9 Different Ways to Do the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon
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I just got back from a trip to the Grand Canyon. It was grand (see what I did there).

I’ve always pictured myself flying in via air transfer from Las Vegas, but when I first visited Vegas a few years ago by myself, decided I would wait it out for the day I could share the experience with someone else. After all, this is one of the world’s 7 Natural Wonders, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the park spread itself across nearly 5,000 square kilometres. Impressive to say the least.

As it turns out, I didn’t fly over the Canyon. I drove up to it. Little did I know there were many ways you could experience the Grand Canyon, so I thought I’d share the best 9 different ways to do the Grand Canyon to help you plan your trip…

Grand Canyon

9. Grand Canyon SkyWalk

The controversial (seemingly spoiling the natural aesthetic) Grand Canyon Skywalk is most popular for visitors travelling from Las Vegas, Nevada. For those staying inside the National Park at either the North or South entrance, it is a long drive away and thus deters many visitors. It’s also quite expensive, with tickets costing up to $75 and no photography equipment allowed. Instead, you’ll have to cough up $20 for a professional photographer to take your photo (um!?).

8. Grand Canyon Railway

The railway was built in the late 19th Century and began travelling to the Canyon in 1901. Nowadays you can catch the train between Williams and the South Rim. Trains depart daily from Williams to the South Rim at 9.30am (arriving 11.45am) and in the return direction depart at 3.30pm (arriving at 5.45pm).

7. Bright Angel Trail

One of the most popular trails, this 6mile one-way hike is quite the trek. The trail begins at Grand Canyon Village and because of its’ length, many visitors hike part of the way only, and return in the same day.


image via reddit

6. Havasu Falls

Then there’s this beauty. Havasu Falls is immediately pleasing to the eye – but before you set your heart on visiting, you should know that you’re in for quite a trek. One way into Havasu falls is 10 miles, starting at the Havasupai Indian Reservation. To do this hike, you’ll need to camp overnight.

5. Rim Trail

Another popular trail along the South Rim is the Rim Trail, with great viewpoints and attractions along the way. The trail stretches around 12 miles, but if you’re not up for it, there are shuttle buses transferring visitors between viewpoints.

4. Horse Riding the Canyon

What better way to experience the Canyon than a horse ride? There are a number of companies offering half and full day horseback rides.

Grand Canyon

3. Rafting the Canyon

Hiking and horseback riding not thrilling enough for you? Why not consider a multi-day trip rafting the Grand Canyon. There are a range of companies offering tours, so be sure to compare prices and offerings. Its also a good idea to book ahead as these trips are popular among travellers.

2. Grand Canyon Village

This is by far the most popular point of entrance to the Grand Canyon, so be sure to expect crowds and lines. This is where you will find some of the best lookout points of the park, especially Yavapai Point which has frequently been dubbed the best view of the Canyon.

1. Flights over the Grand Canyon

Last but never least, why walk or run when you can fly!? For nearly all those who have done it, a flight over the Grand Canyon is considered a ‘must do’ at least once in your life. If you don’t mind forking out a few hundred dollars to do so, then why not fly over the Grand Canyon to get a full view of the Canyon from above.

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    December 27, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Another great way is a mountain bike and camping adventure of the north rim. Takes about 5 days and is a 100 mile loop. The north rim lodge had some amazing views with less crowds.

    September 20, 2015 at 2:29 am

    You can get down to Havasupai Falls through the hike, horseback riding, and helicopter. You make it seem like it’s just one way.

  • Die Reiseberichte mit ♥ {Juni} - Genuss mit Fernweh
    July 1, 2015 at 5:05 am

    […] und ich kann es wirklich jedem USA-Urlauber empfehlen. World of Wanderlust hat nun noch die 9 verschiedenen Wege, wie man den Grand Canyon erleben kann aufgezählt – ich glaube, ich muss dort wohl noch […]

    Brittany Stopa
    June 10, 2015 at 1:04 am

    I love this! When I was at the Grand Canyon recently (my first time!), I was so in awe of the natural beauty it presents, and I felt there are so many ways that I want to see and experience and interact with it. I’ll surely go back for more visits, and will love to try your suggestions here!

    June 1, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Great list! So many options, and I’d suggest combining more than 1 into your trip. Several years ago, I visited on a girls getaway trip – we toured the rim and South Rim village by car, hiked Bright Angel trail, camped in the canyon for a night. This September, I’ll be rafting for 11 days in the canyon – we’ll visit Havasu Falls and end the trip with a helicopter! Loved your post on Zion as well, one of my favorite National Parks!

