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Tourists walk on the Skywalk above the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA
26 July, 20193 minute read

Exploring the Grand Canyon National Park

If there is one landmark that deserves a place on everybody’s holiday wish list it's the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The sheer size of the Grand Canyon is astonishing; its layered bands of red rock tell a story that stretches back for untold millennia. The entire canyon is 277 miles long with an average width of 10 miles, and gazing over the canyon’s lip on an escorted tour is always a powerful experience. If you are lucky enough to visit the Grand Canyon National Park, you are in for a spectacular trip.

Visiting the Grand Canyon South Rim

Visitors to the monumental South Rim can take in majestic views of the canyon during the day, and watch the sun setting over the East Rim in the evening. From up here the mighty Colorado River looks like a trickle down below. The South Rim is open all year round and it is home to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. If you’re on a tight schedule you can watch a 20 minute IMAX film here - ‘Grand Canyon: A Journey of Wonder’ - which takes you on an aerial tour. You’ll visit the South Rim on our Awe-Inspiring National Parks tour.

A visitor gazes down from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Which Grand Canyon trail is the best?

Many travellers choose to take the Rim Trail, which is easily accessed from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. You can follow this fabulous trail along to Hermit’s Rest, appreciating peaceful views, and catch the shuttle back. Information signs along the route will give you all kinds of information, from geological facts to the types of animals you might encounter.

For something more challenging, the Tonto Trail is a 95-mile route that stretches through the back country. It might not be possible to take this trail on our Grand Canyon tours - but if you have unlimited time and you are an experienced hiker you should think about giving it a go.

Experience the Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Grand Canyon Skywalk opened to the public in 2007, and it is not for the fainthearted. Located at Grand Canyon West, the skywalk is a horseshoe shaped cantilever bridge with a glass bottom that stretches out 70ft into the canyon. Walk the bridge and you will get some sense of what it’s like to be a condor soaring over the Grand Canyon.

View of the Skywalk over the Grand Canyon, USA

Exploring the Grand Canyon East End & Monument Valley

The East End of the Grand Canyon is one of the most scenic parts, but it is often overlooked.  Home to Horseshoe Bend, one of the most attractive twists in the Colorado River, a visit here also gives you the opportunity to visit Monument Valley. This cluster of vast sandstone buttes, located on Navajo territory along the Arizona/Utah border, is truly picturesque.

A visitor looks out over Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Soar away on Grand Canyon helicopter tours

A chartered helicopter tour is undoubtedly an incredible way to see the Grand Canyon. If you are lucky enough to get the chance (tours can book out weeks in advance) you’ll see the incredible panorama of this astonishing natural phenomenon from on high. You might even land at the bottom before flying back to your hotel. You can book Grand Canyon helicopter tours as an optional excursion on a number of our USA tours.

Any tour of the Grand Canyon National Park is special, so if you get the opportunity to visit, take it.

Find out more about Grand Canyon tours on our USA destination page.

Image of blog author Jenny Chaplin

Jenny’s passion for culture and wildlife has taken her across the world. Favourite experiences so far have included snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef, sailing on the Ganges in Varanasi, hiking through Norway and spending many hours on safari in Kenya and India spotting a menagerie of wonderful creatures.

Jenny | About the author

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