The Grand Canyon in Arizona is a natural marvel known throughout the world for its dramatic, breathtaking views. Tourists who flock to Arizona to bask in the views of the canyon usually head to South Rim. The South Rim is the "face" of the Grand Canyon since it's frequently seen in travel brochures (though Antelope Canyon is also an iconic Arizona landmark). At an elevation of 7000 feet, the South Rim will make any traveler feel like they're on top of the world!
The South Rim is a perfect destination for first-time visitors to the Grand Canyon compared to its other sides (i.e, Grand Canyon West, North Rim, and Grand Canyon East). This side is also perfect for families due to the availability of stores, accommodations, and eateries in the area. This popular tourist destination is so massive, there are so many activities to enjoy.
When visiting the Grand Canyon's South Rim, these are the sites and attractions that travelers can look forward to!
8 Grand Canyon Village
Grand Canyon Village is the first stop for many (if not all) visitors of South Rim. This village is home to several eateries, gift shops, and accommodations. History buffs will also love the historic sites in the village, which were built around the 19th-century. Tourists should first stop by Verkamp's Visitor Center to check out a museum about the Grand Canyon. Next, visitors can snag a map of the village and explore local historic buildings in the village, such as the Hopi House, Bright Angel Lodge, and Kolb Studio. Afterward, tourists can snap some pretty photos of the Grand Canyon at the village's Lookout Studio. The entrance to various walking trails is also accessible through the village.
7 Grand Canyon Visitor Center
Located at the start of the village, the Grand Canyon Visitor Center should be the first stop for first-time visitors. The visitor center is equipped to handle questions any tourists may have about visiting South Rim while offering information about the Grand Canyon, including accommodations, tour services, recommendations, and much more. The center even has an Imax theatre for visitors who'd like to witness the majesty of the Grand Canyon while sitting comfortably in a cozy seat!
6 Mary Colter's Lookout Studio
Mary's Lookout Studio treats visitors of South Rim to one of the best views of the Grand Canyon! The Lookout Studio was built in 1914 using natural stone carved into a stylish yet functional lookout point. This popular observation point can be found at the Grand Canyon Historic Village, which is also home to a gift shop.
5 South Rim Trail
The South Rim Trail is a relatively flat, paved piking path, making for a reasonably easy hike compared to other trails in the park. Tourists can access the route from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. Stretching for 13 miles (or 21 km), the South Rim Trail can enjoy a leisurely hike along the Grand Canyon, passing through the village. Tourists can also access the Yavapai Point and the Yavapai Museum of Geology through this trail.
4 Yavapai Museum Of Geology
There's more to rocks than a motionless object of nature (in fact, some rock formations can be beautiful). Located near Yavapai Point, tourists visiting the Yavapai Museum of Geology can learn about the different layers of rock that make up the Grand Canyon. Geology enthusiasts can also learn about the canyon's geological history and how this natural marvel formed over millions of years. The Yavapai Museum of Geology also offers an incredible window view of South Rim, one of the park's best scenic points. Visitors can also buy souvenirs to take home at the museum's gift shop.
3 Desert View Drive
While journeying to Desert View from Grand Canyon Village, travelers can soak in picturesque landscape views on Arizona State Route 64, also known as the Desert View Drive. While embarking on the scenic drive, travelers can stop at 6 viewpoints, picnic areas, and the Tusayan Museum. For example, visitors can stop by Yavapai Point, which is popular due to the views of the Colorado River and the Bright Angel Canyon. Other lookouts along the drive include Yaki Point, Moran Point, and Lipan Point.
2 Desert View
The small settlement of Desert View towards the east side of the Grand Canyon in South Rim. Travelers can get to Desert View by taking Arizona State Route 64 from the Grand Canyon Village. Once there, tourists can stop by the restrooms, grab a bite to eat at the deli, buy some gifts at the trading post, and stretch their legs.
Desert View is also home to Mary Colter's Desert View Watchtower, which offers the highest view in all of South Rim! Constructed in 1932, the design of this 70-ft watchtower was designed by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, a local architect. Since its creation, the tower has invited visitors to get a breathtaking, panoramic view of the South View, where landmarks like Vermilion Cliffs and the Painted Desert are clearly visible.
1 Hermit Road
Hermit Road is a famous stretch of road that is well-known for its scenic views. This road starts at the Grand Canyon Historic Village and stretches for 7 miles (or 11 km), ending at Hermit's Rest. Travelers can enjoy a scenic drive along Hermit Road, but only during the winter months since the roads are closed to private vehicles from March to November. However, the road is still accessible by hiking, biking, and a free shuttle bus service on the Grand Canyon. Visitors can take the Hermit Road shuttle, which can drop off and pick up passengers at 4 stops along the road.