If you’re planning a vacation to the Grand Canyon, it’s a good idea to start putting your itinerary together now. There are so many exciting adventures to have in this popular tourist location. The Grand Canyon is a gateway to experiencing nature and the spectacular wonders in the area. To help you get an idea of the most memorable experiences possible while you’re there, we’ve put together a guide to the 20 best things to do at the Grand Canyon you help you get started.
20. Go Hiking in the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park offers a variety of different hiking trails. You will have your choice of all levels of difficulty as you explore the undeveloped backcountry of the park. It’s like a dreamland for hikers and backpackers. You can obtain a free mark at the entrance of the park to show you each of the available hiking trails.
19. Go on a Desert Jeep Tour of the Grand Canyon
You can schedule a Jeep tour of the magnificent Grand Canyon to give you a more extensive view of the many wonders there. Experienced guides are available to take you through the various landmarks and attractions within the park. You’ll see various types of wildlife, scenic vistas, and plants that are native to the area.
18. Experience the Grand Canyon Skywalk
The Grand Canyon Skywalk is not for the faint of heart, but it offers an unforgettable experience. The skywalk is a walkway that stretches nearly 70 feet over the canyon in the western part of the Park. The walkway gives you the sensation of being suspended in midair because it is made of 4-inch thick glass. It’s one of the most spectacular views if you’re not afraid of heights.
17. Take a bicycle tour of the Grand Canyon
If you’re a bicycle enthusiast there will be plenty of opportunities to cycle through the park. You can either brink your own bike or take advantage of the bike rentals available throughout the park. You can go it on your own or schedule a cycling tour.
16. Tour the Grand Canyon via Helicopter
Another exciting adventure that you might want to consider is taking an aerial tour of the Grand Canyon. Day trips are available that include flying over the canyon and spending the day rafting the Colorado River at Grand Canyon West. Plan on spending a full day if you opt for this activity.
15. Float the Colorado River
You don’t have to book a helicopter flight to float the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon. This is one of the most popular activities at the Park. There are plenty of professional and experienced rafting guides happy to take you on a float down the river.
14. Spend a few days camping
Another fun and exciting way to experience the Grand Canyon is to spend a few days of your trip camping under the stars at an RV Park. There are plenty of options for tenting or bringing your RV. Sites are well-maintained for your convenience and enjoyment.
13. Schedule scenic drives through Grand Canyon National Park
If you arrive by car, one of the best ways to see the Grand Canyon is to take a day-long, or several days, a scenic drive of the area. There are so many roads going through the park and the surrounding areas that you’ll never run out of new places to explore. This is a good way to see places that feature hidden areas that are less crowded.
12. Ride the Grand Canyon Train
The Grand Canyon Train is one of the most popular activities for tourists. The Grand Canyon Railway ride offers you the opportunity for adventure, sightseeing, and learning more about the fascinating history of the Grand Canyon. This is an experience that will leave you with lasting memories, so bring your camera along to take pictures.
11. Book a tour of the Grand Canyon by mule
No trip to the Grand Canyon is complete without a Mule tour of the Canyon. This is an adventure that you can book to have knowledgeable guides take you on an exploration of the Grand Canyon National Park and its various trails on the back of a mule. You’ll get an overview of the significance of certain landmarks on your journey.
10. Visit Grand Canyon Village
Grand Canyon Village is the top attraction that is absolutely free of charge. This is a historic neighborhood near the Grand Canyon, that serves as the entryway into the Grand Canyon National Park. You’ll see some amazing views of the canyon while you’re there. While you’re there you can tour the Grand Canyon Railway Depot, and shop for authentic Native American souvenirs. Also, visit the Hopi House where you’ll find Hopi arts and crafts.
9. Tour the North Rim on your own
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a free excursion that you can do on your own. There are breathtaking viewpoints to behold. Although there are not many facilities in this area, it is an undeveloped part of the canyon and you can get a good view of Roaring Springs, which is the only water source in the North Rim area. It’s peaceful and quiet at the North Rim. There are a few rentals available if you want to stay away from the crowds.
