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The Grand Canyon is a continuous succession of tourist attractions. The best light for visiting the Grand Canyon is at sunrise and early morning or late afternoon and sunset.
WHAT TO SEE AT THE SOUTH RIM OF THE GRAND CANYON
Along the South Rim there are numerous scenic spots, accessible by car, which offer spectacular views of the Grand Canyon. Most of these lookout points are located along Desert View Drive (Highway 64) which follows the edge of the canyon for 26 miles (42 km). This is the road, open in every season of the year, that connects the Grand Canyon Village with the east entrance of the park (Desert View).
Starting from the eastern entrance of the park we find some panoramic points that represent the most visited tourist attractions of the Grand Canyon: Desert View, where there is also the Desert View Information Center, open from 9 am to 17 pm, excluding the winter months. Navajo Point, Lipan Point, Tusayan Ruin and Museum. Moran Point, Grandview Point, Yaki Point, Pipe Creek Vista. Mather Point, nearby is the park’s main Visitor Center, Canyon View Information Plaza. It’s open every day of the year from 8 am to 17 pm, reachable only via the free bus or with a short walk. Yavapai Point, from where you can see the Colorado River.
West of Grand Canyon Village, Hermit Road follows the edge of the canyon for 8 miles (13 km) from Grand Canyon Village to Hermits Rest. This road is closed to private traffic, but to visit the scenic spots along the way, you can use a free bus service (free shuttle bus) that stops at all the scenic spots: Trailview Overlook, Maricopa Point, Powell Point, Hopi Point, Pima Point, Hermits Rest.
From Pipe Creek Vista to Hermits Rest a pedestrian path (bicycles are prohibited) follows the edge of the canyon. The part of the path from Pipe Creek Vista to Maricopa Point is paved and largely accessible to wheelchairs. Between Maricopa Point and Hermits Rest, the path is unpaved, narrower and much closer to the edge of the canyon.
TREKKING INSIDE THE CANYON
The trekking itinerary that leads to the base of the canyon is the Bright Angel Trail. From the South Rim it takes about 2 days of arduous journey to reach Colorado and go back, from the North Rim the path is even longer.
WHAT TO SEE AT THE NORTH RIM OF THE GRAND CANYON
Many and less frequented are the tourist attractions of the Grand Canyon along the North Rim. This is the highest edge of the canyon. Here are several vantage points, which allow an overview of the vastness of the Grand Canyon. A scenic road (20 miles long), whose deviation to the east, meets just before reaching the Grand Canyon Lodge, leads to the viewpoint of Point Imperial, the highest viewpoint of the North Rim at 2,684 meters, allows the view of the Painted Desert and the eastern part of the Grand Canyon. Other viewpoints are those of Vista Encantada, Roosevelt Point, Walhalla Overlook, Angels Window and Cape Royal, here the view embraces much of the Grand Canyon.
Just beyond the detour to the east, another road to the west, this time a dirt road suitable only for four-wheel drive vehicles, reaches the Sublime Point in 17 miles (about 2 hours one way). This is the most western panoramic point of the North Rim.
Continuing along the main road you reach the Grand Canyon Lodge. Here near the parking lot of the Bright Angel Peninsula is the North Rim Visitor Center (open from mid-May to mid-October, from 8 am to 18 pm). From here you can reach, with a short walk, the Bright Angel Point, which offers a wonderful view of the Bright Angel Canyon.
HOW TO GET TO THE GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
HOW TO GET TO THE SOUTH RIM OF THE GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Car: The South Rim is located approximately 60 miles north of Williams, Arizona (via route 64 from Interstate 40) and 80 miles northwest of Flagstaff (via route 180).
Bus: Greyhound has a bus service from Flagstaff. Open Road Tours (800-766-7117) and Flagstaff Express Shuttle services (800-563-1980) have Shuttle services between Phoenix and Flagstaff, and between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon Village.
Train: Amtrak has trains arriving at Flagstaff station with a connecting bus service to the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon Railway has a train service from Williams (1-800-THE-TRAIN).
Airplane: Numerous air flights serve the nearby airports of Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Las Vegas (Nevada). A small airport (Grand Canyon Airport) is located just south of the park and has flights to Las Vegas.
HOW TO GET TO THE NORTH RIM OF GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Car: The North Rim (open only from mid-May to mid-October), is located approximately 30 miles south of Jacob Lake on Highway 67.
Bus: The only public transportation service that serves the North Rim is the Trans Canyon Shuttle (928-638-2820) which connects it with the South Rim. The service is carried out once a day in each direction, the journey takes about 4 and a half hours. The shuttle departs from the North Rim at 7:00 a.m. and arrives at the South Rim at 11:30 a.m .. The bus restarts from the South Rim at 13:30 p.m. and arrives at the North Rim at 18:00 p.m.
Airplane: Numerous air flights serve the airports of Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Las Vegas (Nevada). The small airport of St George, UT has flights from Salt Lake City, UT. (St. George, UT is located 156 miles / 251 km west of the North Rim.)
The climate of the Grand Canyon: when to go