The Grand Canyon
With an estimated 5.9 million visitors annually, the Grand Canyon is one of the most visited national parks in the United States.
Be prepared to be awestruck!
As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, it’s no surprise that over 5,900,000 visitors come to marvel and explore its beauty each year. Pictures will never do it justice. The Grand Canyon has to be seen or hiked to truly be experienced. Be prepared to be awestruck!
Chabad of Flagstaff has received thousands of calls over the years asking for tips for visiting the Grand Canyon. Below are the best tips we have compiled. After your trip, please reach out and let us know if we missed something!
The Grand Canyon is a 1-hour 30-minute drive from Flagstaff; 4-hour drive from Phoenix; 4-hour 15-minute drive from Scottsdale. Flagstaff is known as the Gateway to the Grand Canyon. This is due to the fact that anyone coming from southern Arizona (Phoenix, Scottsdale or Tucson), must drive through Flagstaff. The Grand Canyon makes a perfect day trip from Flagstaff!
What address should I put in my GPS? We recommend the Grand Canyon Imax Theater (450 AZ-64, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023). The Imax is located just outside the Main Visitors Entrance of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. This ensures that you don’t drive and end up in the wrong section of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is 250 miles long and 10 miles across :)
Grand Canyon Adventure Tours offers small group and private tours daily from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon. Pick up from your hotel is an option.
Only Grand Canyon Day Hikes will pick you up from your hotel and take you for a private day hike in Grand Canyon National Park. All-inclusive with park entrance, gear rental, and real Grand Canyon adventure. They specialize in last-minute reservations.
Take a 3-hour long bike tour that offers stunning views, knowledgeable guides, and comfy bikes, or rent a bike and ride Grand Canyon’s beautiful bike trails.
Tips to Know:
The Visitor Center is located at Mather Point. You can walk to it from the parking lot and the overlook. It’s a great place to ask questions, plan your next stops, watch a video of the Grand Canyon, and use the restroom.
Mather Point Overlook
This is a fabulous place to see the Grand Canyon in its full glory and a wonderful place for pictures. Plan to spend an hour. You can also take a beautiful walk along the rim from there.
Hike the Grand Canyon at Bright Angel Trail
Yes! Most people miss an unbelievable opportunity. You don’t have to be an experienced hiker to take a beautiful 30 minute to an hour hike into the Canyon. Bright Angel Trail is the perfect trail for this. We do not recommend hiking too far if you do not plan properly and don’t have experience.
Remember that you are starting out going down the trail and the only way out is up. All of the effort comes in the second half of the hike, which is drastically more difficult. So make sure that you don’t go farther than you can handle.
It is also paramount to carry enough water when hiking. In the dry canyon environment, you don’t feel like you are sweating and it is hard to notice when you’re not staying adequately hydrated. Water can mean the difference between life and death when hiking the Canyon.
Sunset at Desert View
Watch a majestic sunset from the 70-foot-high Desert View Watchtower.
This short 25-mile drive takes you to one of the best locations for sunset, with far fewer tourists.
"Ooh Ahh Point"
A moderate 1.7-mile hike starting at South Kaibab Trail leading to a spectacular viewpoint located 600 feet below the Canyon's South Rim.
Experience unobstructed views of the Grand Canyon's East Rim from South Kaibab Trail and Yaki Point.
Grand Canyon costs $35 per vehicle. Buses cost more.
Plan your day in advance.
Bring a cooler and ice to keep your food cold and protected from the heat in the car.
Keep hydrated! Make sure to bring enough water and drink more than you think you need. We recommend drinking electrolyte-enhanced water for an added benefit.
Hotels at the Grand Canyon: (we offer scrumptious meals delivered to all 3 hotels)
Have a 4th grader? Get your entire car/van into the Grand Canyon for free. Make sure to fill out this form in advance and show it to staff at the ticket counter.
Due to more and more visitors each year at the Grand Canyon, some days (especially on holiday weekends) there can be a long wait to get in (you drive up and pay while still in your vehicle). On those days we highly recommend getting there early to avoid the frustration.
Fill up your gas tank in Flagstaff and check your gauge before leaving the Grand Canyon. There are long stretches without gas stations back to Flagstaff and Phoenix.
Expect little to no cell service in many areas of the Grand Canyon.