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Grand Canyon Sightseeing Trip

Updated on June 4, 2012

Travel Arizona's Awe Inspiring Wonder of the World, the Grand Canyon - One of America's Best Sightseeing Trips

It's the crown jewel of the southwest, and perhaps of all of North America. The Grand Canyon is something that needs to be seen to be appreciated fully. A great sightseeing trip to the Arizona canyon can include a multi day road trip around the rim, hiking from the South Rim to North Rim, or even rafting the Colorado River. The red, white and orange hues at sunset and sunrise are something not to be missed for photographers and any outdoor traveler. Read on for some beautiful photos that only hint at the beauty of a Grand Canyon sightseeing trip.

Photo top left Grand canyon photo on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Photo by L. Brumm Photography, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

- The Grand Canyon was formed over approximatley 6 million years by the Colroado River.

- The canyon is 277 miles long, and up to 18 miles wide at some points.

- Garcia Lopez de Cardenas was the first known European to visit the canyon in 1540.Bald eagles have been known to nest in the canyon walls during winter months. Read more about the Bald Eagles in the Grand Canyon here.

- The Grand Canyon game preserve was established on November 28, 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

- The park was declared a National Monument on January 11, 1908, and a National Park on February 26, 1919.

- The park is home to 34 mammal species.

- Over 600 people have died in the canyon, from drowning, airplane crashes, exhaustion and stroke.

- The Grand Canyon Skywalk opened in 2007, a glass structure over the Grand Canyon which extends 66 feet beyond the edge.

The Complete Guide to the Grand Canyon - The * BEST * Guide to the Grand Canyon - Period.

One of the best reasons to get this book, not just for the content, is its size. It's the perfect size for travel, but also is the most thorough. Hiking, mule rides, canyon flyovers, and sightseeing in general are gone in-depth by the author in great detail... useful detail you can use every step of the way. As one reviewer put it, "It actually felt like the other two guides that I bought for my trip were written by people sitting behind a computer in an office who hadn't been to the Grand Canyon in years, while this guide reads like the author is sitting on a rock perched over the Colorado River sharing his insight to friends. I loved this guide and can't recommend it enough."

Grand Canyon, The Complete Guide: Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon, The Complete Guide: Grand Canyon National Park

With a large number of beautiful, high-quality color photographs, this guide is as browsable as the best coffee table books but also supplies travelers with maps, travel tips, and extensive listings for lodging, camping, and sightseeing. From river rafting to scenic fly-overs, the Grand Canyon offers a plethora of potential activities—but without careful planning, a trip to this popular national park can be overwhelming. This guide divides the attractions into sections—the North Rim, South Rim, Colorado River, and Havasu Falls—with lodging, dining, and camping information given for each.

 

The Grand Canyon, as seen from above during the middle of the day.

Photo by kla4067 on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

The Grand Canyon can provide an endless variation of photographs, as the canyon becomes cast in shadowy reds, oranges, and browns during dawn and dusk, intense oranges and deep reds in the late afternoon, and a spectrum of light browns and white tones during the midday. One of the preferred times to take photos is either at sunset or sunrise, as the colors are the most vibrant. Winter also provides excellent opportunities for unique shots of the white snow against the warm tones of the canyon. From above, the canyon is best photographed in the middle of the day to avoid cast shadows.

The Grand Canyon showing off it's range of colors in this beautiful HDR shot by

Wolfgang Staudt. Photo licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Desert Photography: A Favorite Activity at Grand Canyon - Take a better photo on your trip to the rim

For desert photography, it's good to have a backup battery when hiking, as well as a sky or polarizing filter to cut out some of the sun (and to protect your lens).

Leather Bound National Parks Guide

The perfect size for travel, this guide has a smooth leather cover with attached ribbon placeholder. Detailed maps of the National Parks, with a scannable synopsis of each park and historic area, along with websites and phone numbers, directions, and addresses for each park (so you can type it into your GPS!). I've personally used this guide on many trips for its convenient size and sleek look. I recommend it!

208 pages, leather-bound softcover, 3 1/4" x 4 7/8"

A Helicopter Ride Through the Grand Canyon - Get up close and personal with the Grand Canyon's scenery

There are several companies that offer helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon. This can be a great alternative to driving and hiking, but expect to pay over $200 per person. These are usually approximately 90 minutes-3 hours. Many of the major hotels in Las Vegas offer helicopter tours accessible directly via shuttle from the hotel.

