The Grand Canyon National Park, located in Arizona, was one of America’s first national parks. It’s one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, with almost 5 million people from across the globe visiting the breathtaking natural marvel each year.
The Canyon, through which runs the Colorado river, is approximately 275 miles long and on average 10 miles wide, depending on where you’re standing. It’s also about a mile deep, which brings many thrill-seekers to take the plunge and hike or ride into the gorge’s depths.
There are two different sides of the Grand Canyon, the more tourist-oriented South Rim which is open year-round, and the more secluded North Rim which is closed during the winter season.
The South Rim
On the south rim, there are many opportunities for getting the most out of your trip to the Grand Canyon. A bus tour of the Canyon’s best observation points, a hike along exciting trails, a river rafting session, or even a flight through the gorge are all top picks for experiencing the beauty of the gorge first hand.
The North Rim
On the north rim however, you will find the Grand Canyon is more fiercely guarded against the trappings of commercialism, with most of the thrills coming from natural or eco-friendly sources. The natural sights here still prove to be just as exciting though, as you can watch the entrancing light patterns on the Canyon walls as day turns into night.
Accommodation is limited in the Grand Canyon, especially on the north rim. If you intend to stay overnight in the park to experience both a sunset and a sunrise, be sure to make a reservation well in advance of your vacation period. The south rim also has wheelchairs available for visitors, and many of the areas/facilities are wheelchair accessible, although assistance may be required.
Whether you prefer the south rim, with its array of adventurous and thrilling ways to experience the Canyon, or the more solitary and intimate natural atmosphere of the north rim, the magnitude of the Grand Canyon promises to be an unforgettable experience.