Grand Canyon 3-Day Adventure Itinerary

Grand Explorer 3-Day Adventure Vacation

Grand Canyon South Rim, Whitewater Rafting and Sedona Itinerary - If you don’t have a lot of time, this adventure itinerary is a great way to see the best of Grand Canyon 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 to take in the incredible scenic views and go on a short hike before heading to Peach Springs, AZ for your evening lodging. The next day will bring even more adventure as you splash through the rapids of the Colorado River on a guided day-long Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip. Following a day on the water, next you’ll head to Sedona, AZ to hike and swim in two of its most famous red rock destinations: Red Rock and Slide Rock State Parks. After hiking through Sedona's Red Rocks, you can make your way too many other Grand Canyon or Southwest scenic destinations. This self-guided 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. Read the full three day itinerary below to learn more.

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Self-Guided Adventure Details

Day 1 Grand Canyon's South Rim:

The best locations to begin this adventure vacation from are Flagstaff, Williams, Tusayan or Grand Canyon Village (South Rim). Once you're on the road and ready to explore, head out to the South Rim to explore its awesome vistas, ancient ruins, and unparalleled hiking trails.

  • Begin your South Rim exploration at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and enjoy a short walk to the first breathtaking view of the canyon at Mather Point. From the Grand Canyon Visitor Center shuttle bus plaza, hop on the park’s free Kaibab/Orange shuttle bus route to travel to the South Kaibab Trailhead.
  • The South Kaibab Trail descends into the canyon and rewards you with awesome scenic views the entire time. If you’re just looking for a shorter adventure, hike the 1.8-mile round trip hike to Ooh-Ahh Point for a sweeping panoramic view. If you’re ready to explore even more, continue on to Cedar Ridge (3 miles round trip) where you’ll find a great spot to eat lunch and gaze up at the canyon rim above you.
  • After your hike, hop back on the shuttle bus (consider stopping at Yaki Point for one last breathtaking view) and return to the visitor center. Head out of the park via the South Entrance and make your way to your lodging in Peach Springs, AZ for a good night’s rest.

Day 2 Grand Canyon West Rafting (Self-Drive Guided Tour):

Book your one day Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip in advance.

  • On day two, your rafting adventure begins with a scenic drive through the Hualapai Indian Reservation to Diamond Creek where you will meet your guides and rafts.
  • Once you're geared up and on the mighty Colorado River, it's a short boat ride before you take a quick hike to picturesque Travertine Falls. After the falls, hold on tight when the real adventure begins as you descend several major rapids, including Honeymoon Rapid and its Fangs!
  • After the technical whitewater, the Colorado River will become calm, offering you breathtaking photo opportunities around every corner, wildlife sightings, and unique cultural stories from your native river guides. Then it's a helicopter flight up to the rim of Grand Canyon and a shuttle back to your hotel in Peach Springs.

Day 3 Sedona, AZ:

From Peach Springs, you'll drive through scenic Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona, AZ for breathtaking red rock views.

  • It is easy to have your own self-guided adventure in two of Sedona's most popular parks: Slide Rock and Red Rock State Parks. Slide Rock offers incredible swimming opportunities (especially refreshing on a hot summer day) or you can enjoy a tour of the historic orchards or hike on one of the park’s trails. Red Rock State Park has a beautiful trail system, with everything from easy to difficult trails, that allows you to get more sweeping views of Sedona’s scenic wonders.
  • As you head out of Sedona, no matter where your final destination may be, you’ll enjoy some final views of the spectacular Arizona desert along the way.

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