The steep, red walls of the Grand Canyon are as iconic as it gets. Miles upon miles of epic hiking trails, photo-ops that look like snapshots of a different world and unruly, dusty wilderness just begging to be explored are just the tip of the iceberg. The Colorado River has chiseled this legendary 270-mile long canyon into something that has to be seen to be believed — the Grand Canyon is a must-visit, there’s no doubt about it, and here is where to start.
1. Hike the Epic Trails
Grand Canyon hiking trails have no equal when it comes to scenic wilderness and diverse terrain that features two billion years worth of geologic history across its walls. The views from the top are fantastic, but when you venture through this rocky wonderland, you’ll have to pick your jaw up off the floor. Walk the famous South or North Rim, witness a kaleidoscope of rocks in a myriad of colors, from pink to burnt orange and give your legs a good workout. Head down from the legendary Bright Angel Trailhead and experience some of the most superb hiking in the country, if not the world.
2. Explore the Grand Canyon on Muleback
You haven’t seen the Grand Canyon until you’ve followed the many winding paths among its cliffs. If hiking isn’t up your alley or you’ve always wanted to feel like an explorer, book a mule trip. Sit back, relax and listen to your guide spill the details on the history of this world-renowned place, while traversing on a mule! Get your camera ready as these sturdy little beasts take you through the depths of the park or along ridges with some of the most breathtaking panoramic vistas you’ll ever see.
3. Take a Jeep Tour in the Outback
Another unique way to explore the wild Grand Canyon is on one of the many backcountry Jeep tours. Subtract danger and potential hiccups that come up with outdoor adventures, add a pure rush of adrenaline, and you’re left with an exciting ride through the scenic stretches of the Grand Canyon. Get hyped for cruising down dusty roads deep in the outback, while you feel the cool breeze and the air on your face as you explore the canyon with a maximum level of comfort and just as much adventure.
4. Camp Under the Stars
The otherworldly landscapes of the Grand Canyon are considered sacred by Native Americans and it’s no surprise why. After a day spent sightseeing and basking in a total sensory overload of the place, give your body and soul time to recuperate. Once you step foot in the Grand Canyon, you won’t want to leave and for the night — and you don’t have to. Set up camp at the Mather campground, a crowd favorite located in the South Rim. Fair warning, you’ll barely get any sleep, as you won’t be able to peel your eyes off of the panoramic views. An even more scenic campground along Havasu Creek lies not far from the gorgeous Havasu Falls. The majestic, gem-colored waterfall is well-worth the hike.
5. Walk in the Sky
The Grand Canyon offers 360-degree views galore, but let’s take it to the next level. A whopping 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon floor proudly stands the Grand Canyon Skywalk Glass Bridge. This horseshoe shaped architectural wonder is a sight for itself, strong enough to hold seventy passenger jets. If you ever wanted to feel like a bird, the Skywalk’s glass trail will give you a chance to do just that. Once you step foot in it, you’ll feel like you’re walking on air, high above the cliffs which on the ground below seemed to tower over you.
With trails that attract millions upon millions of avid hikers, views so majestic you’ll forget how to breathe and fun day activities for families and adventurers alike, the Grand Canyon is the destination your bucket list would have on its bucket list. The energy here is something different, with eons of geologic history. No matter if you’re thousands of feet in the air, or safely planted on the ground, the Grand Canyon will give you something to marvel at.