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How to Spend 3 Days in Grand Canyon National Park

How to Spend 3 Days in Grand Canyon National Park

With three days in Grand Canyon National Park, you’ll be able to see all the highlights and also have time for a day trip to Arizona’s other top attractions, like Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell. Here are just a few ideas for how to make the most out of your trip to the Grand Canyon.  

Day 1: Sightseeing on the South Rim

Kick off your trip to Grand Canyon National Park by rising early and watching the sunrise at Mather Point. Take a hike along the rim or head down into the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail while the temperature is still cool. Next, head to the Yavapai Geology Museum for a crash course in the history and geology of the Grand Canyon, or browse the historic photographs at the Kolb Studio. 

In the afternoon, splurge on a helicopter tour so you can really grasp the enormity of the Grand Canyon. Alternatively, take the shuttle out to Hermit’s Rest, and then hike back to the Grand Canyon Village along a more remote section of the Rim Trail, which is also a perfect spot to catch the sunset. End the evening with a luxurious dinner at historic El Tovar Dining Room. (Book a table well in advance of your visit.) 

Day 2: Exploring Ancestral Puebloan Ruins

Spend your morning exploring the sights at the East Rim, also known as Desert View. Grand Canyon National Park has thousands of ancient archaeological sites, and at the Tusayan Ruin, you can view the remains of an 800-year-old ancestral Puebloan village. Stop by the Tusayan museum to learn about the lives of the ancient people that made their home here, and don’t miss the views of the Colorado River from the Desert View Watchtower, a replica of an ancestral Puebloan tower. 

In the afternoon, browse traditional Native American crafts and jewelry at Hopi House, in Grand Canyon Village, then head out for a night of stargazing at the rim, which has reliably clear skies and low light pollution. The park offers occasional astronomy talks and stargazing events during the summer months. 

Day 3: Arizona Highlights or West Rim Daredevilry

Having checked off the main Grand Canyon attractions, you’ll have time to explore the wonders outside the park on your last day. Opt for an Arizona highlights tour and visit famous landscapes such as the Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River, the stunning Antelope Canyon, or the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. You can also choose river rafting, flightseeing, and canyoneering tours at some of these sites.

Alternatively, visit the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is outside the national park and operated by the Hualapai tribe. The West Rim is home to the Skywalk Bridge, a remarkable glass bridge that allows guests to walk out into the middle of the canyon suspended in the air, and is also the only region where commercial aircraft can land on the canyon floor. 

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11 Tours and Activities | All Grand Canyon National Park Tours

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45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona

45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona

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Take an exhilarating helicopter flight that whisks you from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim to the North Rim. Through the ECO-Star helicopter’s panoramic windows, see the world's largest ponderosa pines in Kaibab National Forest and the mighty Colorado River. Snap photos of the Painted Desert, Desert View Watchtower, Marble Canyon, and Point Imperial before your return flight takes you through the dramatic backdrop of the Dragon Corridor. Choose from a wide selection of departure times to suit your schedule.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$279.99
From
$279.99
Taking safety measures

Small-Group or Private Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip from Phoenix

Small-Group or Private Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip from Phoenix

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Journey through stunning Arizona landscapes on this full-day tour from the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. Visit the Grand Canyon and explore Route 66 with an expert guide who handles all the driving and logistics, leaving you free to soak in the incredible scenery. Explore highlights of the Grand Canyon, and drive through the Sonoran Desert on this small-group tour. With numbers limited to 13 participants, you can enjoy a more intimate experience of the Southwest's natural beauty. Choose between a small-group or private option.
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$179.00
Price varies by group size
From
$179.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon Tour from Flagstaff

Grand Canyon Tour from Flagstaff

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Explore Grand Canyon National Park and the canyon's South Rim on this full-day tour from Flagstaff. While you travel, listen to engaging commentary from your guide, take in the scenery, and keep watch for mule deer and California condors. Walk a bit of the Rim Trail for up-close views of the natural rock formations. Midday, stop for lunch at a local Navajo country restaurant that serves Mexican, American, and Navajo dishes. Entrance fees and round-trip hotel transportation included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$211.78
From
$211.78
Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon West Rim Adventure by Plane with Skywalk

