Before You Go
The most popular activity at the Grand Canyon is walking along the rim and enjoying the breathtaking views. If you want a more exciting or adventurous experience, you do have a few options. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Hike Below the Rim: Only a small percentage of Canyon visitors actually step into the Canyon. Hiking trails are well marked, and venturing into the Canyon can be more exciting than sticking to the top of the rim.
- Ride a Mule: Hiking isn’t for everyone and the trek out of the rim can be tiring. Instead of hiking, why not let a mule do all of the work? Your guide will provide interesting commentary you wouldn’t otherwise get on your own, and you can focus on the views instead of your footsteps. Make sure you book well in advance – mule rides book up quite quickly.
- Bike the Rim: Walking the rim can take quite some time! You can cover more ground on bike without giving up too much of the freedom you get with walking.
Get more details about these activities from the official Grand Canyon site.
It’s important to plan the day’s activities before you arrive at the park so you don’t waste any time when arrive. If planning isn’t your forte, there are a number of guided tours available out of Las Vegas, NV. Plus, guided tours often offer activities you can’t access by simply visiting the park, such as helicopter rides into the Canyon and SUV and ATV adventures.
Even if all you have is a point-and-shoot camera, you can come home with great photos of the Grand Canyon. Take a look at our photography guide for ideas.
The drive from Sedona, AZ to the Grand Canyon is easy: simply take 89A north to I-40, then head west until you come to US-180, at which point you turn north and drive till you arrive at the Grand Canyon. You’ll pass through Flagstaff, AZ and the Kaibab National Forest, so be prepared for stunning views and vivid colors, especially in the autumn.
After passing through Flagstaff, you’ll have one last chance to buy food and drink at the Grand Canyon Village. Prices in the Village are a little higher than they are in Sedona, so planning ahead will save you both time and money, and a cooler packed with ice will come in handy after a long walk or hike.
Once You Arrive
The Grand Canyon is one of the top destinations for national park visitors, so there’s a good chance you’ll be joined by many other drivers looking for a place to park. Most people stay at the park for at least a few hours, so waiting around for someone to leave their spot only burns valuable time. Instead, take the first parking spot you see and simply hop on one of the park’s free, frequent shuttle buses.
If at any point you get tired of walking, no problem! Along the rim you’ll see a number of bus stops where you can catch the free shuttle
Combine Your Trip
Take your Grand Canyon adventure to the next level by combining it with a Las Vegas vacation. There are many guided tours available from Las Vegas, and they offer great flexibility in terms of location, dates, times, and activities. Get your adrenaline pumping on a rafting trip down the Colorado river, experience unparalleled views deep into the Canyon from a helicopter, or simply avoid the stress of driving by taking a guided luxury bus tour. A professional tour guide can help you learn more, see more, and relax more, so that you can make the most of your Canyon visit.