The first impression that confronts you when you see the Grand Canyon is "wow" and that it's appropriately named. The Canyon is long and it is wide. It is beyond all description and something one needs to see with one's own eyes. The canyon together with its adjacent rim is not all in the Grand Canyon National Park. Some of it is also in the Navajo Nation, the Havasupai Indian Reservation, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Kaibab National Forest, and the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. The Grand Canyon is also important in paleo history as more than 2 billion years of earth's history have been exposed by the Colorado River.

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The Grand Canyon is an incredibly popular tourist destination and attracts around 5 million visitors annually (mostly from America). It is a place shrouded in myth and legend.

The Canyon And The Best Time To Visit

Grand Canyon: The Facts

  • Location: Northern Arizona
  • Length: 277 miles (446 km)
  • Max Width: 18 miles (29 km)
  • Max Depth: Over A Mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters)

The two main gateways to touring the Grand Canyon are Las Vagas - where tours will often pick you up from your hotel - and Flagstaff in Arizona.

The canyon is massive and there are many many different tours to choose from. And which month is the best partly hinges on what tour you take and what you want to do. Tours generally revolve around helicopter tours, fixed-wing scenic flights, pontoon rides on the Colorado River, hiking, and horse trekking.

Related: 20 Random Things Travelers Should Know Before Visiting The Grand Canyon

When To Go

You can visit much of the Grand Canyon year-round and many of the tours operate year-round. One should consider that if you are intending to go on a long hike, then you may want to avoid the height of summer when heat warnings may be effect - for hiking Fall, or Spring may be the best times. While if you are intending to go white water rafting on the Colorado River, then the height of summer may be the best time to go.

  • Tip: Guano Point In The Hualapai Indian Reservation Of The West Rim Offers Stunning 360 Degree Views

But in general, the best times to go are March-May and September-November. In these months the temperature is cool and the crowds tend to be thin. Additionally, the North Rim is only normally open for part of the year from mid-May to mid-October. Other parts like the South Rim may be open all year (depending on the weather).

Related: 25 Things Nobody Can Explain About The Grand Canyon

Here are some of the tour options

South Rim Mule Trips

  • Cost: $155.77 (Subject To Change Without Notice)
  • Duration: Overnight In The Canyon
  • When: Year-Round
  • Weight Limit: Less Than 200 lbs
  • Minimum Height: 4'9" Tall
  • Tip: Book Early - They Can Be Sold Out 15 Months In Advance!

Helicopter Tour

  • Pick Up: From Your Hotel In Las Vagas
  • Transport To The Canyon: Helicopter Flight From Boulder City Airport
  • Bonus: See The Hoover Dam From The Air
  • Land: At Grand Canyon West Inside The Canyon (Spend 30 Minutes To See The Canyon)
  • Return: Return Back To Your Hotel
  • Time: 4-4.5 Hours
  • Cost: From $300

If you are just looking to visit the Grand Canyon West and see the hair-rasing Skywalk, without a tour.

  • General Admission: $39 (Admission For The Day To The Hualapai Nation And Grand Canyon West)
  • Skywalk Admission: $20 (Walk Out On Glass And Gaze Down Into The Canyon)
  • Meal Ticket: Starts At $20

For an example of a guided hiking tour:

  • Pickup: Door To Door Pickup From Flagstaff Arizona
  • Included: Lunch, Snacks, All Needed Gear
  • Trail: Choice Of Four Private Trails
  • Difficulty: Varies Depending On Your Choices

One of the most spectacular ways to explore the mighty Canyon is with a river tour. These take you down through the belly of the mighty canyon. One example of a tour is:

Canyon River Adventure

  • Transport: Scenic Flight From Grand Canyon Airport to Page, Arizona
  • Included: Guided Ground Tour of The Antelope Canyon
  • River Trip Length: 15 Miles Smooth Float Trip Down The Colorado River
  • Meals: 2 Meals Included
  • Duration: Full Day Trip - Approx. 12 Hours
  • Cost: $465 Per Adult or $445 Per Child

Camping

The Grand Canyon is a truly impressive sight. It spans some 1,900 square miles and is way too much to truly appreciate in a single trip (although if you do want to see the Grand Canyon in one day, see here). If you are on a budget and can't afford multiple tours, then consider camping by the Grand Canyon and hiking some of the many trails in the area.

  • Warning: The Grand Canyon May Spoil Visiting Other Canyons! They Are Likely To Look Tiny!

If you are planning on camping, then remember that camping on the North and South rims is normally restricted to designated campgrounds. Remember that if you are going at a popular time, then these campgrounds may be busy and may book out so it is advisable to make reservations. North Rim campsites are closed in the winter due to snow and weather conditions. The National Park receives around 30,000 backcountry permit requests and issues around 13,000 annually.

There are scores of tours and options to visit the Grand Canyon. You can explore it by air, river, foot, mule and more. Spring and autumn are great times to visit for those wishing to escape the worst of the summer crowds.

Next: Breathtaking Pics Of The Grand Canyon At Night (10 During The Day)