Grand Canyon National Park is one of the greatest natural wonders on earth. In 1979 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The breathtaking canyon, which is up to 1.6 km deep and a total of 446 km long, which the Colorado River has created here over millions of years, is just waiting to be explored. The canyon can be explored by foot, helicopter, mule, whitewater raft, or jeep. If you have even less time, you can also fly over the canyon from Las Vegas by plane. The range of things to do around this mighty natural wonder seems almost inexhaustible. Visitors who just want to enjoy a beautiful view have numerous vantage points along the ridge.
Grand Canyon South Rim
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is one of the most visited areas on earth and is also the magnet for visitors in Grand Canyon National Park. From here there are the most spectacular views of the gorge. The center for activities in the park is the Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim, which is 2,133 m above sea level – about 1.5 hours drive from Flagstaff. The vast majority of hotels are located here. This part of the park is open all year round.
According to topschoolsoflaw, Grand Canyon Village is located near the park’s south entrance, just a few miles from the town of Tusayan, AZ. Next to the hotels is the Mather Campground, Market Plaza, Visitor Center and Backcountry Office. Hermit’s Rest Road traverses the South Rim west of Grand Canyon Village. This scenic route is open to Park Shuttle buses and commercial tour buses only from March 1st to November 30th. There are many viewpoints along the road with great views. At the end of the 10-mile road is Hermits Rest, which has a small souvenir shop that also sells snacks.
Heading east from Grand Canyon Village is Desert View Drive, which is open to all vehicles and also offers many breathtaking views. Some of the hiking trails also start here. The Tusayan Museum and Ruins is the only major archaeological site on the canyon rim. There is a campsite near the east entrance, the Desert View Watchtower, but it cannot be pre-reserved. There are also several small shops, snack shops, souvenir shops and a gas station.
Grand Canyon North Rim
The North Rim is the quiet side of Grand Canyon National Park. For the 16 km as the crow flies from Grand Canyon Village to the North Rim, however, you have to reckon with a driving time of 5 hours. The North Rim is an average of 300 meters higher than the South Rim, which is why a completely different ecosystem prevails here. Winters on the North Rim are wetter, which is why this part is closed from October 15th to May 15th. The North Rim is an ideal area for those who prefer solitude. This part of the Grand Canyon actually feels like a national park and is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the ‘other side’. The alpine environment of the North Rim is more reminiscent of a drive through the Alps than a journey through Arizona. Tall ponderosa pines, aspen groves, beautiful meadows and a relaxed atmosphere are among the assets of this area of Grand Canyon National Park. There is only one lodge in the park. There are two more on the way from Jacob Lake to the North Rim. A much smaller selection of tours and activities are offered. Hikers who want to discover one of the seven wonders of the world without a large crowd will find exactly the right conditions here.
Grand Canyon West Rim
The West Rim is the tribal area of the Hualapai Indian Reservation located along the western portion of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon Skywalk and Grand Canyon West Airport are located here. The Sky Walkis a steel and glass circular bridge that sits 4,000 feet above the floor of the Grand Canyon and juts approximately 60 feet above the chasm. The platform offers an unforgettable panoramic view of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. The geology and landscape of the West Rim differs dramatically from the North and South Rims: the region is significantly less forested than the rest of the surrounding area. Although the view is very beautiful, it is not comparable to that in the national park. The West Rim is significantly closer to Las Vegas than Grand Canyon Village. A 32 km long gravel road, which runs among other things through a picturesque Joshua Tree forest, connects the two places with each other. When traffic is higher, it looks like a sandstorm. If you want to visit the Grand Canyon West, must pay an entrance fee. The visit to the Skywalk must be paid for separately.
In addition to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, the West Rim offers various other activities for tourists. There’s a dude ranch, boat trips on the Colorado River, lobster rides, a Native American village, cowboy and Native American shows, etc. The tribe is also working on a restaurant at the Skywalk, but for now there are only snacks and drinks in the gift shops.