Encompassing miles of the most spectacular rock formations, ridges, massive gorges, and adventurous trails, Grand Canyon National Park is absolutely inspiring! In this travel guide, we’ll share the best things to do in Grand Canyon National Park, the best time to visit, weather, map, and things you must bring with you to help you enjoy every minute of your trip. Let’s get started!
|Park||Grand Canyon National Park|
|Things To Do||Picnic, Drive, Discover|
|Hotels Near Banff National Park||El Tovar Hotel, Yavapai Lodge, Many More|
|Price||$20 to $35|
|Camping Location||Multiple Locations|
Where Is Grand Canyon National Park?
Grand Canyon National Park is situated in the northwest part of Arizona, near the borders of Utah and Nevada. To reach the park, you take a flight to Las Vegas, Phoenix, or Flagstaff. Irrespective of where you land, you will need to take a cab or a rental car to reach Grand Canyon, National Park. You can drive east over the canyon rim, which is 23 miles away from the stunning view of the desert.
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most beloved tourist destinations in the United States.
Stretching as far as 18 miles from rim to rim, the Grand Canyon National Park spreads across the northwest corner of Arizona and is one of the biggest canyons in the world.
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The Grand Canyon offers a magical escape from the hectic city life with its stunning sunsets, natural beauty, enchanting silence, spectacular overlooks, and endless fun activities.
Each year millions of visitors came from all around the world to its awe-inspiring attractions, hike hidden canyons, and plunge into ancient pools.
The south rim of the park is where you’ll find most of the well-known attractions and activities the park has to offer while if you can explore more scenic areas, and hikes on the south side.
History of Grand Canyon National Park
According to scientists, the Grand Canyon may have formed 5 to 6 million years ago when the Colorado River began to cut a channel through layers of rock.
Humans have inhabited the land in and around the canyon around 12,000 years ago and it is still considered a sacred place to 11 Native American tribes.
The first European explorers came to Grand Canyon in 1540.
Throughout the 1800s, many companies tried to make the area profitable and few considered this harsh landscape as a tourist destination.
President Benjamin Harrison was the first who felt the need to protect the Grand Canyon as a forest reserve and created the Grand Canyon National Forest Reserve in 1893.
Grand Canyon’s popularity grew tremendously after that and it became a national park in 1919.
Best Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park
Here are the top 5 must destinations to make your Grand Canyon National Park trip epic:
Grand Canyon Village
If you truly want to experience the Grand Canyon and its history, the Grand Canyon Village is a must-see.
Located on the South Rim, Grand Canyon Village offers some of the best scenic overlooks in the park including Yavapai point, a perfect place to enjoy the magnificent views of the Grand Canyon.
The village comprises the historic center, several park structures, and lodging options plus there are tons of fun activities to do including helicopter tours, horseback, mule trips, and scenic train rides.
Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails into the Grand Canyon to enjoy some great views of the Colorado River.
The steep trail is 6-miles long and takes one full to the river and come back.
It lets you walk through the footsteps of native American’s, and canyon miners as they descend into the canyon’s footsteps.
The trail offers stunning views, rest houses, vault toilets, drinking water, and much more to make an excellent first trip.
The geology of wildlife is the trail’s complementary feature and you can encounter mules and other wildlife on the trail as well.
Visitor Center & Mather Point Overlook
If you’re entering the park from the south entrance, Mather point offers a breathtaking glimpse of the Grand Canyon.
A short walk away from the Grand Canyon visitor center, Mather point is a great place to see an expansive view of the canyon and some samples of the Colorado River, Phantom Ranch, and several trails passing across the landscape.
Mather point is also a perfect place to see the most stunning sunsets and sunrise throughout the year.
Hermit Road Drive
Hermit Road is one of the most popular scenic routes in the park. The 7-mile scenic drive along the canyon rim out to the Hermits Rest and the Hermit Trailhead.
The road offers several stunning vistas and viewpoints of the Grand Canyon.
All the overlooks along this route offer beautiful vantage points including Maricopa Point, Pima Point, Mohave Point, and the Abyss.
Hermit road has a low traffic flow which makes it ideal for bikers and cyclists.
Havasu Falls are one of the top tourist attractions in the Grand Canyon National Park that draws throngs of visitors each year.
To be rewarded with the wonderful sight of these blue-green waterfalls, you must take 10 miles hike into the canyon.
The hike was quite strenuous and change in elevation by 1800 feet in the first two miles, however considering the unrivaled beauty of turquoise waterfalls, it definitely worth the effort.
All visitors require a one-night reservation depending on whether you want to stay on the campground or Havasupai Lodge.
Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit the Grand Canyon National Park are in March, September, and November when temperatures cool and crowds are generally thinner.
If you want to visit during summers, be prepared for heavy crowds as the tourism services are in full swing and you may have trouble booking lodging.
Don’t forget to pick up a park’s map of all the main attractions, routes, hikes, and visitor centers. There are a wide variety of maps available online both free and paid.
Hotels Near Grand Canyon National Park
There are many hotels in and outside of the Grand Canyon National Park that offer high-class accommodation and amenities:
- El Tovar Hotel
- Yavapai Lodge
- The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon
- Red Feather Lodge
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
There are three campgrounds in the Grand Canyon National Park including Mather Camping ground, Desert View campground, and North Rim Campground.
All camping grounds are open for reservation for up to 6 months in advance from March to November.
Both tent and RVs camping are also available at Mather campground and Trailer village.
To make a reservation check out the official site of nps.gov.com.
The Grand Canyon influences weather and temperatures can change tremendously with elevation change.
North Rim is the coolest and wettest region of the park with an average temperature of -22°F during the day.
During the summer months of May to August, daytime temperatures can range from 70 to mid-80s and even hotter within the canyon.
In winter, the daytime temperature averages in the mid-60s to low 70s.
Spring and Fall have moderate temperatures perfect for hiking and camping. Check out the current weather and road conditions before visiting.
Entry Pass and Reservations
The Grand Canyon National Park entry fee is $35 per vehicle, $30 per Motorcycle, and $20 per individual permit valid for the next seven days.
If you planning to come back multiple times, you can purchase the Grand Canyon National site-specific digital pass from recreation.gov.
For more information about entry passes or buy your pass online click here.
Checklist For Grand Canyon National Park
Here’s are some essentials you need to pack with you to make your trip secure and comfortable:
- Backpacking Pack
- T-shirts, shorts, light sweaters. waterproof outer layer.
- Hiking boots
- Sun protection gear
- Rain jacket
- First-aid kit
- Refillable Water bottles
- Park’s Map
When should I not go to Grand Canyon National Park?
July and August are the worst months to visit the Grand Canyon National Park because the weather is hottest and wettest and you can get sunburns.
Which Side of the Grand Canyon National Park offers the best viewpoints?
South Rim of the park is the best and most visited side of the park because it’s easily accessible and open all year round.
How long does it take to drive around the Grand Canyon National Park?
To drive over the Colorado River and loop around the canyon takes about 5 hours even if you stop at every viewpoint.
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