If all you have is a day to see the Grand Canyon, many people want to know if a day trip to the iconic Grand Canyon is worth it. To ensure your day trip is as fruitful as possible, there are some things you can do to ensure you can see as much as possible.
If you only have one day to visit the Grand Canyon, it is still worth visiting. You can do things to prepare for your trip so that you will have the most time available. We recommend you go to see the South Rim area of the Canyon.
Ensure Your Day Trip To The Grand Canyon Is Worth It – Plan Ahead
If all you have is one day to visit the Grand Canyon, you want to be sure that you do not waste any of your time and see as much as possible. Most people visiting the Grand Canyon for just a day will visit the South Rim.
To plan, you should know the following:
- Purchase A Digital Pass Ahead Of Time – Purchase your Grand Canyon digital pass ahead of time so you do not need to wait in line or to get admitted and purchase the pass. You can buy your digital pass from the National Park Service by clicking here.
- Prepare Your Maps And Directions – It is straightforward to plan your maps and directions of where you want to go in the Grand Canyon. You can find information online, or you can purchase a map.
- Have A Plan – Plan for the Grand Canyon to know where you are going or what you want to see.
- Download The Free U.S. National Park Mobile App – The National Park Service has a mobile app that can download for free. The App has the Grand Canyon and all the U.S. National Parks. So if you are visiting the Grand Canyon and other U.S. National Parks, this app is worth downloading. You can download the app from the National Park website by clicking here.
- Prepare Your Food And Water – There are some restaurants or snacks in the Grand Canyon area, but if you are tight on time or you do not want to have to drive to find food or water, we suggest that you bring it with you in a cooler so that you have it with you.
- Check The National Park Service Website – The U.S. National Park website is an excellent resource for all U.S. National Parks, including the Grand Canyon. The website is frequently updated, so they will let you know if certain buildings or areas are closed. Before visiting the Grand Canyon, you should check the website to get the most up-to-date information on what is happening in the park. You can visit the U.S. National Park website by clicking here.
The Quick Trip To The Grand Canyon – South Rim Area
Most people who only have a short time to see the Grand Canyon will go to the South Rim area. This area is from the photos you have seen of the Grand Canyon. One of the great things about the South Rim is you have a choice to bike, hike, or even drive along the 32 miles of the Grand Canyon South Rim.
We recommend that you try to get to two or all three significant viewpoints, including the Mathers Point, Yavapai Point, and Yaki viewing points. These points will help you get some of the best views of the Grand Canyon.
South Rim Grand Canyon – Mathers Point
The Mather Point is the most famous viewpoint on the south rim, so expect crowds there. It remains popular because it offers decent views of the Grand Canyon and is easy to get to.
There is no parking at Mather Point, but there are some parking lots around the Vistors Center where you can take a short walk to view Mathers Point.
Mather Point continues to be popular because on a clear day, you can have a visibility of 30 plus miles (48 kilometers) to the east and 60 plus miles or 96 kilometers to the west. You can also look down and see some of the Colorado River along with Phantom Ranch and some hiking trails around the Grand Canyon.
The sunrise and sunset are beautiful at Mather point. You should get there early enough to enjoy the dramatic change of colors as the sun rises or falls.
South Rim Grand Canyon – Yavapai Point
Yavapai Point is also on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It has excellent views and is less crowded than Mathers Point. Parking is also limited, and any vehicles over 22 feet are not allowed to enter the area.
But Yavapai Point is also an easy walk west of Mathers Point. Yavapai has a Yavapai Museum of Geology nearby, which sells some books and includes some exciting displays about geology.
Yavapai Point also has a large window showing views of the Canyon below, so if you visit on a cold or rainy day, you can still view the Grand Canyon via the large window.
The Yavapai Point also has some of the best views on the south rim of the Colorado River
You can watch a short video that talks about the museum and show some of the views at Yavapai Point:
South Rim Grand Canyon – Yaki Point
Yaki Point is the only viewpoint on Desert View Drive that is not accessible by a private vehicle. You can reach it by either taking the accessible Kaibab/Rim Route (Orange) shuttle that will depart from the Grand Canyon visitors center, or you can walk to Yaki Point.
Here the view of the Canyon will open up to the west, with the Deseret View watchtower visible in the distance. Yaki Point is a popular viewing location for both sunsets and sunrises, and it can also provide you with more peace than some other viewing locations.
With Additional Time, Consider Visiting – Desert View, South Rim, Grand Canyon
Desert View is a small settlement on the South Rim; it is located about a 40-minute drive from Mather’s Point, so depending on your time and interest, it may or may not be worth your time to go there. If you are interested in American Tribal culture, Desert View offers some great experiences along with some views.
The Desert View has parking for both cars and RVs. You can park your car and see some of the viewpoints from Desert View.
There is also a Visitors Center and Watchtower that was built in 1932. The tower was designed by Mary Colter and was intended to represent the architecture of the Ancestral Puebloan people of the southwest. –
The Desert View area is more developed than many other areas as they have a gas station, market and deli, trading post, and theater.
Also nearby is the Tusayan Pueblo Museum, Tusayau Pueblo Site, which talks about a small Ancestral Puebloan Village. One of the great things about this area is you can learn about the indigenous people and American Indian tribes who live in this area.
You can watch this video by the National Park Service about this area and their work with the Inter-cultural Heritage cultural sites.
Virtually Travel The Entire Grand Canyon With The Virtual Conquer Challenges
A great way to prepare for your trip or continue to experience parts of the Grand Canyon that you may have missed is to join the Conquer Virtual Challenge and their virtual challenge of the Grand Canyon.
The Conquer Virtual Challenge is a great way to be able to see parts of the world as the Grand Canyon while at the same time exploring all aspects of the Grand Canyon, even those areas you were not able to see on your visit.
We love the Conquer Virtual Challenges as each time we walk, bike, or swim a mile, we can put in the miles for the Conquer Virtual Challenges. Each time we pass an essential milestone for the Conquer Virtual Challenges, we are sent a postcard to tell us about the area we just traveled to.
The Conquer Virtual Challenge is a great way to continue seeing and enjoying the beauty of the Grand Canyon long after your visit.
As a bonus, the Conquer Virtual Challenges will send you a special Grand Canyon medal at the end of the Grand Canyon route.
To find out more about the Conquer Virtual Challenges and to automatically receive 10% off your first challenge, you can sign up for the Grand Canyon or any other challenge by clicking on the link below.
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What River Runs Through The Grand Canyon And Other Facts
The river that runs through the Grand Canyon is the mighty Colorado River. The Colorado River is one of the major rivers in the United States. Besides the Colorado river, several tributary rivers are also in the Grand Canyon Area.
By clicking here, you can discover What River Runs Through The Grand Canyon And Other Facts.
How Big Is The Grand Canyon? & Other Grand Canyon Questions
The Grand Canyon area is 277 miles long or about 1,904 square miles. It is a vast area that will take you 5 hours or 215 miles to travel from the North Rim to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Most of the area does not have hiking or other trails. As the Grand Canyon took about 6 million years to create, it is one of the world’s natural wonders.
By clicking here, you can discover How Big Is The Grand Canyon? & Other Grand Canyon Questions.
Was The Grand Canyon Once Totally Filled With Water? & More
The Grand Canyon was once filled with water, but the Grand Canyon itself is at least 6 million years old. The rock and rock formations of the Grand Canyon help us to tell the story of this magnificent place on earth.
By clicking here, you can discover Was The Grand Canyon Once Totally Filled With Water? & More.