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Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park

Things to do in  Grand Canyon National Park

Welcome to Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona needs no introduction. Carved out by the Colorado river for more than five-million years, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and noted as one of the top wonders of the world. Travelers stream in to visit the red-hued canyon, taking day trips from Sedona, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and beyond. For a different point of entry, book a seat on the Grand Canyon Railway out of Williams, and ride to the canyon and back on a seldom-used mode of transport. On a guided Jeep tour, you’ll get information about the area’s history, geology, and plants; while a bus tour includes narration and optional extras such as an IMAX movie. For views, it’s hard to beat a helicopter or airplane tour of the Grand Canyon. Be warned: When it comes to visiting the canyon, you’ll often have to pick a side. The South Rim is the most popular, and offers hiking opportunities such as Bright Angel Trail, with attractions on these paths including Desert View Watchtower, Grand Canyon Village, and Hermit’s Rest. The North Rim is more desolate, while the West Rim is home to both the Hualapai, a native American Indian tribe; and the glass-floored Skywalk, which teeters over the cliff at Eagle Point. Nearby, the smooth rocks of Antelope Canyon and the tranquility of Lake Powell are draws. No matter which tour you choose, aim to watch the sun set over the Grand Canyon as your day draws to a close.

Top 10 attractions in Grand Canyon National Park

#1

Grand Canyon National Park

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Want to make a spectacular understatement? Go ahead and call the Grand Canyon “a great big hole in the ground.” About 277 miles (444 km) long, an average of 10 miles (16 km) wide and more than a mile (1.6 km) deep, the colorful, eroded layers of this northwestern Arizona wonder reveal nothing less than the incredible geological history of the North American continent. Each year, some 5 million people visit this testament to the power of water over rock, making the Grand Canyon the most popular national park in the U.S. Some arrive on a historic train from the depot in the Old West town of Williams, an hour south, while far more travel here by car. You can brave the Skywalk, a transparent (and strongly reinforced) walkway that juts out over the West Rim; hike down, around or across the divide (remembering to bring lots of water); or soar high above the whole canyon on a helicopter tour.More
#2

Desert View Watchtower

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Enjoy a sweeping panoramic view of the Grand Canyon from the historic Desert View Watchtower. The tower was built in in the early 1930s by architect Mary Colter, who created it as an homage to the watchtowers built by the native Anasazi people who once inhabited the area. The site consists of two circular buildings, one large and low, the other taller and more narrow, which stands five stories high. Inside the tower are petroglyph-style paintings.More
#3

Hualapai Ranch

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One of the highlights in Grand Canyon West is the Hualapai Village. The authentic dwellings provide a real fun-filled real Western adventure, which includes gun fights, cattle drives, and cowboy games like axe throwing and horseshoes. You can even mount up for a horseback or wagon ride to the edge of the rim for a spectacular scenic view of the Grand Canyon. At the Hualapai Village, you can shop at the Hualapai Market, tour an authentic re-creation of an Indian village, watch Native American dance performances, dine at eateries and cafés, and view the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River from 4,000 feet/1,200 meters above from the Grand Canyon Skywalk. You can also enjoy activities like river rafting or exploring the Grand Canyon Caverns, which are dry caverns created from lava and limestone. This is also the only place within the Grand Canyon where visitors can access the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon on a helicopter.More
#4

Mather Point

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One of the sites most visitors encounter when they enter the South Rim is Mather Point. It’s an astonishing, breathtaking glimpse into the Grand Canyon. Best of all, you’re a short walk to the Canyon View Information Plaza, where you can pick up park information and begin your journey into the Canyon. Mather Point has quite an extensive viewing area, set as it is on the south side of the Colorado River. Two narrow, railed overlooks, built on projecting rocks, provide views along the rim in both directions. The panorama extends from the lower end of Garden Creek, taking in some of the Bright Angel Trail, and a spectacular view over the deep canyon of Pipe Creek. To the west, you can jump on the Rim Trail, which offers more scenic vistas on its way to Yavapai Point. You can also see Bright Angel Creek, on the North Rim, between a collection of red buttes and ravines. A stop here is an excellent introduction to the Grand Canyon.More
#5

