13 Best Places To Visit in the Grand Canyon

A trip to the Grand Canyon is a journey back in time. The one-mile-deep, rocky canyon offers a peek at the changes in Earths surface over the course of the past millions of years. The rich, earthy hues and the texture of the landscape provide breathtaking views. You could spend a lifetime exploring Grand Canyon National Park.

Grand Canyon in northern Arizona is a spectacular natural wonder and one of the best National Parks in the USA. This canyon expanded for millions of years with the help of the Colorado River. People from all over the world come here to gaze at its red and orange magnificence. Even though the place is constantly crowded with sightseers and hikers, finding a secluded spot is still possible.

Once you do, sit for a while and observe the sunset and nature at its best. If you want to have a truly unforgettable view of the canyon, you can book a helicopter tour, try rafting down the Colorado River or enjoy a scenic car or train ride.

Grand Canyon is a great adventure destination for thrill-seekers. The park features an immense Grand Canyon with layered bands of red rocks. Enjoy your visit by hiking along the parks popular rim, scenic tours on the Grand Canyon Railroads, taking a helicopter tour to view the beautiful landscape, and whitewater rafting on the Colorado River.

The Grand Canyon in Arizona is an exceptional sight which everybody must see once in their lifetime. Among the most famous places to visit in USA, flying over the Grand Canyon with kids during vacation with family is perhaps the best option to admire its immensity. The viewpoints that look out to it are an excellent alternative to cover one of the natural wonders of the world from a privileged position.

The fact that Arizona is often referred to as The Grand Canyon State shows how important this tourist attraction is. From dramatic vistas and picturesque terrain, the breath-taking geological formations attract around 6 million tourists annually. To explore this natural wonder, you can go for a Rim-to-Rim hike or raft the Colorado River. You can also learn a lot by visiting the Trail of Time exhibition or the Geology Museum.

Nothing really prepares you for the Grand Canyon. No pictures do it justice, no descriptions can give you a real idea of it. It's the sort of thing you really do have to see for yourself. And even when you're there, the mind still can't quite conceive of how big it really is. One of the most common mistakes that people make at the Grand Canyon is underestimating how wide and deep it actually is.

They think they can just do to the bottom and back on a plastic bottle of water because it doesn't look that far away. There's very little frame of reference for how big those buttes and layers of rock in it are, until you're beside them and see they're as tall as a skyscraper. So when you go, you owe it to yourself to spend more than a day. It's too vast, too grand, to fully appreciate in a quick day trip. Spend a few days, and at least one of those days hiking through it.

When you don't have that long, be sure to take in these attractions for the best the Grand Canyon has to offer, and don't forget to take along your prescription safety glasses so you can clearly see it all.

1. The Grand Canyon Visitor Center

Upon arrival at the south entrance, introduce yourself to the park at the Mather Point Overlook and the Grand Canyon National Park visitors center. Here, you’ll get a peek at what’s in store for you for the rest of your trip. Grab a map of the hiking trails before you head out to the Mather Point Overlook. From here, you get great views of the canyon and the Colorado River flowing a mile below the rim.

2. Yavapai Geology Museum

The Geology Museum, located on Yavapai Point is in a prime spot for viewing the canyon and learning about the geological history of the area. Look out the panoramic windows as you read about canyon features and how they formed.

3. Bright Angel Trail

Hike down the South Kaibab Trail to a point called the Tip Off, then across on the Tonto Trail to Indian Garden, and then up the Bright Angel Trail. To get to the bottom of the canyon, you have to walk (or ride a pack-mule) down. The Bright Angel trail is a steep jaunt down. It is six miles to Plateau Point and 10 miles to Phantom Ranch.

You can't do the entire hike in a day, so plan for a stay at the bottom. For day trips, hike partway down and then back up again, keeping in mind that it'll take at least twice as long for the return trip because it’s all uphill. Don't forget your safety glasses for protection against the hot desert sun.

4. Rim Trail Hike

The Rim trail offers stunning views of the Grand Canyon along a 13-mile, mostly paved path. Though long, you don't have to worry about steep climbs, as it is fairly level. The trail also offers opportunities to escape the hot desert sun under the shade of trees.

Hiking through the Grand Canyon takes everything from you physically and emotionally, but it is incredibly rewarding. It's estimated that only something like 10% of people who visit the Grand Canyon actually get below the rim. Be one of the 10%. But regardless of whether or not you can, you should try to see it, even if it's only a day trip. No matter how much of it you can see, you should try to see it.

5. Hermit Road Drive

The Hermit Road Drive is a popular trip for park visitors. It's 77 miles long and gives you ample opportunities to pull off the road and take in the views along the seven-mile route. From the beginning of March until the end of November, you must use the park shuttle to make the trip. Hop off at any of the nine overlooks along the way and jump on another shuttle when you're ready to move on.

