Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park

THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Grand Canyon National Park

Things to Do in Grand Canyon National Park


From quick jaunts to full-day outings.

Top Attractions in Grand Canyon National Park

These rankings are informed by traveller reviews—we consider the quality, quantity, recency, consistency of reviews, and the number of page views over time.

Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.






Learn more about this content
Tours, activities and experiences bookable on Tripadvisor, ranked using exclusive Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, popularity, user preferences, price, and bookings made through Tripadvisor.
*Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.
We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.

What travellers are saying

  • Kathy L
    Prior Lake, MN493 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We have always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon and this was our opportunity. We planned two and a half days for the visit which was perfect. We visited the week prior to Memorial Day weekend and felt like the crowds weren't bad. The best tip we got was from the hotel clerk telling us to check the South Rim webcam prior to heading to the park. You can see how long the line is at the entrance. We entered at 2:30 our first day and there wasn't anyone in line. Since we have a Senior Parks Pass, we used our time to check out the Visitor Center and get our bearings.

    We arrived at the park at 9:00 on the second day and rode the blue shuttle (Shuttles are free) to the popular red shuttle pick up spot. A quick note about the blue shuttle. It serves a number of camping sites and is useful for those staying onsite or looking for food or refreshments. It isn't a scenic ride, but is a way to get to the red line.

    The red shuttle is an 80 minute round trip if you don't get on and off, with 9 stops going out, and four on the return. You don't see a lot of the view from the shuttle, but the best views areon the passenger side (right side as you face the front of the bus). Better views are seen as you exit the bus and walk to the guardrails. Note: some passengers with disabilities commented that this was more difficult than they expected. Most walks to the rim are paved, but some are on uneven ground and have a couple of steps. Busses stop every 10-15 minutes to pick up passengers, and there are several "two way" stops that you can catch a bus in either direction. The rim walks were just a little too close to the rim for our comfort, so I can't comment on difficulty or upkeep.

    Or second full day we decided to take the Desert View Drive. It is 22 miles long with quite a few pull outs to take photos, and some fabulous View Points with parking lots. My personal favorite is Lipan Point where we had the most beautiful views and photos. We enjoyed the Tusayan Ruin (Museum was closed) and would skip the Desert View Watchtower if we had it to do again. Feels very touristy. We spent half a day on the Desert View Drive.
    Written 23 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • That Hiking Guy
    Sedona, AZ7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Less than 1 % of the visitors to the Grand Canyon from around the world hike down to the river and back in ONE DAY. In case you were not aware, there are signs reminding us IT IS VERY DANGEROUS.
    You may be asking yourself now ," well, why is that, I'm an avid hiker " ?

    Here are pointers answering you.

    1. Past June 1st, the temperature is very difficult to withstand, especially in direct sunlight. Temp rises as you DESCEND.
    2. Roughly 15.5 miles ROUND TRIP is more than most people can hike in a day. When you add an est. 4,600 ft of elevation, it weeds out 95 % of doubters quickly.
    3. The average person under 6 ft strides about 3 ft per step at about 2 mph. Downhill is roughly 3 mph, but there is constant impediment, loose rock, and occasional built-in steps to navigate.
    4. To reach Indian Gardens cabins, fresh water refill and stationary porta potty restrooms ( considered the halfway point ) at 4.5 miles is a very respectable goal.

    * CONGRATULATIONS. Now you have to go back UP. That's on average, DOUBLE the time.

    5. From Indian Gardens you are on the 2nd half. It passes next to and snaking in and out, a winding rush of water after a while. Without a LIFESTRAW, remember deer and other animals pee in it, making NOT getting really sick a good tip.
    6. The trail also includes The Devil's Corkscrew, and aptly named. Standing at a sharp 90 degree turn at the top dissuades most day hikers instantly.
    7. Staying on task you descend and eventually see the river at another sharp turn next to restrooms, about 1.5 hours later. There is a very short outcropping of rocks at water's edge and a couple very small sandy beach areas. This has taken you about 5 to 6 hrs.

    **This is my advice. Write this down.

    A. Take a 3 liter hydration bag of iced water ( NOTHING LESS ), at least 2 / 30 0z bottles of electrolyte / Gatorade, and another of PLAIN WATER you will want to just periodically pour over your head and soak your ( wicking ONLY ) shirt to keep cool

    *No sugar. Sugar causes muscle cramps if you don't replace salt-loss and eat HIGH PROTEIN bars only. Keep it at 15 TO 20 grams each for max effect. Cubed pieces of rare steak in a ziplock helps. Trail mix MINUS yogurt clumps ( dairy causes the need to poop too much ).
    *MAKE SURE you charge your cell phone completely and do not use it
    to plot the trail and steps..... as it runs the battery down. A FULLY CHARGED CELL PHONE WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. COUNTING STEPS ETC. ETC. WILL NOT.

    ***GIRLS PAY ATTENTION TO THIS. DO NOT WEAR LYCRA / YOGA STRETCH PANTS OR JEANS. ** No one cares what your butt looks like, and sun-stroke IS NOT cute. YOU WILL SWEAT FAR TOO MUCH. WEAR LOOSE FITTING APPROPRIATE HIKING SHORTS WITH POCKETS FOR ESSENTIALS. DO NOT WEAR COTTON, NOR 100 % POLYESTER
    ( fake wicking material ) THAT DOES NOT BREATHE.

    *** DO NOT wear inappropriate shoes. Sandals, or flat tennis shoes with no tread cause search and rescue to deploy as much as someone with a single bottle of water and an apple.
    ****TRAIL SHOES WITH DEEP LUGS / TREAD AND SPACE APART IF NOT ANKLE HIKING BOOTS ( WHICH PREVENT A TWISTED OR BROKEN ONE ) ARE REALLY THE ONLY THING YOU SHOULD USE.

