The Grand Canyon is easily one of the more cult National Parks in the United States to visit – and with reason takes your breath away. Completely iconic and huge, there are a bunch of the best things to do in the Grand Canyon that are dotted all over the park. In addition, along with the Hualapai Indian Reserve, the Kaibab National Forest and the Vermilion Cliffs, it is a place where you can spend months exploring.
Best of all, any trip to explore the Grand Canyon can be combined with the colorfulness around it Arizona or head for the bright lights Las Vegas. Whatever the case and wherever you decide to visit, make sure you have enough time to visit the park itself.
Now, with such a spacious park, it can be inconvenient to record a handful of places to visit while traveling.
So, to help you get the most out of your time, I wanted to share some of the main places we loved so much in the Grand Canyon. That way you can spend a lot more time enjoying the park without the hassle of exploring.
Check out the best things you can do in the Grand Canyon below. I wish you an amazing journey.
1.) Desert View Drive
One of the best things you can do in the Grand Canyon if you have a car, Desert View Drive is absolutely stunning to explore. With about a 20-mile drive, through the edge of the Grand Canyon, it’s the kind of ride that’s perfect for some amazing views and the Tusayan Museum.
Easy access by entering Grand Canyon National Park (at the south entrance), you can easily follow the path from Grand Canyon Village to the East Entrance to the park itself.
Along the way you will see the Colorado River, carving an impressive landscape that is just as beautiful. Be sure to visit Moran Point, Lipan Point, Grandview Point and Navajo Points along the route.
Oh, and don’t forget Yaki Point; although keep in mind, this is one of the stops you can’t drive your car to. To get here, you will need to hop on the free Kaibab Rim Route (Orange) bus from the Grand Canyon Village itself.
For us, we would recommend visiting the sunset and seeing how these beautiful shades transform the canyon. It sounds cheesy, but it’s stunning.
2.) Hiking Trail Bright Angel
The Bright Angel Hiking Trail, one of the most popular trails in the entire park, takes you from Grand Canyon Village to the area around the Indian Garden.
It’s pretty hard to finish, this is a trail that’s best for experienced hikers and shouldn’t be tried if you’re unfamiliar with hiking, especially since it can take days to go a 20 (or slightly more) mile route.
That said, if you’re looking for a shorter (but still hard) one-day hike, try hiking to the Indian Garden campground. This can still take between 6 and 9 hours, but is feasible in a day if you are ready for the trails.
Even if you’re not scared, if you’re not an experienced mountaineer, you can still hop on the Upper Tunnel Trail, which is 0.4 miles away, for half an hour. This trail will allow you to get a little taste of the Bright Angel hiking trail without devoting too much time or energy to a longer route.
3.) Toroweap Overlook
In the much quieter area of the North Rim, it’s amazing to visit Toroweap Overlook, especially for its views of the Colorado River.
Once here, be sure to join the trails that explore the wider area (the Lava Falls Trail is epic) and camp at Tuweep Campground, which is perfect if you’re looking for a much quieter part of the Grand Canyon to explore.
4.) Havasu Canyon
Located in the Havasupai Indian Reserve, Havasu Canyon is stunning to visit.
Once here, be sure to explore the area around Mooney Falls and Havasu Falls which is amazing to walk to. In addition, along the trail you will be able to see Fifty Foot and Little Navajo Falls.
Just keep in mind that you will need a reservation to make a reservation, and hiking can be difficult at times. In other words, your leg will ache insanely the day after!
5.) Hermit Road Drive
The Hermit Road is one of the first route options you can take when entering the Grand Canyon National Park at the southern entrance and is really easy to explore by the completely free Desert Road bus (Red Route). If you want longer walks, go on foot.
Along 7 miles Hermit Road, from Grand Canyon Village, will take you to a number of dazzling lookouts where you can enjoy beautiful views of the canyon. We loved the Trailview Overlook and the views from the Abyss. They both have such great vistas and really put into perspective the colossal size of the national park.
6.) Horseshoe Bend
Just outside the site itself, a visit Horshoe Bend is one of the easiest and best things to do in the Grand Canyon of northern Arizona. And not only that, you don’t need to walk for hours or hike to get here, it’s completely easy to find and right next to the 89 motorway.
While it can be busy, it’s worth visiting at dusk and watching the sunset behind the bend itself. It is absolutely stunning.
In addition, you can easily head here after kayaking through the Marble Canyon.
