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Grand Canyon National Park
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Grand Canyon National Park Tourism and Travel: Best of Grand Canyon National Park
With two billion years of geological history, “grand” could be an understatement
An average of 5 million people flock to Grand Canyon National Park’s rim every year. At 277 miles long, 10 miles across, and as much as a mile deep, this World Heritage Site is as beautiful as it is vast. Indeed, Theodore Roosevelt called it "the one great sight which every American should see." Visitors drive and cycle the canyon’s edge to stop at spectacular viewpoints, while the most prepared and fit travellers hike into the canyon’s depths on trails like Bright Angel and South Kaibab.
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Essential Grand Canyon National Park
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Grand Camping in the Grand Canyon
When it comes to exploring the great outdoors, it doesn’t get more epic than the Grand Canyon. A favorite with both experienced campers and beginners (my people!), this famed national park features breathtaking views, quaint stores, and historic sites—all socially distanced to the max. Keep reading for my must-see spots for the perfect summer adventure!
Leanne Philip, Rome, GA
- Point Imperial Drive113Enjoy miles of scenic twists and turns on your way to Point Imperial, the highest overlook on the North Rim. Showcasing layers of red and black Precambrian rocks all around, this must-visit spot faces the Painted Desert and offers a seemingly endless view of the Grand Canyon’s vast beauty.
- Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge2,827For the crowd that craves a comfy queen-sized bed and numerous feather pillows, there’s the Grand Canyon Lodge. Relax in one of the hotel’s comfortable cabins. Plus, as the only lodging in the North Rim, this scenic spot features immediate access to the park’s hiking trails and overlooks.
- Lipan Point340If you can only visit one viewpoint on your trip then this has to be it. Lipan Point is a canyon triple-threat offering views of the Colorado River’s Hance Rapid, the one-of-a-kind Grand Canyon Supergroup rock strata, and the historic Unkar Delta—an ancestral Puebloan home site that dates back to around 1100 A.D.
- Canyon Village Market Place and Deli859If you’re prone to forgetting things, the village market will soon become your lifeline. In addition to selling food, clothing, and housewares, this full-service department and grocery store also offers camping equipment rentals and affordable souvenirs.
- Yavapai Geology Museum67This spot is a must for first-time canyon visitors and scientists-in-training. Featuring tactile models, stunning photographs, and more, the educational displays here are designed to help people understand (and appreciate) the Grand Canyon’s awe-inspiring geology.
- Trailer Village RV Park253For those who prefer to park rather than pitch a tent, there’s the Trailer Village RV Park. Nestled amid the beautiful desert, this RV park is what glamping dreams are made of: full hook-ups, close to the South Rim, and access to limited WiFi. Just what you need to post all those Insta-worthy holiday moments.
- Hopi House191A National Historic Landmark, this stone house was built to allow visitors to admire traditional Hopi artwork. Today, art lovers can see various Native American art and crafts on display inside, while architecture fans will appreciate the way the structure seamlessly blends into the canyon’s natural landscape.
- Bright Angel Campground82This permit-only campsite is a geologist’s dream! Where else can you spend the night at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, gazing at the stars while surrounded by two billion-year-old granite?
- South Kaibab Trail1,736Fun fact about this trail: It was blasted out of the canyon’s walls in 1920. It’s also hailed by many as the #1 must-hike route in the whole Grand Canyon, with three supreme vantage points: the accurately named Ooh Aah Point, Cedar Ridge, and Skeleton Point. That said, wear a hat and pack lots of water when walking this path, as shade is in short supply.
- Bright Angel Bicycles and Cafe392Wherever I am in the world—even if I’m hanging out on the edge of Grand Canyon—having coffee is non-negotiable. Stop into this bike shop-cum-café for healthy wraps and salads, delicious pastries, and of course, an endless stream of your favorite caffeinated beverages.
- Mather Campground746For those who have planned (read: reserved) ahead, Mather Campground is the perfect spot to rest your head. The only campsite within Grand Canyon Village, this pet-friendly spot is complete with picnic tables and drinking water taps, and it offers easy access to the Visitor Center, general store, and the paved trails of the scenic Greenway.
- Kolb Studio207This historic site was the home and photography studio of brothers Emery and Ellsworth Kolb, who documented their Grand Canyon and Colorado River adventures via film and photo. The restored building houses exhibits on these pioneering siblings, and it has a killer giftshop with artwork, books, and other gifts to remember your trip by.
- Hopi Point634Make sure to end one of your days with a visit to Hopi Point. The sunset views are unimaginable at this area of the canyon, allowing you to see all the way out to the Great Scenic Divide on the west, as well as the Dana Butte, 2,000 feet below.
- Grand Canyon Village695You can’t miss this activity and transportation hub! My favorite part? The expertly preserved historic district, which includes the Buckey O’Neill Cabin—considered to be the oldest still-standing structure on the South Rim. Step into the past and experience the area as it was in the early 1900s. All that’s missing is the whistle of the transcontinental railroad passing by!
- Bright Angel Trail2,369Ease into your trip with the Bright Angel Trail. Perfect for first-time hikers and families, this 9.3-mile trail comes with stunning cliff views, natural bodies of water, and plenty of shade for optimal plant- and wildlife-viewing. Bonus: There are numerous covered rest houses and seasonal water sources along the way!