Desert View Drive

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This scenic drive in the Canyon’s southern section is open year round and boasts scenic views, incredible landscapes and plenty of overlooks. Travelers can explore the 26 miles of highway in about an hour, while en route to the park’s east entrance. While the spectacular views are the highlight of this journey, the Desert View Watchtower and Tusayan Ruin and Museum are both worth a stop for visitors who want to explore the region’s history and Native American culture.More
#6

Cameron Trading Post

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Cameron Trading Post is a Native American themed motel, restaurant and shop located 30 minutes from the south rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The trading post was established by the Richardson brothers shortly after a suspension bridge was built over the Little Colorado River in 1911. At that time, the only visitors were members of the local Navajo and Hopi tribes who came to barter their wool, blankets, and livestock for dry goods. Since the journey to the trading post took days, the Richardson brothers offered their hospitality by giving visitors food and a place to stay. Due to road improvement and proximity to the Grand Canyon, eventually tourists started coming to Cameron Trading Post as well to learn about the history of the southwest.More
#7

Grandview Point

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Located in the southernmost point on the Grand Canyon’s south rim, Grandview Point is accessible via a one-mile side road off of East Rim Drive. Travelers agree the panoramic views from this famous vista are some of the park’s most impressive. Easy hiking trails wind through narrow ridges and well-preserved nature, giving travelers the opportunity to stretch their legs while driving the popular pass along Highway 64. But it’s the epic views and scenic landscape that make Grandview Point a quintessential Grand Canyon stop.More
#8

Grand Canyon IMAX Theater

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At six stories tall and 82-feet wide, the screen at Grand Canyon Imax Theater is nearly as big as the canyon itself. Start a Natural Wonder adventure in this massive 487-person theater that’s been showing “Grand Canyon—The Movie” 12 times a day, 365 days a year since it first opened. The 34-minute show gives travelers an up-close look at the canyon, as well as a trip through its history and incredible aerial views. After catching a film, visitors can wander the visitors center and load up on Grand Canyon gear, snacks and park passes before heading out to explore the real life canyon.More
#9

Glen Canyon Dam

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In 1964 the roaring waters of the Colorado River needed to be tamed, so the towering 710-foot-high Glen Canyon Dam was built and nearby Lake Powell created. The 186-miles long lake is the second largest manmade lake in the country and took17 years to fill to capacity. Today, Lake Powell attracts some 3 million tourists every year. The site has become a popular destination for houseboats and waterskiing because of its placid waters and incredible views. Each marina has its own public picnic area and houseboats are available for rent. Lenient park rules mean visitors can set up camp almost anywhere, too.More
#10

Eagle Point

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Eagle Point, a popular stop in Grand Canyon West, is the site of the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk and a collection of traditional Native American dwellings, including Hualapai Ranch, a western-themed town that evokes the spirit of the old west through gun fights, cattle drives, cowboy games, and horseback rides. One of the highlights of Eagle Point is the Skywalk, which provides some of the most astounding, unobstructed views of the Grand Canyon possible. The horseshoe-shaped glass-bottomed Skywalk juts over a side of the Grand Canyon, suspended 70 feet/21 meters beyond the west rim and 4,000 feet/1,200 meters above the Colorado River. From Eagle Point you can take the 8-mile/12-kilometer trek to the Supai Village. A trail from Hualapai Hilltop drops steeply through a starkly beautiful landscape. Once you reach the village, you’ll find a café, general store, and a post office.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Grand Canyon National Park