Here's a few of the more well known Grand Canyon helicopter tours:

* Heliusa.com

* Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours

* Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters

* Maverick Helicopter Tours

Geology, Backroads and History of Arizona - The Grand Canyon state, in books

Arizona is more than the Grand Canyon, it's a way of life. There are other spectactular sites to see within the state of Arizona, like the Petrified Forest, the "energy vortexes" of red rock Sedona, the old ghost towns like Tombstone, the desert city of Phoenix, and the serenity of Saguaro National Park. You can find more about these exciting places in these recommended guides to the history and activities of the state of Arizona.

Grand Canyon River: Adventure at Risk IMAX - A high energy, lifelike experience of the Grand Canyon

I've seen this film several times on the Grand Canyon IMAX in theatres. This would be the perfect film to demonstrate your HD and surround sound, as the photos and video tour the amazing canyon via raft and helicopter. If you haven't been there, this is the only next best thing out there.

IMAX: Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk
IMAX: Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk

GRAND CANYON ADVENTURE: RIVER AT RISK follows the great Colorado River as it reveals the most pressing environmental story of our time - the world's growing shortage of fresh water. Join environmental advocates Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Wade Davis as they set out with their daughters, traveling deep into the Grand Canyon and down the river that runs through it. Your pulse will quicken as you are invited to join this thrilling ride downriver through raging rapids and breathtaking canyons. With stunning photography and sweeping aerial shots the renowned filmmakers capture all the majesty of the Colorado and The Grand Canyon in the largest film format ever made...

 

A Peak at the Trailer of Grand Canyon IMAX

Grand Staircase Calendar

The Grand Staircase is an area of the southwest that includes some of America's finest National Parks and well known canyons and scenic areas, like Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, and Capitol Reef. Save the date with this cool calendar that features 12 incredible shots of the southwest... 12 destinations everyone should see in their lifetime. Here's a few of the scenic places photographed:


Zion National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Capitol Reef National Park


Have you been to the Grand Canyon?

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Grand Canyon Hiking - A few of the trails and hikes in the canyon

Hiking trails are abound on the rim, and you'll need a lot of preparation before the trip. Are you ready for the strenuous, long hike down one rim and up the other? Take a peek at some of the extraordinary views as you read Ramkitten's journal chronicling each day of her hike from rim to rim here.

Don't Go Headed Down the Canyon Trails Without the Right Boots! - A well fitting pair of durable high quality hiking boots for your journey is a must

Hiking boots are obviously something that you need when traveling down the canyon trails, but you also need to consider how reliable they are. Gortex is an excellent, trusted line from Merrell that are virtually indestructible. Any rocks, wet surfaces, puddles, jagged edges, mud, they can handle it, through the slip resistance traction surfaces and tough soles. They also protect the feet unlike anything else, so you'll be less likely to take a digger.

Merrell Men's Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
Merrell Men's Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boot

These get rave reviews from customers, and include the following:

* GORE- TEX Gasket Construction

* Waterproof Dura Leather/Breathable Mesh

* Upper Breathable Ventilated Bellows Tongue

* Rubber Toe Bumper/Heel Counter

* 7.5mm Narrow Gauge Webbing

* 4.5mm Anatomical Footbed

* Nylon 6.6 Injection Molded Arch Shank

* Compression Molded EVA Footframe

 

Recommended Hiking Books on the Grand Canyon - Plan ahead with a well reviewed guide by people who have read it

Hiking the Grand Canyon has endless possibilities for trails and routes. You can go rim to rim, or up the same way you came. Whatever you plan on hiking, you'll need a good map and guide as things come up to refer to. All of these guides have been reviewed 4 stars or more on Amazon.

The Power of the Grand Canyon: Flash Flood - Flash floods can strike at any time

Don't underestimate the power of the Grand Canyon and flash floods. These occur rather frequently during storms, as heavy rains pour down the canyon walls and create gigantic, silty (and rock filled) waterfalls. The Colorado can also swell up and create a dangerous situation in mere minutes. Stop by the visitor's center before any trip to educate yourself preparedness, and to see the current current forecast.

