Our Grand Canyon visit was cut short due to time constraints during our road trip across the Western half of the US, leaving us with just one day to take in all the beauty.
Similar to most, it’s always been a travel goal of ours to see the beautiful canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. With time against us, we wanted to be sure to squeeze in as many viewpoints and photographs of the widely crowded and popular steep sided canyon to make the most of our time.
We’d highly recommend the South Rim of the 277 mile long Grand Canyon. It’s most often viewed as the most accessible rim and it’s great for families visiting with young ones. Most of the views seen on TV or featured in photographs online or in magazines are generally pictured here as there’s close to two dozen different view points that allow you to view all the way down to the Colorado River.
If you’re limited on time like we were, we’d suggest starting out at Mather Point. It’s a spectacular viewpoint offering a wide angle of the canyon and it’s only a short 5 minute walk from the visitors center inside the South Rim. Unfortunately due a wildfire on the North rim, our view was slightly obstructed, but nonetheless, absolutely breathtaking. There’s some outstanding photo opportunities here as well as there’s open vantage points from multiple angles.
If you follow along the Rim Trail, Yavapai Point is approximately a 20 minute walk from Mather Point. You’ll have some cool photo opportunities along the trail that are kind of off the beaten path heading over. There’s a very interesting Geology Museum here as well as unobstructed views up and down the gorge and viewpoints of the Colorado River. Although we weren’t able to see for ourselves, Yavapai Point is often discussed as the most popular spot of beautiful sunsets.
Now that you’ve spent some time walking along the Rim Trail, to save some time you can hop on the free shuttle bus on the Orange Route to Yaki Point. This was probably our favorite stop while here due to the spectacular viewpoints from the east side of the Grand Canyon and the remote feel. There was a very small crowd compared to other points along the canyon that really gave it a nice and quiet stillness. The countless ledges peaking out over the canyon offering stunning views of what seemed to be never ending as it slowly faded into the sky gave us just what we needed to finish out our short day here.
It’s definitely recommended to take your time and see all the wonder the Grand Canyon has to offer, but if you’re limited on time like us, these are great starting points to take in beautiful views.
*Pro Tip: Bring plenty of water or an empty bottle to refill. We didn’t even get the opportunity to hike into the canyon and still went through a ton of water due to the dry heat.