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Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
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Grand Canyon National Park Tourism: Best of Grand Canyon National Park
About Grand Canyon National Park
Vast and cinematic, this famed national park is an absolute showstopper, with bands of red rocks and carved canyon walls as far as the eye can see. No wonder it draws millions of visitors every year. But if you want solo time in nature, you’re in luck. The window of December to February gets only a sliver of summer’s peak crowds. Yes, it’s cold—highs tend to hover around 45 degrees—but this season has its own attractions, like seeing the Canyon’s walls dusted in snow. South Rim trails also stay open for the most part. One good bet: The Hermit Trail tends to stay relatively snow- and ice-free because of its lower elevation and sunlight exposure. Need another reason to come? January is also when the park’s historic photo studio, Kolb Studio, has its art exhibition and sale.
Essential Grand Canyon National Park
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What to see and do, from people who have been there
Grand Camping in the Grand Canyon
When it comes to exploring the great outdoors, it doesn’t get more epic than the Grand Canyon. A favorite with both experienced campers and beginners (my people!), this famed national park features breathtaking views, quaint stores, and historic sites—all socially distanced to the max. Keep reading for my must-see spots for the perfect summer adventure!
Leanne Philip, Rome, GA
- Point Imperial Drive114Enjoy miles of scenic twists and turns on your way to Point Imperial, the highest overlook on the North Rim. Showcasing layers of red and black Precambrian rocks all around, this must-visit spot faces the Painted Desert and offers a seemingly endless view of the Grand Canyon’s vast beauty.
- Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge2,838For the crowd that craves a comfy queen-sized bed and numerous feather pillows, there’s the Grand Canyon Lodge. Relax in one of the hotel’s comfortable cabins. Plus, as the only lodging in the North Rim, this scenic spot features immediate access to the park’s hiking trails and overlooks.
- Lipan Point343If you can only visit one viewpoint on your trip then this has to be it. Lipan Point is a canyon triple-threat offering views of the Colorado River’s Hance Rapid, the one-of-a-kind Grand Canyon Supergroup rock strata, and the historic Unkar Delta—an ancestral Puebloan home site that dates back to around 1100 A.D.
- Grand Canyon Village Market & Deli860If you’re prone to forgetting things, the village market will soon become your lifeline. In addition to selling food, clothing, and housewares, this full-service department and grocery store also offers camping equipment rentals and affordable souvenirs.
- Yavapai Geology Museum68This spot is a must for first-time canyon visitors and scientists-in-training. Featuring tactile models, stunning photographs, and more, the educational displays here are designed to help people understand (and appreciate) the Grand Canyon’s awe-inspiring geology.
- Trailer Village RV Park256For those who prefer to park rather than pitch a tent, there’s the Trailer Village RV Park. Nestled amid the beautiful desert, this RV park is what glamping dreams are made of: full hook-ups, close to the South Rim, and access to limited WiFi. Just what you need to post all those Insta-worthy holiday moments.
- Hopi House193A National Historic Landmark, this stone house was built to allow visitors to admire traditional Hopi artwork. Today, art lovers can see various Native American art and crafts on display inside, while architecture fans will appreciate the way the structure seamlessly blends into the canyon’s natural landscape.
- Bright Angel Campground82This permit-only campsite is a geologist’s dream! Where else can you spend the night at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, gazing at the stars while surrounded by two billion-year-old granite?
- South Kaibab Trail1,744Fun fact about this trail: It was blasted out of the canyon’s walls in 1920. It’s also hailed by many as the #1 must-hike route in the whole Grand Canyon, with three supreme vantage points: the accurately named Ooh Aah Point, Cedar Ridge, and Skeleton Point. That said, wear a hat and pack lots of water when walking this path, as shade is in short supply.
- Bright Angel Bicycles and Cafe396Wherever I am in the world—even if I’m hanging out on the edge of Grand Canyon—having coffee is non-negotiable. Stop into this bike shop-cum-café for healthy wraps and salads, delicious pastries, and of course, an endless stream of your favorite caffeinated beverages.
- Mather Campground745For those who have planned (read: reserved) ahead, Mather Campground is the perfect spot to rest your head. The only campsite within Grand Canyon Village, this pet-friendly spot is complete with picnic tables and drinking water taps, and it offers easy access to the Visitor Center, general store, and the paved trails of the scenic Greenway.
- Kolb Studio208This historic site was the home and photography studio of brothers Emery and Ellsworth Kolb, who documented their Grand Canyon and Colorado River adventures via film and photo. The restored building houses exhibits on these pioneering siblings, and it has a killer giftshop with artwork, books, and other gifts to remember your trip by.
- Hopi Point636Make sure to end one of your days with a visit to Hopi Point. The sunset views are unimaginable at this area of the canyon, allowing you to see all the way out to the Great Scenic Divide on the west, as well as the Dana Butte, 2,000 feet below.
- Grand Canyon Village699You can’t miss this activity and transportation hub! My favorite part? The expertly preserved historic district, which includes the Buckey O’Neill Cabin—considered to be the oldest still-standing structure on the South Rim. Step into the past and experience the area as it was in the early 1900s. All that’s missing is the whistle of the transcontinental railroad passing by!
- Bright Angel Trail2,380Ease into your trip with the Bright Angel Trail. Perfect for first-time hikers and families, this 9.3-mile trail comes with stunning cliff views, natural bodies of water, and plenty of shade for optimal plant- and wildlife-viewing. Bonus: There are numerous covered rest houses and seasonal water sources along the way!
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Dig Into Grand Canyon National Park
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Explore the Grand Canyon by interest
Better bring a camera
Scenic spots with views for days
Get that adrenaline pumping
Epic hikes, white-water rafting, and more
A day in the desert
Take a quick trip beyond the canyon