Grand Canyon is a wonder you feel once you experience!!!
Colorado river has done a great job to carve out of its water an immense Grand Canyon (GC). Its incredible vistas in sunrise, sunset, full moon and stargazing attracts millions of travelers every year around the world. Pictures can barely justify its depth and beauty. This article will give you insights on best time to visit, places to visit, accommodation, cost, map of viewpoints on South Rim. Do you know you can roam around in GC national park in free shuttle service. Click on file below; it’s a map from www.nps.gov
Tip: check weather forecast before you visit. We were not lucky enough to get good weather but managed to have some great clicks.
Places to visit on South Rim:
1. Mather point
This viewpoint is a great start for introduction to Grand Canyon. It is well known for terrific sunrise and sunsets. Mather point is closest to GC Visitor center.
2. Yavapai point
It is on 5 minutes drive (20 minutes walk) from GC Visitor center. If you are short on time, Yavapai Point is MUST on your list. On clear day you can see excellent views of Colorado river flowing through Canyons. It also has Museum which gives information about history and geology of Grand Canyon. Other viewpoints on 10 minutes drive are Yaki Point and Pipe Creek Vista.
3. Dessert view Watchtower
This is 70 feet high unusual rock tower built in 1932 by Mary Colter. It is so well designed and built that it blends perfectly in the feel of Grand Canyon. It is located near GC East Entrance. From Yavapai Point it is on 40 minutes drive. This point is far from other viewpoints so plan accordingly.
4. Hopi Point
This is another popular viewpoint for sunrise and sunset in its unobstructed Canyon vistas. This is on 15 minutes drive from Visitor center. From Hopi point you can walk to Powell point and Maricopa point.
5. Hermit’s Rest
It has some of the best GC views that you can see anywhere in the park. You can walk for half an hour towards Pima point to get different perspective of canyon. Other popular viewpoints on Hermit Road are Mohave point, The Abyss, Monument Creek Vista.
6. Grand Canyon Railway
The Grand Canyon Railway, is a heritage railroad which carries passengers between Williams, Arizona, and the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. It is located in Grand Canyon village. It is a great place to know history of transport in Arizona.
7. Mary Colter’s lookout studio and Hopi House
This is a stone- building in Grand Canyon village. It is exactly behind Bright Angel Lodge. The studio balcony opens to a panoramic view of Canyons. Hopi house is on 10 minutes walk from Mary Colter’s lookout studio. It’s a great place to collect souvenir.
Enjoy all these viewpoints taking free shuttle services and hop on-off at your favorite viewpoints. In winter shuttle service is not available.
If you are in mood to hike go for Bright Angel trailhead. It will take you down to the Canyon. Another good way to explore canyon but check weather before you start.
Some other attractions near South Rim are Tuzigoot National Monument, Oak Creek Canyon and Wupatki National Monument.
8. Horseshoe Bend
This is 3 hours drive from Grand Canyon National Park. It is must visit place when you are in Arizona. Don’t forget to book Antelope tours in advance to get the outstanding closer look of canyons in exceptionally beautiful way. This place looks magical in snow. If you are coming from Las Vegas, it will be on the way to Grand Canyon.
Best time to visit: March-May and September-November. It is immensely crowded in this time. My favorite time is winter when it is least crowded and you can get as many great pictures as you want with grand vista. Like this:
Places to stay: Bright Angel lodge is the best place to stay. It is in Grand Canyon village. Backside of lodge opens to the canyon landscape. Lodge has small museum, great drinks and food. Cost is $100-$150 depending upon the room you select. In off-season it is as low as $50-$90. There are many accommodations available for all budget options.
Hope this article gives you some insights for your visit to Grand Canyon National Park.