Beyond Gazing: Activities to Enjoy at the Grand Canyon

Beyond Gazing: Activities to Enjoy at the Grand Canyon

Natural Wonders 2024-03-12

After completing the extensive journey to the Grand Canyon, a destination that has been on your list for a long time, you find yourself standing at the edge of the massive, 18-mile-wide gorge in the earth. Admiring its array of hues for an hour, with the Colorado River running through its center like a green ribbon, you may start to ponder, "What now?" While the Grand Canyon is a popular tourist spot in the United States, many visitors merely take a quick photo before departing without fully exploring all the wonders this remarkable location has to offer. Here's your ultimate guide on activities to engage in at the Grand Canyon aside from simply gazing at its beauty. Let's get to the point!

Are you ready for an amazing Grand Canyon experience like never before? Join us in exploring all the wonders it has to offer!

Experience a river trip on the Colorado River

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A journey down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon provides a unique opportunity to explore remote areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Trips typically range from 3 to 18 days in duration, with shorter 1-2 day options available as well. These excursions offer a personalized experience, with some tours focusing on exhilarating rapids and tight schedules, while others prioritize a more relaxed pace for leisurely enjoyment. Both motorized and traditional paddle rafts are utilized, catering to different preferences. It's recommended to select an itinerary that balances time on the water with opportunities to uncover the canyon's hidden treasures. Start your day with sunrise views, savor coffee by the riverbanks, and dine as the sunset bathes the canyon in warm hues. Sleep under a sky filled with twinkling stars, nestled between the towering canyon walls. This adventure is an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Embark on a hike

Exploring the Grand Canyon through hiking presents an excellent opportunity to marvel at this breathtaking natural wonder, but caution is advised. A number of its trails are rigorous and not suited for novices. Among these, the renowned Rim to Rim route stands out as it spans the entire Grand Canyon and typically takes hikers 2-3 days to complete. On the other hand, there are milder trails, such as the 1.2-mile Trail of Time, which provides insights into the area's geological past. For stunning vistas with minimal effort, the Bright Angel Point Trail, found on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, is recommended, especially during sunset.

It's important to note that any trail descending below the rim and winding towards the canyon base can pose risks for inexperienced hikers. Although the descent may seem straightforward, ascending can be physically demanding and consume more time. Moreover, the region can reach scorching temperatures of up to 120°F during summer. Before embarking on your hiking adventures, it's essential to review the suggestions provided by park rangers.

Opt for a cabin stay or a historic lodge accommodation

There are some really amazing places to stay in and around the Grand Canyon, although some accommodations are more challenging to access than others. Several historic cabins can be found along the North Rim, all part of the impressive North Rim Lodge (also an amazing spot for lunch). This cozy accommodation is nestled in nature with unique shops to visit like the Roughrider Saloon, Deli in the Pines, and Post Office. A definite highlight is the opportunity to wake up to the sunrise over the canyon every morning.

For those seeking an adventure, there is no better place to stay at the Grand Canyon than Phantom Ranch. Located at the bottom of the canyon, these cabins are rugged but provide hot water and breathtaking natural views. In addition, guests can enjoy a fantastic fireside dinner at their Canteen. Accessing Phantom Ranch requires a challenging 7.5-mile hike from the South Rim or a 10-mile hike from the North Rim. Alternatively, visitors can opt for one of the popular mule rides. Whichever option you select, it's crucial to plan and secure reservations well in advance.

Explore from Rim to Rim by car

The North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon offer contrasting climates and experiences. The South Rim features desert landscapes with vibrant sunset hues and scrub brush, while the North Rim is surrounded by picturesque pine trees and receives snow during winter. The North Rim closes temporarily during snowy months. Take a four-hour drive between the two rims to appreciate their unique characteristics and decide on your favorite. Along the way, you can explore attractions, such as Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and the pine-filled Kaibab Plateau, where bison roam freely.

If you prefer a shorter journey, explore Grand Canyon National Park's scenic driving routes. Desert Drive, spanning 23 miles along State Route 64, offers six scenic viewpoints and multiple picnic areas along the canyon rim. Notable stops include Navajo Point, showcasing the Desert View Watchtower, and Cape Royal road on the North Rim, providing stunning views from the highest point in the Grand Canyon at Point Imperial.

