Itinerary for Grand Canyon South Rim
Grand Canyon South Rim
I look down at a canyon of shades of sepia I didn’t know even existed. I look around to see rock formations, of shapes I didn’t know stone was capable of. I look above to see the early morning sun smiling at me, congratulating me on finally making it to the magnificent Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon was my first natural wonder, and I was stunned, at every turn.
Every viewpoint is different with a different shade of brown taking centre stage, highlighting the gradations in the mammoth rock formation in front of you. Look closely to spot the ridges on the rocks that give each structure a character of its own.
How to plan your day at the Grand Canyon
The Visitor’s Centre should be your starting point to get all the information you need to get through your day at the Canyon. The helpful staff will help you plan your day, they will guide you on which route to take first to explore the Canyon depending on any time constraints that you might have.
3 ways to get around the South Rim
1. Hike the South Rim
Once you reach the Grand Canyon, you have many options to get around. You can hike the whole of the South Rim if you are up for it. The hiking paths are well maintained, and there are sign boards at every view point mapping out the route, with distance and approximate hiking time till the next view point.
2. Take the shuttle bus
There are FREE shuttle buses that ply on all routes of the South Rim, which you can use to hop on & hop off at your convenience. There are quite a few buses on any given day around the South Rim, so rest assured, you won't be left waiting more than a few minutes for your bus.
3. Ride a cycle around the South Rim
You can also rent bicycles or bring your own bicycles to take you around the Canyon. There are bicycle paths clearly marked and well maintained. The signage on the path will help you understand the distance, and time required to cover the distance from one view point to the next.
What did I do?
During my time at the Canyon, I hiked a large part of the South Rim, but took the shuttle service in between, when I thought I needed a break.
The South Rim is seniors & kids' friendly!
You can also see all of the South Rim on the shuttle bus, which makes it really easy for seniors and families with children to enjoy the magnificent sights of the South Rim.
The shuttle buses are wheelchair and stroller friendly.
4 Practical Tips for your day at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
1. Bring lots of water to keep hydrated, also pack snacks for your hike for that instant energy boost that you will need whether you are hiking, cycling, or taking the shuttle bus.
2. There are picnic tables at some of the view points, where you can enjoy your snack with a view of the beautiful canyon.
3. There are restaurants and grocery stores inside the national park, so plan your thirst and hunger around them, if you haven’t packed food and water for your bag.
4. There are many tour companies that offer a tour of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, which I think you should avoid, as the Grand Canyon is easy to navigate with the help of maps that you receive at the Visitor Centre. The Shuttle buses make covering the South Rim extremely comfortable too!
How to get to the Grand Canyon
I flew in to Flagstaff Airport, and stayed in the town of Flagstaff, and drove to Grand Canyon National Park. I took the Arizona Shuttle from Flagstaff to the national park, and back. I also used their shuttle to get from Flagstaff to Phoenix Airport on my return journey from Arizona.
You can also fly in to Phoenix & Las Vegas, and drive, or get a shuttle, or bus from either of the places to the national park.
I found that it is best to rent a car at the airport to travel in Arizona, as public transport does not service the national parks, or any other points of interest.