The 5 million tourists a year visit most of the southern shore and abandon the much quieter north shore, located more than 300 kilometers by road. The possibilities for accommodation are much more numerous in the south. The north shore is also closed for a good part of the year, from mid-October to mid-May, due to persistent snow. The use of the grand canyon tours is important here now.
Visit the south shore of the Grand Canyon
Many views are scattered along the road that runs along the Grand Canyon in its touristic part. There is Grand Canyon Village which brings together several hotels, restaurants and mini markets, as well as the visitor center. To the west, other striking views are accessible via the Hermit Road, 7 miles (11km) long. A shuttles system stopping one way from each point of view is set up from March to November. In December, January and February, private vehicles are allowed. The possibility also to go along the shore of the Grand Canyon with the Rim Trail, a path without difficulty that goes from point of view in point of view. At the end of the road, at Hermit Rest, another little-known trail descends to Dripping Spring 7 miles round trip, 11 km.
Longer and more difficult hikes, Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail, allow you to get to the bottom of the canyon. The park authorities strongly advise against making the round trip during the day. Although possible with a good physical condition, it will take about ten hours of walking and 1300 meters of altitude difference, in heat sometimes overwhelming at the ascent.
Visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon
The north shore offers views of the Grand Canyon from another angle. It is as beautiful as those on the south shore, although some find them a little less spectacular. To tell the truth, one could even prefer this northern part thanks to its much smaller attendance and a greater impression of depth. The main views of the north shore are Bright Angel Point, Imperial Point and Cape Royal, all within easy reach. There is several short hikes and the long North Kaibab Trail 23 km long and 1750 meters elevation, which connect Phantom Ranch and South Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Trail.
Grand Canyon Overview
For a different experience or if you are not a hiker, you can fly over the Grand Canyon by helicopter or plane. You will then be able to appreciate more precisely the immensity of the landscape. The Papillon airline, specializing in flights over the Grand Canyon but also Las Vegas and Lake Powell, offers several formulas and durations to discover on its site. In 2015, I flew over the south shore and the north shore, which also passed over the turquoise waters of Little Colorado. Spectacular if you are already there, the departure will be at the small airport Tusayan, a few kilometers from the entrance to the south shore.
Sleeping in the Grand Canyon
There are many opportunities to sleep in the Grand Canyon. But in any case, it will take several months in advance to book. The places are indeed stormed, whether it is a hotel room, a bungalow or a tent site at a campsite.