Grand Canyon Itineraries

10 Best Things to do in the Grand Canyon

Make your Grand Canyon vacation epic by doing iconic activities and viewing the must-see sights. Start with our list.

1. Go Hiking in the Grand Canyon

Hiking on a Grand Canyon trail
Whit Richardson

Grand Canyon National Park, and the greater Grand Canyon region, is a hiker’s dream. Most of Grand Canyon National Park is undeveloped backcountry. There are literally hundreds of miles to hike and backpack and explore. Despite the Grand Canyon’s popularity and numbers of visitors each year, visitors only need to hike a small distance to enjoy some solitude.

You’ll get a free map when you enter Grand Canyon National Park, but if you’re looking for a more detailed map of the Grand Canyon, Trails Illustrated makes three different maps, depending on where you want to explore. You can buy them at REI.com.

2. Ride a Mule into the Grand Canyon

Riding a mule through the Grand Canyon
Whit Richardson

Explore the depths of the Grand Canyon National Park on popular trails like the Bright Angel and South Kaibab trail on a mule. A Grand Canyon mule ride is an adventure and easy on your legs.

3. Ride a Train in the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Railway Train
Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon Railway

Adventure, sightseeing and history! If it’s adventure, sightseeing and history all rolled into one that you want on your Grand Canyon vacation, then Grand Canyon Railway is your answer. This is an unforgettable experience and will add much to your vacation to the Grand Canyon. You’ll park your car in Williams, Ariz., about 60 miles south of Grand Canyon’s South Rim and board the train at the railway station It’s a wonderful way to get to the park.

4. Take a Scenic Drive Near the Grand Canyon

From the hotel rooms of The View, guests overlook the Mitten buttes of Monument Valley
Depositphotos

We think that a Grand Canyon vacation is America’s greatest road trip. It’s one big scenic drive. In fact, there are so many scenic drive opportunities it’s hard to limit our favorites.

5. Spend a Night or More Camping

grand-canyon-spend-night-camping

Camp under the stars in a tent, or at an RV Park, both of which can be found in the park.

6. Go on a Rafting Trip in the Grand Canyon National Park

grand-canyon-river-raft-float
Whit Richardson

One of the most exciting ways to experience the Grand Canyon is to float through it by way of raft on the Colorado River.

7. Take a Helicopter Tour Over the Canyon

Papillion Bell Helicopter
Photo courtesy of Papillion Helicopter Tours

Take a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon for a unique and spectacular vantage of this vast, deep natural wonder.

Read more about a day trip that includes rafting and a helicopter ride at Grand Canyon West.

8. Ride a Bike in the Grand Canyon

grand-canyon-biking
Whit Richardson

Log extra miles of breathtaking views on a bicycle. At the South Rim,  rent a bike at Bright Angel Bicycles in the park and ride Hermit Road, which is closed to passenger vehicles, making it a relaxing and traffic-free ride.

9. Stand on the Grand Canyon Skywalk

Hualapai Grand Canyon West Skywalk
Photo courtesy Grand Canyon West

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a horseshoe-shaped walkway that extends almost 70 feet out over the canyon at the Hualapai-owned Grand Canyon West. It is not part of the National Park Service or Grand Canyon National Park.

Visitors on the Skywalk, which has a clear, 4-inch-thick glass bottom, peer over the railing, or down through their stance to see the canyon and all of its 4,000 feet of vertical abyss.

10. Take a Desert Jeep Tour

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Photo courtesy Safari Jeep Tours

Experience the backcountry desert on and off road near the Grand Canyon and nearby recreation areas such as Sedona. View scenic vistas and the incredible variety of wildlife.