Grand Canyon West Rim Adventure by Plane with Skywalk

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Experience the majesty of the American Southwest with a full-day, all-inclusive tour to the Grand Canyon by air. Enjoy a round-trip scenic flight from Phoenix, and touch down at the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, site of the Hualapai Reservation. Travel on land to Eagle Point for Native American cultural performances, sweeping views of the Grand Canyon, lunch on the canyon rim, a helicopter ride to the bottom of the canyon, a boat cruise on the Colorado River and admission to the thrilling Grand Canyon Skywalk.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$746.67
From
$746.67

Grand Canyon Railroad Excursion from Sedona

Grand Canyon Railroad Excursion from Sedona

star-4.5
Travel through the otherworldly landscape of the Arizona desert with a ride on the historic Grand Canyon Railroad. Settle into reserved seats on this train that’s been carrying passengers since 1901, and enjoy onboard commentary along the way. Hop off near the edge of the magnificent, sprawling canyon for a guided south rim tour to learn about the history of this natural wonder while soaking up spectacular views.
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  • 10 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$224.21
From
$224.21
Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon West Rim by Tour Trekker with Optional Upgrades

Grand Canyon West Rim by Tour Trekker with Optional Upgrades

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Travel to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon by luxury SUV on this small-group tour from Las Vegas. You have several upgrade options: take a full tour of Hoover Dam en route; fly to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in a helicopter for spectacular views; or cruise down the Colorado River by boat after the heli-flight. Spend free time exploring the Grand Canyon's attractions at your leisure. Round-trip hotel transport and lunch are included.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$310.00
From
$310.00
Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon East Rim Drive by Jeep and IMAX Movie

Grand Canyon East Rim Drive by Jeep and IMAX Movie

star-4.5
Get to know the Grand Canyon on this guided Jeep tour around the East Rim. Begin with a visit to the Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center’s IMAX Theater and watch “Grand Canyon: the Movie.” Then choose one of three different tours: a daytime voyage and two sunset options. Enjoy amazing views of the Grand Canyon’s brilliant colors and various rock formations while learning about the history and geology of the area from the expert tour guide. A hotel pickup and drop-off in the town of Tusayan, AZ is included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.50
From
$128.50
Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon Day Tour from Phoenix

Grand Canyon Day Tour from Phoenix

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When visiting Phoenix, a trip to the Grand Canyon is a must-do. This full-day tour takes in Arizona's most scenic landscapes, including the Sonoran Desert, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, and Flagstaff. At the Grand Canyon, follow a route along the East Rim and South Rim, stopping frequently to gaze at stunning views. Have time to walk and eat lunch (own expense) at Grand Canyon Village, and go through the Navajo Nation on your return drive, stopping to shop for Native American crafts at an authentic trading post.
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$209.74
From
$209.74
Taking safety measures

Sunset in the Grand Canyon from Sedona

Sunset in the Grand Canyon from Sedona

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See the sunset over the Grand Canyon—one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World—during this full-day tour from Sedona or Village of Oak Creek. Visit a historic Navajo trading post and eat dinner at the Grand Canyon Village. National Park entrance fees and round-trip hotel transportation from included.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$185.90
From
$185.90
Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon Small Group Tour from Sedona or Flagstaff

Grand Canyon Small Group Tour from Sedona or Flagstaff

star-4.5
Travel from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon on a full-day tour to witness this famously beautiful landscape in Arizona. Your guide takes you on a driving tour along the East and South rims, with plenty of stops for photo ops from the best vantage points. Stop at Grand Canyon Village to purchase lunch, shop for souvenirs, and walk around before heading back to Flagstaff. You also stop at a historic trading post in the Navajo Nation, where you can shop for Native American jewelry and crafts.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$181.25
From
$181.25
Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon South Rim by Tour Trekker

Grand Canyon South Rim by Tour Trekker

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Explore the Grand Canyon with this guided, full-day sightseeing adventure around the South Rim. Beginning in Las Vegas, travel through the Mojave Desert and Black Mountains en route to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim for an entertaining and educational 3-hour tour. See a number of different panoramic views from various lookout locations while learning about the history and geology of the canyon from the expert tour guide. Lunch, bottled water and Las Vegas hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$294.00
From
$294.00
Taking safety measures