HOW TO SPEND A HALF DAY AT GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM

Planning and searching for half day Grand Canyon itinerary?

Grand Canyon is immense! That’s a fact.
A well-known fact to be exact.

And figuring out the best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip is a very difficult thing to do. Kudos to you! This is even more true, if you want to see highlights of the Grand Canyon in a few hours or if your Grand Canyon South Rim itinerary only allows you to spend half day at Grand Canyon. You have my respect!

Because, the sad reality is that no amount of time you have, will be enough. You will always want more time at Grand Canyon! But let’s look at it from the bright side, shall we!?

Spending half day at Grand Canyon South Rim is more what most people get to do. In fact, you are the lucky 0,075% of people that visit the Grand Canyon in a year. Pretty amazing, ha!

Grand Canyon receives between 5 and 6 million visitors each year. An average visitor spends one day in Grand Canyon.

I was visiting the Grand Canyon in April, as part of my 17-day USA West coast itinerary. Day prior to Grand Canyon we were driving from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon by car and spent the night in Valle, one of the best places to stay near Grand Canyon South Rim.

Keep in mind that accommodation around the Grand Canyon is limited and gets books fast. Especially in summer and during spring and fall, which are considered the best months to visit Grand Canyon National park. We spent half day at the Grand Canyon and then continued our Southwest road trip to the Monument valley.

Let’s have a look how the best half day Grand Canyon itinerary, where you to see all the major sites, panoramic views, highlights and make the most of this World heritage site.

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Disclosure (being transparent and honest should be fun): You know the way I run this blog. I only recommend products, experiences, hotels, etc. that I personally tried and actually own and use. And some that I am positive will be helpful for you. On this site, you will see pretty colorful links which are known as ”affiliate links”. If you click on this link and buy something you like, I’ll earn some money. I’m talking huge bucks here, like a new Tesla, yacht, and 7-bedroom mansion. Ok, honestly, most of the time it will be enough to help me buy treats for my dog and parrot, eco-friendly travel products or to help me build the time machine, and travel back in time to see the dinosaurs, do an interview of stone crafters on Easter island and have a serious chat with masterminds who ‘invented’ Maths. Thank you! Read more in Disclaimer.

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This half day Grand Canyon South Rim itinerary will give you an idea of how to best spend your time at Grand Canyon. This will be a moderately paced itinerary, where you will see all the major sites. From most visited Mather point, Yavapai point and driving along scenic Desert View Drive. The best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip.

| Travel itinerary | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | South rim

#arizona #desert #usatravel #southwest #travelitinerary #vacationplan
This half day Grand Canyon South Rim itinerary will give you an idea of how to best spend your time at Grand Canyon. This will be a moderately paced itinerary, where you will see all the major sites. From most visited Mather point, Yavapai point and driving along scenic Desert View Drive. The best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip.

| Travel itinerary | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | South rim

#arizona #desert #usatravel #southwest #travelitinerary #vacationplan

Breakdown of half day travel itinerary for Grand Canyon trip

Before you start reading any further, I should mention that this is a moderately paced itinerary. With this itinerary, you will get a small sample of what the Grand Canyon has to offer, but you won’t be rushed. You will have time to observe, stop to and take in the view, and have time for a lot of photo opportunities along the way.

For this Grand Canyon trip itinerary, you will need a car. Depending on where you are beginning your USA West coast itinerary, you will soon realize, that distances are huge and it is a hard and long way to get to Grand Canyon national park. The best way to see as much as possible on your Southwest road trip is to use Discover Cars. You can rent a car at any of the closest airports in Las Vegas or Phoenix or towns nearby.

Road from Grand Canyon Junction towards Grand Canyon South Entrance.



You won’t need a car if you join one of many Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim tours. Another, an even better option, is to choose one of the helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon.

If you are still wondering how to see Grand Canony in half day, I would recommend doing a similar route to mine. In case you are coming from Page or driving from Monument Valley to Grand Canyon South Rim, you can do this itinerary in reverse order.

