- NOTE: This page has information to help you plan your trip. But if you want a daily itinerary, along with an audio tour, see our must-have travel guide of the Grand Canyon.
The first time you see the Grand Canyon it will take your breath away. It is one of the most amazing sites you’ll see in your life.
Most people will see it for a few hours and move on. But there is so much more to the canyon than just the views.
The charming Grand Canyon village is like a trip back in time. Daily steam engines arrive while mules wait to carry riders to the bottom of the canyon. Thirsty elk meander through the village looking for precious water.
The best thing to do at the Grand Canyon is to see it! There are plenty of viewpoints, and they’re all great. But the trick is getting variety and enjoying the canyon in different ways.
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Everyone knows about the Grand Canyon: it’s one of the Seven Wonders of the natural world. It is 277 miles long, running from Glen Canyon Dam in Utah to Hoover Dam in Nevada. It’s 11 miles wide (in some spots), and nearly a mile deep (in some spots).
There are FOUR sections of the Grand Canyon:
- South Rim. The National Park owns this and it’s the most visited section in the park by far.
- North Rim. The National Park also owns this and it receives only 10% of the total park visitors, making it a nice escape from the crowds.
- Grand Canyon West. This is owned by two Indian Tribes: Hualapai and Havasupai. Popular attractions here are the Skywalk and Havasu Falls.
- “Grand Canyon East.” This is an informal designation. Some of this area is Tribal land, some of it is federal land. Popular sites include Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Navajo Bridge, and Lee’s Ferry.
The National Park
The National Park contains only the central portion of this massive canyon: the North and South rims. The rest is owned by Native American tribes or is classified as monuments.
The South Rim is the most visited and provides the most iconic views you typically see online. Mather Point is the most popular viewpoint, but there are many. It also has the Grand Canyon Village (video), home of the elegant El Tovar hotel. Hermit’s Rest and Desert View watchtower also dot the south rim.
You can see the North Rim from the South Rim. It’s only 11 miles away as the raven flies (and there are many ravens flying over the canyon), but it takes 4 hours to drive from rim to rim.
The North Rim is all about the atmosphere. It’s less crowded and more relaxing. Grab a drink at the Roughrider saloon and take in views of the canyon from the deck of the Grand Canyon Lodge. The drop-offs aren’t quite as sheer as the south rim, but the views have more colorful red rock and greenery.
- Make your lodging accommodations now on Booking.com. Lodging can fill up fast, don’t leave it to the last minute.
Visiting the National Park
The challenge of the Grand Canyon is it’s so big, it’s hard to wrap your arms around it. Sometimes it feels like we are looking at a painting — look but don’t touch.
Don’t walk away feeling like you just looked at a postcard. Experience the canyon. Get inside the canyon, even for only a short hike. Do a train, bike, or mule ride. Enjoy architectural creations such as Hermit’s Rest and Desert View Tower.
Our travel guide provides a step-by-step itinerary to help you structure your days and get the most out of the park. It also comes with an audio guide to listen to while driving. You’ll hear great stories as well as the history of the park. This is a must for getting the most out of your visit! It’s like having a personal guide in your car, but for a fraction of the cost.
Here are some articles we’ve written that will help you plan your trip.
- 16 awesome things to do at the Grand Canyon
- Where to stay at the Grand Canyon: Options and our recommendations
- Where to eat at the Grand Canyon
- Where to camp at the Grand Canyon
- 15 fun things to do with kids at the Grand Canyon
- Bearizona: the best bear park we’ve ever visited
- Grand Canyon’s Peaceful North Rim: everything you need to know before you go
- 18 Things to do in and around Jacob Lake, AZ
- Hiking in the Grand Canyon: What you need to know (hikes, tips, gear)
- Grand Canyon mule rides: Our review and what you need to know
- How many people have died in the Grand Canyon?
We’ve made many trip-planning videos for the Grand Canyon to help you.
- 4 days in the indescribable Grand Canyon (vlog)
- Grand Canyon: 20 Frequently Asked Questions
- Grand Canyon surprises!
- Grand Canyon: Don’t do these 7 things
- 10 GREAT things to do at the Grand Canyon
- Grand Canyon 101: A beginner’s guide
- What to know about mule rides at the Grand Canyon
- Brighty, the famous Grand Canyon donkey
- What to know about hiking in the Grand Canyon
- What to pack for your National Parks road trip (Arches, Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon)
- Where to stay and camp at the Grand Canyon
- Where to eat at the Grand Canyon
- The Grand Canyon Lodge — North Rim (short)
- Grand Canyon East: Navajo Bridge and Lees Ferry
- Jacob Lake Campground – North Rim (short)
- 10 things to know about Grand Canyon’s North Rim
- The Grand Canyon Village
- Don’t forget to purchase your Grand Canyon Travel Guide! We also sell travel guides to Zion, Bryce Canyon, the Black Hills/Mt Rushmore, and more so check them out too.
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- Are you flying to Utah and need a rental car? Check flight and rental car prices here: Booking.com