What are the five best things to see and do in the Grand Canyon?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Becky Bosshart

Once you see the Grand Canyon in person, you’ll realize why it was named one of the 1,000 places to see before you die. Because of its international popularity (the national park attracts about five million tourists annually), you’ll find an organized tourist economy built around providing good and safe outdoor experiences. Here are five things Forbes Travel Guide recommends seeing and doing at the Grand Canyon:
 
1. Plan your trip around the star attraction, the canyon itself. Descend to the bottom of the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. We suggest starting before 7 a.m. if you want to get through all the switchbacks by 7 p.m. However, many people extend this trip over several days, choosing to camp or lodge along the way.
 
2. Shop Grand Canyon Village Market. This shop has basic camping supplies and groceries, but you’ll also want to come here for the view — it’s near two famous overlooks along the South Rim, Hermits Rest and Desert View.
 
3. Book a river trip. See for yourself how the Colorado River affects the regional environment. Canyon Explorations features multi-day paddle and oar raft trips down the river. Do-it-yourselfers can pick up a noncommercial permit to launch from Diamond Creek, but due to high demand these can be hard to come by.
 
4. Visit Mather Point. Avoid the overcrowded Grand Canyon Skywalk and instead see the sunrise at Mather Point also on the South Rim — it’s all natural beauty, no hype.
 
5. Take an overnight mule ride. Saddle up for an overnight mule ride (you can stay at Phantom Ranch, where meals are included) or take a half-day inner canyon trip to Supai Tunnel on the North Kaibab Trail.

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