The Grand Canyon: just the mention of it conjures up images of endless vistas, mighty rivers and Wild Westerns. For anyone visiting the southwest of the USA, a trip to this natural wonder is almost a given.
Designated a World Heritage Site in 1979, the area can be accessed from three points: the West Rim, South Rim and North Rim.
If you are visiting the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas the West Rim is the most accessible option. Visits can be made by car, but taking a flight in either a helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft is a popular option as it gives you a truly breath-taking view of this colossal crevasse, its size and scale appreciated even more from a bird’s eye view.
It is also at the West Rim that you can try the famous Skywalk, a glass-floored platform that juts out beyond the rim, a mile or so above the canyon floor.
The most popular way to access the Grand Canyon is via the South Rim. Those on a self-drive of the area will find this can be easily done from Highway 64, or an alternative option is to fly into the area’s Grand Canyon airport.
Activities are plentiful here, so why not take advantage of your surroundings and embark on one of the many walking trails in the area, explore by bicycle, get the adrenaline pumping with some white water rafting, or ride a mule deep into the canyon for an overnight stay at a ranch.
The area most likely to attract the adventurous type of traveller, the North Rim is the most difficult area to get to, and in turn, the least visited. Off the well-trodden path, the North Rim is ideal for those who wish to avoid the crowds, but it can only be accessed between mid-May until mid-October due to snowfall outside of these times.
Activities here include various walking trails, which really allow you to immerse yourself in your stunning surroundings without the worry of bumping into too many people along the way. Wildlife is also frequently seen in the area and visitors should keep their eyes peeled for coyotes, deer and even mountain lion!
Audley Travel is an award–winning tour operator, specialising in tailor-made trips and small group tours for the discerning traveller, to over 80 countries around the world.
Author; Katy Pannell – Online Travel Editor