You may live your life at the Grand Canyon and still not discover all its nooks and crannies. Just to travel from one rim to another takes about 6 hours, without considering the stopovers. This colossal canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and 6,000 feet deep. So obviously you might wonder if it is really possible to visit such an enormous landmark like the Grand Canyon in a single day?
Normally people visiting the Canyon come from all over the and might not have enough time to stay and explore all of its popular sights. So it is imperative to have a plan that will help check out the best of Grand Canyon. Also, most of us will probably visit the Canyon once in our lives so it’s kind of a given that we make the most of it, right?
So how do you do that? It is actually really simple. You just need to plan out your day just right to cover the best parts of the Canyon. Now, you need to remember that a place like the Grand Canyon is very vast and offers a variety of things to do and plenty of places to visit. Each of you may prefer a different way to spend your day at the Grand Canyon. Here are a few types of trips you can choose from on your day at the canyon.
Tour The South Rim
The Grand Canyon is a stunning sight no matter which side you choose to visit it from. But every rim of the Canyon is unique and offers wonderful views similar to none of the others. This might make picking which rim to visit a difficult task. When it comes to making this decision, the South Rim beats out all the other rims. The Grand Canyon South Rim is the most popular part of the canyon and offers the most scenic views, due to which a lot of movies have been shot here too. Its popularity has promoted the commercial development of the South Rim, as a result, it is more convenient in terms of tourist facilities.
The South Rim has many incredible sights for you. Here are a few best ones I would recommend so that you won’t be overwhelmed on your first visit.
Mather Point – Situated by Grand Canyon Visitor’s Centre, it is the closest viewpoint to Grand Canyon Village. Mather Point is the perfect place to start, with views that will leave you amazed. It is the most famous viewpoint, equipped with a viewing platform and binoculars.
Lipan Point – If you loved the views from Mather Point, just wait till you get to Lipan Point. This point is where you will get the most expansive view of the canyon. Lipan Point offers perfect postcard-worthy views and will probably end up being the place where you spend most of your time.
Desert View Watch Tower
This is a must-visit spot that should be on everybody’s list. This iconic Native American-inspired watchtower also offers amazing views from the observational point. You can even see the Colorado River make a big bend to the West. It also includes some other interesting points like the Indian ruins and museum dedicated to the ancient Pueblo Indians.
Take a Hike
Did you know that out of the 5 million people who visit the Grand Canyon only 3% venture to take a hike? Though you may get great views from the top of the Canyon the only way to explore the crevices and ridges is a hike. As you hike down the rim of the canyon you will find a deeper connection with it.
What makes the Grand Canyon so great for hiking is that it has different trails suitable to how much of activity you would prefer. Here are a few trails that you can cover in a single according to your abilities.
South Kaibab Trail to OoAh Point
This trail covers 1.8 miles (round-trip). You obviously cannot get to the bottom and back to the top in such a short time. But there is just enough descent to get remarkable views that you would never get from the top.
If your health isn’t up to the mark to take a laborious hike, you can walk along the Rim Trail instead. Just get onboard the red shuttle bus towards Hermit’s Rest; you can get out at any of the stops. The best part is you can walk along the trail in either direction. If you get tired, just catch a bus back to the village. This hike would cover about 0.3 – 12.8 miles.
Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point
Now if you are someone who loves to hike and are fit enough to handle the big ones, the Bright Angel Trail is for you. Dive into the Grand Canyon as you pass the lush oasis of Indian Garden. This hike is rugged and will cover 12 miles on a round-trip. You will need to get an early start as this is an all-day hike.
Here’s a few things to remember when hiking through the Grand Canyon –
- Be prepared for your hike as hiking in the canyon is often harder than you expect.
- Be sure to drink water to remain hydrated and eat enough to keep up your energy.
- Apply sunscreen and wear a hat to protect yourself from the harsh sunlight.
A Few Other Options
If walking around or hiking is not how you would like to spend your day at the Grand Canyon, there are other options as well. As I said, the Grand Canyon is huge and it offers a lot of option for everyone!
Take A Shuttle Bus – You can use the free shuttle provided by the park to explore the Grand Canyon. It is an excellent bus service and the most convenient way to travel through the park without having to exert yourself. You can also opt for the bus tours which would include a guide to provide you additional info. These buses follow several routes that will take you to all the main observation points and historic buildings and museums.
Walk The Trail Of Time – As much as the Grand Canyon is known for its natural beauty, it is also famous for its impressive history. This special section of the rim trail falling between Yavapai Geology Museum and Verkamps Visitor Center is a great way to learn more about this place. Find out about the history and geology with trail markers representing the history of the canyon, rock samples collected from each layer and much more.
Take A Bike Tour
Another fun way to explore the canyon rim is to take a cycle tour. The Grand Canyon also lets you rent bicycles or allows you to bring your own if you prefer. There are several designated bike trails in the National Park. Have a unique experience of exploring the Grand Canyon on the bicycle as you make your way through the Greenway Trail.
Get A Helicopter Ride
This is the perfect option if you are short on time. Apart from saving your time, it will also be a thrilling experience to get a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon. We have plenty of helicopter tours starting from Las Vegas. Get stunning aerial views of the Grand Canyon. That’s not all, as you fly to the canyon you will also get some incredible views of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.
Why You Should Select A Tour
Like I’ve mentioned above, that the Grand Canyon is a very vast place and offers plenty to see and do. It can be quite overwhelming to continue through the canyon without any guidance. This is why there are plenty of Grand Canyon Tours available to help you explore the best of Grand Canyon in a day. With the help of a tour, you will not miss out on any of the popular points of the Grand Canyon. Tours that are well-planned save you the hassle of planning and enhance your experience too. With the help a proper guide you can enjoy various interesting facts too. Plus we all need an extra hand to take pictures, right?!