Can You Tour the Grand Canyon on Your Own?

Last Update on September 11, 2022 by Maxtour
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Among the most famous tourist spots in the United States, Arizona’s Grand Canyon welcomes almost six million visitors each year, with many booking tours to fully experience the majestic phenomenon–millions of years of geological history is preserved in those red rocks. However, you absolutely can tour the Grand Canyon independently. 

Read on to learn how you can tour the Grand Canyon without a tour company or guide, the benefits of doing so, why some people choose Grand Canyon half-day tours and Grand Canyon trip packages to make their experience more fulfilling, and whether it’s best to go on your own or with a tour company.

Can You Tour the Grand Canyon on Your Own?

There are no rules against visiting the Grand Canyon without a tour service, and there are no significant barriers in doing so. So–yes, you can tour the Grand Canyon on your own. To learn how to do this by driving, check out our post on how to tour the Grand Canyon by car.

How Can You Tour the Grand Canyon Independently?

To tour the Grand Canyon on your own, you can drive into the South Rim and park your car there. Once you’re inside, your independent tour of the Grand Canyon will be facilitated by:

  • The free shuttle bus that takes you around
  • The park newspaper that shows all the information you need to explore the Grand Canyon park
  • The tourist center where you can ask questions about the park
  • The rangers stationed across the park who can guide you if you’re lost or looking for a specific site

Why Do People Choose Tour Companies to Visit the Grand Canyon?

While the Grand Canyon can be, and is, toured by people independently, many visitors choose a Grand Canyon half day tour to help them make the most of their experience. Visitors may choose a tour company to help them see the Grand Canyon because:

  • The company does the planning for you, so you can take a spontaneous trip 
  • It takes care of minor issues, such as paying entrance fees and finding good routes that can significantly impact your trip
  • It eliminates the fuss of finding parking
  • Tour companies offer multiple exciting tour options, such as touring on a helicopter, airplane, or boat
  • Tour guides are usually very familiar with the place and can take you to spots that are less-frequently explored by independent visitors
  • Guides keep you informed and entertained with a lot of interesting information and fun facts about the sites you are seeing 
  • Tour guides often have medical certification in case of an emergency
  • Tour companies might provide the needed hiking gear if you don’t have it
  • Taking a tour with a company means you will usually be in a group with people you don’t already know, giving you the perfect chance to meet new people
  • Tour companies are knowledgeable of the area and understand the challenges that can arise during trips, so they are better equipped to resolve any issues that happen along the way

Which Option Should You Choose? 

Whether you take a tour of the Grand Canyon on your own or choose to visit with a tour company depends on what you are hoping to get out of your trip. If you are hoping to spend some quality time alone or with your friends and family without outsiders, are relatively familiar with the area, and willing to put in the effort to explore yourself, visiting independently may be the right choice for you.

However, if you are looking for convenience and want to have an enjoyable trip without being responsible for figuring out what to see and how to see it, going with a tour group would be the best option for you. 

Booking a trip with a tour company may also help you experience the Grand Canyon from an atypical perspective, such as from the top in a helicopter. In essence, visiting the Grand Canyon with a tour company may help you experience the same place in multiple fun ways.



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