grand canyonITINERARY & VACATION IDEAS

Grand Canyon Itinerary and Vacation Ideas

Find Grand Canyon Itineraries and Vacations 

The canyon is a big place and Grand Canyon Guru’s itineraries will help you find the right adventure and plan all of the important details for your trip. Whether you’re looking at a leisurely day hike on the South Rim, a multi-day backpack to Havasu Falls, a relaxing smooth water river tip, or an exhilarating weeklong Colorado River whitewater expedition, the Guru has the best tips for how to explore the canyon the way that you want to. The Guru will help you find the best scenic drives, the best trails and even the best four-star hotels, campgrounds or RV parks. Whatever type of Grand Canyon experience you’d like to have, we have an itinerary to help you plan the trip of a lifetime. Read the guide below to learn more.

Popular Grand Canyon Vacation Itineraries

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 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. If you’re looking for more adventure or would like to explore beyond Grand Canyon, please take a look at the Guru’s Adventure or Southwest Itineraries.

Grand Canyon Gems – ½ Day Grand Canyon Vacation 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. ½ day isn’t a lot of time, so it’s important that you arrive early and know where to go. This 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 Vacation 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 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.

Desert View Drive – 1 Day Grand Canyon Vacation 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 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.

North Rim Scenic Vistas – 1 Day Grand Canyon Vacation 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 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 Vacation 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 you can take your time to slow down, relax, and even escape the crowds if you time it right. This 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.

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Drive – 3 Day Grand Canyon Vacation 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 in one 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 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.

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Grand Canyon Adventure Itineraries

Adventure Vacation Itineraries are designed to guide you in exploring Grand Canyon, Havasu Canyon, and the Colorado River. Each itinerary offers a unique experience, as well as the option to start your adventure from several different cities, including Phoenix and Flagstaff, AZ. If you will be spending your vacation in Arizona and Utah, these itineraries will help you plan your adventure or find a tour guide that offers the trip you want (and not the tour they want you to go on). Grand Canyon Guru offers you insider tips on how to make the most of your time and maximize your adventure. If you’re interested in beautiful scenery, but with a little less adventure, check out the Guru’s Popular Grand Canyon or Southwest Vacation Itineraries instead.

Grand Explorer – 3 Day Grand Canyon, Rafting, Sedona Adventure Itinerary

The Grand Explorer is a great way to see the best Grand Canyon has to offer in only 3 days. Tusayan, AZ or the Grand Canyon Village (South Rim) are the best cities to start from, but Flagstaff, Williams, or Sedona will work as well. Once you're up and ready to explore, head to the South Rim and take in some scenic views and explore the area on foot before heading to Peach Springs, AZ for lodging that evening. After a good night's rest, enjoy a full day of exhilarating Grand Canyon whitewater rafting. Following a day on the Colorado River, head to Sedona to check out two of its most sought-after destinations: Red Rock and Slide Rock State Parks. After hiking through Sedona's Red Rocks, you can make your way to many other Grand Canyon or Southwest scenic destinations. This itinerary is best started from Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village and includes Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Colorado River rafting, and Sedona, AZ. Check out this itinerary and learn more about the Grand Explorer Adventure.

Red Rock Adventure – 4 Day Grand Canyon, Rafting, Sedona, Wupatki Adventure Itinerary

Red Rock Adventure will take you to Grand Canyon’s most scenic and exciting destinations, allowing you to see a lot in only four days. Your trip starts at Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim where you’ll take a hike into the canyon to see the best views. Day two will have you on the water of the Colorado River as you take a one-day whitewater rafting trip with the Hualapai River Runners. Day three takes you across the scenic Arizona Deserts to explore the volcanic crater at Sunset Crater National Monument and the ancient ruins at Wupatki National Monument. Your last day will be spent exploring the red rocks of Sedona, AZ where you’ll hike and swim at two of its most popular destinations: Slide Rock and Red Rock State Parks. This itinerary is best started from Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village and includes Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Colorado River rafting, Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments, and Sedona, AZ. Check out this itinerary to learn more about the Red Rock Adventure.

Hidden Canyons – 5 Day Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls Adventure Itinerary

Get below the Rim with this 5-day adventure. Start your trip exploring all that the south rim offers, either taking in scenic views from the South Rim or venturing out a hike that takes you into Grand Canyon. After a day of South Rim grandeur, you'll spend the next four days at Havasu Falls (with lodging in Peach Springs, AZ the night before your trip). There can be no question that Havasu Canyon is one of the most amazing destinations on earth. "Havasupai" means "people of the blue-green water," and it is their sacred home that you will be visiting on your journey. This backpacking adventure begins at Hualapai Hilltop, following a 10-mile trail through beautiful red rock canyons to an awe-inspiring camp below the Havasu Falls. This itinerary is best started from Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village and includes Grand Canyon National Park South Rim and Havasu Falls. Check out this itinerary to learn more about the Hidden Canyons Adventure.

