things to do at the grand canyon

Best things to do at the Grand Canyon

Find out the best things to do at the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon National Park is a world-renowned tourist attraction, and for good reason. It’s one of the most vibrant, fascinating, and awe-inspiring places on earth. A visit to the Grand Canyon will see you take in many awesome sights but that’s not all – there are a number of other activities to do while you experience the grandeur of the area.

Here are just a few things to do at the Grand Canyon.

Take a picturesque hike

The Grand Canyon National Park as well as the greater Grand Canyon region is a star attraction for hikers. The majority of the national park isn’t developed, resulting in hundreds of miles to backpack, hike, and explore.

Despite the area’s popularity, you need only hike a small distance to get back to nature and enjoy some solitude. Make use of the free map you’re given when you enter the park and explore the beautiful landscape to your heart’s content.

Explore the Grand Canyon on a mule

Certain trails in the Grand Canyon National Park allow you to explore them from the back of a mule. These guided rides include the Bright Angel Trail and the South Kaibab Trail.

As adventures go, seeing the Grand Canyon by mule is a great way to experience the majesty of the area without tiring out your legs. Mules are a great choice for traversing rocky, cliffside trails because they take smaller, more sure-footed steps than horses. They’re also less likely to spook than horses.

When booking a mule ride, make sure to do so in advance. This method of seeing the Grand Canyon is a popular one.

Experience the Grand Canyon Railway

The Grand Canyon Railway is a great way to roll your sightseeing, adventure, and history into one mind-blowing experience.

Take a nostalgic journey on this train line that dates back to 1901, when it made its first paid passenger journey to the South Rim. Since then, it’s changed hands, becoming one of the best ways to get to and from the Grand Canyon in modern times. Today the railroad ferries hundreds of passengers to and from the Grand Canyon each day, totaling approximately 240,000 passengers per year.

Explore the Desert View Drive

The Desert View Drive starts at Grand Canyon Village and traverses the canyon rim east to Desert View. The 26-mile stretch features breathtaking views, solidifying the drive as one of the most scenic inside the Grand Canyon National Park.

There are a number of overlooks along this drive including Yaki Point, Grandview Point, Lipan Point, and Moran Point.

The culmination of this drive is marked by Desert Watchtower, a 70-foot-high tower that sits at the highest point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The views from the tower are not to be missed.

Go on a rafting trip through the Canyon

Floating through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River is one of the most exciting and picturesque ways to explore the area. Tours are plentiful and operate year-round so you’ll be able to see the sights during any season.

Leave your cell phones and laptops behind – not only is there no reception in the bottom of the canyon, you’ll also spoil the experience of getting back to nature in the most rustic way.

Take a helicopter tour over the canyon

If you’re looking for a wholly unique perspective of the Grand Canyon you can’t go past a helicopter tour. These tours leave from Las Vegas, Henderson and the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, taking you soaring over the beautiful landscape or flying you through the canyon itself.

Perfect for photographers or those who enjoy epic views, these helicopter tours are sure to make your trip to the Grand Canyon National Park a memorable one.

Ride your road bike on the North Rim

Located on the North Rim, the Grand Canyon National Park’s entrance road is just wide enough for cycling. That said, the traffic can be heavy. You ought to avoid the Cape Royal Road on your bike as this winding, narrow road has poor sight-lines and can be dangerous for those on a bike.

To get a real experience of the park, opt for the North Rim Bridle Path. This 1.2-mile stretch of path follows the road as it connects North Kaibab Trailhead to Grand Canyon Lodge. Bicycles are welcome on this hard-packed path.

Mountain bike on the North Rim

On the North Rim, the Kaibab National Forest has partnered with the Grand Canyon National Park to develop the Rainbow Rim mountain bike trail. This 18-mile singletrack connects five destinations: North Timp, Timp, Locust, Fence, and Paissawampitts.

The trail can be ridden in a slew of different ways. For those up for a challenge, you can choose to ride the full trail out and back. It makes for a physically demanding but wholly rewarding 36-mile day. That said, most cyclists prefer to camp along the trail at one of the many rest points.

Stand on the Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a structured walkway that extends approximately 70 feet out over the canyon. Located at the Hualapai-owned Grand Canyon West, it’s not part of the Grand Canyon National Park or the National Park Service.

Those who visit the Skywalk get to stand on clear, 4-inch-thick glass that makes them feel like they’re floating above 4,000 feet of a vertical abyss.

Visit the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the most fascinating places on earth. More than just a tourist attraction, it’s a full-bodied experience that visitors can experience year-round. Now that you know the best things to do at the Grand Canyon, you can rent an RV in Phoenix and drive to the Grand Canyon National Park.

About the Autor

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Marie Ducharne