A Grand Canyon Vacation
The Grand Canyon is a remarkable experience that can’t be missed! Often named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, this national landmark offers exquisite views of a beautiful footprint left by Mother Nature, herself. A gorge of the Colorado River, The Grand Canyon stretches across more than 1 million acres. Layer upon layer of a vibrant rainbow of rocks swoops deep into the canyon’s curves and crevices. A wondrous, awe-inspiring sight, there is nothing quite like this incredible marvel!
A four-hour drive from the South Rim, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is open only from May 15th to October 15th each year. The North Rim is located in Arizona, near the Utah border. It’s a bit harder to access than the South Rim, with the nearest airports located in Kanab, UT, and is a two-hour drive away.
NORTH RIM ACTIVITIES
North Rim Scenic Drive
Enjoy a relaxing tour of the North Rim on the Scenic drive. Customize your tour, stopping as often as you like to take in the hushed beauty and mesmerizing scenery of one of America’s oldest and most beloved attractions. Filled with numerous pull-outs, and scenic viewpoints, the drive takes many visitors about half a day. Point Imperial and Cape Royal are two viewpoints that absolutely can’t be missed!
North Rim Ranger Programs
Grand Canyon Ranger Programs run all day long during open season at the North Rim. Among the program, a selection is relaxing mile and a half nature walks, as well as geology lectures and an informative lesson on the California Condor. There are also historic lectures, family-friendly programs, and campfire stories to be enjoyed.
North Rim Hiking
With over a dozen different hiking trails in the North Rim, the Grand Canyon is the perfect place for hikers of all experience levels to enjoy a day on the trails. Head to the Bright Angel Point Trail for a paved path and a quick mile hike from the Visitors Center and then back. Cape Final Trail’s easy, breezy hike offers stunning views with a quick, enjoyable walk. For a more strenuous trail that leads down into the Canyon, try the North Kaibab Trail. The Arizona Trail offers a glimpse into the natural beauty of the Kaibab Plateau forests, while Point Sublime Road is a rough trail, good for experienced mountain bikers.
North Rim Mule Rides
Mule rides are available at both rims but tend to be easier to book at the North Rim. You can choose between a 1-hour rim ride, a half-day ride or a half-day inner canyon mule ride. However, none of these tours descend to the canyon floor.
WHERE TO STAY AT THE NORTH RIM
Grand Canyon Lodge
For the best view in the house, head to the Grand Canyon Lodge! Enjoy the marvelous sunset where light falls from the brilliant blue sky and drips majestically over the green and orange walls of the Grand Canyon. For a stunning view across the entire expanse of the canyon, book a “Western Cabin with Rim View” or choose from a number of other cabins or motel rooms. Lodge guests have access to a deli, saloon, and general store.
The South Rim is often recommended to first-time visitors due to its easy accessibility, with its gates open year round!
SOUTH RIM ACTIVITIES
Grand Canyon Orientation Film
First thing’s first- stop by the Visitor’s Center to see the 20 minutes film, Grand Canyon: Journey of Wonder. The show starts each hour and half-hour.
Ranger Programs and Museums
Tour any one of the numerous museums at the Grand Canyon. You can visit the Yavapai Geology Museum or the Tusayan Museum to learn about the culture of Pueblo Indians, and view the Tusayan ruin. Attend one of the Ranger Programs, like the Desert View Watchtower Tour where you can learn all about the architecture of the historic landmark itself.
Hikes and Tours
Take a shuttle bus along Scenic Hermit Road, stopping however often you’d like! The South Rim offers an endless number of overlooks, all great for capturing that picture-perfect photo. Filled with trails, staircases, and unbelievable views, you can walk as far and as often as you’d like, stopping to catch the bus whenever you need a rest.
The South Rim also offers many informational tours where you can listen to a park ranger give a two-minute narration on various aspects of the canyon from geology to Native American history to the night sky.
Stop at Desert View Point where on a clear day, you can gaze across nearly a hundred miles of gorgeous, canyon walls. Check out the Desert View Watchtower, one of the most distinguishable pieces of architecture at The Grand Canyon. At the top of this 70-foot tower, you’ll find an observation deck with breathtaking views of the treasured expanse.
Tusayan Museum and Ruins
Explore 800-year-old ruins left by the Pueblo Indians, located near the Tusayan Museum. The location offers free admission and offers both self-guided or ranger-guided tours through trails filled with ancient relics like pottery, arrowheads, and Pueblo artifacts.
White Water Rafting
For an unforgettable experience at The Grand Canyon, book your whitewater rafting trip now! Paddle down the still waters of the Colorado River, with the walls of the canyon towering miles overhead. You can find river trips lasting anywhere from half a day to over two full weeks.
Get the best view of The Grand Canyon with a helicopter tour! Soar above the colorful canyon to experience its true vastness and majesty. Helicopter tours are available from the North and South Rims, with most flights lasting from about 20-45 minutes.
WHERE TO STAY AT THE SOUTH RIM
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
For a comfortable stay and an indoor pool and spa to enjoy, choose one of the Holiday Inn’s 164 rooms. The conveniently located hotels include complimentary wi-fi and parking.
Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn
Vacation in luxury at the Best Western Premier. Guests can enjoy two separate restaurants, a bar, lounge, barber and even a beauty shop and fitness center. Explore the outdoors all day, and then come back to relax in the heated outdoor pool or for a game of pool.
A convenient option for nature lovers, the Yavapai Lodge is just a quick mile and a half from the South Rim. Divided into two buildings, the Yavapai East and Yavapai West, the hotel has over 350 rooms total. Guests can enjoy a quick stroll over the Canyon Village Market Plaza.
No matter where you choose to stay, your next trip to The Grand Canyon is bound to be an unforgettable experience. There is so much to see and discover at one of America’s oldest and most treasured landmarks. From mule rides to helicopter tours to scenic hikes along the canyon rim, your days at The Grand Canyon will be filled with beauty and adventures! Start your Grand Canyon Vacation today!