Heading to the Grand Canyon? Read these Arizona Grand Canyon Travel Tips before you go!
There is no place on earth that compares to the Grand Canyon. Whether it’s the first or hundredth time you’re visiting, nothing can prepare you for the feelings that you get when you see this vast, majestic canyon!
Now if you’re wondering how to see the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, you have come to the right place! In my free Arizona Grand Canyon Travel Tips you’ll find the best hikes, South Rim viewpoints, exactly what to see in grand canyon in one day + more!
With miles of trails and innumerable scenic viewpoints in a super-sized canyon, the Grand Canyon is really one of the most beautiful and unique national parks in the world!
These Arizona Grand Canyon Travel Tips will help you get the most of your time there! Here are the best hikes, viewpoints, insider tips, day trips from the Grand Canyon, and more!
Arizona Grand Canyon Travel Tips
Best Grand Canyon Hikes – South Rim:
South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge (3 Miles Roundtrip, 1,120 ft elevation change)
Hiking the South Kaibab Trail is my favorite way to get into the Grand Canyon, with unparalleled views. If you want a really incredible experience, start the hike right at sunrise. It’s amazing!
Sunrise along the South Kaibab Trail!
The ‘Ooh Aah Point’ is an interesting place to stop on the way down, and as the name suggests, there are breathtaking views from there.
Cedar Ridge is a great photography spot, with views of the vast canyon and the colorful canyon walls. Typically, it takes twice as much time to hike up a trail than down a trail in the Grand Canyon, so give yourself plenty of time to hike back up!
Rim Trail – Easiest Hike at the Grand Canyon
If you’re not up for a rigorous hike, take the flat Rim Trail running along the top of the canyon for spectacular views with occasional benches along the way. This trail spans 13 miles of the South Rim, from the South Kaibab trailhead to Hermit’s Rest. It runs through the Grand Canyon Village, where you can find water, food, and other amenities.
Grand Canyon Viewpoints – South Rim:
As I mentioned, seeing sunrise at the Grand Canyon is seriously amazing! Yaki Point (which is located near the South Kaibab Trailhead) offers a great view of the sunrise. The sunset there is awesome, too!
To get there you can take the bus from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, or, you can park your car at a small dirt parking lot immediately west of the Yaki Point Road turnoff on the Southern side of Desert View Drive. Then, you can walk for 0.8 miles up to Yaki Point along the Yaki Point Road.
Grand Canyon Village
The Grand Canyon Village is home to many beautiful historic buildings including the El Tovar Hotel, the Grand Canyon Railway Station, the Bright Angel Lodge, and more! Definitely worth spending a few hours exploring the town!
What to Bring to the Grand Canyon:
Okay, now to the essentials! If you’re going to do any hiking whatsoever, you’ll need to bring some sturdy hiking shoes. Also, the Grand Canyon’s high elevation means the weather changes fast – so stay warm with a fleece and dry from the thunderstorms with a rain jacket.
The sun can be pretty intense during the summer months, so don’t forget a pair of sunglasses. Don’t forget – a hiking daypack is your best friend while hiking. In it you’ll carry your camera, fleece, rain jacket, and other belongings. And last, bring a National Geographic Grand Canyon map. It’s highly detailed with all of the trails, and is waterproof and tear-resistant.
Grand Canyon Visitor Guide: Entrance + Things to Know
Entrance is $35, and good for 7 days. You can also buy the “America the Beautiful Pass” at the entrance gate, which is $80 and covers all US national parks for 1 year. If you’re doing a road trip to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas and visiting other national parks along the way, you’ll definitely need this!
The South Rim is approximately 1 1/2 hours from Flagstaff, 3 1/2 hours from Phoenix, and 4 1/4 hours from Las Vegas. Before driving, always double check with google maps and the local radio station for any accidents and road closures.
To get from point to point in the park, hop on the free shuttle bus service. After arriving at your campsite/hotel room, use the bus service to save money on gas.
Grand Canyon Road Trip – Budget Tips, Nearby Destinations, and More
Visiting the Grand Canyon overall is amazing, but getting there should be have the fun! Nothing beats a good old fashioned road trip, especially when a natural wonder like the Grand Canon is involved.
If you don’t live nearby, fly into the nearby airline hubs of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or Phoenix. Note: pick up some Free Southwest Airlines Gift Cards and Free Delta Gift Cards to save money on airfare. From those three cities, you can easily rent a car and drive to the Grand Canyon, while exploring the beautiful and diverse American Southwest landscape!
Now, to the budget tips! I absolutely love finding ways to travel for cheap. It’s so crazy how with a little extra research and preparation, you can save hundreds – or thousands – on any kind of trip! That’s why I compiled my favorite tips for planning a Road Trip on a Budget.
Now, for some nearby destinations. For Native American and volcanic history, check out the Wupatki, Sunset Crater Volcano, and Walnut Canyon National Monuments. For a beautiful red-rock town with even more hiking, check out Sedona. Of course, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks are about 4/12 -5 hours from the Grand Canyon as well.
Wupatki National Monument
Zion National Park
And finally, for visiting the Grand Canyon as part of an epic 14 day road trip from Las Vegas including Nevada, Utah, and Arizona, check out my ultimate itinerary here:
American Southwest Road Trip Itinerary (14 Epic Days)
The Grand Canyon is really one of the most spectacular places to visit in Arizona. When you go, don’t forget to take your best camera and a good pair of broken-in hiking shoes or boots!
Now that you’ve read these Arizona Grand Canyon Travel Tips, don’t stop now! Keep planning your next road trip with these travel tips below…
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