So you want to visit the Grand Canyon, but it is too far and you’re not so crazy about hiking so is it even worth it? Traveling all that way to get a look at the famous Grand Canyon and then go back? The answer is YES!! It is totally worth it. And even if all you were able to do was just go stare at the Canyon, I think it would still be worth it.
Luckily though, there’s more things to do besides ogle the Canyon and hike to the bottom and back up. Check out my video highlights from my recent trip to the Grand Canyon. I spent 3 days there and by the second day I started to wish I had booked more days- that’s how much things there are to do!
At the Grand Canyon National Park, here are some fun things to do:
- Hike. It doesn’t have to be for very long or very far down if you don’t want to. Recommended trails: Rim Trail, Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail.
- Head to the Grand Canyon Visitor’s Center and watch the Grand Canyon movie. The Visitor’s Center is usually open 8am to 5pm/6pm.
Shop for Native American Art at Hopi House. Sometimes they have dancers so you may catch a performance.
- Enjoy a National Park Service program such as Geology Talk and Critter Chat.
- Have lunch at Bright Angel Restaurant.
- Walk to Mather Point to have your very first breathtaking view of the Grand Canyon. Great place to get pictures, but there will be a lot of people here.
- Have dinner at El Tovar Dining Room (reservations recommended)
- Experience a Sunrise at the Rim. You will likely need to be there super early, depending on time of year.
- Watch the Sunset at a rim viewpoint e.g. Yaki Point. Sunset time changes depending on time of year, but everyday they put on the bulletin board what time sunset [and sunrise] is.
- Enjoy stargazing at the dark canyon skies.
- Do any number of tours including Sunset Tour, Sunrise Tour, Desert View Watchtower Tour, etc.
- Ride the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon. A fun way to ‘arrive in style’ :).
- Get some pizza from the Pizza Pub in the food court at Maswik Lodge.
- Tour the Mary E.J. Colter Buildings.
- Tour the Kolb Studio and learn more about the Kolb Brothers.
- Visit Hermit’s Rest and get your picture taken here. This was the main reason I went all the way to this stop. Fear not, there is a shuttle available, or a trail, if you decide to hike it- more like walk it, actually.
- Visit the Yavapai Geologic Museum.
- Run a race. When I arrived on Saturday afternoon, I saw a bunch of people with race medals and the next day, several people asked me if I had run the half marathon the day before (because I was wearing a hat from a different half marathon).
- Drive to the airport to take a helicopter or air tour of the Grand Canyon.
- Shop at Tusayan Trading Post on the drive back to the park.
- Visit Verkamp’s Visitor Center and sign your name on the chalk board.
- Take loads of pictures– there are many great views and models (wildlife).
At Grand Canyon West, here are some fun things to do:
- Go horse riding at Hualapai Ranch
- Go bull riding on the mechanical bull
- Watch a magic show
- Get amazing views of the Canyon again. You can’t get tired of doing this.
- Go on a helicopter tour
- Walk among the clouds at the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
- Have lunch next to a dazzling view of the Canyon
- Visit the Hualapai Ranch jail
- Make a deposit at the bank at Hualapai Ranch
- Visit an ancient graveyard with a twist
- Visit Guano point, site of an old mine
- Experience Native American singing and dancing
- Spend the Night at the Hualapai Ranch in their rustic cabins facing the Canyon rim
- Learn how to rope and quick draw [a gun]
- Join the cowboys making s’mores and telling stories around an open fire in the evening
- Get photo Opportunities with Hualapai Members
- … and if you are really adventurous, go white water rafting!
On the drive to the Grand Canyon National Park, here are some fun things to do:
- Drive through the Red Rock Scenic Byway and stop in the Sedona area. Look around or do some shopping if you have some extra cash
- Visit Cathedral Rock.
- Visit Bell Rock
- Have breakfast or brunch at Cliff Castle Casino
- Stop at several viewpoints to marvel at nature
- Explore Tusayan, which is about 10 minutes from the entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park.
I hope if you were on the fence, I have been able to convince you about how much fun you will have on a visit to the Grand Canyon. And even if you were going to go anyway, hopefully I have helped make planning a little easier for ya. As a bonus, check out my list of things to pack when visiting the Grand Canyon :).
Is there anything I am missing from the lists above? Add more in the comments section below.