Are you looking for some amazing tourist attractions at the Grand Canyon? Whether you are visiting the South Rim, the North Rim, or the West Rim, you will find plenty of options to enjoy the stunning scenery and learn about the history and culture of this natural wonder. Here are some of the top attractions you should not miss when you visit the Grand Canyon.
1. Grand Canyon Viewpoints and Scenic Drives
One of the best ways to experience the Grand Canyon is to drive along the rim and stop at the various viewpoints that offer breathtaking views of the canyon and the Colorado River. On the South Rim, you can choose between two scenic drives: Hermit Road, which runs west from Grand Canyon Village to Hermits Rest, and Desert View Drive, which runs east from Grand Canyon Village to Desert View Watchtower. Both roads have several overlooks where you can park your car and take in the beauty of the canyon. You can also hop on a free shuttle bus that runs along Hermit Road from March to November, when the road is closed to private vehicles.
On the North Rim, you can drive along Cape Royal Road, which leads to several viewpoints, including Point Imperial, Vista Encantada, Roosevelt Point, Walhalla Overlook, and Cape Royal. These viewpoints offer spectacular views of the canyon and its rock formations, as well as the Kaibab Plateau and the Painted Desert.
On the West Rim, you can visit Eagle Point and Guano Point, two popular viewpoints that are part of the Grand Canyon West attraction. Eagle Point is famous for its Skywalk, a glass bridge that extends over the edge of the canyon, while Guano Point offers panoramic views of the canyon and the river.
2. The Rim Trail
If you prefer to explore the Grand Canyon on foot, you can hike along the Rim Trail, a paved and mostly flat trail that follows the edge of the canyon for 13 miles on the South Rim. The trail starts at South Kaibab Trailhead near Yaki Point and ends at Hermits Rest. You can hike as much or as little as you want, as there are shuttle bus stops along the way. The trail offers incredible views of the canyon and its features, such as Bright Angel Canyon, Plateau Point, and Phantom Ranch. You can also see some historic buildings and monuments along the trail, such as Verkamp’s Visitor Center, Hopi House, Kolb Studio, Lookout Studio, and Bright Angel Lodge.
3. Grand Canyon Skywalk
One of the most thrilling attractions at the Grand Canyon is the Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that juts out 70 feet over the edge of the canyon at Eagle Point on the West Rim. The Skywalk allows you to walk above the canyon floor and see through 4,000 feet below your feet. The Skywalk is not for the faint of heart, but it is an unforgettable experience that will give you a unique perspective of the canyon. You can also visit a Native American village and a museum at Eagle Point, where you can learn about the history and culture of the Hualapai Tribe, who own and operate Grand Canyon West.
4. Grand Canyon IMAX
If you want to learn more about the Grand Canyon and its formation, you can watch a spectacular IMAX movie at the National Geographic Visitor Center in Tusayan, just outside
the South Entrance of Grand Canyon National Park. The movie, titled Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets, takes you on a 34-minute journey through time and space, showing you how
the canyon was carved by natural forces over millions of years. You will also see some of
the most amazing sights and adventures in the canyon, such as rafting on the Colorado
River, flying over the canyon in a helicopter, and exploring ancient ruins and caves.
5. Grand Canyon National Park Guided Ranger Talks
Another way to learn about the Grand Canyon is to join a guided ranger talk or walk offered by Grand Canyon National Park. These programs are free and cover various topics such as geology,
wildlife, history, culture, astronomy, and conservation. You can find out about
the schedule and location of these programs at any visitor center or online at https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/ranger-program.htm.
the most popular programs include:
– Geology Glimpse: A 30-minute talk at Yavapai Geology Museum that explains how
the canyon was formed and how it changes over time.
– Condor Talk: A 20-minute talk at Mather Point Amphitheater that introduces you to
the California condor, one of
the largest and rarest birds in North America.
– Evening Program: A 45-minute presentation at McKee Amphitheater or Shrine of
the Ages that covers a variety of topics related to the Grand Canyon and its
6. Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower
the most impressive structures at the Grand Canyon is the Desert View Watchtower, a 70-foot-high stone tower that stands at the eastern end of
the South Rim. The tower was designed by architect Mary Colter in 1932 and inspired by
the ancient towers of
the Ancestral Puebloans. The tower offers panoramic views of
the canyon and the Painted Desert, as well as a glimpse of
the Colorado River and the Navajo Bridge. Inside the tower, you can admire the murals painted by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie, depicting scenes from Hopi mythology and culture.
7. Grand Canyon Wildlife
The Grand Canyon is home to a rich and diverse wildlife, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects. Some of
the most common animals you may see at the canyon are mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, coyotes, squirrels, chipmunks, ravens, jays, hawks, eagles, and vultures. You may also spot some rare or endangered species, such as the California condor, the Kaibab squirrel, the Grand Canyon rattlesnake, and the humpback chub. The best time to see wildlife is early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when they are more active and less disturbed by human activity. You can also join a wildlife viewing program offered by the park rangers or visit the wildlife exhibits at Yavapai Point Museum or Tusayan Museum.