Ultimate Adventure – 6 Day Grand Canyon, Rafting, Havasu Falls Adventure Itinerary

If you want to see it all in only 6 days, this is your adventure itinerary. You’ll have a day to explore the national park at Grand Canyon’s South Rim before heading to Peach Springs, AZ for lodging that evening. You’ll enjoy the thrill of rafting the Colorado River with a full day of Grand Canyon whitewater rafting with Hualapai River Runners. The next four days will reveal the exquisite beauty of Havasu Falls as you backpack into the canyon. These spectacular turquoise waterfalls are heralded by pristine travertine pools, making some of the world’s best swimming holes and most spectacular hikes. This itinerary will reveal why this desert utopia attracts people from around the globe. The Ultimate Adventure itinerary is best started from Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village and includes Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Colorado River rafting, and backpacking to Havasu Falls. Check out this itinerary to learn more about the Ultimate Grand Canyon Adventure.

Kokopelli’s Trail – 7 Day Grand Canyon, Rafting, Havasu Falls, Sedona Adventure Itinerary

If the Ultimate Adventure is not enough, take one more day to explore Sedona's red rocks. Starting at Grand Canyon’s South Rim, you’ll have your choice of trails to explore below the rim and get your first taste of the adventure that Grand Canyon offers. After a good night's rest in Peach Springs, AZ, you’re sure to get wet during a full day Grand Canyon whitewater rafting adventure. Next, you’ll explore the depths of Havasu canyon on a four-day backpacking trip that will take you to the world-famous turquoise waterfalls of Havasu where you will can swim, hike, or relax. After exploring Havasu, you’ll finally head to Sedona to explore two of its most popular red rock destinations: Red Rock and Slide Rock State Parks. This itinerary is best started from Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village and includes Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Colorado River rafting, backpacking to Havasu Falls, and Sedona, AZ.  Check out this itinerary and learn more about the Kokopelli's Trail Adventure.

Desert Expedition – 8 Day Grand Canyon, Rafting, Havasu Falls, Sedona and Wupatki  Adventure Itinerary

Explore all the Grand Canyon Area has to offer with the Desert Expedition. Start your 8-day journey at Grand Canyon’s South Rim where you will enjoy the famous scenic views and hike below the canyon’s rim. Next, you’ll head to Peach Springs, AZ where you will adventure out on a full day of Grand Canyon whitewater rafting. Spend the next four days at Havasu where you will swim, hike and explore the awe-inspiring waterfalls among the red rocks. After Havasu you'll also have a chance to explore Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments outside of Flagstaff as well as Sedona's world-famous red rocks. This itinerary is best started from Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village and includes Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Colorado River rafting, backpacking to Havasu Falls, Wupatki and Sunet Crater National Monuments, and Sedona, AZ. Check out this itinerary to learn about the Desert Expedition Adventure.

Grand Canyon and Grand Circle Itineraries

Grand Canyon Guru will help you plan your trip beyond Grand Canyon to see the best of the Southwest and Grand Circle’s many stunning destinations including: Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon National Park, Sedona, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and Monument Valley.

Beyond Canyons – Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon 3 day itinerary

This Southwest trip is a great way to see the top Grand Canyon area destinations in only three days. Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village (South Rim) are the best places to start from, but Flagstaff, Williams, or Sedona will work as well. Once you're up and ready to explore, head out to the South Rim and take in the incredible scenic views or go on a short hike before heading to Lake Powell. After an evening in Page, AZ, head across Glen Canyon Dam to the unparalleled scenery of Southern Utah in Zion National Park. After exploring Zion’s beautiful red rock canyon, head back to Page for a good night's rest. On day three your southwest trip continues, with a tour of Antelope Canyon, one of the world's most famous and photogenic slot canyons. After exploring Antelope Canyon set out on short self-guided hike to Horseshoe Bend for one of the best views of the Colorado River anywhere. At the end of your trip, you’ll head back across the Navajo Nation’s land, en route to your next destination. This itinerary is best started from Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village and includes Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, Zion National Park, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend. Check out this itinerary to learn more about the Beyond Canyons Vacation.

