Grand Canyon Tour of the South Rim
Day Trip Itinerary
The following is a suggested itinerary, further customizable based on guests’ priorities:
Grand Canyon Tour Overview
When I was young, I was one of the last to see the movie Titanic. It literally broke the record for the highest grossing movie ever, and months later, I finally went to see it expecting something close to lifechanging. 11-year-old me left the theater thinking: “Ok it was a good movie, but was that really what everyone had been talking up?”. It was the first time in my life that an actual experience couldn’t live up to the hype.
Grand Canyon Tour Overview
The Grand Canyon was actually the first National Park I visited as an adult. We’d all seen it in movies, textbooks, and every other sort of media, and as I drove the final files of my approach, I remember thinking “Is this going to be another one of those things that doesn’t live up to the hype?” I am really excited to tell you that the answer is “Absolutely not”. The Grand Canyon not only lives up to the hype, it surpasses it as there really isn’t an adequate way to describe it without actually being there.
The South Rim does a tremendous job of keeping the canyon hidden until you’re THERE. We’ll leave on our Grand Canyon tour early enough to arrive at the rim by sunrise and really take in the canyon. The sunrise involves a flat hike of less thann a mile to one of the best views of the canyon. As an added bonus, the location is unmarked, so we typically have the place to ourselves.
After sunrise and a breakfast, we’ll head out to the South Kaibab trail for a hike into the canyon. We can reach Ooh Aah Point in less than 2 miles and turn around, and the more adventurous guests can continue on to either the Tonto Trail or all the way to the bottom of the canyon, depending on each group’s goals, time allocation, and fitness levels. Just remember: down is optional, up is mandatory.
Going to the bottom of the canyon, or even across on a Rim2Rim is absolutely an option, but only for those in great shape. Believe it or not, the area at the bottom of the Grand Canyon is pretty well developed and known as Phantom Ranch. We will be sure to stop off for a lemonade, ice cream cone, or any other treat that will hit the spot in the middle of a monster hike, and get ready for the hike out.
After our hike, the Grand Canyon tour continues with a lunchtime refuel and a drive out to the East Entrance/Desert View Watchtower. We’ll then work our way back along the rim, taking in numerous stunning overviews from Lipan Point to Moran Point to the aptly named Grandview Point. Even if we didn’t hike to the bottom of the canyon earlier, we will get stunning views of the Colorado River weaving its way through the canyon from above.
The Grand Canyon tour of the South Rim wraps up at Grand Canyon village. After checking out Mather Point and the Bright Angel Trailhead, we’ll take a quick ride out to Hopi Point for an absolutely stunning view of the sun setting across the canyon to the west. The group will then get dinner in Flagstaff and drive back to Las Vegas, stopping to view the Milky Way and capture group astrophotography shots as conditions permit.