The wettest months of the Grand Canyon

are July and August, when summer thunderstorms roll in and even lead to flash floods.

Where is the Grand Canyon? - Zoom in or out to see more detail on this Google Map

A markerGrand Canyon National Park -
grand canyon national park
get directions

The south rim of Grand Canyon Apollo Throne as seen during sunset.

The south rim of Grand Canyon Apollo Throne as seen during sunset.
The south rim of Grand Canyon Apollo Throne as seen during sunset.

More Lenses in the Grand Circle:

Explore America's Southwest

The following are pages on other parks within America's southwest, which is loosely known as the "Grand Circle." Each of the destinations form a peg in the circular arc of parks found in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada. It's the trip of a lifetime, and the canyon is actually only one part of the puzzle. Learn more about the rest of the puzzle pieces here:

Bryce Canyon National ParkBryce Canyon is located in the southwestern portion of Utah, and is home to the famous red and white hoodoos spire formations, with remarkable hiking trails and scenic opportunities.

Capitol Reef National ParkA 70 mile wrinkle in the earth's crust resulted in the massive Capitol Reef area and National Park. Giant sandstone domes line the tops of this beautiful Utah plateau.

Canyonlands National ParkWind and water carved stone resulted in the area near Arches known as Canyonlands. The area boasts impressive, wide canyons, unique desert wildlife, and unmatched hiking.

Zion National ParkThe majestic Zion region has been eroded over time by the Virgin River, which slims down to the challenging hiking area of the Narrows.

Mesa Verde National ParkRemnants of a long lost culture can be found in the Colorado ruins of Mesa Verde National Park. Visit to gaze upon the incredible Puebloan Cliff Palace and ancient petroglyphs.

Monument ValleyDeep in the four corners region of the southwest is the often filmed Monument Valley reservation area. Now under the rule of the Navajo tribe, the area is open for touring, hiking and photography.

Arches National ParkSee the most natural sandstone arches anywhere in the world in Arches National Park of Moab, Utah. Erosion has left thousands of these unique stone structures standing in the park.

Black Canyon of the GunnisonDeep, black canyons leave a lasting impression in Colorado's Black Canyon of the Gunnison, with an impressive 2700 foot drop over into the Gunnison River.

Great Basin National ParkGreat Basin National Park contains the beautiful underground Lehman's Cave, and the mammoth peak of Mount Wheeler. Hike the area from its 13,000 feet peak, to beneath the earth's surface.

The Grand CanyonThe Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the world, with an unforgettable hiking, photography, and road trip experience.

Some of the facts in this lens were found on the Grand Canyon Wikipedia article.

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Do you have a special lookout that you'd like to share with everyone? Which trails are the best to hike? Which time of year should people go? If you have anything to say about the Grand Canyon, tell the world and share your experience!

As Part of the Southwest and Southern Route...

The Grand Canyon was featured as part of the destinations worth seeing along I-10, the southern route. You can view some of the top hotels on I-10 along with information on traveling one of America's longest roads here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Have You Been to the Grand Canyon? - Tell us about your trip, recommend a place to see, or a hike to take!

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    • Kiwisoutback profile image
      Author

      Kiwisoutback 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Pat Goltz: Interesting. Do you have a link with further information?

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      I have been to the Grand Canyon several times, and have also flown over it several times. By the way, there's no way the Colorado carved that, with all the side canyons and stuff, and if you look closely at the evidence, the common claims fall apart.

      When I was a teenager, my family took my grandparents to the Grand Canyon. When we walked up to the rim, my grandfather looked down into the canyon for a very long time, and then he said, "It sure must have taken the Indians a long time to dig that hole!"

    • Mandy Stradley profile image

      Mandy Stradley 5 years ago

      I recently had the opportunity to see the gorgeous Grand Canyon. It literally took my breath away because it is so astonishing. I also hiked through Havasu Canyon to see the waterfalls. Absolutely amazing! Thank you for a great lense!

    • craftycrow profile image

      craftycrow 5 years ago

      I've been there once. Would love to go again. Beautiful. Nice lens about it, too.

      Linda

    • LDWorld profile image

      LDWorld 5 years ago

      Thank you for an amazing pictures! Inspired, and planning to take my family there in near future.

