The Grand Canyon South Rim is a must-visit destination for any traveler.  Whether you have a few hours or a full day, the South Rim offers breathtaking views, historic sites, and a variety of activities that cater to all interests.  Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make the most of your visit to the Grand Canyon South Rim.

If You Have Half a Day at Grand Canyon South Rim

If You Have Half a Day at Grand Canyon South Rim

1. Walk to Mather Point (5-minute walk)

Mather Point is one of the best viewpoints at the South Rim.  It’s a short walk from the Visitor Center and offers stunning views of the canyon.  Follow the widest paved path and take in the breathtaking scenery.

2. Walk West Along the Rim Trail to Yavapai Point (15-20 minute walk)

After enjoying Mather Point, head west on the Rim Trail to Yavapai Point.  This trail is flat and paved, offering beautiful views along the way.  You can return by walking the same route or take the Orange shuttle route back to the Visitor Center.

3. Visit Scenic Viewpoints

  • Ride the Shuttle Bus along Hermit Road: Take the Village Route (Blue) shuttle and transfer to the Hermit Rest Route (Red) shuttle. This route covers 7 miles (11 km) and includes nine stunning canyon viewpoints.
  • Drive along the Scenic Desert View Drive (64 East): This 22-mile (35 km) drive to the east features panoramic views of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. Plan 1.5-2 hours for this drive.

If You Have 1-2 Hours at Grand Canyon South Rim

If You Have 1-2 Hours at Grand Canyon South Rim

1. Walk to Mather Point (5-minute walk)

Again, start with a short walk to Mather Point for an unbeatable view.

2. Walk West Along the Rim Trail to Yavapai Point (15-20 minute walk)

Continue your walk west along the Rim Trail to Yavapai Point, enjoying the scenic route.

3. Take the Orange Shuttle to Additional Viewpoints

From Yavapai Point, take the Orange shuttle to Yaki Point and Pipe Creek Vista for more breathtaking views.  Return to the Visitor Center on the same shuttle route.

4. Drive along the Scenic Desert View Drive (64 East)

If you prefer driving, the Desert View Drive offers several popular viewpoints and pull-offs for panoramic views.

If It’s Your First Time Here at Grand Canyon South Rim

If It’s Your First Time Here at Grand Canyon South Rim

1. Explore Grand Canyon Village

The Grand Canyon Village offers restaurants, historic hotels, gift shops, galleries, and spectacular views.  Travel to the village using the Village Route (Blue) shuttle or walk along the Rim Trail from the Visitor Center.

2. Visit Scenic Viewpoints along Hermit Road

Take the Hermits Rest Route (Red) shuttle to explore seven miles (11 km) of scenic canyon and river views.  This route can get busy by midday, so it’s best to start early.

3. Drive along Scenic Desert View Drive (64 East)

The 22-mile drive features numerous viewpoints and is ideal for a leisurely exploration of the Grand Canyon’s eastern section.

4. Hike Recommended Trails

  • Rim Trail: Enjoy spectacular views along the edge of the canyon.  Popular routes include Mather Point to Yavapai Geology Museum and along Hermit Road.
  • Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails: These trails descend into the canyon and are recommended for experienced hikers.  Avoid hiking from 10 am to 4 pm due to high temperatures.

Best Spots for Sunset, Sunrise, and Stargazing at Grand Canyon South Rim

Best Spots for Sunset, Sunrise, and Stargazing at Grand Canyon South Rim

Sunset at Grand Canyon South Rim

  • Lipan Point (Desert View Drive)
  • Mather Point
  • Yavapai Point
  • Hopi Point (Hermits Rest Route)

Sunrise at Grand Canyon South Rim

  • Yaki Point (Kaibab/Rim Route)
  • Mather Point
  • Yavapai Point
  • Hopi Point (Hermits Rest Route)

Stargazing

  • Mather Point
  • Desert View
  • Moran Point (Desert View Drive)

Enjoy Your Visit to Grand Canyon South Rim

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, the Grand Canyon South Rim offers something for everyone.  From short walks to extensive hikes, scenic drives to shuttle tours, you can tailor your visit to fit your schedule and interests.  Make sure to follow ranger recommendations and enjoy the natural beauty and grandeur of one of the world’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more on the tourist attractions in Grand Canyon.