20 amazing activities to do in the Grand Canyon

20 Activities in the Grand Canyon! [GUIDE]

Annually, millions of tourists visit the West of America and all the magnificent national parks that California, Utah, and Arizona have to offer.

The most extraordinary national park is, without a doubt, the Grand Canyon. Nowhere else on earth can such a deep and vast gorge be seen.

Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, you have to look incredibly well and deep into the gorge to realize how deep it is (1,500 meters deep).

Nearly 5 million tourists visit the Grand Canyon annually. And they experience the Grand Canyon in all sorts of ways.

Below you will find our quick guide; a guide that can be consulted quickly with the most beautiful and fun to-do’s in the Grand Canyon.

Many of these activities I have experienced myself during one of my visits to the Grand Canyon.

In 2012, 2019, and 2023, I visited the Grand Canyon and experienced everything in this spectacular natural area!

Table of Contents

Hike the Bright Angel Trail

The Bright Angel Trail is a beautiful hike that starts at the Bright Angel Lodge. Along the way, you pass various rest stops. The view along the way is breathtakingly beautiful!

The real enthusiast hikes all the way to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, a hike of 12.8 kilometers.

But be careful! You also have to hike back up, and the temperatures can get very high. Few people do this in one day, and I do not recommend it.

A tip: start early in the day when the temperature is still low. We started walking around 06:00 AM and were back by 09:00 AM.

Take enough food and water for the journey. And finally, enjoy the beautiful views along the way.

View the scenery from the South Rim

Enjoy the view of the South Rim

An accessible way to admire the Grand Canyon is from the South Rim near the Grand Canyon Visitor Center.

Park your car at the Visitor Center and walk to the edge of the Canyon.

Tip: take in the views, but also make sure to look down at the Colorado River at the bottom. That’s when you truly see how deep the Grand Canyon is!

Drive in an open jeep along the rim of the Grand Canyon

Hummer Grand Canyon

Want to see a lot of the Grand Canyon in a short amount of time? Then get into an open Hummer with a guide and let yourself be driven along various viewpoints.

The tour lasts about 2 hours and the guide tells you all kinds of interesting facts about the Grand Canyon.

Hike the South Kaibab Trail

To do Grand Canyon South Kaibab Trail

According to many, the most beautiful hike in the Grand Canyon: the South Kaibab Trail. An absolute must-do if you’re in the Grand Canyon!

We found this walk beautiful and made it to Cedar Ridge, a journey of about 3 hours (round trip). There is a toilet available at this rest stop.

Along the way, we encountered plenty of enthusiasts on their way to Skeleton Point, a hike of 4 to 6 hours round trip.

Bring enough food and water because hiking in the Grand Canyon can be quite challenging. There are no water points on the trail itself.

Visit the Yavapai Geology Museum

Visit Yavapai Geology Museum

A fun activity is visiting the Yavapai Geology Museum on the South Rim.

Tip: walk from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center to the museum, a beautiful 20-minute stroll along the edge of the Grand Canyon.

In the Yavapai Geology Museum, you’ll find all sorts of interesting and historical facts, photos, and a large model of the Grand Canyon. Admission to the museum is free.

Take a bike ride along the Rim

A fun and active way to explore the South Rim is by bike. At the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, you can rent bikes from 2 hours up to 24 hours. They also have e-bikes and trailers for children.

The paths on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon are paved, making them very accessible by bike.

Watch a movie about the Grand Canyon at the IMAX Theatre

In the small town of Tusayan, 3 kilometers away from the ‘Park Entrance’ (access point to the South Rim), is the Grand Canyon IMAX Theater. Here, you can watch the film ‘Grand Canyon: Rivers of Time’ on a large screen.

This is a fun activity for both young and old, and it definitely broadens your knowledge and perspective on the Grand Canyon.

Take a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon

Helicopter flight Grand Canyon

Do you want to view the Grand Canyon in a spectacular way? Then dive into the Grand Canyon with a helicopter. A helicopter flight can be booked from about $239.

There are also more expensive helicopter tours available. These last longer and/or include a landing in the Grand Canyon.

Of course, a helicopter flight is very taxing on the environment, but it may also be a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.

I personally found a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon to be a spectacular experience. But I definitely didn’t consider it a requirement for seeing the Grand Canyon properly.

From the viewpoints on the South Rim and with one of the hikes in this list, you can enjoy the Grand Canyon just as much. And that is better for the environment and the wallet.

But I understand when people book the helicopter flight. How often do you get this chance?

Visit the Grand Canyon Visitor Center

Visitor Center Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon Visitor Center is the tourist heart of the South Rim. Here, you can rent bikes, check out a souvenir shop, pick up information, and take a restroom break.

From the Visitor Center, free shuttle buses depart to various viewpoints on the South Rim.