    • dismantlerepair profile image

      dismantlerepair 5 years ago

      I will be here taking my own photos in just over a month as part of a fortnight cali motorbike tour!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Stopping back by to leave a blessing. Love the photos.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I'm a big fan of the grand canyon, and arizona - lensrolling to my arizona lenses, many thanks -:)

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 6 years ago

      Stunning photos and beautiful lens. I was there about 20 years ago, would love to see it again sometime.

    • profile image

      tpw1977 6 years ago

      The Grand Canyon looks really impressive but I've been told even the best photos of it don't do it justice. I've always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon since I was a kid and so I hope to do that soon with my family as it looks a superb place to visit.

    • Bella Stella profile image

      Bella Stella 6 years ago

      The photos look breathtaking!!! This is a really beautiful lens! Congratulations for the good work. I am currently trying to complete a project with the museums of Greece. I would appreciate it if you stopped there for a while leaving your opinion comments and it would be very important for me if you liked it. Here is my lens https://hubpages.com/travel/delphi-museum .

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I found this lens incredibly useful. I'm a big fan of the South Rim. I took my parents there recently. It was bucket list item for them. Did a helicopter and airplane tour. Incredible. I used this lens and this http://www.GrandCanyon123.com to get my tours. Thanks to both!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I would love to go to the Grand Canyon, and to hike down into it and back. Not many years left to do it, or I will be too old. I fear it will never happen unless I come into money very soon. Lensrolled and featured on my "Arizona Lenses" lens.

    • profile image

      KDimmick 6 years ago

      Great lens! Blessed by an angel and featured on my angel lens :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a beautiful site this lens is Kiwi. It must be spectacular to see the Grand Canyon, would to go there someday. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • daoine lm profile image

      daoine lm 6 years ago

      The Grand Canyon is definitely one of the sites that come to mind when I think of America. It's on the (very long) list.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      We took a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon out of Vegas once. It was quite spectacular! Blessed

    • Superwife profile image

      Superwife 6 years ago

      I have never been, but the Grand Canyon is on my list of places I very much want to see! Such a beautiful lens you've put together here.

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 6 years ago

      My daughter and I watched the sun rise over the Grand Canyon on her 15th birthday - it was a magical, once in a lifetime moment for us. I saw something recently on TV about a place on the Grand Canyon where you can walk out over the edge on a horse-shoe shaped walkway that is has a CLEAR floor. I am sure I could NOT walk out on it, but I bet it's super exciting. Sorry I can't tell you where exactly it is, or what it's called. Very nice lens!

    • AslanBooks profile image

      AslanBooks 6 years ago

      I've lived in AZ for 9 years and I still haven't seen the Grand Canyon. Nice lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful! Congratulations on your Purple Star, most deserving - Kathy

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 6 years ago

      A spectacular lens about one of the most awe inspiring places in the world.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Oh my gosh, I can't believe I haven't visited this lens before now! Grand Canyon is such a special place to me, and I'm so happy to have lived and worked there. It's also where I met my future (well, current) husband. We now live in Flagstaff, so we're just an hour and a half from the South Rim. The Canyon is one of my favorite places on earth.

      I'm lensrolling this to my rim to rim hike lens. Great job and gorgeous photography here.

    • sittonbull profile image

      sittonbull 8 years ago

      Love this lens. I hiked down Bright Angel Trail in 1971 and camped close to the river by a spring. Nothing in the Louvre could approach the masterpiece of color on the walls of the canyon at sunrise and sunset. I can't believe I didn't make Havasu Falls that trip, but sie live. Kiwisoutback you have made my day! I am grateful to you for flying by and dropping dust on my inspiration lens! Thank you!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

      Wow! Really nice!

    • monarch13 profile image

      monarch13 8 years ago

      Great lens. I'm from Arizona and you did it justice!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      blessed again! Beautiful lens. I see some unique HTML here too. Very pretty.

    • DougP LM profile image

      DougP LM 8 years ago

      I'm very impressed by the thoroughness of the work done here. Excellent!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Those waterfalls are breathtaking!! I love AZ. I visit there about three times a year because I have family out there. I absolutely love this lens. An easy ten stars but they'll only allow me 5! You're an amazing writer and you publish some of the most stunning photography.

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Blessed by a Squid Angel.