What to do in the Grand Canyon
Every family needs to experience the beauty and wonder of the Grand Canyon! A few seconds standing near the edge and you will surely understand why it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. When organizing what to do in the Grand Canyon, Canyon View Information Plaza is a great place to get your bearings when you first arrive. It is a great resource to inform visitors of various viewpoints and hiking trails available. Use the park’s free shuttle system to navigate points of interest in and around Grand Canyon Village.
There are several scenic vistas accessible by vehicle along Grand Canyon’s famous South Rim. Visiting different viewpoints are the best way to view all the magnificence that the Grand Canyon has to offer – and take a few great snapshots along the way! Earlier and later parts of the day offer the best lighting for photographers. Yavapai Observation Station offers unparalleled views, including the Colorado River and Phantom Ranch. Be sure to allow adequate time to make the journey!
To the west of Grand Canyon Village is Hermit Road, which follows the rim for 8 miles. While Hermit Road is closed to private vehicles for most of the year, a free shuttle bus can provide you with access.
Besides taking photographs and viewing from the rim there are tons of other great activities you can partake in during your visit to the Grand Canyon that will truly make your vacation one to remember!
What to do in the Grand Canyon #1
South Rim Bus Tours – A trip to the South Rim tops our “what to do in the Grand Canyon” list. Many visitors choose to take a guided tour of the Grand Canyon. An experienced guide educated in the history and geology of region leads these tours. There is no reason to struggle with maps, parking or locating the best viewing location! Simply sit back, relax and enjoy the ride! Grand Canyon tours are available from Las Vegas, Phoenix and Sedona.
A variety of sightseeing tours are offered, depending on your interests. For a more relaxed tour of the Grand Canyon, a National Park Service partner offers bus tours along the South Rim. Let the driver and tour guide show you the best views as they tell you about the rich history and geology of the area, and share some fascinating stories and insights! There are several options available. You can take a short tour along historic Hermit’s Rest road, or you can go further afield on the Desert View Tour and experience the spectacular views from the Watchtower, a re-created tower of the sort used by the ancient native people.
If you want to see the best desert sunrise or sunset, those tours are also available! Wake up early and see the beautiful sights of the sun rising over the Palisades of the Desert. Or stay a little later in the day and take in the sunset at Yaki or Mojave point on the South Rim. The amazing views and colors will delight people of all ages!
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Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours – Coming in #2 on our “what to do in the Grand Canyon” list is helicopter tours. Both helicopter and airplane options are available for aerial tours of the Canyon. More than half a million visitors take helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon each year, with tours departing from the village of Tusayan or Las Vegas.
Airplane tours were the first type of aerial tour ever offered for the Grand Canyon. Vistaliner aircrafts take guest on tours of both rims (including SkyWalk bridge), Monument Valley and Lake Powell. These aerial tours are sure to give you a unique perspective!
Helicopter tours are also available for the adventurous traveler. Helicopter tours in state of the art vehicles ensure your safety and a high level of service as you experience the Grand Canyon’s amazing panorama and the larger landscape of the southwest. Helicopters can even take you right to the bottom of the canyon and into remote spots.
What to do in the Grand Canyon #3
Jeep Tours – Experience the back roads and off roads of the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas on an open-air Jeep tour! Experienced drivers and guides will give you an adventure of a lifetime as you drive into the Grand Canyon, and tool around the mountains and rugged terrain of the region.
Experience the amazing scenery of the area, and roads that are sure to stir up a little adrenaline as you bump along. The guides will provide narration and insight into what you’re seeing and experiencing as you take in the sights and sounds of the area.
There are a number of companies that offer these tours. These companies provide a variety of excursions that cater to your interests and time constraints. The companies are recommended by the Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce and provide safe and reliable tours for you to enjoy. Coming in #3 on our “what to do in the Grand Canyon” list is a jeep adventure.
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River Rafting – The mighty Colorado is nearly 1,500 miles and winds through the entire Grand Canyon, passing through some of the most magnificent terrain on the planet. Why not come river rafting down the Colorado River and get up close and personal with the unparalleled landscapes of the Grand Canyon? From its headwaters northwest of Denver to its delta in the Gulf of California, and on a stretch of 277 miles, the Colorado winds through the entire length of the Grand Canyon. Although only the Mississippi and Columbia Rivers have higher flow rates than the Colorado River in North America, the Colorado passes through some of the most magnificent and scenic terrain on the planet and is the habitat of a wide array of wildlife. Why not experience the fascinating depths of the Grand Canyon with a river-rafting ride?
There are lots of different ways to experience the Grand Canyon by water. One-day raft trips are popular and appropriate for the whole family (ages 4 and up). These excursions will take you into the Canyon and point out all the sights and sounds of the River.
If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, many partner companies offer longer excursions, lasting from 3 to 18 days, and providing adventures in many different types of vessels, from motorized boats to oared rafts.
What to do in the Grand Canyon #5
Grand Canyon Railway – Experience the trip to the Grand Canyon just as early visitors did! Hop on the Grand Canyon Railway and ride a vintage train from Williams to Grand Canyon National Park for an all-day adventure. Taking a trip on the Grand Canyon Railroad is #5 on our “what to do in the Grand Canyon” list.
This is the perfect way for train enthusiasts to get to the Grand Canyon. The 1950s era Streamliner coaches provide comfort and nostalgia, and attendants in each car are there to answer your questions and provide you with information. The train goes along the Colorado Plateau, so along the way you’ll see the plants and wildlife of the northern Arizona desert and learn about the region surrounding the Grand Canyon.
The train will drop you off at the South Rim depot, where you will have most of the day to explore the rim and take part in the sights of one of the most popular sides of the Grand Canyon.