Visit the old Watch Tower at the edge of the Grand Canyon

Viewpoints Grand Canyon Desert View

Near the East entrance of the Grand Canyon stands the Desertview Watchtower from 1932. A beautiful historical object at the edge of the rim.

A stop at the Watchtower is definitely worth it. The view over the Grand Canyon is magnificent from the tower, which you can climb for free.

Visit one of the many viewpoints on the South Rim

View Grand Canyon Grandview Point

The South Rim has numerous viewpoints. Mather Point, Yavapai Point, Mohave Point, Hopi Point, Grandview Point, Moran Point, and so on.

Of course, it’s very fun to visit all these points, whether by walking, biking, or taking the free shuttle bus. They are all easily accessible from the central point, the Visitor Center.

Walk to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

Rim to Rim trail Grand Canyon

True enthusiasts walk all the way from the edge of the Grand Canyon down to the Colorado River. This is, of course, a huge adventure.

Be aware that you have to climb back up and the conditions can be tough. On YouTube, there are many videos of people who hike down to the bottom and back up in one day.

Definitely take a look to see if it’s something for you. The Park Rangers strongly advise against it, by the way.

Down by the Colorado River, there’s also a campground. You can’t just show up there; you’ll need to arrange your overnight stay many months in advance and you’ll also need a permit.

So, make sure you read up well if you want to stay overnight there!

Ride a mule to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

For more than 100 years, mule rides to the bottom of the Grand Canyon have been provided. It is the safest way to descend into the Grand Canyon thanks to the strong mules.

The tours are extremely popular and availability is very limited. If you want to take a mule ride to the Phantom Range at the bottom of the Canyon, you need to arrange this many months in advance.

Watch the sunset from Mather Point

Mather Point

Mather Point, located near the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, is one of the most popular places to watch the sunset in the Grand Canyon.

The colors of the Grand Canyon change spectacularly with the light of the setting sun, creating an unforgettable experience. Tip: make sure you get there early due to crowds.

Take the shuttle bus for a tour along the South Rim

Shuttle Bus Grand Canyon

Take one of the free shuttle buses along the many viewpoints on the South Rim. The routes are indicated by colors; Blue, Orange, Red, and Purple.

Via the link below, you can view all the routes on the map. You will also find the bus schedules there.

The free shuttle bus is a very practical way to explore the South Rim. You can get off whenever you want and later catch the next passing bus to continue your journey.

Take a beautiful photo at Ooh Aah Point

Ooh Aah Point Grand Canyon

One of the most beautiful viewpoints is Ooh Aah Point on the South Kaibab Trail. As the name suggests, Ooh Aah Point offers a breathtaking view of the Grand Canyon.

You reach Ooh Aah Point by walking 1.3 kilometers on the South Kaibab Trail. The viewpoint is hard to miss due to the sign and the many hikers who stop here.

After admiring the view, you can, of course, walk back up. You can also continue your hike on the South Kaibab Trail, one of the most beautiful hiking routes in the Grand Canyon.

Walk over a glass bridge: the Grand Canyon Skywalk

Skywalk Grand Canyon

To the west of the Grand Canyon, you’ll find the Grand Canyon Skywalk, an imposing glass bridge that hangs over the edge of the Grand Canyon (22 meters to be exact).

It’s certainly special to walk on a glass bridge with the deep Canyon below you. However, many tourists find the Skywalk expensive and very touristy. For example, you’re not allowed to take your own photos on the Skywalk; you can buy them after your visit.

Also, read some reviews on TripAdvisor to see if the Skywalk is for you. Through the link below, you can find more information about tickets.

Take a boat trip on the Colorado River

Spring in the Grand Canyon

View the Grand Canyon from the water! This tour departs from the eastern side of the Grand Canyon, from the small town of Page.

You will be picked up by bus and then set off for a boat trip through Glen Canyon. The boat trip is 30 kilometers long and includes a lunch package.

Along the way, you will also make a short walk to view ancient petroglyphs.

A unique way to see the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend!

Fly over the Grand Canyon in a small plane

From Grand Canyon National Park Airport (South Rim) in Tusayan, you can fly over the Grand Canyon in a small plane.

The flight lasts 40 to 45 minutes and offers you a magnificent view of the Grand Canyon.

Especially take a look at the images above; they speak more than a thousand words.

Flying over the Grand Canyon in a small plane costs about $179 per person, making it slightly cheaper than a helicopter flight.

Take the historic train from Williams to Grand Canyon Village

From the small town of Williams, you can take the historic train to Grand Canyon Village.

The railway line between Williams and Grand Canyon Village was built in 1901 and was the primary way to travel to the Grand Canyon at that time.

Today, the historic train is a popular tourist attraction. You can find more information and book tickets at www.thetrain.com.

Activities in the Grand Canyon

On this page, you found 20 activities to do in the Grand Canyon.

Do you have more tips for fun activities in the Grand Canyon? Or would you like to share your experience with one of these activities? Then leave a comment!

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