The Grand Canyon is a beautiful destination, which everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. There are some people, unfortunately, who make the rookie mistake of going to the Grand Canyon without having no solid plan. As a result, they don’t get to explore and fully maximize their trip there. If it’s your first time to the Grand Canyon, or whether you’re coming back to experience more of this beautiful destination, get the most of on your visit.
Some first-timers make the mistake of stopping along with every viewpoint and snapping pictures of the canyon. While there’s nothing wrong with that, they don’t realize that it cuts down their time to explore the vast park and see more sights and experience activities. A short trip to the Grand Canyon will be worth it, especially if you already know what to look forward to.
Going to the Grand Canyon
Some visitors fly to Las Vegas or Phoenix, in visiting the Grand Canyon. Wherever you land, you’d need to get your private car or service because public transit is limited around the area.
Many visitors take a road trip to the Grand Canyon, driving along 180 Highway, while some recommend taking a scenic alternative route through 89 Highway. If you’re planning on taking a road trip, make sure to put aside trip and pass along the Cameron Trading Post where you can experience some of its delicious local food. Not only that, but driving along the highway can give you a spectacular view of the Little Colorado River, Desert View, and the Grandview Point.
Arriving at the Grand Canyon, there are parking areas for your vehicles. After that, you can take a shuttle to get around and explore the area.
The South and North Rim Experience
The Grand Canyon is split in two, the South and North Rim. The two are approximately four hours apart, which is why you need only to choose one if you’re planning a day trip.
If you want to experience the Grand Canyon within a day, consider going to the South Rim side of the Canyon. Tourists prefer going to the South Rim because it offers many viewpoints of the canyon’s depth. To maximize your visit, take a short hike so you can see a sweeping view of the canyon, and appreciate the little details around it. It also has several lodging options and services, for people who want to overnight.
Tourists also have several activities and hiking options, available for day trippers. Tourists can choose between the Kaibab Trail or Grandview Trail, which showcases the most beautiful view of the Canyon, and only for a short hike. Another attraction at the Grand Canyon is the Skywalk, which is a glass bridge extending 70 feet over the canyon
If you’re looking into a quieter and peaceful trip, visit the North Rim. Unlike the South Rim, the North Rim doesn’t offer spectacular views of the canyon. However, the north side is a haven for hikers and photographers because of its beautiful and luscious pine trees and wildlife.
Best Time to Visit
The Grand Canyon is always bustling with tourists, but there is some period during the year where you can maximize your visit without fighting through the crowd. As much as possible, avoid visiting the Canyon towards the end of the day up to the start of September. The period is usually the busiest time in the Canyon, and even the hottest at time.
The best time to visit is mid-August when children are about to start school. You can also pay a visit during the Christmas season, from December to February, as there is the slowest period of the year.
When you plan on visiting the South Rim, make sure to visit anytime except summer. Temperatures can get hot, especially around July to August and expect many tourists. These months aren’t the best time for hikers to go down the canyon. Don’t worry because the South Rim is open all year round, and the best time to hike is during the spring and fall and season where the temperature is slightly chilly but with fewer people.
The North Rim can be visited any time of the year, especially if you don’t want to encounter any crowd. Even during the peak seasons, the North Rim sees lesser group than the South. Pay a quick visit during the fall season, and watch the national forest explode with different beautiful colors.
Hiking at the Canyon
You can’t visit the Canyon without hiking. There are many trails to choose from, friendly for beginners and to experts. The most leisurely hike is the Rim Trail, perfect for beginners. It’s 13 miles of a flat trail going to the top of the South Rim. You can even hike a small part of the path to the Grand Canyon, and see the Canyon from the Top.
The Bright Angel Trail is one of the famous well-maintained trails in the south rim. It offers pleasant shade, so don’t worry about the heat and getting tired quickly. If you’re looking for more challenge, try the South Kaibab Trail which slightly steeper and has less shade. However, expect that your hard work will reward you with a dramatic and spectacular view. The north rim also offers various hiking options, but it’s only recommended for experienced and fit hikers.
Other Activities to Try
Hiking isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t the only activity available at the Canyon. You can ride a mule from the South Rim, all the way to the Colorado River. You can also enjoy the mule ride from the North Rim, up until the Canyon. You can also enjoy rating at the Colorado River. Take a trip to the national park, and plan a rafting trip at the Grand Canyon West.
If you’re thinking of going extreme, take a helicopter ride. The Grand Canyon offers helicopter rides which showcases a spectacular top view of the whole canyon.
Lodging at the Canyon
If you’re thinking of staying more than a day at the Canyon, there are many convenient lodging options within the park, as well as nearby towns. However, these lodges tend to book up pretty quickly, which is why you need to book months in advance. Consider booking your accommodation first if you’ve already decided to stay longer than a night.
The South Rim has many lodges to choose from, considering that it is the most touristy area. There’s also an RV park for campers and campgrounds around the city. The North Rim on the other hand only offers two accommodation places, the Grand Canyon Lodge and the north rim campground.
There are many things to do at the Grand Canyon, regardless of what you’re interested in. It’s an ideal place to visit for people who want to relax and experience nature, or for people who want to go on an adventure and hike around the Canyon. Whether you’re looking for a thrill or something simple, the Grand Canyon should be part of the places you’d want to visit before you die. Make sure that you maximize your time at the Grand Canyon when you visit, and to try and explore the activities unique in that destination. That way, you can say that you’ve experienced the true spirit of the Canyon.