Below you will find a time frame of my half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim itinerary. Use that as a reference. You don’t have to follow it by the minute. It is there to help you plan how much time you will need for a certain Grand Canyon site, drive or viewpoint. 

SHORT GRAND CANYON ITINERARY OVERVIEW AND TIME FRAME:
7 a.m. Drive to Grand Canyon South Entrance
8 a.m. Watch morning light at Mather point
9 a.m. Hike along the Rim trail
9:45 a.m. Yavapai Geology museum
10:30 a.m. Grand Canyon visitor center
11 a.m. start the Desert View Drive (64 East)
2:30 p.m. left Desert View point and head toward Monument valley

Here is how the itinerary looks on a map!

This half day Grand Canyon South Rim itinerary will give you an idea of how to best spend your time at Grand Canyon. This will be a moderately paced itinerary, where you will see all the major sites. From most visited Mather point, Yavapai point and driving along scenic Desert View Drive. The best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip.

| Travel itinerary | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | South rim

#arizona #desert #usatravel #southwest #travelitinerary #vacationplan

Best time to visit Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon, or Big Canyon, as it was previously called is grand and it is big. This northern Arizona National part is more than 227 miles (365 km) long, and more than 1 mile (1,6 km) deep. That is why figuring out the best time to visit will slightly differ.

Since this is the South Rim itinerary, we are going to focus more on this area. Grand Canyon Visitor Center on the South Rim is at an elevation of 7106 ft (2166 m) so the weather can be quite different than in other places. Be prepared for everything. Even snow in summer.

South Rim (South and East Entrance) is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, so the good news is, that you can visit it at any time.

The best time to visit is in spring, between the months of April and June. The average rainfall is low and the temperatures are just perfect for hiking. They range from 56 to 60 °F (10-15 °C) in April and from 70 to 80 °[ (21-32 °C) in June. Accommodation needs to be booked in advance, especially if you want to stay close to the entrances.

This will be the view over Grand Canyon if visiting Grand Canyon in April. How to spend Half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim will be easier after reading this detailed Grand Canyon itinerary. You will get Grand Canyon picture ideas, learn about things to do in famous USA national park when doing your part of Arizona travel. You might fly in Phoenix or Las Vegas and have a fabulous USA West Coast roadtrip.


| USA travel | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Southwest itinerary

#lasvegas #pictureidea #nationalpark #southrim #travelitinerary #grandcanyon
Spectacular view from the Mather point when visiting the Grand Canyon in April.

Second best time to visit would be during autumn months. Fall weather is similar to the one in spring, with less rainfall and moderate temperatures.

The worst time to visit Grand Canyon is summer. Months from end of June, July and August are accompanied by crowds, school kids, and tourists from all over the world. This is also the rainiest and the hottest season. Temperatures at the bottom of the canyon can exceed 100 ºF (38 ºC).

Right after summer becomes winter is the second worst time to visit. Some entrances might be closed due to the large snowfall, and temperatures are low raining from 20 ºF to 43 ºF (-7 °C – 6 °C). Check beforehand for accommodation options and which services are open. Some close their business during winter months.

Pin those for a later read!

How to spend Half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim will be easier after reading this detailed Grand Canyon itinerary. You will get Grand Canyon picture ideas, learn about things to do in famous USA national park when doing your part of Arizona travel. You might fly in Phoenix or Las Vegas and have a fabulous USA West Coast roadtrip.


| USA travel | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Southwest itinerary

#lasvegas #pictureidea #nationalpark #southrim #travelitinerary #grandcanyon
How to spend Half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim will be easier after reading this detailed Grand Canyon itinerary. You will get Grand Canyon picture ideas, learn about things to do in famous USA national park when doing your part of Arizona travel. You might fly in Phoenix or Las Vegas and have a fabulous USA West Coast roadtrip.


| USA travel | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Southwest itinerary

#lasvegas #pictureidea #nationalpark #southrim #travelitinerary #grandcanyon

How to get to Grand Canyon

The very best way to get to Grand Canyon is by driving.

