Things To Do

 
Several people are walking along the canyon rim behind a stone guard wall. The canyon is visible on the left
Taking a walk in the South Rim Historic District.
There are many ways to experience Grand Canyon.

Individual interests, available time, and the weather can all influence a visit.

Here are some suggestions to assist you in personalizing your experience.
Choose Your Destination: --South Rim --- North Rim
 

The South Rim and Desert View (Open All Year)

 
Ranger
Attend Free Ranger Programs
Learn more about the the nature, science, history and culture of Grand Canyon with a park ranger as your guide. View our current Ranger Program Schedules

Learn how youth can become Junior Rangers --------
 
Kolb Studio
Stop by the visitor center or one of the museums

The South Rim offers a variety of museums and information centers that house exhibits and provide park information. Learn more about visitor centers.

Learn about South Rim bookstores and gift shops.
 
Auditorium seating
Watch the park orientation film:

Grand Canyon: A Journey of Wonder, shown at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center.
The movie is 20 minutes long and starts on the hour and half-hour. The first showing begins at 9 am and the last showing is at 4 pm daily.
 
D7270
Walking or Hiking

Walk part of the well defined, and mostly level Rim Trail, starting from any viewpoint in the village or along the historic Hermit Road and greenway. Day hike in and around the canyon or backpack overnight below the rim. (permit required)
 
close-up of a mule's head.

South Rim Mule Trips are offered year round.

The Canyon Vistas Ride is a 3 hour trip that travels along the canyon rim.
Overnight Rides go to the bottom of the canyon and stay at Phantom Ranch. More..

 
Trail of Time Logo
Walk the Trail of Time

between Yavapai Museum of Geology and Verkamps Visitor Center 1.2 miles (2 km) along the canyon rim. View photos here. The path contains information about the canyon's geologic history, as well as samples from each layer of the canyon. More...
 
Bright Angel Bicycle Rental Logo
Did you bring your bicycle with you? Read about South Rim bicycling.

Also available are bicycle rentals & guided bicycle tours, weather permitting. Bright Angel Bicycles is located by the Visitor Center. They also operate a coffee bar/café with a "grab & go" menu targeted towards bicyclists and pedestrians.
 
Bus on Hermit Road
Tour the Scenic Hermit Road

Offering some of the best scenic views that are available, Free shuttle bus service runs March 1 - Nov. 30, with the road closed to private vehicles. Commercial bus tours are available, or travel by foot, or bicycle. More...
 
Scenic Drive Desert View
Take a trip out on the Scenic Desert View Drive

East of Grand Canyon Village, tour in your private vehicle or by commercial bus tour 25 miles (42 km) one-way. Views of the river at Moran, Lipan and Desert View Points. You may exit or enter the park to the east. (via Arizona highways 64 and 89)
 
Watchtower
At Desert View Point,
climb to the top of a 70 ft. tall (21.5 m) stone Watchtower for a panoramic view that extends for more than 100 miles on a clear day. The historic Watchtower is a replica of the prehistoric towers found on the Colorado Plateau and was designed in 1932 by legendary architect, Mary Jane Colter.
 
orange colored prehistoric bowl from the Grand Canyon.
Tusayan Ruin
is the remains of a small Ancestral Puebloan village located 3 miles (5 km) west of Desert View. Tusayan Museum has exhibits that help bring the pueblo to life. Admission is free. Hours: 9 am to 5 pm. There are also ranger-led tours of the ruins daily More...
 
Boaters on the Colorado River.
Whitewater and Smoothwater raft trips on the Colorado River
Whitewater trips through Grand Canyon last from 3 days to 21 days and require reservations well in advance. Half-day smoothwater trips from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry may be arranged by any Lodge in the park transportation from park lodges to the Dam is included.
 
Man photographing the Grand Canyon.
Visit a Grand Canyon Photo Hot Spot. Lighting is the key to all good photos. When it comes to the Grand Canyon, the lighting is more dramatic during the early morning and the late afternoon. Long shadows bring out depth and texture.
 
