How Much Time Should We Plan To Spend At The Grand Canyon?

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Grand Canyon is a magnificent place to visit. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and worth the visit to see this marvelous natural wonder.

With its seemingly endless depths and unrivaled vistas, the Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring experience that everyone should have at least once in their lifetime. To make the most of your visit to this majestic landmark, it’s essential to ask yourself not only ‘What can I see?’ and ‘How much time do I need?’

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With a wide range of experiences on offer – from sunset hikes to flyover tours – understanding how long you should plan on spending allows you to tailor your Grand Canyon adventure so you’ll get the most out of it.

How much time you should spend at the Grand Canyon is up to you.

The Viewing Points For The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon Park is enormous, so chances are you will not have time to see it all. There are many viewing points you can visit and also many ways you can see the National Park. If you want to see the Colorado River, you can take a rafting trip.

Or, if you want to view it from the air, you can take an airplane ride over the Grand Canyon.

We will concentrate on the viewing points for the Grand Canyon as that is how most people will visit and see the Grand Canyon area. Many of the viewing points are along different parts of the Grand Canyon. The map below shows all the major Grand Canyon viewing points.

The Quick Trip To The Grand Canyon – South Rim Mathers Point

If you want to see the Grand Canyon from photos, you have likely seen it, and the photos were taken at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The great thing about the South Rim is you can bike, hike, or even drive along the 32 miles of the Grand Canyon South Rim.

You can do this as quickly and fast as you want, or you can spend an entire day there or longer.

South Rim Grand Canyon – Mather Point

View From Mather Point

The Mather Point is the most popular viewpoint on the south rim, so expect crowds there. The reason it remains so popular is that it does offer decent views of the area.

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 on a clear day, and 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, Phantom Ranch, and hiking trails around the Grand Canyon.

The sunrise and sunset can both be beautiful at Mather Point. It would be best if you got there early enough to enjoy the dramatic change of colors as the sun rises or falls.

The One-Day Grand Canyon – South Rim Tour

If you do not want to have a quick trip to the Grand Canyon, you can spend one full day there or two days and one night. We recommend getting the full experience that you look to stay at the park or very close to the parking area.

The best area to visit is the South Rim, as you can visit Mathers Point and two other points, Yavapai Point and Yaki Point.

South Rim Grand Canyon – Yavapai Point

Sunset from 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 displays about geology. It also has a large window that shows views of the Canyon below.

You can watch a short video that talks about the museum and shows some of the views at Yavapai Point:

The Yavapai Point also has some of the best views on the south rim of the Colorado River

South Rim Grand Canyon Yaki Point

View At 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 taking the accessible Kaibab/Rim Route (Orange) shuttle that will depart from the Grand Canyon Visitors Center.

Here the view of the Canyon will open up to the west, with the DeseretView 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.

Spending More Time – Must-See Spots For The Grand Canyon

You could spend a week or more at the Grand Canyon. The area has many things to do, from hiking to visiting viewing points and other Grand Canyon facilities.

For many of these scenic spots, you must be prepared to take some day hiking trips to see the sites. If you like to hike and want to see some great countryside

If you do have additional time to spend, here are some of the other top locations you should consider visiting:

Redwall Bridge – North Rim, Grand Canyon

Redwall Bridge – North Rim, Grand Canyon

The Redwall Bridge is located on the North Rim and what is known as the North Kaibab Trail. To get to the scenic spot, you must hike at least 5.2 miles or 8.4 kilometers round trip. It will take at least 4 to 6 hours for most people.

The north rim of the Grand Canyon is not open all year round but is closed from October to May. Because it is not open all year round, people skip the North Rim on their Grand Canyon tours.

If you have the time, we recommend going to the North Rim to see the magnificent views at that part of the park.

The National Park Service recommends that you check with a ranger if you hike this in a day to ensure there are no issues with the trail.

Hopi Point – South Rim Trail, Grand Canyon

Hopi Point – South Rim Trail, Grand Canyon

The Hopi Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon also offers panoramic and spectacular views of the Canyon and the Colorado River. Most of the year, Hopi Point is only accessible using the Grand Canyon Parks shuttle bus service or by walking the 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers on the Rim Trail.

The beauty of Hopi Point is that it extends further into the canyon than any other overlook on Hermit Road. Hopi Point offers some great unobstructed viewpoints.

Plateau Point, Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon

Plateau Point, Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon

The Plateau Point at Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon is considered one of the more accessible and popular hiking trails. The Bright Angel Trail is one of the older trails, so while walking it, you are walking in the footsteps of the American Indian Canyon miners and pioneers.

Plateau Point can not be reached by car, so you must hike the 10-mile round trip, which will take most people a day of hiking.