    So.......
    B. If you do what I did 3 days ago.....start at 2 am with a STRONG headlamp ( 300 lumen at least and extra batteries ). There is NO ONE on trail minus the occasional marathon / long distance runners.
    *Temperatures mid April thru May.. avg about 50 degrees at night.
    *Keep a steady pace and drink water, not the Gatorade ( that's for going back up in the sun and you are sweating twice as much ).
    * Take a 15 minute break for rest ( rest /shelter is perfect ).
    C. If you practice identical strie ( spacing )....TWO HOURS total to Indian Gardens is perfect.
    *Go pee. Get back on trail. Keep the same pace. Eat trail bars while walking & save time.
    TWO HOURS LATER...WELCOME TO THE RIVER.
    D. HERE'S THE MOST IMPORTANT FACT TO REMEMBER...and it matters MOST. ***The temperature rises at the bottom . It's not 65 now. It's 75 to 80. YOU HAVE TO HIKE ALL UPHILL BACK TO THE RIM IN THE SUN, WITH OCCASIONAL SHADE.
    *** Put your toes in the water, take some pics, rest for 45 minutes and eat. GET BACK ON TRAIL. TIME IS EITHER YOUR ENEMY OR FRIEND....DEPENDING ON YOUR STRICT OBSERVANCE OF IT.

    #This was my second hike down to the river and back. I am 62 in in 3 months. I had knee surgery 8 months ago.
    ROUND TRIP, 10 HOURS.
    I reached the rim at NOON exactly, taking short 3 minute breathers about every 250 yards or so....instead of one long break at Indian Gardens. If you do the long pause though, you add twice that time on to your hike.

    Yes, 1 % OF GRAND CANYON VISITORS DO THE DOWN / UP...
    BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE UNFORTUNATELY, ARE NOT IN SHAPE OR
    PROPERLY / INTELLIGENTLY PREPARED.

    As the military says " you can never train too much ".

    TRAINING increase confidence, versatility, capability, balance, and skillset.

    If you hike elevation at home ( 1000 ft to 3000 ) 3 months worth of long
    ( ten miles or more ) hikes... you should be at 15 to 16 miles capability.
    MAKE SURE you go with someone else if it is your first...because YOU ARE YOUR ONLY TRUE HELP in danger if you do not, by being smart and overly prepared.

    It is a brutal uphill task, but well worth the finish. The Colorado river at sun-up is breathtaking. Imagine sitting in complete silence, just the sound of water, and the faint whisper of a breeze that beckons very few since expeditioners mapped it in wooden boots.
    Written 24 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • WWTraveler27
    Phoenix, AZ128 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hiking the Grand Canyon was a life-changing experience. Getting to Phantom Range, the Colorado River, and then out on the same day was challenging. The views and the scale of the Grand Canyon were breathtaking. There is a reason it is one of the world's seven wonders, and it does not disappoint! Make sure you plan your water and energy carefully. Hikers were being rescued by helicopter all day because they underestimated the climb out. The struggle was real but worth it!
    Written 26 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Have Camera, Will Travel
    South Bend, IN3,573 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Grand Canyon does not disappoint. It was amazing to see. I highly recommend seeing a sunrise and sunset. The shadows create an amazing effect that you do not get in the middle of the day. It is people-ly, even in March, but mainly at the main parking area and Mather Point. The bus out to Hermit's Rest in the morning was very pleasant. It was getting busy about the time we headed back to the lodge. It was also cold in the AM and warm in the afternoon, so dress in layers (depending on season).
    Written 2 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Have Camera, Will Travel
    South Bend, IN3,573 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We only did bits and pieces of the Rim Trail, but it was amazing. The funniest thing is that we said hello to a hiker at the first stop and then ran into him 3 other times, including at Hermit's Rest. He beat us there. We had a good laugh.
    Written 2 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Sunsetbum
    Matthews, NC334 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This place was amazing. It’s a bit out of the way but well worth it! We visited the west end and was not impressed at all but this is totally different!
    Written 27 October 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Have Camera, Will Travel
    South Bend, IN3,573 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The view is epic, but it is also the busiest as it is the closest overlook to the main parking area. It is the first canyon view for the majority of the people coming to the park. Get on a bus and spread out a bit to see the different overlooks. It's all amazing.
    Written 2 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Have Camera, Will Travel
    South Bend, IN3,573 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We stopped as we headed out of the park at mid-morning. There wasn't many people about on a weekday in March. The shops were closed, but the tower opened as we were getting ready to head out. Lots of good views and a really cool bench that became an excellent photo op. We also got to see a moose wander in and eat some shrubbery. We kept our distance and got some pretty cool pictures. I highly recommend the stop.
    Written 2 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Have Camera, Will Travel
    South Bend, IN3,573 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This was one of our early morning stops after we saw a sunrise. The view is grand for sure. We also walked down the Grandview Trail just a bit to see what it was like. It would be an amazing hike. This is one location I would make sure you stop at.
    Written 2 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Have Camera, Will Travel
    South Bend, IN3,573 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent view. You get a glimpse of the Colorado River. I'm pretty sure this is the location were you can see some of the rapids and you can actually hear them. We walked the Rim Trail over to Powell, which is a short walk. Excellent stop.
    Written 2 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Have Camera, Will Travel
    South Bend, IN3,573 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We stayed 2 nights at the El Tovar and exited the park to the east, down the East Rim Drive. It was not busy at all, which was nice. We stopped at a half dozen stops. Grandview and the Desert View Watchtower were my favorites.
    Written 8 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Hummingbird Tours
    Tempe, AZ9 contributions