The Grand Canyon got its name for a reason. It’s one of the most breathtaking places in the world, offering a vast array of activities that can fill up any itinerary. With so many options in and around this one national park, it can be overwhelming to plan the perfect itinerary.
To help make it easier, here’s our list of 8 awesome activities to experience at the Grand Canyon.
How far is the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas?
If you’re staying nearby in Las Vegas and are looking for an escape from the strip into nature, the Grand Canyon is a great option. The distance from Las Vegas to the West Rim of the Canyon is about 128 miles, and a drive would take about two and a half hours.
If you’re headed to the South or North rim, you can expect a distance of 270 miles from the strip. This will take about four or five hours to get to by car depending on your exact route.
How old is the Grand Canyon?
The age of the Grand Canyon is estimated to be around six million years. This massive canyon was formed by two major rivers, the Colorado River and its tributary, the Little Colorado River.
It has been a popular site for admiring tourists since the mid-19th century, and it has had status as a national park since 1919.
How deep is the Grand Canyon?
The average depth of the Grand Canyon is just over one mile or 6,000 feet. That’s quite deep! It’s so deep that the bottom can’t be seen from one side to the other, and some areas are even twice as deep as the average measurement.
Eight exciting activities to try at the Grand Canyon
Ready to map out your itinerary for your trip to this amazing natural wonder? Here are eight activities that shouldn’t be missed:
1. Visit the South Rim
The South Rim is one of the most popular areas in the park, and it has plenty of great activities in the region, including the Grand Canyon Village and the Yavapai Geology Museum. Both of these attractions will provide visitors with a cultural and educational experience that sets the tone for exploring the rest of the impressive park.
2. Feel your heart race on the Grand Canyon Skywalk
The Skywalk is an amazing feat of engineering that allows visitors to walk over 70 feet out from the canyon’s edge, suspended 4,000 feet above the ground. It can be a bit of an adrenaline rush as you look down at the views below, but it’s a safe way to try something different while in the area.
3. Take a helicopter tour of the canyon
A great way to get an up close and personal view of the Grand Canyon is to take a helicopter tour. This will provide you with some amazing aerial views that can’t be seen from the ground.
You’ll also be able to cover more ground and see more of the canyon on your tour as well as nearby landmarks like the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.
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4. Ride on the Grand Canyon Railroad
The Grand Canyon Railway is a great way to experience the canyon in a more relaxed manner. This passenger train takes visitors on an hour-long ride from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.
On this journey, you’ll encounter a myriad of landscapes — from the dense Ponderosa and Pinion pine forests to miles of open grasslands, plus spectacular canyons. Recent passengers have remarked fondly on their knowledgeable train guides, who provided captivating stories about the history of both the train and the surrounding area.
5. Get a good view of the Colorado River from Navajo Bridge
The Navajo bridge stretches across Marble Canyon, providing visitors an opportunity to get a great view of the mighty Colorado River. This area also has an excellent spot for birdwatching and sightseeing as well.
The bridge itself is quite impressive — it was built in 1929 and stands 467 feet above the river.
6. Go white water rafting
For the more adventurous type, white water rafting on the Colorado River is a must-do. There are a number of tour operators in the area that offer both half-day and full-day trips. This is even more exciting during the late spring months when the river levels are higher due to snowmelt runoff. You’ll need to be careful and make sure you go with a reputable company, as the rapids can be quite powerful.
7. Take a look at the Desert View Watchtower
The Desert View Watchtower is an impressive structure that offers visitors stunning views of the Colorado River and beyond. The 70-foot tower was built in 1932, and it boasts five levels of observation decks, as well as paintings inspired by Native American cultures. It’s a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the Grand Canyon.
8. Hike through the Grand Canyon
Hiking is a popular activity for visitors to the Grand Canyon, as it provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with this amazing wonder. There are several trails available at the park, from beginner hikes to more advanced routes. No matter which path you take, be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks with you.
Some of the most popular hikes include Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, and the Rim to River Trail. Make sure they match your skill level, and check with the park rangers to ensure the trails are safe before you start your journey.
The bottom line: what to do at the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is so much more than just a beautiful landscape; there are plenty of activities that visitors can enjoy. Whether you want to take in the sights from the air on a helicopter tour, take a train ride through the canyon, or go white water rafting on the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon has something for everyone.
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