You can rent a car at Discover Cars at one of the nearest airports and then hit the road to the national park.

Flagstaff/Pulliam (FLG) is the closest airport to the Grand Canyon South Entrance, just a short 1.5-hour drive away. However, flying into this airport can be quite expensive, so many travelers prefer to fly to either of the two closest international airports. They are cheaper and add more options to your Grand Canyon trip itinerary.

Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) is the closest international airport to the Grand Canyon South Rim. This is where most people, who plan to visit Grand Canyon, fly into. It is 231 mi (371 km) away from the park or around 3-4 hours drive. If you are flying into Phoenix add a Sedona to your Southwest road trip itinerary.

Travelers also fly to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS), which is the second-best option. If you plan to visit West Rim, this is the best option. Distance from Las Vegas to South rim is 274 mi (440 km) or 4-5 hours drive. Besides adding Las Vegas to your trip, you can also add Hoover dam, and parks around Vegas alongside Zion and Bryce to your itinerary.

Explore Grand Canyon national park South rim in half day. What are the best Grand Canyon things to do. Find Grand Canyon picture ideas, and scenic viewpoints. Visit Mather Point, Yavapai and drive along Desert View Drive. This is the best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip if you can only spare a half day!

| USA National Park | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Road Trip

#arizona #desert #nevada #grandcanyon #utah #lasvegas
Sign pointing towards South Rim and North Rim of Grand Canyon National park.

What to do before going to Grand Canyon

Charge your phone and make sure you have enough memory on your phone or camera to take stunning photos of this natural wonder. And check the weather report! You don’t want to come in shorts if it is snowing and temperatures are close to freezing cold. Jokes aside, besides planning your Grand Canyon itinerary, there are things that are better if planned and arranged ahead.

  • RESERVE YOUR RENTAL CAR
    Prices of car rentals change a lot! You will usually find better price deals if booking ahead. This is especially true if you travel during the peak travel season. I book my rental car with Discover Cars at the time I buy my plane ticket or a month before my trip. Booking a rental car closer to your trip will likely be more expensive and the car selection will be smaller. If you don’t care about the car type, brand, or model, you can try your luck at the destination. But the general rule is that the prices are higher closer to the trip.
  • BUY AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL PASS
    America the Beautiful Pass covers the entrance to USA National parks and is valid for one year from the month of purchase. It costs $80 USD and Covers the entrance for the driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle. It is great for your USA West coast itinerary when visiting Zion, Bryce, Death Valley, Yosemite… It pays off if you visit at least 2 national parks in 1 year. To be more carefree you and order it online and have it delivered to your home address. And, you can buy it at any USA National Park entrance.
  • BOOK YOUR GRAND CANYON ACCOMMODATION
    Getting accommodation around Grand Canyon South Entrance can be tricky. Towns around it are small and have limited availability. The closest town Tusayan, a few miles away from the South Entrance, has a population of around 600 and accommodation gets booked for months ahead.

    Other best places to stay around Grand Canyon would be Grand Canyon Junction/Valle, Williams and Flagstaff, but the drive to the Canyon will be longer. So booking your stay in advance is really beneficial. That way you will stay closer, there will be less driving time, you will have more time to explore, spend less time waiting at the entrance, and fewer crowd at the Canyon.

    Booking Grand Canyon accommodation in advance is especially welcomed during summer and peak seasons. We really liked the southwestern theme of Grand Canyon Inn and Motel which is only a short, 30 minutes, drive to the South Rim Entrance. 

Pin the one you like more.

