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Declared a national park more than a century ago—as well as an UNESCO World Heritage Site—the Grand Canyon stretches a whopping 277 miles in Arizona, is 6,000 feet at its deepest, and 18 miles at its widest!
Its sheer immensity, unique geological formations, sweeping views, and kaleidoscopic hues—from creamy orange and bright red to even pink and purple—make any visit truly unforgettable.
Whether the centerpiece of your vacation or just an incredible stop along the way, planning your Grand Canyon adventure ahead of time will help you get the most out of this breathtaking and wondrous place.
Here’s what you should know when planning your trip to the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon boasts plenty of spectacular views and fun and exciting activities for every type of traveler to have the time of their lives.
There are dozens of popular scenic spots—from Mather Point’s brilliant panorama of the canyon’s South Rim, to Moran Point’s soaring overview of the Colorado River and stunning rock formations.
Despite its desert landscape, the Grand Canyon is also home to a number of beautiful, cascading waterfalls that make must-see rest stops and photo opportunities, such as Havasu Falls, Ribbon Falls, and Beaver Falls.
Check out some of the iconic landmarks and historic attractions scattered throughout the park, including the 70-foot, stone Desert View Watchtower built in 1932, or Navajo Bridge, a pair of steel, spandrel arch bridges crossing about 500 feet above the Colorado River.
Hike one of the park’s numerous walking trails and explore the gorgeous scenery. Venture down Bright Angel Trail or up to Grandview Point for sweeping views. Take a pit stop at Hermit’s Rest, a century-old rest area along Hermit’s Trail, or visit Grand Canyon Village for some souvenir shopping.
Be sure to check out Grand Canyon Skywalk, a U-shaped, cantilever bridge with a glass walkway that not only provides a captivating view of the canyon’s towering walls, but also a heart-pounding scan of the 800-foot drop to the bottom.
When you’re done exploring the Grand Canyon by foot, book a helicopter ride and enjoy its stunning grandeur by air. Take a ride on the historic Grand Canyon Railway—running daily from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim—and admire the sheer beauty of the landscape as it changes from desert to prairie to pine forest from the comfort of your seat in a vintage train car. More intrepid travelers can book a rafting tour and paddle along the Colorado River. Depending on the time of year, you can even visit the North Rim for a day of skiing!
Best Time to Visit
Knowing the best time to schedule your trip can help you get the most value out of your journey and ensure optimal travel conditions. It’s important to consider factors including crowd sizes, lodging costs, and weather.
The high season for tourism is May through August, when you can expect more crowds, higher prices, and much hotter weather—with temperatures often above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Late autumn and winter between November and February features fewer crowds and cheaper accommodations—but you may experience cooler weather and more precipitation.
The shoulder season, extending from March through May, is when travelers can usually find the perfect balance of smaller crowds, greater availability and more affordable lodging, and comfortable, dry weather.
How Much You Should Budget
While your exact vacation expenses will depend on your specific itinerary and travel preferences, having an idea of how much to budget for your trip will ultimately help you get the most out of it.
According to travel planning website BudgetYourTrip.com, the average traveler should expect to spend about $130 per person, per day—with a one-week vacation to Grand Canyon National Park running around $911 for one person, and about $1,823 for two people.
These estimates can vary based on specific itineraries and activities, exactly where in the park you plan to visit, and how you choose to travel.
Popular Nearby Accommodations
Your choice of accommodations will have an enormous impact on your overall experience.
Visitors to the South Rim will have access to more hotels and lodging options. If you’re looking to stay within the park, book early—as rooms tend to fill up quickly and can be more expensive.
There are several Grand Canyon National Park Lodges available. Visitors can stay at El Tovar Hotel, a celebrated historic hotel with plenty of charm and modern amenities, or book a cabin at Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins, which features a selection of cozy units and a rustic aesthetic.
The chalet-style Grand Hotel in Grand Canyon Village features spacious, comfortable rooms, and premium amenities for guests looking to lounge in luxury. Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn is another great choice, with elegant, upscale lodgings including an indoor heated pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, game room, and even a bowling center!
If you’re seeking a more immersive experience, the park offers several campsites including Mather Campground and North Rim Campground—with options to stay in your own tent or one of the authentic cabins scattered throughout the park.
Work With InteleTravel to Plan Your Grand Canyon Getaway!
No matter how you plan to experience the true majesty of the Grand Canyon, the best way to ensure you see and do everything you’ve dreamed of is to work with a certified travel professional such as an InteleTravel Advisor.
Our team of experienced travel experts will arrange the perfect itinerary based on your unique preferences, book and reserve the various aspects of your trip, and even provide help and support throughout every stage of your journey—so the only thing you’ll need to think about is all the fun you’ll have!
InteleTravel Advisors will also secure valuable upgrades and exclusive travel bonuses whenever available, to further add value to your trip.
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