Grand Canyon’s Top Five

A rare sight of total cloud inversion, from Desert View Point in the Grand Canyon.

Photo © Grand Canyon National Park Service, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

If you’re not rafting, hiking, or taking a mule into the canyon, drive to Desert View Point, where you can admire a long stretch of the Colorado River as it swings toward the Inner Gorge.Grand Canyon National Park is vast, and so are the possibilities for personalizing your visit. From hiking to history, here are five truly grand options.

1. Best trail for day hiking. The South Kaibab Trail descends along a steep ridge with spectacular panoramas, whether your destination is Ooh Ahh Point (2 miles round-trip) or Skeleton Point (6 miles round-trip). Temperatures go up as you hike down, so pack plenty of water and return to the rim by late morning.
2. Most interesting museum. Rock hounds will dig Yavapai Geology Museum, but Indiana Jones types should opt for Tusayan Museum and Ruin. Stroll around the 800-year-old masonry village, then head indoors to learn more about those who’ve called the canyon home.
3. Biggest river views. If you’re not rafting, hiking, or taking a mule into the canyon, drive to Desert View Point, where you can admire a long stretch of the Colorado River as it swings toward the Inner Gorge.
4. Best bet for solitude. Need a break from the masses wandering Grand Canyon Village? Hop a westbound shuttle to Monument Creek Vista. Wander along the Rim Trail toward Pima Point until you find a quiet spot to contemplate the canyon.
5. Best seat for a brew. Snag a table on the veranda outside El Tovar’s lounge, where you can watch ravens and people work the canyon’s rim as you toast a successful day of exploring.

Hiking the Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon.

Hiking the Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon. Photo © Grand Canyon National Park Service, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

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