Plan an unforgettable Grand Canyon National Park trip with this guide!

One North American travel destination on every list is the Grand Canyon. This stunning display of millions of years of erosion in Northwest Arizona hosts over 6 million travelers a year. The colorful landscapes offer many adventurous activities as well as opportunities to learn about the 11 associated tribes of the land and the geology of the national park. If you plan to RV to the Grand Canyon, be sure to check out our list of places to stay. 

Grand Canyon South Rim

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is open year-round and features most of the park’s popular activities.

Grand Canyon Village

The town inside the Grand Canyon National Park’s south entrance has markets, the Visitor Center, the Historic District, Native souvenirs, restaurants, and lodging. There is also the shuttle stop and the train depot.

Daily Ranger Programs

The park rangers make the Grand Canyon come alive by sharing their knowledge during daily programs. Join them for a Guided Rim Walk or events and discussions about geology, wildlife, history, Grand Canyon trails, and astronomy.

Grand Canyon IMAX Theater

Just before the South Rim entrance, in the town of Tusayan, is the IMAX theater that shows a wonderful documentary called “Grand Canyon: Rivers of Time.” This 37-minute film plays multiple times a day on a six-story screen. 

Visitor Center Theater

Yes, there are two theaters! The Visitor Center inside the South entrance also has a theater that shows “Grand Canyon: A Journey Of Wonder!”

Hiking the South Rim

Hiking the canyon is one of the most popular park activities, and there is no shortage of trails! The Canyon Rim Trail is considered easy, and parts of it are paved and accessible. The Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail are considered steep and potentially icy in the winter. The Hermit Trail and Grandview Trail are steep, less maintained, and for more experienced desert hikers. Definitely wear your hiking boots for these!

For an educational and accessible stroll, walk the Trail of Time. Learn about the geology of the canyon through interpretive signs and rock exhibits as you walk through time.

Backpacking overnight below the rim requires a Backcountry Permit.

Cycling the South Rim

Bicycles and e-bikes are allowed on all paved and unpaved roads on the South Rim and are a great way to see the canyon. The shuttle is bike-friendly as well! Take your bike out on the Greenway trail, and don’t forget Hermit Road!

If you left your bike at home, you can rent one at the Bright Angel bike shop next to the Visitor Center. Ask them about their guided bicycle tours and grab a coffee and sandwich from their Grab n’ Go Cafe.

Desert View Watchtower

This National Historic Landmark, designed by Mary Colter, is influenced by the architecture of the Ancestral Puebloan people of the Colorado Plateau. The View Room of the Tower offers travelers a comfortable place to sit and look out on the canyon. Reflectoscopes give an even more clear and detailed view of the multi-colored canyon layers. 

Take the scenic Desert View Drive along the South Rim to the Eastern Entrance, where the Watchtower sits. There are six developed canyon viewpoints and four picnic areas along the way.

Desert View has a gas station, market, deli, and trading post. Check out the ranger talks and Tribal Communities cultural displays at the Desert View Amphitheatre.

Mule Trips at the Grand Canyon

Make your trip a unique adventure by taking in the canyon views while riding a mule. These rides can be along the rim or down into the canyon. Short day trips and overnight trips to Phantom Ranch are available. Restrictions apply, so visit the Xanterra website for additional information and to book your mule experience.

Raft Trips on the Colorado River

Rafting the Colorado River is an adventurer’s dream! Many rafting companies offer trips through the canyon. Choose from half and full-day smooth water trips or 2-18 day whitewater trips.

Ride Grand Canyon Railway

Williams, Arizona, just 60 miles south of the South Rim Entrance, hosts many RV campgrounds and the Grand Canyon Railway. The train takes passengers through the scenic Ponderosa Forest and desert and into the park while entertaining them with Wild West actors and musicians. 

Activities for Kids

Kids age four and up can participate in the Junior Ranger program by completing park preservation and educational activities in the Junior Ranger booklet. They can even earn a Junior Explorer’s badge!

The Every Kid Outdoors Program is giving 4th Graders and their families free passes to explore and learn at the Grand Canyon.


Grand Canyon North Rim

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon offers visitors a more remote park experience and is only open from Spring through Fall.

North Rim Day Hiking

There are many secluded trails with beautiful views of the canyon at the North Rim. Enjoy solitude and observe the local wildlife hiking in this part of the park. Be aware there are no trails into or out of the canyon that are considered easy. Plan ahead and hike safely!

North Rim Scenic Drives

Cape Royal and Point Imperial Roads are open to the public during day use times. These winding roads have several pullouts for overlooking the canyon on the way to Point Imperial (the highest point on the rim of the Grand Canyon at 8,803 feet!) and Cape Royal.

North Rim Educational Programs

The North Rim offers educational programs led by the park rangers. They lead a Canyon View Walk and host talks about the complex layers of the Grand Canyon’s history, ecology, geology, and more! You can also find cultural demonstrations, currently by Zuni Stone Carvers.

North Rim Trail Rides

Mule rides are offered on the North Rim trails from May through October. Choose from 1 hour to half-day trips.

Happy Camping!

Planning a trip to the Grand Canyon can be overwhelming. When in doubt, take the guided tours, stick to the marked trails and overlooks, and breathe in the beautiful adventure of it all.

Visit the Castle RV Storage blog for all the best Four Corners camping, travel, and RVing tips. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay connected and share our love of the RV travel life!