The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech, not by speech itself.John Wesley Powell
About the Park
Grand Canyon National Park will leave you speechless on your first visit to the park. Standing on the South Rim and viewing one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World is something we will never forget. This immense canyon averages 4000 deep for 277 miles and is nearly 18 miles wide at its widest.
Check out the view from the South Rim Trail!
Live it up!
Best Things to do in the Park
- Go to Mather Point for your first views of the Grand Canyon
- Watch a sunset on one of the South Rim viewpoints
- Go whitewater rafting on the Colorado River
- Ride in a helicopter over the canyon
- Make the 4-hr drive around to the less visited North Rim
This location in Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is on the South Rim. It was a popular photo opportunity and for a good reason! We took a picture for another family, then they took ours. Annie, our little dog, loved being so high and seeing the big canyon. As a matter of fact, she went to almost all the parks in the lower 48! That girl got around!
Size of Park
1.2 million acres
The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Grand Canyon National Park is located in Arizona and is considered one of the world’s best examples of arid-land erosion. The gigantic canyon is 18 miles at its widest point and 6,000 feet deep at its deepest. It sits 7,000 feet above sea level and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. It was on our list from the time we were small children!
The park is so huge that you need two to three days to explore it thoroughly if you plan to hike. You can also book a guided trip through the canyon on a raft. We’ve had friends do this, and while it is disconnected from our technology, it was so much fun.
The park has three rims: North, West, and South Rim. Most visitors choose to visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon as it offers beautiful views and is also known for its family-oriented activities and visitor services. However, much of the park is remote and rugged and is only accessible through hiking trails, making it an adventure seeker’s dream location.
Best Hikes at Grand Canyon
Cape Final Trail
This 4-mile hike on the North Rim is relatively easy. While walking on the trail, you will navigate through the forest along the canyon’s edge, which gives the hiker an incredible adrenaline rush. Ultimately, you will find your way to the Cape Final.
South Kaibab Trail
This is another popular into-the-canyon hike on the South Rim. You can choose to hike to the Ooh Aah Point (2.9 km), or you can go to Cedar Ridge (4.5 km). The trail drops nearly 5,000 feet in seven miles between the Colorado River and the South Rim. While many people find the hike challenging, the trail’s views are worth it and we believe it is one of the best hikes in Grand Canyon.
Copper miners carved out the Grandview Trail, a steep South Rim hiking trail today. The trail is less crowded than the nearby South Kaibab and Bright Angel. Grandview Trail is also famous for backpackers as its permit is granted easily.
At the top of the Grandview Trail, you will find the Horseshoe Mesa, which holds a historical significance and is also a popular camping spot. The hike up to the Horseshoe mesa is 3 miles with an elevation change of 3,000 feet. This trail can be pretty challenging to hike while going up, which is why it is unsuitable for children.
Bright Angel Point Trail
People visiting the North Rim almost always hike the Bright Angel Point Trail, as you will have some of the best canyon views from up here. The track starts from the Visitor Center on the North Rim, and hiking the trail is a great way to begin your exploration of the Grand Canyon. You will also most likely find other hikers on your way.
The Widforss Trail provides a broader view of the canyon. Located on the North Rim, the trail is named after the 20th-century artist Gunnar Widforss. Widforss was well known for his water coloring of the Grand Canyon, which inspired this trail’s name. From here, you can look at the quieter side of the canyon, which is usually hidden from most visitors. The trail winds through a shaded forest, and after a hike of five miles, it brings you into the open again with clear views of the landscape.
Camping in the Park
The vast landscape of the Grand Canyon in Arizona cannot be covered in a day, so most people choose to camp inside the park to make the most of their visit. Grand Canyon National Park has three developed campgrounds: North Rim Campgrounds, Mather Campground, and Desert View Campground.
The North Rim Campground captures the essence of the North Rim itself, filled with shady sites and towering trees. There are RV, tent, and group sites near water, and campers also have access to a general store, restrooms, and showers. The Grand Canyon Lodge is also a few minutes away from the campground. You can also stay in the North Rim Campground in winter by getting a backcountry permit, as the campground operates seasonally.
Mather Campground is excellent for group camping as it provides shady RV and tent sites. The night sky here is mesmerizing as there is little to no light pollution. In addition, the campground contains clean restrooms, water, a dump station, and showers.
Desert View Campground has 50 sites and is a great place to stay. This campground is booked on a first-come, first-served basis, and the campsites include a fire pit and picnic table. This campground has slightly fewer amenities than the other two; however, the campsites provide potable water.
Camping Options Near the Park
If you are not staying on the campgrounds inside the park, you can always opt for backcountry camping by obtaining a permit. Many campgrounds near the Grand Canyon National Park include DeMotte Campground, Duncan’s Family Campground, and Ten-X Campground. These campgrounds feature the necessities, and you can easily commute to the national park.
Hopi Point, South Rim Trail
Hopi Point is ideal for those who want to watch a typical Grand Canyon sunset. This is also a favorite spot for many photographers
. The overlook can be accessed through the park’s shuttle service, which is free of charge. For those who want to make their journey adventurous, a 2.5-mile-long walk along the Rim Trail will take you to Hopi Point.
Angel’s Window, North Rim
Located on the North Rim, Angel’s Window is a great point to see the Colorado River. You can reach this point through a short side trail from the Cape Royal trail. You can stand over the natural arch and enjoy the stunning landscape here. Standing on the arch, it would seem you are floating above the canyon. This overlook is a secure area with railings.
Toroweap/Tuweep Overlook is a viewpoint that is not easily accessible, and hence you will find very few visitors here. After you get to the overlook, you will realize what a remote, rustic experience of the Grand Canyon is like! You can see the Colorado River coming down the canyon from here. To get to this overlook, you need a high-clearance vehicle. There are special instructions for this overlook. You can check those here.
Shoshone Point, South Rim
Shoshone Point is peaceful, as not many people know about it. Getting to the Shoshone Point is not difficult as you drive down East Rim Drive, where you will find a parking area, restrooms, and picnic tables. From this point onwards, you will have to walk for 20 minutes through the Ponderosa Pines before you reach the Shoshone Point. The final overlook offers a 180-degree view of the Grand Canyon that will amaze you!
Click on the button to explore the state and travel guides for the area.
Getting to the Park
The two most common major airports to access the Grand Canyon National Park are Las Vegas, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona. There is also a small regional airport in Flagstaff that is about an hour away. Renting a car is the best option to accessing the South Rim Visitor Center of Grand Canyon National Park.
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