Find your perfect Grand Canyon vacation
With so many things to do in the Grand Canyon, which experience is right for you? | By Kathleen Wong | May 19, 2022 (Updated March 2, 2023)
The beauty of a Grand Canyon vacation is that it’s adaptable to fit your group’s fitness levels and the type of outdoor vacation you want to experience. Whether you crave a strenuous trek, a romantic sunset view over the Colorado River or a Skywalk selfie to channel those #FridayFeels, the history and natural beauty of those stunning red rock formations offer numerous opportunities to make your dream getaway a reality. Best of all, we’ve got the specifics of your trip covered — organized by traveler type, no less.
Discover your Grand Canyon National Park experience
For the outdoor adventurer
Often referred to as tan “Inverted Mountain” because you must first hike down and then go up, the Grand Canyon will challenge you like almost nowhere else on Earth. From the South Rim, try the Bright Angel Trail, which offers a beautiful desert view all along its 12-mile (19 kilometers) roundtrip journey. If you’re a backpacker, consider a four-day excursion to the Havasupai Waterfalls.
For the family traveler
There are endless family-friendly things to do in the Grand Canyon: choose from gentle-but-scenic strolls along the North Rim or South Rim, fireside chats with park rangers, Grand Canyon tours and mule rides. To go big, jump back in time with the Grand Canyon Railway’s steam train experience (offered on the first Saturday of each month) — it’s a hit for kids and adults alike. End your ride at the historical Grand Canyon Village, where you can explore Hopi art exhibits and architecture, as well as one of the oldest-standing wooden train depots in America.
For the outdoors-loving couple
Experience the Grand Canyon’s signature crimson and violet sunsets, and it’s easy to see why there are so many proposal tips and packages on offer from local companies. In addition to catching the canyon’s golden hour, other romantic activities include stargazing into the cosmos after a day spent hiking together. Try a sky-high proposal with a helicopter tour from Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas. You’ll glide over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam before enjoying a sparkling Champagne toast and delicious bites on the canyon floor.
For the social-savvy influencer
Snap the ultimate selfie at the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a vertigo-inducing glass walkway 4,000 feet above the West Rim that offers a rare bird’s-eye view of the canyon. Other social media-friendly Grand Canyon experiences include photography tours and easy day hikes with striking views, like the classic Rim Trail. Don’t miss striking a pose at other must-see stops, including Yavapai Point, Mather Point and Desert View.
For the glamorous traveler
The Grand Canyon may be a national park but visiting a wilderness destination doesn’t mean you have to rough it. In fact, you don’t even have to leave the glamorous Las Vegas Strip to experience this natural wonder. Resort Worlds Las Vegas is a four-and-a-half-hour drive (shorter if you’re traveling by helicopter) from the Grand Canyon, which means you can explore the canyon’s beauty and history while also enjoying award-winning restaurants, nightly entertainment options and the largest pool complex on The Strip.
Kathleen Wong is a Honolulu-based writer and editor who has been published by The New York Times, Vice, The Cut, Insider and more. When she's not writing, she can be found in the ocean or with her rescue dog.