Grand Canyon is ‘grand’ from South Rim

tree on South Rim of Grand Canyon - photo by Julie Dodd

One of the views I had while walking the Rim Trail.

After my post about hiking in the Grand Canyon, several of my blog readers who haven’t visited the Grand Canyon asked me if a visit to the Grand Canyon would be so “grand” if they weren’t hikers.


Grand Canyon National Park — as with other national parks – is designed to provide a wide range of experiences for the range of people who visit the national parks.

Let me share a few of my experiences on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

You will have breathtaking views from the South Rim.

Many tour groups arrive by bus or train and visit only one viewing point, such as Yavapai Point or the South Rim Village. Being at any of the overlooks provides wonderful views.

Some who visit the Grand Canyon are there only for part of a day and use the free bus system to ride a section of the South Rim, getting off the bus at some of the dozen scenic overlooks.

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Rappelling into Grand Canyon - photo by Julie Dodd

Members of the Arizona Mountaineering Club rappelled into the Grand Canyon to clean the rim area.

The Rim Trail runs along the edge of the Canyon and is about 13 miles from the South Kaibab Trailhead to Hermits Rest. Most of the trail is paved, and you can catch a free park bus at any of the stops. You can select to walk a section of the Rim Trail that is do-able for your ability and the time you have.

Walking on the Rim Trail or sitting on a bench or rock near the trail, I saw many kinds of birds, including ravens dancing in the wind currents and a hummingbird. I saw deer and a big horned sheep.

The Grand Canyon National Park also schedules a variety of activities, from ranger talks on wildlife and the geology of the park to activities for children.

The Grand Canyon Association, a fundraising organization for the Park, holds a number of activities. The Celebration of Art was going on when I was at the park, and I enjoyed watching artists participate in plein aire (painting in the open air). Artists had two hours to create a piece, with the resulting art auctioned.

Native American weaver

A Native American weaver demonstrated how to process wool and weave a rug.

I watched a Native American weaver demonstrate how to card wool and weave a tapestry.

I also saw members of the Arizona Mountaineering Club rappelling over the rim to collect litter and dropped items. They told me the most found item was sunglasses – and what a thrill it was for them to be able to rappel into the Grand Canyon.

So, you don’t have to hike into the Grand Canyon to have a grand view and a grand time at the Grand Canyon.

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