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How to Spend 1 Day in Grand Canyon National Park

How to Spend 1 Day in Grand Canyon National Park

With just one day at the Grand Canyon, it's important to plan ahead to squeeze in as much as possible. Among the priorities: Visit the best lookouts, hike into the canyon, catch a sunrise or sunset, and tackle an outdoor adventure. Here are a few ways to spend your one day in Grand Canyon National Park.

Morning: Sightseeing on the South Rim

Most who have only one day at Grand Canyon National Park visit the South Rim from Flagstaff, Sedona, or Las Vegas. Day tours from these locations are usually include round-trip transportation and multiple canyon experiences. Tours typically offer guided hikes, helicopter tours, or a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway. If visiting independently, start early with a walk along the rim at sunrise. You won’t want to miss the views from Mather Point or a stop at the Visitor’s Center in Grand Canyon Village to get an introduction to the canyon’s history and geology. 

Afternoon: Venture Below the Rim

Very few visitors to Grand Canyon National Park venture below the canyon’s edge. Hiking into the canyon gives a unique perspective of the canyon's size and you don’t even have to go very far. Take off down the South Kaibab Trail to be rewarded with views at OoAh Point, only 1.8 miles (2.9 kilometers) round-trip. If you feel more adventurous, hike Bright Angel Trail to  Plateau Point. For a thrill, opt for a helicopter tour of the canyon, jeep adventure, or skydiving experience. 

Night: Sunsets and Stargazing

A full-day tour of Grand Canyon National Park can take 12 hours or more, but if you have free time at night, watch the sunset at Mohave Point. The Grand Canyon is especially peaceful at night, plus the park has some of the darkest skies in the country, making it perfect for stargazing. The park hosts stargazing events in summer, as well as evening ranger programs. Evening is also a nice time to visit Hopi House and Kolb Studio in Grand Canyon Village. 

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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

star-5
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

star-5
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 Complete Day Tour from Sedona or Flagstaff

Grand Canyon Complete Day Tour from Sedona or Flagstaff

star-5
Get a comprehensive view of the Grand Canyon and surrounding attractions during this day trip from Sedona. Take in views of the Painted Desert, see Native American ruins and volcanic lava flow fields. Ride in comfort along some of the country's most picturesque roads while listening to commentary from your guide. Entrance fees, lunch, and round-trip transportation from Sedona hotels included.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$185.90
From
$185.90
Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon South Rim Jeep Tour with Transport from Tusayan

Grand Canyon South Rim Jeep Tour with Transport from Tusayan

star-4.5
Get to know the Grand Canyon on this guided Jeep tour around the South Rim. Choose one of nine different times throughout the day, then enjoy the Grand Canyon’s brilliant colors, cliffs, and rock formations while learning about the history and geology of the area from the expert tour guide. Finally, receive a ticket to the Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center’s IMAX Theater to watch “Grand Canyon: the Movie.” Hotel pickup and drop-off in the town of Tusayan, AZ is included.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$107.81
From
$107.81
Taking safety measures

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

Skydive the Grand Canyon

Skydive the Grand Canyon

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Secure your spot in advance, and experience aerial views of the Grand Canyon on this tandem skydiving adventure. Feel the thrill as you take the plunge from 15,000ft - 17,000ft, with your expert instructor controlling the parachute. Once deployed, enjoy the calm ride and views on your way back to land. Photos and video are available for purchase after your excursion.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$306.42
From
$306.42

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

Small-Group Grand Canyon Day Tour from Flagstaff

Small-Group Grand Canyon Day Tour from Flagstaff

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Make the most out of your time at the Grand Canyon by taking this full-day small-group hiking tour from Flagstaff. Get picked up at your Flagstaff hotel and then journey to this natural wonder of the world. Once there, travel along the rim of the Grand Canyon as the guide explains the geology of the area. Have lunch at incredible Native-American ruins and do an optional stop at an old Navajo trading post.
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  • 8 hours
From
$173.27
From
$173.27

Grand Canyon IMAX Movie

Grand Canyon IMAX Movie

star-3.5
Want to know what it feels like to fly over the Grand Canyon? Visit the Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center’s IMAX Theater and watch the movie “Grand Canyon: The Movie.” Fly like an eagle over the rim and swoop into the depths of the canyons. Take a whitewater rafting trip down the raging Colorado River. Experience the history of the Grand Canyon and enjoy the incredible scenery, all in front of a six-story movie screen with 12,000 watts of digital surround sound power. Upgrade your ticket to include an on-site meal and drink.
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  • 34 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$13.59
From
$13.59
Taking safety measures

Sunset in the Grand Canyon from Sedona

Sunset in the Grand Canyon from Sedona

star-5
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

Half-Day HydroBike Adventure on the Colorado River

Half-Day HydroBike Adventure on the Colorado River

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Experience the Colorado River by hydrobike, a combination bike/raft floatation device that offers a fun  and easy way to be on the water. After a short safety lesson, paddle to the River Gauger's Historical Homesite and take a small break for photos and snacks. Continue on to scenic Emerald Cave, where you can enjoy a swim and a picnic lunch on the beach before heading back to the launch spot and Las Vegas.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$159.00
From
$159.00
Taking safety measures