7.) Desert View Watchtower
Taking the less popular (but no less beautiful) route, over the south entrance, and going right down the Desert View Drive you will come to the beautiful Desert View watchtower.
Built back in 1932 and designed to look like the ancient Anasazi watchtower, the Desert View watchtower has dragging stunning watchtowers to capture the vistas.
The views across the canyon are absolutely amazing, equally impressive at night to spot planets and constellations. It’s amazing. Be sure to take a windbreaker, because at this point it can get excited.
8.) South Kaibaba Trail
Starting from the southern edge, joining the Kaibaba South Trail is one of the best things the Grand Grand Canyon can do for rounded vistas at Skeleton Point.
You won’t be able to drive to the trailhead now, so join the shuttle and get off at Yaki Point. If you’re not sure, ask the guard for local directions and pushing when you arrive (sometimes it’s easier).
Taking about 6 miles to complete, you will see Ooh-ahh Point along the way, which is amazing. Just get enough fluids and snacks to travel with; there is no water along this route.
9.) Skywalk at Eagle Point, west rim
If you are a 4 hour drive from the south entrance to the park, head to Eagle Point where you can walk over a huge glass bridge that stretches 70 meters above the Grand Canyon.
Completely breathtaking, the views on and straight into the Grand Canyon are amazing to see. Even though you suffer from dizziness, you may want to miss this place.
After that, take a 5-minute drive to Guano Point, another stunning view that is within easy reach of Skywalk itself.
Alternatively, you can easily hop on a helicopter tour from Las Vegas to explore the western edges of the Grand Canyon.
This is amazing to do if you visit the city and want just 2 hours, or at least that much, to visit the natural beauty of nearby Arizona.
10.) Walking the path of time
Great for families and more accessible paved routes, the Time Trail is designed to represent the geological history of the Grand Canyon.
You see, for every meter of walking the Path of Time in the canyon, a million years have passed. Along the trail you will encounter appropriate markers that mark the place in history you are currently at, as well as exhibits and rocks that explain the formation of the canyon.
It’s completely unique and you don’t need to be an avid geologist to enjoy it!
Afterwards, you can combine this with the fun around the Yavapai Geological Museum and see the views from the nearby Mather Point.
Also, if you want to continue hiking, head to South Rim Trail which occupies so many beautiful lookouts through the National Park. It’s absolutely beautiful.
11.) Tusayan Pueblo Ruin
It is considered one of the main archeological sites in Arizona, Tusayan Ruin, also known as Tusayan Pueblo, is the historic site of an 800-year-old indigenous city from the 1100s!
Excavated in 1930, the site is about 3 kilometers west of the Desert View watchtower and it is really easy to organize a visit while exploring this area of the Grand Canyon.
When you get here, take a walk through Kiva, look at the living areas and follow the pebble paths through the agricultural area. It’s so surreal to see.
In addition, the location also includes a museum, which can be reached by a trail of rubble, which is great for exploring the area’s past.
12.) Yavapai Geological Museum
The Yavapai Geological Museum, founded in the 1920s, is one of the best things in the Grand Canyon when exploring the South Rim.
A small group of famous geologists who set up Yavapi chose it because it is one of the best areas to learn about the diverse geology of the Grand Canyon itself.
With exhibitions, history and huge relief maps, it is a great place to better understand the geography of the park and the processes that have carved it for millions of years.
13.) Marble Canyon
Obtaining permission to paddle, float, or otherwise enjoy the Colorado River that flows through the Grand Canyon is a notoriously difficult process that requires high fees and extremely early check-in and booking. But there’s one area in the Park that thankfully doesn’t require all that work to enjoy it, Marble Canyon.
Now Marble Canyon is part of the river between Lee’s Ferry and Little Colorado. Technically this is the point when the Grand Canyon begins and it is worth heading here if you like to ride down the river.
You can even ride a Horseshoe Bend kayak (with this rental company).
14.) The abyss of elves
In a much more remote part of the Grand Canyon, a visit to the Elven Abyss is intended for those who want to get away from the beaten path. Achieved by the way Royal arch loop, the type of hiking is very difficult.
That means it’s perfect for experienced hikers (but still, you’ll probably need a guide). It is a place to visit if you are looking for a challenge and certainly very difficult.
Never try walking routes here without expert knowledge, information and fully equipped. After all, no one likes a reckless mountaineer.