The Grand Canyon is one of the most well known places in the USA… for a reason!! I’ve been lucky enough to visit this gorgeous place a few times in my life, but it wasn’t until recently that I got to explore it in my Jeep!
It turns out, this year I visited the Grand Canyon is the 100th anniversary! There are four different rims you can visit - north, east, south, and west. The North rim closes down for winter, but the South rim is open year-round.
No matter which rim you visit at the Grand Canyon, the views will be spectacular. I caught some amazing sunrises and sunsets here. It can also be pretty windy so you might want to bring a jacket unless you go in the middle of summer.
Since the Grand Canyon is so popular, expect lots of people, especially at the South rim. The plus side to visiting such a high-traffic place is there is a lot of infrastructure here. That means plenty of restrooms in the park, as well as places to eat and sleep in the main village.
Many people love visiting the South rim specifically, calling it the “true” Grand Canyon. This rim is also very accessible for everyone, whereas other places are not so ADA friendly.
The East rim is near a ton of other cool places, such as Page, Arizona and Horseshoe Bend. There are tons of breathtaking sites to see in Navajo Nation. You can easily spend a week or more exploring the Grand Canyon area. The East rim is great for watersports, fishing, and more! This is a great summer spot if you want to get wet.
The West rim has the iconic Skywalk and is the closest rim to Las Vegas. You will have to pay to walk out onto this glass floor bridge, but for those of you not terrified of heights, I hear it is worth every penny.
The North rim is close to the Utah border and a bit less traveled than the other rims. However, it is only open from May through October. To access the North rim from the South rim, it will be a four hour drive one way. If you plan to hit up Zion or other parts of Utah, this rim may be the best one for you.
There is plenty of hiking and photo-ops throughout the Grand Canyon. Depending on the time of year, the Colorado river can be a gorgeous blue, or a bit muddy when the current picks up. You can raft right down it during the warmer seasons!
If you have the money, I hear a helicopter tour is phenomenal. However, I met a few people on my travels who had to miss out due to bad weather, so keep that in mind when you’re booking things months ahead. You never know what you'll get when it comes to the bipolar Arizona weather.
If you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, the South rim is probably going to be what you’re looking for. You can do this in a day trip from Flagstaff too. But if you only have time for a day trip from Vegas, hit up the West rim. You really can’t go wrong with any viewpoint of the Grand Canyon, so you're guaranteed to have a great time anywhere.
There are quite a few deaths at the Grand Canyon each year. Some from dehydration, others from falling. When I visited, I saw dozens of people climbing over the barriers, even when it was insanely windy. Don't be stupid. Drink your water and stay on the correct side of the railings. There are plenty of spots you can take pictures at that will look natural, just look around and always respect the rules. They were put in place for a reason.
There are plenty of hotels to stay at in and around the Canyon at a variety of different rims. The South rim has a whole village of hotels and campsites within it, which makes it quick and easy to access the Canyon. There are also a few towns within easy driving distance you can stay at as well.
Depending on which rim you visit and where you are within it, you can either drive, hike or take shuttle buses. Do your research ahead of time to plan out how you want to spend your time there.
One of the coolest experiences of being at the Grand Canyon was seeing a ton of elk! They will come right up to the side of the road, so be careful driving around and don't speed. There are tons of animals who call this gorgeous place home. I was lucky to see quite a few of these majestic creatures.
The other thing that surprised me is seeing trees! After spending so much time in the Arizona desert, it was odd to be in a forest again. But mannnn did it smell fresh!
Thank you for reading my Grand Canyon guide! Check out more pictures from my trip below: