Not surprisingly, it's a popular spot to watch sunrise and sunset. If you want to beat the crowds, then, winter may be the best time to visit. The best time to visit the Grand Canyon (South Rim and North Rim) is therefore March, April and May in spring and mid-September to mid-November in autumn. With less than four hours at the canyon, it doesn’t leave a lot of time to do much other than the main highlights, but it is a good option if you are short on time. If you are ready to explore the classic North Rim views, go for a hike starting at Grand Canyon Lodge patio and proceeding to Bright Angel Point. It is just down the hill from the El Tovar hotel. If you aren’t used to riding a mule or horse, this will be enough for most folks, as it uses different muscles from the ones you are used to and you may get quite sore. Bring real food, not just energy gels. At the South Rim (6,800-foot elevation, an hour and 45 minutes north of Flagstaff), spring runs from March to May while fall runs from September to November. It's best to start looking for a reservation early. There are two options. Alas, no children are allowed in the parlor car. Most people hike from north to south for two reasons. Roaring Springs is about 4.7 miles below the from North Rim and a 20-minute diversion from the trail. The summer season is always the busiest for the Grand Canyon, but the majority of the tourists venture towards the South Rim at this time. If you’re traveling with minimal time, I recommend heading to the south ridge to see the best-known views of the Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon Village or East Rim). Bird-watchers may be able to spot rare species, as several threatened and endangered birds make the park their home. An amateur historian and travel enthusiast, I travel around the world full-time visiting historic sites: hidden chapels, Communist monuments, ancient cities, religious relics, or Trips last several days and typically traverse the first (eastern) half of the canyon, from Lee’s Ferry to Phantom Ranch (with a hike up Bright Angel Trail); the second (western) half of the canyon from Phantom Ranch to near the start of Lake Mead; or the full canyon (this is usually done by the motorized rafts, which are faster). They weigh up to 730 pounds and, according to the NPS, can become aggressive during the fall (their mating season), so the park service recommends staying at least 100 feet or more from these animals. If you take an evening stroll around Grand Canyon Village, keep an eye out for the elk that often wander around the area. Best spots to see the sunrise over Grand Canyon include Maricopa Point and Hopi Point along Hermit Road. The elk that inhabit the Grand Canyon are considered the most dangerous animal in the park. After watching the sunrise, head back to your lodge or campground for breakfast. From Flagstaff, it is easy to rent a car or take a shuttle bus to Grand Canyon Village on the south rim. Be warned – it can be chilly, especially in spring and fall, so dress warmly. Visit the National Park Service website and read its FAQ for hikers. The drive usually takes a half a day if you enjoy short walks and photo opportunities. . Kolb Studio: Built in 1904 by the Kolb brothers as a home and studio, this building is perched right on the edge of the canyon near Bright Angel Lodge. Visitors are welcome to discover the North Rim from mid-May to mid-October. From reading the Grand Canyon's website to posing questions to hiking groups on social media, I compiled routes to take and water stops to make in a perfectly nerdy Google doc that I shared with my friends. Grand Canyon Railway Depot. Use Skyscanner to find an affordable time of year to travel from your preferred airport. You can take the shuttle bus (every 15-30 minutes) between viewpoints if you prefer not to hike. Rim to rim, whether you do it in one day or multiple days, is not for the faint of heart. Grand Canyon South Rim or North Rim? Some times, however, are certainly better than others. This is the furthest you can safely go and return in the same day. That's because their algorithms register that spatially, the two sides of the canyon are not that far apart. Many visitors will not feel satisfied by a visit to the Grand Canyon without descending into the canyon, at least part of the way. Unless you are targeting the North Rim, which is closed for the colder half of the year, there’s no bad time to visit the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park is home to 447 bird species, 91 species of mammals, 48 species of reptiles, 10 species of amphibians and a world of bugs and insects. Get there 30 minutes prior to departure. I think this would have saved me a lot of blisters. The National Park Service even has tips for surviving crowding at the South Rim. The closest airport to the canyon is actually the tiny regional airport Grand Canyon Airport at Tusayan, only seven miles away. James Ian from Travel Collecting has traveled to 82 countries and all seven continents. If you must go during a peak time of the year (read: summer), consider the more secluded North Rim. An alternative way to get to the south rim is to take the historic Grand Canyon Railway. This option is shorter, at 7.4 miles from Phantom Ranch, but not easier. The best time to visit the south rim is spring and fall. The easiest way to get to the north rim is to drive, though there are occasional shuttles between the north and south rims and from Flagstaff. Backup Charging Bank for your cell phone since you’ll be using it as a camera, GPS, and general travel genie. Going from the South Rim to the North Rim is no quick feat even by car. It also has a Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn — with rooms available from 24,000 points per night with two queen beds. Related: National parks slowly reopen — Here’s everything you need to know.
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