tips for visiting the grand canyon
tips for visiting the grand canyon

If you have ever thought about visiting the Grand Canyon you might be overwhelmed at the idea. The Grand Canyon is massive at 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and 6,093 feet deep. This natural wonder of the world is absolutely incredible. It is a wonder that I feel like everyone should see in their lifetime. That is why I want to give you this guide to visiting the Grand Canyon. Here are some things you need to know about planning your visit.

There are 3 parts of the Grand Canyon

South Rim:

The south rim is the most visited part of the Grand Canyon. It is open year round and has paved roads, miles of hiking trails, hotels and restaurants close by and popular museums. You can get to the south rim through two entrances, the south entrance and east entrance. 

south rim grand canyon

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The east entrance is by far my favorite. When you go through the east entrance you will experience far less traffic and be treated with fantastic scenery along the way. As you turn onto Desert View Dr you will be on Navajo land. Be sure to stop off at the Little Colorado River Gorge Overlook. Here you will see a smaller canyon with a view of the Little Colorado River and shop at some of the Navajo trading posts. 

Little Colorado River Gorge Overlook

As you enter the national park from the east entrance you will drive through a beautiful forest before you get to the official entrance of the Grand Canyon. Once you reach the entrance shortly after you will see lots of lookout points. A popular lookout point right next to the entrance is Historic Watchtower, the highest viewpoint of the south rim. 

The road will eventually lead you to the visitor’s center and Grand Canyon Village. Grand Canyon Village is filled with shops, restaurants, hotels and fun tourist activities. When you are ready to leave you can exit from the south entrance (you will thank me when you see the long line of cars coming into this entrance). 

North Rim: 

The north rim is more remote than the south rim and only open to visitors mid-May through Mid-October. There is only one entrance to the north rim in Jacob’s Lake, AZ. I highly recommend stopping in at Vermillion Cliffs National Monument on your way in for some stunning views and hiking. 

Grand Canyon West:

Grand Canyon West is actually owned by the Hualapai Indians, not the park service. So you will have to pay a significantly higher fee to get in. The fee is $82.37 per adult, not car and includes a meal and a chance to walk on the glass-bottomed skywalk. You can easily get to Grand Canyon West from Las Vegas or Kingman, AZ. 

Things to do at the Grand Canyon:

things to do in the grand canyon

If you want to just drive through the Grand Canyon that is always an option. With tons of fantastic overlooks you can see the Grand Canyon just by stepping out of your car to walk around the rim. If you are feeling a little more adventurous there are lots of trails that will lead you down into the Grand Canyon. Just be sure to check the weather and come prepared with plenty of supplies. We didn’t do any hiking when we visited the Grand Canyon because most of the south rim was covered in snow and ice and it was extremely cold. 

mather point overlook

Mule rides are said to be one of the more stable ways to get down into the canyon. These fantastic guided tours are hard to get. You need to book them at least a year in advance. If you missed your shot at a mule ride helicopter tours are another fantastic way to get a good view of the Grand Canyon. 

If rafting is your thing you will need to go to Grand Canyon West to catch a ride with the  Hualapai River Runners. Your Native American tour guide will take you on an adventure down the Colorado River. 

Have you had the chance to visit the Grand Canyon? Where did you go and what did you do?

tips for visiting the grand canyon

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41 Comments

  1. I wish that one day I will be able to visit the US and Grand Canyon. Great tips 🙂

  2. The Grand Canyon is so beautiful, everyone should visit once in their life! I’ve gone twice but don’t recall which locations I went to. Either way, its gorgeous and humbling!

  3. Thank you for sharing this very informative article about the Grand Canyon

  4. Grand Canyon is one of the places I really want to visit. I hope I can go there next year!

    Ukeveryday

  5. I love hiking and going to the Gran Canyon would be so amazing for me. This is a great guide to help me decide which parts of the canyon to go to if I only have limited time.