Discover Grand Canyon Village

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Situated on the South Rim, Grand Canyon Village is a historic town located in the center of the park. Its growth commenced in the early 20th century after the Santa Fe Railroad's arrival. Today, visitors can visit various attractions, such as Hopi House, Bright Angel Lodge, the old Train Depot, and one of the two art studios that overlook the canyon. While it may be pricey, staying here for a night or two is an excellent choice for a more in-depth exploration or witnessing an iconic Grand Canyon sunrise. If you're looking for dining options nearby, you can drive just seven miles down the road to Hermit's Nest.

Explore the Grand Canyon Skywalk

Explore the spectacular Grand Canyon from an elevation of 4,000 feet by visiting the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Walk out onto the cantilever glass bridge and venture to its edge for a thrilling experience. You will have a view of iconic formations, such as the Princess and Eagle Rock beneath the transparent glass bridge. It's recommended to visit the Skywalk when it opens for a less crowded experience, as it tends to get busy later in the day. Please note that this attraction is not situated inside the Grand Canyon National Park or affiliated with it, but is operated by the Hualapai Tribe.

Take a journey on the Grand Canyon Railway

Starting from the center of Grand Canyon Village, the Grand Canyon Railway remains as a reminder of a past era when it initially welcomed the first visitors to the Grand Canyon. Travelers have the option to select from six distinct train cars that have been meticulously restored, such as the Observation Dome and Luxury Parlor. The railway follows a sole route from Williams, AZ, heading nearly 65 miles straight to the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon. Each journey lasts approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, providing passengers with entertainment throughout the trip, including cowboy antics, live music, and breathtaking views along the way.

Enjoy cross-country skiing

While the Grand Canyon is typically associated with a desert climate, the North Rim receives significant snowfall during winter, sometimes up to 8 feet. Enjoy the rare sight of snow-covered views of the canyon and thick pine forests while skiing. In the past, the North Rim Lodge used to offer Nordic ski lessons but now closes for winter from October 31st onwards. The only way to access the park and its trails during this season is by skiing or walking from the Highway 67 entrance. The journey from Jacob's Lake to the North Rim spans 30 miles on skis, but the unique experience makes the effort worthwhile.

Admire the view from above

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Looking for the ultimate Grand Canyon experience? Consider taking a helicopter tour for unparalleled panoramic views. This adventure allows you to soar above not only the Grand Canyon but also other picturesque locations, such as the Hoover Dam, Kaibab National Forest, Desert Watchtower, and the extensive Dragon Corridor. Perfect for those with limited time, helicopter tours offer a condensed yet breathtaking glimpse of the stunning landscapes. Typically lasting between 45 minutes to an hour, these flights deliver a remarkable visual feast.

Upgrade your travel experience with enjoy seamless parking!

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In addition to our ultimate travel guide, we would also like to provide you with some more useful information on traveling, which will be handy for those who prefer doing this by air.

If you use your own car to reach the airport, you know it's critical to park it safely for the duration of your trip. Almost every airport has special on-site parking for this purpose. However, travelers aren't ready to spend a lot of money at the beginning of their trip, as this option is pretty costly. So what should we do then?

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What is actually off-site parking, and which advantages has this parking type, you may ask? So let's take a closer look at this question.

First of all, off-site parking is much cheaper. So you can save money and then spend the most considerable amount on the things you really want to try or see while traveling.

Secondly, off-site parking services are faster. It might seem that it's faster to park your car at the airport, but that's not always the case. Off-site parking offers you the following convenience: when you drive directly up to the entrance, a staff member pulls your luggage out of your vehicle and loads it into the shuttle. Then they park your car for you. After your baggage is loaded, you can take your seat in the shuttle, which will bring you and your bags to the airport. It's a hassle-free option that is usually faster.

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Thirdly, it's much more convenient. People are always stressed before the trip, as there are many things you should keep in mind. Not to be late when taking off, fighting traffic, finding a parking place, wondering how long the shuttle service will take, and more can leave you annoyed before you step foot inside the airport. If you choose off-site parking, you are using the assistance of a private company that caters to travelers' needs. Such services can make your trip much more comfortable when you arrive at the airport and return home.

With, it takes just a few clicks within the application to reserve a parking spot. Upon arrival at off-airport parking, customers receive a booking confirmation and a guaranteed parking spot. The app helps customers find the most convenient airport parking lots. If plans change, cancellations are hassle-free and refundable.

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Let's look at an example. Imagine that you live in San Jose, California. If you're planning a trip to Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, you can choose cheap parking near SJC Airport. If you're coming from Portland, Oregon, the situation is the same – you can use affordable PDX valet parking. So it depends just on where you are flying from.

On our official website, you can find the best deals, domestic airport parking charges, and other information connected with parking near US and Canadian airports.