One can spend a lifetime exploring the depths of the inner canyon, fathoming the deep time and getting inspiration from unbelievable vistas, but how do you best experience Grand Canyon if you only have a short amount of time?
Let’s start with the shuttle buses. When arrive open your newspaper guide and you’ll find a map of the shuttle bus routes indicated by different colors. Red, orange, blue and purple.
All the shuttle buses are free. Simply get on and get off at the designated stops. A bus will arrive at each stop every 15 minutes throughout the day to offer you a ride to the next stop on its route. For example, the orange bus route offers five beautiful vistas and is an excellent way to experience the Canon if you only have two hours or less, the village blue route takes you to the general store market, camp grounds, market, historic hotels and restaurants. Importantly it also connected with the red route which offers the most scenic vistas of the Canyon. This route takes 80 minutes round-trip, not including the time you spend out and join the views in between bus arrives. Again, expect a bus to arrive for pickups within every 10 to 15 minutes. The red bus will stop at all the stops on the way up, and three on the way back. You can think of these three stops as turnaround points because there will be a bus to offer you a ride back toward the village if you so choose. The red route runs all year except December, January and February, the purple route bus only runs during the busy summer months and goes to the nearby town of Tucson; The first stop being the IMAX theater. Check the newspaper for up-to-date information on schedules of the shuttle’s system and one of the best ways you can experience Grand Canyon in 3 to 4 hours to combine walking with shuttle bus riding. Begin by walking to Meadow point, just passed a bathroom in a water refill station. Once at Mather point, start and gaze at the beautiful view then continue left on the rim trail to Yavapai Geology museum continuing on the path you will enter the trail of time. An educational path, along with an incredible view of the canyon toward the historic village.
Total walking distance is about 2.5 miles and takes about 90 minutes. After a walk through the historic village take the red route to more popular views like Hopi and Pima points. Both are great views of the Colorado River and excellent for sunset and sunrise.
Finally, return on the blue route to the visitor center.
Remember your tour guide contains further suggestions of how to best utilize your time. Feel free to ask your park rangers about inner canyon Day hikes, our ranger programs, or how can kids become Junior Rangers themselves. During your journey at the Grand Canyon, stay hydrated and be aware of sun exposure stay safe away from the edge and don’t feed or approach the wild life but most of all enjoy your National Park.
Top spots to Visit at the park.
- Hermits Rest Transfer
- Powell Point
- Hopi Point
- Pipe Creek Vista
- Duck On A Rock
- Grandview point
- Lipan Point
- Desert View Watchtower
- Mather Point