  6. My parents took me to the Grand Canyon when I was little but I don’t remember any of it. Maybe I should thin about bringing my kids

  7. I went to the Grand Canyon about 25 years ago, and it was awesome! I would love to go back some day with my kids.

  8. Oooh, thanks for the heads up! I’ll have to remember this if we get a chance to go to the Grand Canyon. I’d love to make it there someday.

  9. Grand Canyon is great! You can also take the helicopter ride to see the Canyon up close. Wish you could show us some pictures of the Canyon!

  10. Gosh it is absolutely breathtaking isn’t it!! Such an incredible place to visit.

  11. Wow. That’s beautiful. I’ve always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon. It’s definitely on my list once the kids are a bit older.

  12. This is been one of my most wanted and top “must to go” list. Awesome tips and will definitely consider your tips.

  13. This really made me want to visit the Grand Canyon! Can’t wait for the day I make it there 🙂 Great post!

  14. We were just there a few months ago! Looks slightly different with the snow! Hope you enjoyed the trip! =)

  15. I need to see this amazing place! It’s on my list. You must feel so small because of the vastness!

  16. I dream to visit this place one day. Thank you for sharing your tips.

  17. Another great thing to do at the Grand Canyon is charter a helicopter and view it from the air! We did that 9 years ago and I would love to take the kids now.
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  18. My older daughter went there and told me it was the best experience of her life. Now, with your tips, I haved to take the trip.

  19. Omg I always wanted to visit the Arizona and see the Grand Canyon. This was so informative!

  20. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, but my husband has. I’d love for us to take a family vacation, there one year.

  21. OMG…!! The Grand Canyon in Winter.. <3 This place is in my bucket list. I have also bookmarked this post. The tips are really helpful

  22. I always wanted to visit there. Perhaps one day…

  23. Very interesting and informative post. I like that you have described the best ways to enter the park. That’s always useful information.

  24. Grand Canyon is truly one of my travel bucket places in the US. This article made me more excited to visit this one of a kind place. It’s breathtaking! 🙂

  25. Okay, I must confess I am scared of height (tall places) so I never had plans of ever visiting the Grand Canyon. But honestly, after reading your Grand Canyon guide, I have this urge of wanting to go there and have a feel of the thrill
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  26. This is one of many places I really want to visit. Thanks for sharing!

  27. I can’t wait to be able to travel again. The Grand Canyons is on top of my list. Thanks for sharing these tips. My oldest daughter had beautiful pictures from her visit.

  28. More photos, please. I love how dreamy the Grand Canyon looks covered in snow! I wish I’d be able to go there, one day!

  29. hi
    thanks for sharing this article, it does help a newbie as to how to go about the trip to the Grand Canyon, could you elaborate why the mule ride needs to be booked so far in advance. what is the reason for that?

  30. Thank you for these tips. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon and I want to go so badly.

  31. Thanks for the wonderful info about the Gany Canyon. I didn’t know there were 3 parts. I have to share this with my uncle as he loves the Grand Canyon.

  32. I have always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon. Thanks for sharing this

  33. I have yet to see the Grand Canyon, one day soon though!

  34. I remember missing the Grand Canyon when I was little. Looking forward to go there soon!

  35. We visited the Grand Canyon a couple of years ago and I was surprised at how impressive it was! Its enormous! And the views are spectacular.

  36. Wow the grand canyon place looks stunning and I really love the view. I really hope to go there someday cross-fingers! Awesome photos.

  37. blair villanueva

    Would you know if it is still allowed to visit Grand Canyon nowadays? The view is spectacular!

  38. The Grand Canyon looks glorious! I’ve been itching to go to the US to see it and it is on the bucket list! Thank you for these tips!

  39. Wow! The Grand Canyon, definitely a bucket list destination. I didn’t know there were 3 parts.

  40. That looks like a life changing experience for your family. I would love to be there someday. The view are wondrous and relaxing.

  41. Well, it was a nice post, but actually, am kind of scared of places like this. But i think this place is very good to visit. Anyways nice article, i will share this post.

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