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How to Spend 1 Day in Grand Canyon National Park

How to Spend 1 Day in Grand Canyon National Park

With just one day at the Grand Canyon, it's important to plan ahead to squeeze in as much as possible. Among the priorities: Visit the best lookouts, hike into the canyon, catch a sunrise or sunset, and tackle an outdoor adventure. Here are a few ways to spend your one day in Grand Canyon National Park.

Morning: Sightseeing on the South Rim

Most who have only one day at Grand Canyon National Park visit the South Rim from Flagstaff, Sedona, or Las Vegas. Day tours from these locations are usually include round-trip transportation and multiple canyon experiences. Tours typically offer guided hikes, helicopter tours, or a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway. If visiting independently, start early with a walk along the rim at sunrise. You won’t want to miss the views from Mather Point or a stop at the Visitor’s Center in Grand Canyon Village to get an introduction to the canyon’s history and geology. 

Afternoon: Venture Below the Rim

Very few visitors to Grand Canyon National Park venture below the canyon’s edge. Hiking into the canyon gives a unique perspective of the canyon's size and you don’t even have to go very far. Take off down the South Kaibab Trail to be rewarded with views at OoAh Point, only 1.8 miles (2.9 kilometers) round-trip. If you feel more adventurous, hike Bright Angel Trail to  Plateau Point. For a thrill, opt for a helicopter tour of the canyon, jeep adventure, or skydiving experience. 

Night: Sunsets and Stargazing

A full-day tour of Grand Canyon National Park can take 12 hours or more, but if you have free time at night, watch the sunset at Mohave Point. The Grand Canyon is especially peaceful at night, plus the park has some of the darkest skies in the country, making it perfect for stargazing. The park hosts stargazing events in summer, as well as evening ranger programs. Evening is also a nice time to visit Hopi House and Kolb Studio in Grand Canyon Village. 

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3 Tours and Activities

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45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona
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45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona

star-5
1146
Take an exhilarating helicopter flight that whisks you from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim to the North Rim. Through the ECO-Star helicopter’s panoramic windows, see the world's largest ponderosa pines in Kaibab National Forest and the mighty Colorado River. Snap photos of the Painted Desert, Desert View Watchtower, Marble Canyon, and Point Imperial before your return flight takes you through the dramatic backdrop of the Dragon Corridor. Choose from a wide selection of departure times to suit your schedule.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$299.99
From
$299.99

Grand Canyon IMAX Movie

Grand Canyon IMAX Movie

star-3.5
37
Want to know what it feels like to fly over the Grand Canyon? Visit the Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center’s IMAX Theater and watch the movie “Grand Canyon: The Movie.” Fly like an eagle over the rim and swoop into the depths of the canyons. Take a whitewater rafting trip down the raging Colorado River. Experience the history of the Grand Canyon and enjoy the incredible scenery, all in front of a six-story movie screen with 12,000 watts of digital surround sound power. Upgrade your ticket to include an on-site meal and drink.
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  • 34 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$13.59
From
$13.59

Grand Canyon South Rim Jeep Tour with Transport from Tusayan
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Grand Canyon South Rim Jeep Tour with Transport from Tusayan

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132
Get to know the Grand Canyon on this guided Jeep tour around the South Rim. Choose one of nine different times throughout the day, then enjoy the Grand Canyon’s brilliant colors, cliffs, and rock formations while learning about the history and geology of the area from the expert tour guide. Finally, receive a ticket to the Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center’s IMAX Theater to watch “Grand Canyon: the Movie.” Hotel pickup and drop-off in the town of Tusayan, AZ is included.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$108.90
From
$108.90