#1 Bike Grand Canyon
Description: The Grand Canyon has miles of greenway biking trails and quiet rim side roads that offer stunning views without massive crowds. Riding a bike at Grand Canyon is widely viewed as an exhilarating, fun and adventurous way for people of all ages and fitness levels to see lots of the canyon quickly. It’s also fantastic for families. Many well traveled visitors recommend this on TripAdvisor.com as the best way to see the canyon in a day. Use the bike shuttle to skip the large physically demanding hills or take a bike tour or rent and ebike.
Price: $35 for half day rental, $48-$80 per person for the tours
Necessary Equipment: Rental Bike and helmet which is included in price
Recommended Vendor: Bright Angel Bicycles and Cafe at Mather point is the only company offering Grand Canyon bike tours and rentals inside the park.
Pros: See a lot of the rim in a short amount of time. Escape the crowds. Get a workout but don’t have to be as physically in shape as hiking. Easily take kids on their own bikes or in a bike trailer and they absolutely love it. Also it’s great for the environment!
Cons: You do have to physically exert yourself which can exclude certain people due to health conditions. We still consider the ride mild-moderate in intensity but the exercise should be duly noted.
#2 Hike Grand Canyon
Description: It’s hard to comprehend the enormity of what you’re standing next to at the canyon unless you dip below the rim. That’s why if you’re physically fit we always recommend that you do some hiking into the canyon, even if it’s only a mile below the surface. If you’re not comfortable attempting this on your own you can try a guided hike or if you don’t feel physically capable of using your own two feet to traverse these trails try a mule ride.
Price: $120-$250 per person guided, $125.27 per person mule ride
Necessary Equipment: Hiking shoes, daypack, water bottle
Recommended Vendor: All Star Grand Canyon Tours , Mule Rides
Pros: You get to feel the vertical scale of the canyon as soon as you dip below the rim. You escape the large crowds. You get a great workout.
Cons: You have to be in decent physical shape. At high elevation, if you have gone a significant distance down the trails, hiking back out is difficult and dangerous for certain people with medical conditions.
#3 Raft Grand Canyon
Description: If you want to get to know the canyon intimately this is the way to do it – but it is contingent on you having a good chunk of time on your hands. You can do the upper end in 3 days by motor boat or float it in 13 days by oar powered raft. A one day smooth water trip is also a great way to go which explores the stretch from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry which departs a couple of hours drive from the South Rim in Page, Arizona.
Price: $140 per person day trip, $1200-$4500 per person for multi-day trips
Necessary Equipment: See vendor website
Recommended Vendor: Colorado River Discovery for the day trips, Arizona River Runners and Grand Canyon Whitewater for multiday trips
Pros: See the canyon from an entirely different vantage point and if you do full length trip see the canyon from beginning to end. Fantastic wildlife and geology sightings. An adventure of a life time. White water rapid rides.
Cons: Expensive and requires more time if you do the multiday. Single day trip doesn’t depart from South Rim where most people are based.
#4 Fly Grand Canyon
Description: Get a birds eye view of the canyon with a plane or helicopter flight. This is really fun if you love flying.
Necessary Equipment: None
Price: $200-$304 per person helicopter. $124-$300 per person airplane.
Recommended Vendor: Papillon Tours
Pros: Fun to fly and see the canyon from the air. Gives good perspective of length of canyon to see it from overhead.
Cons: Flights are not permitted to fly below the rim and stay a good elevation above the rim and away from high traffic areas to reduce noise pollution. Expensive for the short amount of time spent doing it.
#5 Experience the Grand Canyon by IMAX
Description: If you’re looking to kill a couple of hours before sunset, or get out of the rain, or you simply want to relax in a really comfortable chair… the Grand Canyon IMAX in Tusayan is wonderful. Even though it’s decade’s old, it’s still a great production that we highly recommend.
Necessary Equipment: None
Vendor: IMAX Grand Canyon
Price: $10-$13.59 per person
Pros: Indoors, comfortable, great souvenir shop, great for all ages.
Cons: Short duration
We always recommend reservations whenever possible. Walk-up availability is on a first-come-first-serve basis and is on a weather-dependent basis in the winter months.
Bright Angel Bicycles & Cafe
10 S. Entrance Road
Grand Canyon, AZ, 86023
Bright Angel Bicycles & Cafe at Mather Point is an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service, Dept. of the Interior. All prices and services are regulated by NPS.