The Grand Canyon National Park South Rim

1 Day at The Grand Canyon National Park: South Rim

StephanieAugust 19, 2021
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Are you planning a trip to the grand canyon and wondering what’s the best way to spend 1 day at the Grand Canyon National Park South Rim? The Grand Canyon National Park South Rim is just that. Grand! Magnificent may be a better description to describe it’s stunning magnificence. It is something everyone needs to see at least once! Here’s everything you need to know if you’re road tripping through the southwest and planning to spend one day at the south rim.

I’ve visited the Grand Canyon twice now. Once on a ten day road trip though Utah and Arizona and once on a birthday trip with my family. Both times my jaw dropped. It takes your eyes a minute to adjust to the grandness that you’re viewing and it does not disappoint with its views. Each visit we had only one day to explore the park but we were able to fit in multiple hikes and really find some cool viewpoints to photograph and admire the park. Usually in a National Park I like to have a few days to explore but I feel like one entire day is enough to soak up the majority of the Grand Canyon unless you’re planning a horseback ride, a hike through backpacking trip, or some sort of other extended excursion.

Things to Know Before Visiting The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is the second most visited park of the National Parks in the US making summer a very popular and bust time of year for visitors. I’ve visited the Grand Canyon in both May and July and while the temps were warm and the crowds were large it wasn’t too much. I know the spring and fall months would be a lovely time to visit as well. The further we hiked into the canyon the hotter it go so be aware of temperatures and be sure to pack plenty of water. If you’re hot at the rim you’re going to be even hotter in the canyon so please use caution when visiting in the summer and don’t overdo any hikes.

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Grand Canyon South Rim: Mather’s Point

If you’re looking for a short easy hike with an incredible payoff this is the trail for you! Just a short walk from the visitor center, you’ll find Mather’s Point, a trail that follows along the rim of The Grand Canyon. It is a paved trail that has a guard rail up for most of the hike making it great for those with disabilities or an easy trail to bring kids along on. There are some areas that open up so be sure to keep on eye on your little hikers. If you keep hiking this trail you’ll run right into the Yavapai Point and Geology Museum which are fun to explore while you’re on the trail.

The Grand Canyon South Rim Mather Point hiking in Arizona

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Bright Angel Trail

This is a great trail to hike while the sun is setting because it casts the dreamiest light into the canyon and the canyon walls help to block out the sun for your hike back up to the rim. This is an easy hike down as you head down into the canyon but keep in mind however far you go down you have to hike back up. There are two popular rest stops along this trail, the most popular being the resthouse at mile 3 for a total of 6 miles roundtrip. If you don’t want to hike that far there is another resthouse at the 1.5 mile marker making for a total of 3 miles roundtrip. Be sure to pack enough water and sunscreen and keep yourself hydrated.

Bright Angel Trail The Grand Canyon South Rim in Arizona

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The Grand Canyon South Rim: South Kaibab Trail and Ooh Ahh Point

During the busier months Yaki Point Road is closed to private vehicles and the only way to access the trail head is to take the shuttle bus (orange). From the visitors center you’ll see the shuttle bus loading and unloading. If you miss it don’t worry they arrive every seven minutes so either way you won’t be waiting long. Once you find yourself at the trailhead for South Kaibab Trail you can hike down until you reach ooh ahh point after about 1.8 miles and 692 feet of elevation gain. The view is stunning and worth the hike.

Planning a Grand Canyon Adventure?

Pin this travel guide to help you plan your future trip!

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