The Grand Canyon is one of America’s national treasures, and is on many people’s Bucket List from around the world. Arizona is the home of this magnificent canyon that was carved out by the Colorado River six million years ago, or sixteen million years ago, whichever study that you agree with. However long it took, the Grand Canyon is an incredible site to visit while road tripping through Arizona.
The Grand Canyon National Park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Over my lifetime, I have visited the Grand Canyon three times. The first time I was very young, and my family and their friends decided to go during the winter time when there was snow. To be honest, I do not remember it although my mother used to always ask, “We went to the Grand Canyon, don’t you remember seeing it?” No, I do not, mother!
The next two visits were in my adult life, and I had explored the Grand Canyon from both the West Rim and the South Rim, close to Flagstaff, Arizona. I enjoyed both rims of the Grand Canyon, as they were different from each other and offered memorable experiences.
If you are debating which rim to visit, both are terrific although the most popular is the National Park- South Rim, outside of Flagstaff. If you have time, I suggest you visit both as they are worth the trips.
This post covers both South and West rims of the Grand Canyon, and what to expect.
Grand Canyon National Park – South Rim
The Grand Canyon National Park outside of Flagstaff is one of America’s most popular, and visited sites with tourists from around the globe. It is a very well maintained park, and visitor friendly with shuttle buses, plenty of parking, water stations, and a Visitor Center.
There is a vehicle entrance fee of $35 (2021 price) and is valid for seven days. I recommend purchasing the America the Beautiful pass for $80 (2021 price), which allows you to enter into all of the National Parks for a full year. I have one and love it.
If you are a camper, I recommend pitching your tent at the Mather Campground inside the National Park. This campsite is family friendly, and not a remote backwoods site. It is located by the Grand Canyon Village where you will find a small grocery for firewood and supplies.
The Grand Canyon South Rim is the most popular access point to visit this national wonder, so make sure you pre-plan your visit. It is Arizona and will get very hot in the summer, but it is also freezing during the winter months.
The Spring time and the Fall are the nicest times to visit the Grand Canyon, as it is not as crowded. The summer months are the most popular though. If you plan on going then, make sure you book your hotel or campsite months in advanced.
The gorgeous Grand Canyon National Park – What an incredible trip!
For more information, please visit ➡ Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon – West Rim
The West Rim of the Grand Canyon is located five hours from the South Rim’s National Park, but it is only a two hour drive from Las Vegas, Nevada. If you are in Sin City, and want to visit the Grand Canyon and do the famous Sky Walk, you can either rent a car or take one of the many day tours available.
The West Rim is operated by the Hualapai Tribe, who have lived in this and the surrounding areas for centuries. The “People of the Tall Pines” have only 2,300 tribe members remaining, and found that tourism was their best option for income. In near by Peach Springs you will find a hotel, restaurant, and gift shop that is tribe run.
For more information, please visit The Hualapai Tribe and Skywalk
Within the West Rim is the magnificent “Eagle Point”, which is an incredible rock formation in the canyon. According to Hualapai legend, the early people in the area lived at the bottom of the canyon. One day, a wise eagle flew into the canyon to warn the people of a great flood. When the eagle flew up after the warning, it rested at the top to watch over the people. It had turned to stone, and there it remained.
The most popular attractions of the West Rim is the Skywalk, and it is a trip. This horseshoe shaped bridge has a clear glass floor, which gives the illusion that there is no firm ground beneath your feet, and only the canyon below. I have done it and it was a very strange feeling. Your mind was thinking that you were going to fall, but your feet had a sold ground to walk on.
When I went, we were not allowed to bring our cameras on the Skywalk which was a good idea. I had purchased a professional photo that came in a very nice framed portfolio. It was better than trying to take a selfie or have one of the freaked out visitors take a photo of me!
Another attraction at the West Rim is the abandoned mine at Guano Point. There are mining remains of the cable tram that lead to a guano cave, which was used for fertilizer last century. Guano Point offers fantastic views over the canyon, as well as some interesting history of the area.
For more information and ticketing, please visit Grand Canyon West Rim.
Whichever rim you choose to visit the Grand Canyon, the South or the West, be sure to practice safety as there are a good amount of accidents per year. Just enjoy yourself, take plenty of photos, and make many memories!
We must take adventures in order to know where we truly belong …
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre