Ever wondered, “how can I see Grand Canyon in one day?” You’re not the only one! There are lots of other people like you trying to absorb a place as vast as the Grand Canyon in one day. Well, we don’t recommend that but if you really only have a day … we can help you out.
If you can’t visit longer…
Here’s how to see the Grand Canyon in just a day.
Avoid peak months
The first thing you’d want to do is avoid peak months because the place gets really crowded then. Instead, try visiting the Canyon in springtime (March to June) when the heat is considerable enough to repel everyone but the resilient.
Stay at one of the hotels in the South Rim
North Rim has its own charm, but the most popular viewpoints are located on the South Rim. Since you don’t have enough hours to explore both of the rims, it’d probably be best to hit the South Rim.
However, unlike most of the people, try avoiding the 7 to 10-hour long coach tour and instead, take your own car and stay at one of the hotels on the South Rim for a night. You may want to start your exploration right from Dawn.
If, for some reason, you can’t stay for a night, don’t drive straight to the park. Instead, take Highway 89 North and enter the East Entrance. Along the way, you’ll have the breathtaking views of the Little Colorado River Gorge.
Start with Hopi Point
One of the most popular viewpoints on the South Rim, the Hopi Point offers stunning views of the Canyon at sunrise. Take in those views as the rays start illuminating the labyrinth.
You can access Hopi Point from the Grand Canyon Village by taking the Hermit Drive, from the Bright Angel Lodge by taking a free shuttle, and just by taking a few steps along the Rim Trail.
Take a shuttle to Mohave Point
If you want the Canyon all to yourself, then take the free shuttle from the Hopi Point to the Mohave Point. To get lost in the magic of the morning, you can also walk a mile from one point to the other along a narrow trail.
Once you get to the Mohave Point, look for a promontory known as Alligator. It runs deep toward the Colorado River. Just west of it is Hermit Rapid – a steep heap of debris formed because of erosion of the walls of South Rim.
Take a hike into the depths of the Canyon
The horizon is beautiful at the Canyon, but take a hike into the depths of the Canyon to know it well. The South Kaibab Trail to Ooah Point and the Rim Trail are popular for that.
Get lost in the Yavapai Geology Museum
Located along the Yavapai Viewpoint, the Yavapai Geology Museum houses the secrets of the Grand Canyon. You’ll learn about its geology, formation, and stratigraphy all displayed in stunning 3D models.
You can reach this museum by taking the shuttle bus from the visitor center. It is called the Rim Route bus. But if you’re taking your own car, there’s a parking lot, which is congested at times.
Skip the cafeterias
At about noontime, you can have lunch in the cafeterias found in the village, but you’ve been eating at places like those all your life. Why not try eating your lunch at one of the picnic spots along the Rim Trail? There are plenty of spots between The Abyss and the Mohave Point and you’ll save tons of time by packing your own lunch.
End your trip at the Desert Viewpoint
The Desert Viewpoint is home to the Desert View Watchtower – a tower that has stunning reflections and paintings of the way Ancestral Puebloans lived. Once you are done with that, climb to the deck to get a 360-degree panorama of the Canyon below. If you have time, stay there to witness the grandeur of the sunset.
Do you have tips for visiting the Grand Canyon in a day? Please share in the comments below!