6. Lipan Point

For a less crowded and arguably more scenic drive, check out the Desert View Drive. You won’t have as many opportunities to stop along this 22-mile route, but each one is well worth taking the time to soak it all in. You’ll get better views of the Colorado River on this route, and birders will love Lipan Point for viewing migrating birds.

7. Havasu Falls

There is so much more to the Grand Canyon that most visitors never experience. One of the best cases in point is Havasu falls. Havasu falls is a waterfall that pours over a deep red cliffside into a deep blue pool and it is absolutely stunning to see. It is lightly visited for a couple of reasons. First it is located on Havasupai tribal land which controls access through a permitting system.

Next, getting there requires a 10 mile hike each way from the nearest access point, or the help of a helicopter which can fly you in and land you nearby. Most trips to see the falls involve hiking back and camping in the wild at a nearby primitive campground, then hiking back out the next day. If you want to visit a truly exotic location while in the Grand Canyon region, this is the place to go.

Havasu Falls is located on the Havasupai Reservation and a 10-mile hike from the trailhead. The towering falls, crystal blue waters and green trees are a breathtaking sight against the rich reds of the canyon walls. Cool off from your trek down with a dip in the water beneath the falls before heading to the campground. This is not a day hike, so be prepared to camp a night or two and take time to enjoy this oasis. Reservations are required.

8. Grand Canyon Skywalk

Not for the faint of heart, the Grand Canyon Skywalk suspends guests in the open space above the canyon floor. The bridge has a glass walkway, giving you views below your feet if you’re brave enough to walk out onto the surface! The Grand Canyon Skywalk is located on the western side of the Grand Canyon and is not within the park’s boundaries.

9. Desert View Watchtower

The Desert View Watch Tower is definitely worth stopping at. This site is located on the east side of the park. Though built in 1932, it looks like an ancient Anasazi ruin, an intentional move by designer Mary Jane Colter. The tower is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For spectacular views of the canyon, make the climb up the 70-ft tower to the top observation deck.

10. South Rim

When you go, you might as well see the regional sights. If you're going to the South Rim, then you're coming via Route 66 in Arizona. 3 full days should be enough for the South Rim unless you are in excellent shape and plan to hike down to the bottom. The good thing is if you get tired you can take the park shuttle back to your car.

Check out Petrified Forest National Park, Meteor Crater, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki National Monuments, Grand Canyon Caverns, Sedona, and Montezuma Castle National Park, as well as towns like Flagstaff, Williams, Seligman, Kingman, Holbrook, and Winslow.

11. North Rim

The North Rim is less developed and less crowded. It looks a lot like the South rim except you are looking from the other side. If you're going to the North Rim, then at least see Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks too. It all depends on what you want to see, but it would be difficult to pass all that up if you're going to the Grand Canyon. Some of the North Rim is accessible only by using the free shuttle buses that the Park Service provides.

If you are also going to visit the North Rim probably add another 2 or 3 days. Note that it is a long drive from the south rim to the north rim as there are no bridges across the canyon that you can use as a short cut. Also the North Rim is not open all year so check before you go.

12. Elves Chasm

The very lowest layers exposed in the Grand Canyon are collectively called the Vishnu Basement Rocks. Their name comes from Vishnu Temple, a peak within the canyon that reminded early explorers of an exotic temple. There are fossils in the Proterozoic sedimentary rocks lying on top of the Vishnu Basement, in the layers that make up the Unkar Group. There are stromatolites and acritarch's in some of those layers.

Anyway, the Vishnu Basement Rocks are all either intrusive igneous rocks, which can't contain fossils (unless they contain fossil-bearing xenoliths, but that strikes me as exceptionally unlikely), or heavily metamorphosed igneous and sedimentary rocks. Any fossils that were once in the sedimentary rocks have almost certainly been destroyed by metamorphism.

The Grand Canyon is also home to rock peaks and formations known as Zoroaster Temple, Solomon Temple, Sheba Temple, Brahma Temple, Rama Shrine, Krishna Shrine, Apollo Temple, Isis Temple, Freya Castle, Wotan's Throne, Walhalla Plateau, Jupiter Temple, Venus Temple, and Vulcan's Throne.

13. Toroweap Overlook

For those with a sense of adventure, a desire to go remote and a rugged, high clearance vehicle, Tuweep is worth the effort it takes to get there. Be sure to read up on park recommendations before the journey. Once you arrive, you are treated to expansive views from the Toroweap Overlook, which sits 3,000 vertical feet above the canyon floor.

When you head into the desert, be prepared with plenty of water, food and proper attire. Be sure to take along prescription safety glasses that are durable and shatter-resistant.

Kalyan Panja