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. 

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. 

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:

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. 

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?

41 thoughts on “Tips for Visiting the Grand Canyon”

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. Singing A New Song – Hello, I'm Shayla! I'm a blogging/vlogging homeschooling mom of many, wife to one, and work at home mom. We are a big, Jesus loving, God fearing family and we love to laugh! Common topics you’ll find here include faith, marriage, motherhood, homeschooling, lifestyle, domestic arts, herbs & oils, and holistic living (with a realistic, big family mama/frugal approach). I love sharing practical solutions we find to problems we encounter, as well as things that inspire and encourage us through this crazy, beautiful journey!

    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.

  4. tingandthings.com

    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!

  5. Parent On Board – United States – I am a blogger and mental health professional. I strive to make the parenting journey easier and more enjoyable by using my background in mental health and my experience as a mom of 2.

    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.

  6. Fransic verso – A lifestyle, DIY blogger, and entertainer.

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

  7. serenarogers19 – Writer, Poet and Blogger; Exploring my passion for writing, whilst inspiring people to find there own...

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

  8. Rikki Ridgeway – Hello world! Just a stay at home mom, trying to survive this motherhood life. I hope you enjoy my journey, and will follow along.

    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.

  9. My Path To Travel – Denmark – Hi, I'm Karen, and independent travel is my passion. My goal is to share travel tips, destination guides and offer one to one help for over 50s so they too can live their travel dreams. Over the past 20 years, I've visited 74 countries, travelling solo, long term, short term, with friends, my partner and even on an overland truck for six months. If you want all the best advice to travel longer, further and most importantly, safely My Path To Travel is the website for you.

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

  10. JMXZKYL – Taguig, Philippines

    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! 🙂

  11. 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.

  12. iamShielaMae – Hello! I am Shiela Mae Ocbeña-Alas. Full-time freelancer since 2016. Talent acquisition/Candidate sourcing Ninja. Blogger & content writer on the side. An aspiring web designer/developer unicorn. In short, a true-blooded multipotentialite. And, I'm a first-time soon-to-be mom!

    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!

  13. sumit walia – Passionate about photography and travel. An ardent blogger, traveller, photographer, animal lover and reader. This blog is an outreach to connect with like-minded individuals as well as enthusiasts and clients.

    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?

  14. aisasami – Japan

    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.

  15. Neil Alvin Nicerio – I'm a travel blogger based in the Philippines. Join me as we explore the Philippines and the world!

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

  16. mariah krystal – My name is Mariah, im a 28-year-old university graduate, wife, and stay at home mom of two. I started mariahkrystal.com because of my love for writing and sharing with others online. You might leave here crying, laughing, or inspired. Either way, I hope you get something out of coming here. Writing is my favorite form of expression, after all, so let’s talk about it!

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

  17. Shelley from Sailing Andromeda – Bend, OR – Muffins mean yes.

    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.

  18. amayszingblogs – Music Gigs Travel Life

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

  19. Polly – Philippines – Polly Amora is the señorita behind GoldenIslandSenorita.Net and the general manager of a privately-owned company in Manila, Philippines. She is a lifelong learner who is very outgoing, speaks four languages, is loud and outspoken, and loves to have adventures in the mountains, on the beach, and in the city. You can throw her anywhere, and she'll handle it like a pro. Ice cream and beer are two of her weaknesses.

    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!

  20. 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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