The views of the Grand Canyon are enough to make you get all sedimental. “Grand” doesn’t cut it. Mind-blowing? That’s more like it.
Everyone has seen photos of the Grand Canyon, but nothing can really prepare you for the vastness. We think the Grand Canyon is so much more than a pit stop for a ‘been there done that’ photo. Our local leaders will show you the best hiking trails and viewpoints, but they’ll also take you into the depths of the canyon to explore what you can’t see from the rim. Discover secret trails and hidden lookouts; bath in dreamy turquoise waterfalls; experience the crème de la crème of alfresco dining views; and listen to stories from Native American tribes to connect with the land you’re walking on. There are also loads of other adventures awaiting nearby such as the dazzling Las Vegas. Life is all about balance, right?
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Grand Canyon FAQs
The closest airports to the Grand Canyon are Las Vegas and Phoenix, but you can also fly into Flagstaff (a one hour drive from the South Rim) or Salt Lake City (about seven hours away by car). Public transport is limited, and the best option is to drive or go on a bus tour.
The Grand Canyon has a free shuttle bus that operates around the South Rim. The shuttles take you to all of the best viewpoints and overlooks that aren’t accessible to private vehicles. Between May and October there is also a Trans-Canyon-Shuttle service between the North and South Rims. Guided bus tours also operate in the park, as well as taxi services between the South Kaibab Trailhead, Grand Canyon Village and Tusayan/Airport.
The best time to visit the Grand Canyon in terms of weather and avoiding huge crowds is between March and May, and September through to November. The peak season is from June to August when thousands of tourists flock to the park for their summer vacation. Temperatures drop quite a bit in the winter and it can even snow, but it’s a great time to visit as there’s hardly anyone there and you’ll have the trails and views mostly to yourself.
No matter what season you visit the Grand Canyon, bring a sturdy pair of hiking boots or trainers with good grip, light and comfortable layers, a waterproof jacket, warm layers, a fleece, a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Also make sure you bring a reusable water bottle and plenty of snacks to refuel throughout the day.
The Grand Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the world. It’s a 10-mile wide and one mile deep gorge that has been carved out by the Colorado River. Scientists estimate the Grand Canyon was formed five to six million years ago and that humans have lived in the area since the last Ice Age.
Some of the animals you might encounter include desert bighorn sheep, deer, coyotes, mountain lions, mule, gray fox and bears. There’s also a diverse range of reptiles, amphibians and birds.
Your cell phone will probably have coverage near the park’s main tourist hubs, but there will be little or no coverage once you start hiking past the canyon rim.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. All park shuttle buses and many viewpoints, overlooks and sections of the South Rim Trail are accessible for travelers with disabilities. There are no wheelchair accessible viewpoints on the North Rim, but the Scenic Drive there offers amazing views. You can download or pick up a free Accessibility Guide at one of the park entrance stations. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
Read more about travel in the Grand Canyon