Popular Self-Guided Itineraries and Road Trips
Popular Grand Canyon vacation itineraries will get you to all the of the canyon’s must-sees, no matter what part of Grand Canyon you decide to explore. By hitting the most popular destinations, you’ll be able to get the photos and have the experiences that you’ve been dreaming of. These self-guided itineraries are designed to fit your timeline and adventure level so that you can choose to take it easy or break a sweat. Grand Canyon offers so many popular destinations that it can be confusing but Grand Canyon Guru is here to help you make sense of it all and get out to the best of the best.
Self-Guided - 1 Day Grand Canyon South Rim Itinerary
Grand Canyon’s South Rim is best experienced from the park’s scenic Desert View Drive (Hwy 64). Driving this 26-mile long route will give you access to some of the canyon’s most famous overlooks including the Desert View Watchtower, Grandview Point, Mather Point and Grand Canyon Village, with convenience of driving your own vehicle. There are multiple options for short hikes throughout this itinerary that will get you to even better viewpoints if you’re willing to put in a little work to get there. This self-guided itinerary is best started from Flagstaff, Williams, or Tusayan, AZ and will take you from Desert View to Grand Canyon Village. Check out this itinerary and learn more about the Desert View Drive experience.
Grand Canyon Gems - ½ Day South Rim Itinerary
If you don’t have a lot of time to explore Grand Canyon, it is important that you find the most scenic overlooks, take the best photos, and see a Grand Canyon sunrise or sunset. By focusing all of your time on the South Rim, you’ll be able to take in the most popular of Grand Canyon’s destinations. A ½ day isn’t a lot of time, so it’s important that you arrive early and know where to go. This self-guided itinerary is best started from Flagstaff, Williams, or Tusayan, AZ and will take you to Mather Point, Yavapai Geology Museum and Grand Canyon Village. Check out this itinerary and learn more about the Grand Canyon Gems vacation.
Skywalk Adventure - ½ Day Grand Canyon West Itinerary
The Skywalk is a clear glass platform that extends out over Grand Canyon, giving you a breathtaking look straight down at the Colorado River thousands of feet below. Located on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Skywalk is closer to Las Vegas than other Grand Canyon destinations, making this itinerary the perfect fit for those staying on the west side of the canyon. More than just the Skywalk, Grand Canyon West also offers helicopter rides, restaurants, cultural demonstrations, gift shops and a zip line, making it a great place to explore Grand Canyon for half a day. This self-guided itinerary is best started from Las Vegas, NV or Kingman, AZ and will take you to Grand Canyon West (the Skywalk). Check out this itinerary and learn more about the Skywalk Adventure.
North Rim Scenic Vistas - 1 Day Grand Canyon Itinerary
The North Rim is the much less visited side of Grand Canyon, but it includes some of the most captivating views of the canyon for those who are willing to go the distance to get there. Only open during the summer months, the North Rim’s scenic drive takes you 11 miles along a dirt road that includes multiple scenic overlooks (including Bright Angel Point and Cape Royal) before ending at Point Imperial. Bring food (and maybe even a bottle of wine) so you can spend a leisurely day exploring before taking in a world-famous Grand Canyon sunset. This self-guided itinerary is best started from Page, AZ or Kanab, UT and includes Bright Angel Point/North Rim Lodge, Cape Royal and Point Imperial. Check out this itinerary and learn more about the North Rim Vistas trip.
South Rim Explorer - 2 Day Grand Canyon Road Trip Itinerary
The South Rim is just too big to see it all if you don’t have enough time, so taking two days is a great way explore all that the canyon offers, from Desert View to Hermits Rest. This itinerary will let you drive, hike, and use the park’s free shuttle buses to see all of the best overlooks. With two days on the road you can take your time to slow down, relax, and even escape the crowds if you time it right. This self-guided itinerary is best started from Flagstaff, Williams, or Tusayan, AZ and will take you from Desert View to Hermits Rest. Check out this itinerary and learn more about the South Rim Explorer vacation.
Rim to Rim Scenic Drive - 3 Day Grand Canyon Road Trip Itinerary
Grand Canyon’s North Rim and South Rim are 10 miles apart as the California condor flies, but they’re a 5-hour drive apart if you’re motivated to see it all on a 3 day road trip. Knowing how to best use your time and the best route and stops to make along the way will help you enjoy this incredible trip of a lifetime. Going from Grand Canyon Village to Desert View, then out of the park and onto the land of the Navajo Nation, you will have multiple opportunities to take in views and explore on foot as well. A quick stop at Lee’s Ferry (Glen Canyon National Recreation Area) will let you put your hands into the water of the Colorado River and maybe even see a California condor. Then driving into the North Rim, you’ll take in the even higher elevation and more sweeping views of Grand Canyon to end your journey. This self-guided itinerary is best started from Flagstaff, Williams, or Tusayan, AZ and includes Grand Canyon Village, Desert View, the Navajo Nation, Lee’s Ferry, and the North Rim. Check out this itinerary and learn more about the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim drive.