    May 28, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon it’s on my list of places to visit this summer on my road trip of the USA. Definitely will have to look into a few of these options.

    Renee Valderama
    May 27, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Wow, the helicopter ride sounds awesome. But I’d still wanna see the Grand Canyon whichever way I can! Can’t wait to go here and see its natural beauty!!!

    Renee Valderama

    Sunny Rolfs
    May 23, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I’ve been reading your posts about the Grand Canyon and they make me want to go! I live close enough, but I’ve never gone. I think I’m going to plan a roadtrip in the future to see it, finally!

    May 22, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Wow I didn’t realize there are so many different ways to see the Grand Canyon! I’ll be visiting for the first time in October and I’m so excited 🙂 I would love to try white water rafting and a flight over the canyon sounds so amazing too!

    Ása Steinarsdóttir
    May 21, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Wow! I’ve never been to Gran Canyon but it looks truly amazing!
    I didn’t know you can go River Rafting it sounds like so much fun !!
    BTW. L ove your photos

    EmilyAnne (Eat All Over The World)
    May 21, 2015 at 5:37 am

    We did the mules and hiking all the way down. That was one of my favorite vacations. I love all your pictures! They make me want to go back

    May 21, 2015 at 2:42 am

    I love the Grand Canyon and wish to go back

    May 20, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Wow the waterfall looks incredible! I’d camp overnight to see that |

    May 20, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Havasu Falls (located in the Havasupai Indian Reservation) is an amazing place. We’ve done a backpacking/camping trip twice. The first time it rained before we got there so we missed the color of the water, so the 2nd time was fantastic…seeing the beautiful color of that water was worth the wait! I highly recommend a visit, it’s an awesome spot for hiking, swimming, relaxing, and staring in awe at the incredible natural beauty all around!


    • Brooke Saward
      May 21, 2015 at 12:05 am

      Rachel, you’re so lucky! I wanted to go so bad but was limited with time 🙁 Sounds amazing though – will have to make a trip back some time!! x

    May 20, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Excellent post! I really want to make it out to the Grand Canyon one day as part of a longer nature trip in this area of America in general. Thanks for the tips!

    Traveling Rockhopper
    May 20, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Nice ideas, especially Havasu falls, I didn’t know about it…

    The Grand Canyon is a beautiful place, but a bit overrated…

    May 20, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I absolutely loved the Grand Canyon when I went and can’t wait to go again! I’d little braver next time around so this post gave me some great ideas! THe rafting sounds AWESOME! Great post- love your blog!
    xoxo, Teryn

    caroline nolazco
    May 20, 2015 at 10:32 am

    I didn’t realize there were so many options. I’m embarrassed to admit I thought you just kinda drove by it or hiked through it! I can’t wait until we get to the west!

    • Brooke Saward
      May 20, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Haha its okay I thought the same too before arriving!! Lots to discover 🙂

    May 20, 2015 at 9:26 am

    The helicopter ride over and in the Grand Canyon is unbelievable. As you’re flying over the trees and approaching the canyon, the pilot lowers the helicopter for some distance and then bam!! Gigantic open space that sort of makes your stomach drop. You then get to fly around the canyon taking as many photos as possible before heading back to camp. And if you can manage to stay awake on that flight home I congratulate you. Every single person in our helicopter fell asleep at some point. It’s just so soothing and relaxing, and with out a doubt worth the few hundred dollars. You must do it!!

    • Brooke Saward
      May 20, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      I’m very envious! Wish I could have done the flight as well but time was so limited – maybe next time! 🙂

    May 20, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Oh wow, seeing the Gand Canyon from above must be simply stunning! I would love to do that one day, but I would also love to hike and then overnight in the Canyon one time. And the horseback riding sounds like so much fun too!!


    May 20, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Eeek! This is really exciting to see! My sis and I are going on a road trip in July to the surrounding areas!! Also to Bryce Canon and Zion Natn’l Park. Love your photos!

    May 20, 2015 at 5:32 am

    oh my God! That Havasu Fall is so beautiful

    Saakshi Kumar
    May 20, 2015 at 4:50 am

    All of these sound exciting. 🙂
    I feel like I’d be ready anytime to tour the Grand Canyon after reading your posts 🙂

    Diana | Yellow Mondays
    May 20, 2015 at 4:37 am

    I think those hikes would be totally worth it! It’d be a great way to be active while being in such a beautiful place. However, flying over the Canyon sounds so incredible…adding it to my bucket list now!