Grand Canyon Field Institute Class
Participate in a Grand Canyon Association Field Institute Learning Adventure
The Grand Association Canyon Field Institute offers guided educational tours led by expert instructors while backpacking, camping, hiking, and whitewater rafting. Topics include geology, history, archaeology, photography, and more.
 
Grand Canyon Railway on the way to the park.
Journey to Grand Canyon National Park aboard Grand Canyon Railway
From Williams, Arizona (along Interstate 40) the Grand Canyon Railway carries more than 230,000 people by rail to Grand Canyon National Park each year.
Learn more...
 

The North Rim (has a short season) May 15 through October 15 each year.

The North Rim is Closed for the Winter

The North Rim will open for the 2018 season on May 15, 2018.

 
Entrance to the North Rim Visitor Center

The North Rim Visitor Center is located adjacent to the parking lot on Bright Angel Peninsula. This is a great place to start your adventure on the North Rim. Speak with a ranger who will be happy to help with questions you may have about the area. The Visitor Center also features interpretive exhibits, maps, brochures and a bookstore.

 
Ranger led walks and talks
Free Interpretive Ranger Programs
are offered daily throughout the season; between May 15th and October 15.
Visit the Park Ranger Program webpage for the current schedule.
 
Several day hikers on the paved footpath to Bright Angel Point, North Rim Grand Canyon visible in the distance on the right.

Take a day hike through this beautiful scenery. Experience the wild and remote feeling of the North Rim. Solitude can be found hiking the trails, and enjoying an awe-inspiring view. Watch mule deer and turkeys feeding in mountain meadows. Enjoy, discover, and celebrate the unique world of the North Rim.

 
close-up of a mule's head.

North Rim Mule Trips are offered May 15 through October 15, every year.
One Hour Ride Grand Canyon rim. 1/2 Day Trip to Uncle Jim Point
Inner-Canyon 1/2 Day Trip to Supai Tunnel on the North Kaibab Trail More..

 
North Rim Scenic Drive

Tour the North Rim Scenic Drive (photos here)
During the season, Point Imperial and Cape Royal are reached via a winding scenic drive. Driving to both points, with short walks at each and several stops at pullouts along the way, can take half a day. Point Imperial is 11 miles/ 18km - 20 min. one way. Cape Royal is 23 miles/ 37km - 45 min. one way.

 

The North Rim has a short season (May 15 through October 15)

The North Rim Is harder to get to, and is more wild and secluded.

  • North Rim restaurants, lodging and store are open from May 15 through October 15 of each year.
  • Reservations are strongly recommended.
    North Rim Lodging reservations. -- North Rim Campground reservations. -- Driving Directions
    Additional facilities are available in the surrounding Kaibab National Forest, the Kaibab Lodge area, and Jacob Lake.
  • The North Rim is over 8000 feet/2438 m. in elevation.
    Visitors with respiratory or heart problems may experience difficulties. Walking at this elevation can be strenuous.
  • "Shoulder Season" visits to the North Rim :
    There is a dawn to dusk day use period - with limited services - beginning after the lodge closes on October 15 and lasting through November 30, or until snow closes highway 67 - whichever happens first.

    Even though it is not possible to drive vehicles to the North Rim during the winter, hikers, snowshoers and cross country skiers are able to enter the North Rim of the park through the winter months, provided backcountry permits have been obtained. Personal snowmobiles are not permitted inside the park. The North Rim reopens on May 15 of every year.
  • Learn more about the North Rim and watch a video.

 
family of 4 with 2 girls in between parents, grand canyon in background

"Traveling Green"
is a great way to help Grand Canyon and other areas you visit reduce carbon emissions, divert and reduce what goes into the waste stream, and to generally help the environment. Go to the Traveling Green page for helpful tips on planning your next green adventure.

Thanks for doing what you can to help protect our environment!

Last updated: November 30, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Phone:

(928) 638-7888

Contact Us