The Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, drawing millions of visitors each year to its breathtaking vistas and awe-inspiring natural beauty. Located in Arizona, USA, the Grand Canyon is over 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep, making it one of the largest canyons in the world. Here are some tips for planning a visit to the Grand Canyon and making the most of your trip.
When to Go
The Grand Canyon is open year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences and what activities you want to do. Spring (March-May) and fall (September-November) are generally the most popular times to visit, with cooler temperatures and fewer crowds than during the summer months. Summer (June-August) is the busiest time, with hot temperatures and larger crowds, but it’s also when many of the park’s activities and programs are available. Winter (December-February) can be cold and snowy, but it’s a great time to see the Grand Canyon’s stunning winter landscapes and participate in winter sports.
Where to Stay
There are a variety of lodging options available at the Grand Canyon, from campgrounds to historic lodges to modern hotels. Inside the park, there are several lodges and campgrounds available, including the historic El Tovar Hotel, Bright Angel Lodge, and Mather Campground. Outside the park, the town of Tusayan offers a range of hotels and restaurants, and the city of Flagstaff, about an hour’s drive away, has even more options. If you’re planning to stay overnight at the Grand Canyon, be sure to make reservations well in advance, especially during the busy summer months.
What to See and Do
The Grand Canyon offers a wide range of activities and attractions, from hiking and camping to scenic drives and helicopter tours. Some of the most popular things to do include:
South Rim Drive: This 23-mile drive along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon offers stunning views of the canyon and several lookout points where you can stop and take in the scenery.
Bright Angel Trail: This popular hiking trail descends into the Grand Canyon and offers stunning views of the canyon’s geology and natural beauty. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear sturdy hiking shoes.
Grand Canyon Skywalk: Located on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Grand Canyon Skywalk is a glass-bottomed bridge that extends 70 feet out over the canyon, offering a thrilling view of the canyon floor below.
Rafting: The Colorado River flows through the Grand Canyon, offering opportunities for both guided and self-guided rafting trips. This is a great way to experience the canyon from a unique perspective and see some of the park’s most remote areas.
Visit Grand Canyon Guide Helicopter and airplane tours offer a bird’s-eye view of the Grand Canyon and can be a great way to see the park’s many natural wonders, including the Colorado River and the iconic Phantom Ranch.
Tips for a Great Visit
Bring plenty of water: The Grand Canyon is located in a desert environment, and it’s important to stay hydrated, especially during the hot summer months. Bring plenty of water with you and drink regularly.
Wear comfortable shoes: Whether you’re hiking or just walking around the park, it’s important to wear comfortable, sturdy shoes that will keep your feet safe and supported.
Be prepared for changing weather: The Grand Canyon is known for its dramatic weather changes, so it’s important to be prepared for everything from hot sun to sudden rain or even snow.
Stay on designated trails: The Grand Canyon is a fragile ecosystem, and it’s important to stay on designated trails to avoid damaging the environment and wildlife.