8. Hike the Bright Angel Trail
The Bright Angel trail is one of the most popular hiking destinations at the Grand Canyon. You can hike the trail on your own, or schedule a tour if you prefer to be escorted by a guide. The trail begins west of the Bright Angel Lodge and runs to Plateau Point. You can see some wonderful views of the river. The duration of this trail is 6 miles one way. If you plan to hike the entire distance of the trail, it might be a good idea to bring camping gear and spend a night. You can schedule an overnight trip and ride in on a mule with an experienced guide.
7. Visit Lees Ferry
Lee’s Ferry is located in Glen Canyon and it’s a place with road access that allows you to drive directly to the Colorado River. At Lees Ferry, there is a unique geographic attraction. It’s where a natural corridor between the states of Arizona and Utah has formed.
6. Visit the Parashant National Monument
The Parashant National Monument is another attraction worth seeing when you’re visiting the Grand Canyon. It’s located on the northern edge of the canyon. This landmark has grat significant value as it was established by Presidential Proclamation at the start of 2000.
5. Take a tour of Tuweep
The Tuweep tour is another adventure that comes highly recommended. This is a tour that you will need to book in advance, but the professional and experienced tour guides also provide you with a sack lunch and water. They takin you on a tour of some of the most unique features of the canyon with breathtaking views, and a tour of a working cattle ranch. You get to see an old homestead, and also view the petroglyphs that were discovered on the walls in the canyon. It’s interesting and you’ll want to get plenty of pictures of this tour.
4. Walk the Trail of Time
The trail of Time is another fun activity that you should consider. It’s a free walk that is paved for walking comfort and convenience. The duration is 2.83 miles. While on the walk, you will see interpretive signs along with spectacular views of the Grand Canyon. The walk also takes you on a tour of the geologic timeline of the region with the geologic history of the canyon expressed in millions of years. You’ll also see unique rocks with explanations about how each was formed. This is a dream walk for anyone who has an interest in geology and history. If you’re a rock hound you’ll feel as though you’ve gone to heaven and entered paradise.
3. Visit the Navajo National Monument
The Navajo National Monument gives you a glimpse into an ancient world. This popular tourist attraction is an 800-year old infrastructure that has been well-preserved through the centuries. It stands as a celebration of the cultural heritage of the Navajo Nation. You can explore the 13th-century pueblos along with other archaeological finds documenting the history of the people of the Navajo nation for several thousand years in the past. The Navajo National Monument is an excellent attraction to visit if you have an interest in the history of the ancient people that populated the area hundreds of years ago. It stands as a testament to their existence.
2. Tour Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Another amazing wonder at the Grand Canyon is the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. This area was once uninhabitable after a devastating volcanic eruption took place centuries ago. It happened around the year 1085 and changed the landscape, as well as the lives of the inhabitants and wildlife of the region. It left behind pointed desert vistas of the Wupatki and lovey red rocks in the landscape. While you’re visiting the monument, you can explore the Bonito lava flow. You’ll find other interesting features of the volcanic region. There was another volcano in the area called the Lenox Crater Volcano. The land was active with a variety of eruptions that took place between 100 and 1100. This area was once the home of people who farmed the land. It is believed that archaeologists found evidence of people from the Sinagua culture. Wildlife has returned to the area now filled with jagged rock surfaces and evidence of the volcanic activity centuries ago. Animals now occupy the caves and burrows that were created during this volatile period.
1. Visit the Wupatki National Monument
No trip to the Grand Canyon is complete without a visit to the Wuptki National Monument. This is an attraction you’ll want to bring your camera for. It is one of the biggest Pueblos in existence on the Colorado Plateau. The site was once the home of around one hundred residents. This was estimated to be during the era of the 1100s. Wupatki served as a cultural center for these people. This was the home of some of the richest and influential people in the region. According to the evidence retrieved by archaeologists, the area featured a dense population in a thriving community. It is believed that due to the Sunset Crater Volcano eruption, families relocated to this area to establish a new life after losing their homes in the volcanic eruption. It was an agricultural community that spread out across the region. Evidence of homes buried partway in the earth was discovered, along with several larger pueblos and even smaller pit houses and pueblos. Evidence of expanding trade networks was found, along with exotic items that were retrieved from the ruins. Eventually, the inhabitants of this area moved on. It is believed that around 1,250 there was a migration to some other region. The reasons for the exit of these inhabitants are still unknown.