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Planning a Grand Canyon Trip

Last Update on May 26, 2022
by Matthew Meier
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No matter how many pictures you see of the Grand Canyon, nothing beats standing on its edge as you take in the beautiful surrounding landscapes, which come to a head with the encapsulating violets, pinks, and golds as the sun sets. The Grand Canyon is one of the most visited tourist sites on the globe, and planning a trip requires more than booking a hotel or packing your hiking gear.

Which Part of the Grand Canyon Should You Visit?

The Grand Canyon is split into the North and South Rims–these are around four hours apart when traveling by car. The Grand Canyon West is another four hours from the South Rim and seven hours from the North Rim. Of the three, which one should you visit on your Grand Canyon trip?

North Rim

There are many things to do in the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, including enjoying the best views of the surrounding area, hiking trails, lodging options, and an overall wholesome experience. It's the most visited region of the Grand Canyon, and there's a good reason for this–it provides expansive views of the Grand Canyon and there are many activities to partake in, like rafting and mule rides.

South Rim

Looking for things to do in the Grand Canyon South Rim? This area is preferred by tourists looking for peace, especially for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It's quieter than the North Rim and boasts vast forest coverage. While it can't beat the North Rim’s spectacular views, you're likely to encounter wildlife and enjoy some pristine trails when you head south.

Grand Canyon West

Grand Canyons West’s main attraction is the Skywalk, a bridge suspended over 70 feet with dizzying views–including under your feet! It's important to note that personal cameras and phones are not allowed here, but you can opt for professional photos. Grand Canyon West is closest to Las Vegas, which adds convenience for Sin City tourists. If you're an avid hiker, though, you're better off hitting the South or North Rims as there are only two easy trails to enjoy at Grand Canyon West. There are, however, many other activities to engage in, including zip-lining, boat rides, and touring a native American village.

It's worth pointing out that Grand Canyon West is located on Native American land and requires an entrance fee, which isn’t the case with the North and South Rims.

When Is the Best Time to Visit the Grand Canyon?

The South Rim is busiest during the summer, which can make camping prices skyrocket–an added pain to the summer temperatures over 100 degrees! The best times to visit the South Rim are during spring and fall, when weather is optimal for longer hikes and tourist numbers are low. Additionally, the winter months allow for snow-covered canyon views!

The North Rim is less busy than the South Rim, and you're likely to encounter less-crowded hiking paths in addition to an overall cooler climate, thanks to the region’s high altitude. Consider planning your trip to the North Rim in the fall to enjoy the beautiful natural colors of the Kaibab National Forest, but keep in mind this Rim is closed from mid-October to mid-May.

For those looking for fewer tourists even during the summer months, Grand Canyon West is the way to go!


Matthew Meier

World Traveler. Mandarin Speaker. Founder of MaxTour.
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