Beyond Red Rocks – Grand Canyon, Sedona 4 day itinerary

This trip offers everything the 3-day trip does, plus the red rocks of Sedona. You’ll start your trip at the South Rim of Grand Canyon where you’ll have the opportunity to take in some of the most famous views or explore the area on foot before heading to Lake Powell. You’ll spend the night in Page, AZ which is a great jumping off point for Zion National Park. On day two, you’ll cross Glen Canyon Dam and explore the rivers and canyons in Zion before heading back to Page. Next, you’ll head to Antelope Canyon, one of the most beautiful red rock slot canyons where you’ll take a guided tour with a Navajo Nation guide. After exploring Antelope Canyon you’ll set out on short self-guided hike to Horseshoe Bend for one of the most famous views of the Colorado River before heading to historic Flagstaff, AZ for the evening. After a good night's rest enjoy one more exciting day exploring among the red rocks of Sedona, AZ before heading home. This itinerary is best started from Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village and includes Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, Zion National Park, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Sedona. Check out this itinerary to learn more about the Beyond Red Rocks Vacation.

Beyond Hoodos – Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon 5 day itinerary

Beyond Hoodoos is the best way to see the top Grand Canyon area destinations as well as Bryce Canyon. You’ll start your trip at Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim where you can drive, take the free shuttle buses, or hike to take in the spectacular views before heading to Kanab, UT for the night. After breakfast in Kanab, you’ll spend the day in Zion National Park enjoying the unparalleled scenery of Southern Utah and the Virgin River. Day three of your southwest itinerary includes a day exploring the incredibly colorful Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park. Day four will bring you from Kanab to beautiful Lake Powell to enjoy the wonders of canyon country with a Jeep ride to Antelope Canyon, one of the world's most famous slot canyons. After exploring Antelope Canyon with your Navajo guide, set out on short self-guided hike to Horseshoe Bend to get a selfie with the Colorado River. You’ll end the night in historic Flagstaff, AZ. Day five will include one last day of adventure while you explore the red rocks of Sedona, AZ before heading home. This itinerary is best started from Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village and includes Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Sedona. Check out this itinerary to learn more about the Beyond Hoodos Vacation.

Beyond Monuments – Grand Canyon, Monument Valley 6 day itinerary

This itinerary is perfect for people who want to see all of the top Grand Canyon area destinations as well as Bryce Canyon and Monument Valley. Day one will start at Grand Canyon National Park where you’ll take in the view on the world-famous South Rim before heading to Kanab, UT. From Kanab, you’ll be a short drive to Zion National Park where you will spend day two exploring a very different type of canyon and maybe take a short hike up the Virgin River. From canyons to hoodoos, you’ll start day four at Bryce Canyon National Park before heading to Monument Valley, an archetype of the American West. A stop at Monument Valley Tribal Park will give you time to explore these ancient rock formations and take in the wild nature of the Southwest. Day five starts in Page, AZ where you will enjoy beautiful Lake Powell and the wonders of Antelope Canyon by taking a Jeep tour before exploring the scenic slot canyon on foot. After Antelope Canyon you’ll take a quick stop at Horseshoe Bend, one of the most famous views of Grand Canyon and the Colorado River, on your way to Flagstaff, AZ. Your final day of exploring will take you to the red rocks of Sedona, AZ where you’ll visit two of its most popular red rock destinations: Red Rock and Slide Rock State Parks. This itinerary is best started from Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village and includes Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Sedona. Check out this itinerary to learn more about the Beyond Monuments Vacation.

Beyond Utah – Grand Canyon, Zion 7 day itinerary

The Beyond Utah Itinerary will take you to the top Grand Canyon Area destinations as well as let you experience the staggering beauty of Utah’s Bryce Canyon and the Grand Staircase. Your trip begins with a day at the South Rim of Grand Canyon where you will take in the sights and get some photos of the largest canyon on Earth before heading to Kanab, UT. After an evening in Kanab, you’ll spend a day hiking in the red rocks of Zion National Park. Day three takes you to Bryce Canyon National Park’s world-famous hoodoo rock formations. From Bryce you'll spend the next day making your way along the Grand Staircase with a stop to hike Calf Creek Falls.  Continue on scenic Highway 12 the picturesque Boulder, UT for a good night’s rest. Day five will take you down the Burr Trail, an awesome but rarely used route to Lake Powell. Take Bull Frog Ferry across the lake and continue on to your hotel in Page, AZ. On day six enjoy beautiful Lake Powell and take a thrilling Jeep ride to Antelope Canyon, one of the world's most famous Slot Canyons. After exploring Antelope Canyon set out on short self-guided hike to Horseshoe Bend for one of the best views of the Colorado River anywhere before heading across the Navajo Indian Reservation to historic Flagstaff, AZ.  After a good night's rest enjoy one more exciting day exploring the red rocks of Sedona, AZ before heading home. This itinerary is best started from Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village and includes Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Sedona. Check out this itinerary to learn more about the Beyond Utah Vacation.

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