It’s been a lively morning on the TripAdvisor Grand Canyon forums, where a poster from the UK asks if taking guided Grand Canyon tours is 100% necessary. Truth be told (and the truth is what you’ll always be told by GrandCanyon.com), no.
Hold the wire, aren’t Grand Canyon tours our bread and butter? Yes, but the fact is that Grand Canyon National Park is one of the easiest parks ever to tour by oneself. As contributor Esty666 states:
Just drive into Grand Canyon South Rim, then park and use the free shuttle bus to get around. You can walk along the rim from, say Mather or Yavapai point to the rim lodges or beyond along Hermit’s Rest Road. You don’t need to take a tour. When you enter the park you get a park newspaper with all the ncessary information. There’s also a tourist center, and there are rangers along the rim who’ll provide information and answer questions. Grand Canyon National Park South Rim is a “Do it Yourself” place for visitors.
And she’s right. The majority of Grand Canyon park overlooks, particularly those on the Desert View/East Rim Drive, are open to private vehicles. Those that aren’t, namely the Hermit’s Rest/West Rim Drive, are served by a super easy-to-use and free shuttle system.
Video that talks about the “basic must sees” at Grand Canyon South Rim:
And the free shuttle service that goes around Grand Canyon Village and the Hermit’s Rest Road:
So what about our Grand Canyon tours? Where they come in is to help you experience the Grand Canyon area in ways that can’t easily be replicated by self-touring. Grand Canyon air tours are a prime example. Airplanes and helicopters get you above the Grand Canyon and enable you to see down into areas that even hikers would be hard-pressed to get to.
Another function Grand Canyon tours serve, oddly enough, is to help you “expand your horizons” beyond the Grand Canyon. After all, the Grand Canyon is only the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to scenic beauty in the American Southwest. Grand Canyon tours like our Canyon River Adventure will not only show you the Grand Canyon (by plane) but some of the visual treasures in the area of Page and Lake Powell such as Antelope Slot Canyon and Glen Canyon. The Inner Grand Canyon Jeep Tour will show you the Grand Canyon from the bottom up, using the only road that actually goes to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the Diamond Creek Road. You wouldn’t want to drive this road in your rental car, so here’s where a Grand Canyon tour can help you accomplish your goals in a way that’s most easy on you. These two Grand Canyon tours are just a small sampling of what we have to offer.
‘Til next time, make it a “grand” day!
I am trying to find the best way to bring my 90 year old mother to have the best visit possible to the Grand Canyon. We will be visiting my son in Phoenix. Please help. Visiting AZ July 14-19.
I definitely believe you should go to the South Rim as it is more Accessible than all of the Other Rims.
Here is a link to the Grand Canyon National Park Accessibility Guide: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm
Enjoy Your Visit,