Visiting all of the most popular Grand Canyon attractions can take several days. Many visitors take an entire week to experience all that the Grand Canyon and its surrounding area has to offer. From stunning photo ops at surprisingly different viewpoints to a stroll through the Grand Canyon Museum, the natural wonder has something for everyone.
The Grand Canyon Skywalk is one of the best-known attractions, but many visitors do not realize it is located five hours beyond the National Park’s boundaries. Viewing the turquoise waters of Havasu Falls or journeying down into the Grand Canyon Caverns are activities well worth your time. Taking a tour can help you experience the Canyon to the fullest. Be sure to check out each visitor center you come across, as each has unique offerings. Keep reading to learn about the Grand Canyon’s most memorable attractions.
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Grand Canyon Caverns
At Grand Canyon Caverns, an elevator carries visitors 21 stories underground to view the largest dry cavern in the United States. Tours include the Chapel of the Ages cavern, unique geological formations and rare crystals. Ticket prices for adults begin at $15.95 and go as high as $99.
Tours can be as short as 25 minutes or as long as two and a half hours. Longer tours take physically fit visitors off the beaten path to underground areas rarely seen by man. Your visit can even include lunch at the underground Grotto Restaurant. Grand Canyon Cavern tours run between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information or to schedule a tour, call (928) 422-3223.
Grand Canyon Skywalk
The Grand Canyon glass walk, the Skywalk Bridge, draws thrill-seekers from around the world to take in its unparalleled views. The 10-foot-wide, glass-bottomed structure is shaped like a horseshoe and extends 70 feet from the Canyon’s rim. Although it is strong enough to bear the weight of seventy 747 passenger jets, it takes some bravery to step out on a clear glass platform positioned 4,000 feet above the ground.
The Grand Canyon Skywalk is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, every day of the year, including major holidays. From November to March, the last ticket of the day is sold at 4:30 p.m. The rest of the year, the last tickets are printed two hours before closing.
Personal photography from the bridge is prohibited, but there are photographers on-site that provide photo services. Ticket packages begin at $69 per person and include access to Grand Canyon West’s viewpoints and free shuttle service. The Grand Canyon Skywalk price increases as you add meals and other activities to your ticket package.
Grand Canyon Museums
If you are looking for a Grand Canyon museum experience while visiting the South Rim, then you can choose from two museums. The Yavapai Geology Museum is located at the Yavapai Point overlook, between the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and Grand Canyon Village. It is open during the summer from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and its expansive picture windows provide great views of the Canyon. Its exhibits tell the story of the park’s geological features, including what the rock layers are made of and how the Colorado River carved the Canyon over time.
Your other Grand Canyon museum choice is the Tusayan Ruin and Museum, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer. Guests can view the remains of a small ancestral Puebloan village, traditional tribal crafts and artifacts ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 years old. The museum is a good place to learn about the people who have inhabited the area since prehistoric times.
Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon is located on the Havasupai Reservation deep inside the Canyon. Its remarkable 100-foot drop lands in a pool of surprisingly bright turquoise waters, colored by the surrounding rock’s high travertine content. Grand Canyon Havasu Falls includes many pools that make excellent swimming holes during the warmer months. Visitors can ride a mule, fly in a helicopter or hike down into the Canyon to enjoy swimming, exploring and hiking the beautiful landscape. Access to Havasu Falls is available 365 days a year.
Located 25 miles east of Grand Canyon Village, the South Rim’s Desert View is open year round. It includes a campground, the Tusayan Museum and the Desert View Watchtower. The Desert View Grand Canyon watchtower was designed by Mary Colter to honor the style of ancestral Puebloans. Visitors may climb 85 steps for a view 70 feet above the surrounding area. The Desert View steps are open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and the Kiva Shop is open between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Phantom Ranch at the Grand Canyon
Phantom Ranch Grand Canyon is a welcome refuge for weary hikers, backpackers and mule-riders. Located at the bottom of the Canyon, the ranch offers dormitories, cabins and meals by reservation only. Phantom Ranch accommodations are awarded by a random lottery method. You may enter the lottery by making reservations up to 15 months before your trip. Call (888) 297-2757 for lottery information.
Grand Canyon Visitor Center
Everyone is recommended to stop by the main Grand Canyon Visitor Center when visiting the South Rim. Here, you can find information about current exhibits, activities and attractions. Learn about the free shuttle bus system, park ranger programs and get help finding a trail that meets your level of physical fitness. It is open during the summer from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
There is also a North Rim Grand Canyon Visitor Center open the same summer hours. This smaller center includes a bookstore and is staffed with helpful park rangers. It is near the North Rim Lodge patio, which is an excellent spot for viewing Canyon sunsets.
Located near the South Rim Visitor Center, Mather Point is the place where most visitors catch their first look at the impressive Grand Canyon. The extensive viewing area has several railed viewpoints, allowing guests to see the Canyon from different angles. Four large parking lots are nearby, making it a good place to park and ride when using the park’s free shuttle bus service.