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Things to Do in Grand Canyon South Rim

Last Update on May 16, 2022
by Matthew Meier
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Planning a Grand Canyon trip? The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the best places to experience surreal views, especially when standing at the edge of the rim. This major landmark reaches 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and a mile deep; its surreal vastness brings in tourists from all over the globe. If you’re planning a visit, you may be considering the differences between the Grand Canyon South Rim versus its North Rim, so here are a few reasons to choose the Grand Canyon South Rim:

Hiking the Rim Trail

The South Rim isn't as crowded as the North Rim and has various pristine trails to explore. Hiking and walking offer the perfect opportunity for explorers to enjoy the canyon’s majestic beauty and take in all aspects of the landmark’s uniqueness. The trail stretches from the South Trailhead westward to Hermit's Rest for 13 miles, offering ample time to appreciate the stunning area. Luckily, most of the trail is paved, so hikers don't have to worry about slipping and falling when distracted by the surrounding views.

Overnight Backpacking

A Grand Canyon tour isn’t complete without spending a day or two overnight, which is likely the best way to make sure you see everything you want to! You can opt to hike to the bottom, or partake in daytime activities such as taking a boat ride.


For cyclists, the South Rim boasts plenty of trails, both paved and unpaved. For a unique experience, consider tackling the Greenway Trails, and load your bike on the bicycle-friendly shuttle when you finish. Or, you can hit the alluring Hermit’s Rest, which stretches across seven miles of uninterrupted paths.

If you didn’t bring your bike, visit Bright Angel Bicycles next to the Grand Canyon Visitors’ Center, which also offers guided bike tours between mid-March and October. There, you can also grab a quick bite at the café once you’ve wrapped up your ride.

Desert View Point

You can climb this 70-foot-tall watchtower, built in 1932, for a 360-degree view of the canyon–a 100-mile viewing radius! There, you can also stock up at the nearby deli or hit the campground.

If you're looking for experiences out of the norm, you can participate in the Desert View's cultural demonstration program–an opportunity to interact with and learn from local native tribes.

Colorado River Rafting

Whitewater rafting trips, boat rides, and smooth-water rafting excursions provide a different view of the canyon's towering walls, allowing you to see messages curved onto the stones by the ancient tribes. Touring the Grand Canyon via the Colorado River also allows you to check out the region's beautiful birds–including eagles, herons, and California condors.

Ask any avid visitor and they'll describe the South Rim as the trip of a lifetime, especially when they get to hit the water! Book your rafting trip through any lodge located within the park.


Matthew Meier

World Traveler. Mandarin Speaker. Founder of MaxTour.
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