyon, it requires a 10-mile hike to reach the falls.
Joshua Tree Forest
Not to be confused with California’s Joshua Tree National Park, this mesmerizing forest just outside the Grand Canyon is filled with the enchanting tree species. The arid landscapes and backdrop of rugged hills creates an otherworldly scene as you approach the canyon walls.
This West Rim tour is one of our trips to the Grand Canyon that takes you off the main roads and gives you an exclusive glimpse of this incredible forest.
If you are looking for a trip to the Grand Canyon, you can experience the dramatic landscapes of this natural wonder on a variety of Grand Canyon tours. Gather tons of helpful hints and expert guidance when planning your Grand Canyon trip by reading our Tours4fun Guide to the Grand Canyon.