If you love geology and wildlife, this is a great trail to spend a day hiking. Mules also use this trail regularly, so if you encounter a mule, the mule always has the right of way, and the hiker should step aside to allow the mule to pass.

The Bright Angel Trail is also very well maintained, and going down can be steep, so you need to plan at least twice as much time to go up, but the views at Plateau Point are worth it. You can see the Colorado River winding through the canyon along with mesas and plateaus.

Shoshone Point – South Rim, Grand Canyon

Shoshone Point – South Rim, Grand Canyon

Shoshone Point is considered one of the ”off the beaten track” viewpoints. There is an unmarked dirt parking lot and an easy one-mile hike along an old dirt road.

This is usually a quiet viewpoint, but as a warning, it is also the only place in the park to be reserved for private events and gatherings. If the area is booked on the day you want to go, you may be unable to.

Shoshone Point offers you a 180-degree view of the Grand Canyon by going out on a natural rock that comes out of the Grand Canyon.

Desert View, South Rim, Grand Canyon

Desert View, South Rim, Grand Canyon

Desert View is a small South Rim settlement 23 miles or 37 kilometers from the Grand Canyon Village. There are also Navajo Tribal Parks near Desert View.

The Desert View has parking for both cars and RVs. So 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 Marh 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, deli, trading post, and amphitheater.

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 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 sites.

Angel’s Window, North Rim, Grand Canyon

Angel’s Window, North Rim, Grand Canyon

A short, easy trail from the Cape Royal Trail will lead you to an area above Angels Window. The Angel Windows area offers visitors the chance to stand over a natural arch while also enjoying a magnificent viewpoint.

The views are stunning as you almost float above the Canyon or soar like eagles. Safety railings are in place, but this area can be a bit scary for some if you are afraid of heights.

Black Bridge Or Silver Bridge View From The River, Grand Canyon

Black Bridge Or Silver Bridge View From The River, Grand Canyon

The black bridge and silver bridge give you the chance to walk on a bridge across the river. The bridge allows you to view the Colorado River below and get a feel for what it means to cross the Grand Canyon.

You also get a feel from a lower level of how large and majestic the Grand Canyon is. If you want to have a feel for the Grand Canyon from another viewpoint, this is a great way to see it.

Ooh Ah Point, South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon

Ooh Ah Point, South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon
Ooh Ah Point, South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon

The Ooh Ah Point is just about 0.9 or about 1.8 miles round trip from the South Kaibab Trailhead. It can be a steep descent to the point, so it is not for those who dislike heights or steep declines.

One of the vantage points of the Ooh Ah Point is that you see the inner parts of the Grand Canyon from an angel you have never seen before.

Toroweap/Tuweep Overlook, Grand Canyon

Toroweap/Tuweep Overlook, Grand Canyon

Tuweep is the ancestral home of the Southern Paiute people. Tuweep refers to the area’s broad volcanic valley and surrounding parklands.

The Tuweep overlook offers some great views of the Colorado River and shows you the drop of 3,000 feet. It can be challenging to get to this area as you need to be able to navigate some dirt roads.

Planning For Your Grand Canyon Trip

When you are at the Grand Canyon, it would be best to talk to a Park Ranger to find out if any areas you plan to visit are closed or have any safety concerns. Closures have happened at the Grand Canyon, and it is constantly changing.

To plan ahead of time, we recommend you check out the National Park Service website. They update the website with all the information and what is happening in the park. The website also has information on safety and other concerns for your hiking.

If you plan to camp or stay at the park, the National Park Service website also has information on where and how to stay in the Grand Canyon Park area.

You can learn more about the National Park Service website and the Grand Canyon by clicking here.

Want to Travel The Entire Grand Canyon Virtually? Try The Virtual Conquer Challenges

One of the Virtual Conquer Challenges is the Grand Canyon. This is a great way to see the world while exploring all aspects of the Grand Canyon, maybe even those you were not able to see on your visit.

If you plan to visit the Grand Canyon in the future, doing a Conquer Virtual Challenge is a great way to prepare for that trip and learn about the Grand Canyon as you put in your exercise miles.

Conquer Virtual Challenge Grand Canyon Challenge Example

We love the Virtual challenges as each time we walk, bike, or swim a mile, we can put in the mile for the Conquer Virtual Challenges. Each time we pass an important milestone for the Conquer Virtual Challenges, we are sent a postcard to tell us about the area we just traveled to.

At the end of the route, Conquer Virtual Challenges sends us a special Grand Canyon medal.

To learn 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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Is A Day Trip To The Grand Canyon Worth It?

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.

By clicking here, you can discover Is A Day Trip To The Grand Canyon Worth It?.

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.

Anita L Hummel
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