grand canyonACTIVITIES

Grand Canyon Tourist Attractions and Activities

Grand Canyon Activities and Tourist Attractions

From sunrise walks along the rim, to week-long hiking adventures the Grand Canyon has things to do for every type of traveler. Whether you're a seasoned rafter or a family with children, Grand Canyon National Park and its surrounding lands offer up a lifetime of activities for a unique and memorable canyon trip. The majority of popular Tourist Attractions are found on the South Rim, but there are many other Grand Canyon Destinations for you to explore. This section of the site focuses on self-guided tourist attractions, if you’re looking for scenic flights, guided mule rides or other guided tours, learn more about Grand Canyon Tours.

Some of the most popular self-guided tourist attractions in the Grand Canyon are scenic drives, hiking, camping, the Skywalk and the Grand Canyon Imax. More adventurous travelers will get their thrills on Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trips and multi-day backpacking adventures. Along with the more popular activities, the canyon also offers some great fishing, cross country skiing, and biking. If you’re interested in attractions where you can learn more about the canyon and its history, check out the Grand Canyon Visitor Centers, Desert View Watchtower or the Tusayan Ruins and Museum. No matter what activities or attractions you choose, make sure you have Grand Canyon Lodging or camping reservations set-up before your trip, especially during the peak tourist seasons. Read the guide below to learn more.

Most Popular Tourist Attractions 

Grand Canyon Scenic Drives

There is more than just one road along the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park and the surrounding areas have great scenic drives to and along the rim of the Grand Canyon. Learn more about the best Grand Canyon Scenic Drives.

Grand Canyon Scenic Viewpoints

The Grand Canyon has more scenic viewpoints and vistas than you can shake a stick at, but the Grand Canyon Guru is here to help you narrow it down. Before you head out on your Grand Canyon Adventure learn more about the best Grand Canyon Scenic Viewpoints.

Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is located at Grand Canyon west several hours from Grand Canyon Village. This amazing Glass bridge give you a birds-eye view of the Canyon, without taking a helicopter or plane ride. Although organized tour from Las Vegas are available, you can also head out towards Lake Mead and make your way along a scenic dirt road to Grand Canyon West to visit the Skywalk and other area attractions. Learn more about the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Grand Canyon Imax

If you’re heading to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, check out the worlds most watched Imax Movie right outside the south entrance in Tusayan, AZ. There’s nothing better than the real thing, so don’t worry if you’re short on time, but if you an extra hour the Imax is a great way to experience of Grand Canyon National Park most visitors will never have a chance to see in person. Learn more about the Grand Canyon Imax.

Grand Canyon Hiking

A Grand Canyon hiking trip means many things for many different people. For some it’s just a leisurely walk along the rim, for others it’s a multi-day backpacking trip to Phantom Ranch, or even a one-day Rim to Rim marathon nearly 50 miles in length. Whatever your type of hike may be, getting out and exploring the Grand Canyon on your own two feet is the best way to enjoy this amazing place. The most popular times to hike the Canyon are Spring and Fall when the weather is at its best. For those of you just setting out on a day hike no permit is required, but if you want to step below the Rim on a backing trip, you’ll need to acquire a permit from the Backcountry Reservations Office in Grand Canyon Village. Learn more about Grand Canyon Hiking.

Classic Grand Canyon Activities

Grand Canyon Rafting

What better way to see the Grand Canyon than an exciting rafting trip down the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon brings boaters and adventurers from around the world to run a classic big water river through one of Americas favorite National Parks. Commercially guided rafting trips are one to fourteen days, while private boaters with their own gear can spend over two weeks on the Grand. A rafting trip through the Grand Canyon is one of the top whitewater trips in the world, and for most people a once in a lifetime experience. Whether you want to get up close and personal with one of the best geologic cross sections in the world or run rapids like Lava Falls a river trip through Grand Canyon National Park will surely make you smile. Learn more about Grand Canyon Rafting.