How to Spend 2 Days in Grand Canyon National Park

Top activities in Grand Canyon National Park

Recent reviews from experiences in Grand Canyon National Park

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Great Experience
Sara_O, Jan 2021
Grand Canyon Helicopter 40-Minute Flights with Optional Hummer Tour
Breathtaking experience, best way to see the Grand Canyon!
star-5
Breathtaking Tour of the Grand Canyon
sharon_p, Nov 2020
45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona
Leaving the forest and going over the rim to see the Grand Canyon laid out before us was breathtaking.
star-5
Fun and educational
Perla_S, Nov 2020
Back-Road Safari to Grand Canyon with Entrance Gate By-Pass
Also he recommended us different places to visit and different tours offered at the Grand Canyon.
star-5
Great tour
John_B, Oct 2020
Grand Canyon Tour from Tusayan
This was a great way to see the Grand Canyon.
star-5
Amazing!
Julia_A, Sep 2020
45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona
I can't think of a better way to see the Grand Canyon.
star-5
Worth every penny to see the sunset and many other spots on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
J_M, Sep 2020
Grand Canyon Signature Hummer Tour with Optional Sunset Views
We were able to see the South Rim from various viewpoints before stopping for the sunset.
star-5
Highlight of the Day
Nestor_P, Sep 2020
Grand Canyon Signature Hummer Tour with Optional Sunset Views
This was my first time to visit the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
star-5
wonderfull trip above thé grand canyon
Muriel J, Jun 2019
Grand Canyon Landmarks Tour by Airplane with Optional Hummer Tour
the best way to see thé grand canyon....
star-5
Best view of Grand Canyon
Rjsani99, Apr 2019
Helicopter Tour of the North Canyon with Optional Hummer Excursion
Only way to see the GC and appreciate its immensity.
star-4
Very good way to see the Grand Canyon...
tersteash, Jul 2016
Grand Canyon West Rim Air and Ground Day Trip from Las Vegas
Very good way to see the Grand Canyon in a few hours, and the Skywalk tops this off nicely.
star-5
Helicopter tour
Gina_C, Aug 2020
45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona
The beat way to see the grand canyon
star-5
I always wanted to see the Grand...
thomas g, Nov 2017
Grand Canyon West Rim Air and Ground Day Trip from Las Vegas
I always wanted to see the Grand canyon, and this was a convenient way to do that from Las Vegas.
star-5
Our tour guide Frank was amazing! I...
sjc1962, Jun 2016
Grand Canyon East Rim Drive by Jeep and IMAX Movie
I would not have wanted to see the Grand Canyon any other way.
star-5
Amazing!
gnmcmillan11, Nov 2019
Grand Canyon Signature Hummer Tour with Optional Sunset Views
This was a BEAUTIFUL drive and amazing way to see the sunset at the Grand Canyon.
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Amazing views
PamelaA_E, Jul 2020
45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona
Fabulous way to see the Grand Canyon!!!
star-5
We really enjoyed our flight to see...
Annette S, Jun 2015
25-minute Grand Canyon Dancer Helicopter Tour from Tusayan, Arizona
We really enjoyed our flight to see the Grand Canyon.
star-5
Life long memory
Dlb, Mar 2020
45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona
No better way to see the Grand Canyon.
star-5
Great value helicopter trip through...
Derek W, Aug 2013
25-minute Grand Canyon Dancer Helicopter Tour from Tusayan, Arizona
You get to see South and North rim and fly below the rim a little.
star-5
Grand Canyon over flight
srussett, Oct 2018
Grand Canyon Helicopter 40-Minute Flights with Optional Hummer Tour
The pilot's commentary was first class and staff were quite pleasant We drove from Las Vegas and whilst this made it a lengthy day we were able to see more and spend more time at the Grand Canyon than if we had taken the trip from Las Vegas.
star-5
Having a guide is what makes the...
Samantha H, Sep 2017
Grand Canyon East Rim Drive by Jeep and IMAX Movie
We did the sunset tour, so we stopped at Desert View where the Watchtower is to see it although it was closed on the inside so we couldn't go to the top.

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