Even the most skeptical of travelers becomes awestruck at the sight of the Grand Canyon’s massive expanse of gorges, ridges and rock formations. So simply enjoying the view—from a variety of vantage points—is an activity that could take hours. One of the best ways to admire the canyon is on a hiking tour that takes you to the bottom.
For most people, a visit to the Grand Canyon is to the south rim rather than the remote north rim, approaching either along US 180 from Flagstaff and the south or AZ 64 from Williams and the west.
But south rim is not the only destinations at Grand Canyon. In this article, we have compiled 5 most visited places at the park, just for you.
Located on the South Rim and known as one of the best spots at Grand Canyon to take pictures, Mather Point is by far the most visited section of the Grand Canyon, offering many trails and overlooks, and all necessary facilities including hotels, shops, shuttle buses, and a historic railway.
On the south side of the Colorado River, the panorama at Mather Point extends from the lower end of Garden Creek taking in some of the Bright Angel Trail, over the deep canyon of Pipe Creek and eastwards to Cedar Ridge/O’Neill Butte, along which runs the South Kaibab Trail starting from the next point to the east – Yaki. Some of the Tonto Trail is also in view, near Pipe Creek. On the North Rim, the vista is centered on the long, straight Bright Angel Creek, flowing for 10 miles between a collection of tall red buttes and other ravines.
Grand Canyon Village
Grand Canyon Village is the most popular entryway into the park and, as such, often suffers from heavy crowds during the peak seasons in spring, summer and fall. But there’s a reason the area is so appealing. It’s home to Yavapai Point, one of the best places to view the canyon. If you don’t like camping but want to stay within the park, you should consider looking for lodging here. (Take note: Lodging within the park can be very expensive).
If you’re staying elsewhere, anticipate spending at least half a day visiting the village’s sights. Stop by the rustic Grand Canyon Railway Depot, which welcomes Grand Canyon Railway passengers to the village. Here, you’ll learn about how the expansion of the railroad had an impact on Grand Canyon tourism.
For authentic Native American souvenirs, head to the Hopi House, an adobe-style building representing a traditional Hopi crafts studio. Meanwhile, art aficionados should stop by the Kolb and Lookout studios for works of art inspired by the Grand Canyon.
Bright Angel Trail
Take this steep trail, which starts just west of the Bright Angel Lodge in Grand Canyon Village, to Plateau Point for some great views of the river.
But you should be warned: The Bright Angel Trail is a little more than 6 miles long one-way, and both recent visitors and travel experts say that attempting to hike to the river and back in one day is not a good idea. Make sure to pack camping gear if you plan on going all the way to Plateau Point and carry plenty of water with you – some rest stops along the trail only offer water seasonally.
For a unique Grand Canyon experience, consider traveling the Bright Angel Trail by mule. Riders are taken to Phantom Ranch for an overnight stay, with a lunch break at Indian Garden. While trips are usually safe, those who are not used to spending time in a saddle may find the ride grueling. The overnight, 10 ½-mile and 5 ½-hour ride costs $588.43 per person. Xanterra Parks & Resorts offers additional mule ride options that vary in price and duration. Visit its website for more details.
Grand Canyon Visitor Center
Who better than the Official Visitor Center to help you create the trip of a lifetime? This is where your Grand Canyon adventure begins.
The Visitor Center, located in Arizona at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is the first place for guests to stop, both online and offline, to find the most comprehensive information to help create their Grand Canyon experience.
The local representatives that are on staff have lived in the area of the Grand Canyon for a long time and have experienced all that the National Park and surrounding areas offer. They are a great source of information and can offer guests excellent advice about traveling in and around the Grand Canyon areas.
SWEETours is currently offering a Summer Special on both our South Rim and West Rim tours! Talk to one of our customer service agents for more info.
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source: americansouthwest.net, usnews.com, explorethecanyon.com