Grand Canyon RVing

There is only one Campground for RVs that has hook-ups in the Park called Trailer Village on the South Rim. Other RV sites are located outside the Park. Learn more about Grand Canyon RV Sites to make the most of your trip to Grand Canyon National Park and Go RVing.

Grand Canyon Camping

The Grand Canyon has a multitude of camping options and is certainly one of the most spectacular places to camp anywhere. The South Rim has two designated campgrounds, as well as a forest service campground outside the park and a couple great spots right by the rim for those with 4wd. The North Rim has one campground in the Grand Canyon National Park and several outside the park. Some of the best spots to set up your tent are actually found Kaibab National Forest right along the rim of the Canyon! For those of you looking for a little more adventure staying at Bright Angel Campground or one of the many backcountry campsites is the way to go. Marble Canyon and Toroweap also have campgrounds where you can get away from the hustle and bustle. Learn more about Grand Canyon Camping.

Grand Canyon Biking

Most visitors don’t think of biking when they think of the Grand Canyon, but there are several great rides for both road bikes and mountain bikes. The South Rim has and many miles of road along the rim on both Hermits Rest Road and Desert View Drive and a single-track trail right outside the park. The North Rim has a scenic drive along highway 67 en route to the North Rim Village without all the South Rim traffic. There’s also a great single-track trail along the rim of the Grand Canyon in Kaibab National Forest. Learn more about Grand Canyon Biking.

Grand Canyon Stock Trips

Although most people who visit Grand Canyon National Park to go for a mule ride do it with a commercial mule guide, private stock trips are also available. The Bright Angel, South Kaibab, and North Kaibab trails as well as a couple rim trail are open to private users. Private Stocks can also take a multi-day trip though the Grand Canyon so long as they get a permit from the Grand Canyon backcountry office. Learn more about self guided Grand Canyon Trail Rides.

Grand Canyon Hidden Gems

Grand Canyon Waterfalls

Many people have no idea that the Grand Canyon has some amazing waterfalls. From the canyon’s most popular waterfall, Havasu Falls to hidden gems like Deer Creek Falls and Elves Chasm the guru has a complete list of Grand Canyon waterfalls. Learn more about Grand Canyon Waterfalls.

Grand Canyon Climbing

Rock climbing is not the most popular outdoor sport at the Grand Canyon, but there are several sport routes along the South Rim. There are also some classic trad routes like Zoroaster Temple in the inner Grand Canyon. Learn more about Grand Canyon Rock Climbing.

Grand Canyon Caving

The Grand Canyon is chock full of caves, but very few are accessible and only one cave is actually open to the general public. Learn more about Grand Canyon Caving.

Grand Canyon Skiing

The Grand Canyon has some great cross-country skiing on the South Rim after a big storm. The higher elevation of the North Rim means snow all season on a normal winter, but its 30 miles of skiing from Jacob Lake, AZ and there are no real facilities available. Learn more about Grand Canyon Skiing.

Grand Canyon Fishing

Anywhere along the Colorado River, and its major tributaries like Bright Angel Creek offer the chance to catch a few trout. The best fishing is actually just above Grand Canyon National Park from Lees Ferry to the Glen Canyon Dam. Learn more about Grand Canyon Fishing.

Destinations

Grand Canyon eBook

Download our free Grand Canyon Travel Guide to get ready for your vacation
Plan your trip

Plan your trip

Try our free Grand Canyon trip planning tools to plan the ultimate adventure

Grand Canyon Activities Photo Gallery

Prepare for your trip

Learn

Learn

Learn about the Grand Canyon's best destinations, lodging and activities.

Plan

Plan

Free tools and information to plan the ultimate Grand Canyon vacation.

Book

Book

Make hotel, tour, flight and rental car reservations for your trip.

Travel

Travel

Pack your bags and go knowing you planned the ultimate adventure.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links and booking options on this page may be affiliate links or services, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. We  only recommend products and companies we love and the income keeps our content and tools free for site users.

Make reservations

Book hotels, tours, flights, car rentals and insurance

Reservations