Explore Better with the National Park Travelers: Guide to the Grand Canyon
We recently returned from a trip exploring the South Rim of The Grand Canyon, and we quickly realized why it’s considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and why people from all over the world come to Arizona to visit! This is a very large park with a lot of things you need to know before planning, and we’ve got you covered on everything you need to know!
Best Airport To Use
We flew into Flagstaff Pulliam Airport. From there it was roughly a 2.5 hour drive into the Grand Canyon South Rim.
Where To Stay
The Squire Resort is located 25 minutes south of the South Rim Entrance and provides everything needed for your stay! This hotel includes a variety of amenities including multiple restaurants, bowling alley, arcade, and indoor/outdoor pools!
Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon are March-May, and September-November. This gives you the best weather and lowest amount of crowds. Visiting during the summer months is excellent, just expect higher temperatures and bigger crowds.
South Kaibab to Cedar Ridge
Distance (3.1 miles)
Estimated hike time (2.5 hours)
This was our favorite hike inside the park! With beautiful views from the beginning set of switchbacks, you will venture out further into the canyon until you reach Cedar Ridge, where you will have 360 degree views of the beautiful Grand Canyon! Worth noting this hike also passes the famous Ooh Aah point!
Navajo Point to Desert View
Distance (2.2 miles)
Estimated hike time (50 minutes)
A beautiful trail that takes you from Navajo Viewpoint along the rim until you reach the famous Desert View Watchtower. Once you reach the Watchtower there is a gift shop, snacks, and plenty to learn about when this structure was built!
Yavapai Point via Rim Trail
Distance (1.7 miles)
Estimated hike time (35 minutes)
This hike starts from Mather Point, which is one of the most visited lookouts in the park. You will begin hiking along the rim until you reach Yavapai Point. This is a great trail for sunrise and sunset as it is one of the shorter hikes on the South Rim.
Our Favorite Experiences
We had the pleasure of taking a helicopter tour with Papillon and were blown away at the beauty from above. We left our hotel and drove 5 minutes to the Grand Canyon Airport where we boarded our helicopter! This 50 minute tour takes you from the North Rim to the South Rim and provides sweeping views of the Canyon and Colorado River below. Our tour guide was very informative and we learned so much from him during this flight. We’d recommend this experience to anyone visiting!
Grand Canyon Sunsets
The sunsets in the Grand Canyon are so unique. Here are some of our favorite locations to watch the sky transform.
We knew the Grand Canyon was special, but seeing it for ourselves really put it into perspective and became one of our top National Parks we’ve ever visited. This is a place everyone needs to have at the top of their bucket list and visit at least once in their lifetime!