Scenic Grand Canyon Drives

Here are some fantastic scenic drives right inside Grand Canyon national park, whether you're in a private vehicle or a shuttle bus.
Author:
Publish date:

Desert View: East Rim (along the South Rim)

Sunset at Desert View Point in Grand Canyon National Park

Sunset at Desert View Point in Grand Canyon National Park

The Desert View Drive (otherwise known as the East Rim Drive) leaves Grand Canyon Village and follows the canyon rim east for 26 miles to Desert View. The views are breathtaking, making this one of the most scenic driving opportunities inside Grand Canyon National Park. Here visitors will enjoy outstanding views of most of the Grand Canyon's central region.

We recommend you stop and stretch your legs while getting your breath taken away at various overlooks along this scenic drive, including Grandview Point, Yaki Point, Moran Point and Lipan Point. 

The end of this scenic drive is marked by Desert Watchtower, a replica of a prehistoric Indian tower that was constructed in 1932. The 70-foot-high tower is the highest point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and as a result, commands a magnificent view of the Grand Canyon, including the Painted Desert to the east and the San Francisco Peaks to the south. And if that's not enough to intrigue you, the interior walls of the tower feature murals by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie.

Hermit's Road: West Rim (along the South Rim)

Biking on Hermit Road. Photo by Elisabeth Kwak

From March through November, this road is closed to private vehicles, but shuttle buses service the area, so hop on a shuttle. It's worth the time to tour and experience Hermit's Road! (Private vehicles are allowed along this route from Dec. 1-Feb. 28.) With nine scenic overlooks providing stunning Grand Canyon and Colorado River views, Hermit's Road is a scenic drive to include on your travel itinerary. 

This scenic drive, which was constructed in1912 by the Santa Fe Company as a scenic tour route, starts at Grand Canyon Village and continues west for eight miles before arriving at Hermit's Rest. A little over halfway into the drive, be sure to stop at The Abyss, a 3,000-foot dramatic drop to the Tonto Platform.

Kaibab Plateau: North Rim

The North Rim of Grand Canyon is situated 1,000 feet higher than the South Rim, at 8,000 feet. As a result, it's open and accessible only part of the year, from mid-May through mid-October. The Kaibab Plateau-North Rim Parkway, which links Jacob Lake, AZ, to the Grand Canyon's North Rim is a fairly scenic route. Visitors will travel through pine, fir, and aspen trees of the Kaibab National Forest as your curiosity piques in anticipation of the large natural abyss that awaits you on the North Rim.

Related

Monument Valley at the Utah Arizona border

Take a Scenic Drive Near the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon National Park region is one big road trip. There are so many scenic drives, it's hard to limit our favorites.

grand-canyon-desert-view-map

South Rim: Desert View Drive in the Grand Canyon

Spectacular views on this scenic road will have you stopping often for photos.

Shuttle Buses in Grand Canyon

Getting Around Inside Grand Canyon National Park

Guided bus tours and hiker shuttles are two options for navigating the Grand Canyon.

Biking along the Rim Trail.

Grand Canyon Bicycle FAQ

Bring your own bike or rent one in the Grand Canyon. Ride the shuttle, ride on park roads, camp with your bike, and where you can't bike in the National Park.

Biking on Hermit Road. Photo by Elisabeth Kwak

Hermit Road on the Grand Canyon's South Rim

Explore this less-traveled route on the South Rim's western end by foot, bike, or shuttle. Hermit Road follows the rim for 8 miles with scenic overlooks.

Tusayan Airport near the entrance of the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Photo by Whit Richardson

Airports Near the Grand Canyon

Commercial airlines are in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Flagstaff, Arizona. Plus there is limited air service into the Grand Canyon Airport.

Sunset at Desert View Point in Grand Canyon National Park

14 Best South Rim Viewpoints in the Grand Canyon

Don't miss views including Mather Point, Yavapai Point, Desert View, Grandview Point, Pima Point, and Hermit's Rest

Couple holding hands at the Grand Canyon

5 Romantic Things to Do in the Grand Canyon Area

With its amazing red-rock vistas and starry skies, Grand Canyon is a fantastic place to spend a romantic weekend or celebrate an anniversary.