How to spend Half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim will be easier after reading this detailed Grand Canyon itinerary. You will get Grand Canyon picture ideas, learn about things to do in famous USA national park when doing your part of Arizona travel. You might fly in Phoenix or Las Vegas and have a fabulous USA West Coast roadtrip.


| USA travel | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Southwest itinerary

#lasvegas #pictureidea #nationalpark #southrim #travelitinerary #grandcanyon
How to spend Half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim will be easier after reading this detailed Grand Canyon itinerary. You will get Grand Canyon picture ideas, learn about things to do in famous USA national park when doing your part of Arizona travel. You might fly in Phoenix or Las Vegas and have a fabulous USA West Coast roadtrip.


| USA travel | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Southwest itinerary

#lasvegas #pictureidea #nationalpark #southrim #travelitinerary #grandcanyon

Half day Grand Canyon itinerary

OUTSET: Drive to the Grand Canyon South Entrance

Start your day depending on the drive time needed from accommodation to the South Entrance. You would not want to drive for an hour and then wait another hour or two in line if you only have a half day at the Grand Canyon.

Our day started bright and early and we were on the road before 7 a.m. We spend the night in Grand Canyon Junction. So, if you are wondering where to stay near the Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon Inn and Motel is THE place. The drive from Grand Canyon Junction to Grand Canyon South entrance station is 24 mi (39 km) or around 30 minutes away. Grand Canyon visitor center is 4,8 mi (5 km) further up or another 10 minutes drive.

How to spend Half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim will be easier after reading this detailed Grand Canyon itinerary. You will get Grand Canyon picture ideas, learn about things to do in famous USA national park when doing your part of Arizona travel. You might fly in Phoenix or Las Vegas and have a fabulous USA West Coast roadtrip.


| USA travel | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Southwest itinerary

#lasvegas #pictureidea #nationalpark #southrim #travelitinerary #grandcanyon

The reason why you should start early is that the South Entrance gets busy!  Especially during Weekends and holidays. If possible, try to arrive before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m. During those hours, a lot of the tour buses make their way to the entrance, so be prepared to wait from 45 min up to 2 hours to enter the park. At the entrance, you pay a fee or can buy America the Beautiful Pass ($80 for 1 year).

At the time we arrived, luckily there was no traffic.

To help you avoid the crowd at the South Entrance Station, and plan your trip more efficiently, have a look at the traffic with Webcam.

If you are driving a car and come early enough, there are free parking spots available around the South Rim Visitor Center Plaza (Lots 1, 2, 3, 4). The parking areas are marked by numbers, colors and animals, so it is easier for you to remember where you left your car. I would suggest taking a photo. That way you won’t have to run around, like I did, searching for your car. Parking lot 1 also has spaces for RVs and/or Vehicles with Trailers. 

Tribes call the Grand Canyon home.

STOP 1: Watch morning light at Mather Point

You will start your Grand Canyon Itinerary with the most popular view of the Grand Canyon. Mather Point is a short walk away from the parking lot and Visitor center. Trail is wide and paved and is wheelchair accessible.

Mather point is 7000 ft (2133 m) above sea level and offers jaw-dropping views of one of the natural wonders of the world. Mather Point is one of the best sports to watch sunrise, sunset, and is also great for stargazing.

Clouds were covering the sky so there was no proper sunrise when we were there, but despite that, the views were beautiful and breathtaking. We spent a whole hour just taking photos and admiring the views. Tip: Bring a cowboy hat for more amazing photos but make sure to have a chin rope always under your face … or it might get blown away.

This half day Grand Canyon South Rim itinerary will give you an idea of how to best spend your time at Grand Canyon. This will be a moderately paced itinerary, where you will see all the major sites. From most visited Mather point, Yavapai point and driving along scenic Desert View Drive. The best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip.

| Travel itinerary | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | South rim

#arizona #desert #usatravel #southwest #travelitinerary #vacationplan
Happy tourists at Mather Point, Grand Canyon.

STOP 2: Hike along the Rim trail

When you are done taking in all the views and colors of this nature masterpiece, walk 0,7 mi (1 km) West along the Rim trail to Yavapai Point. This is an easy 15-20 min walk. Don’t forget to bring a hat, water bottle, and sunscreen!

Rim trail is wide, paved, and mostly flat. It is an easy hike to do while visiting Grand Canyon offering a mix of sun and shade. Rim trail passes stunning viewpoints and has benches along the way where you can rest or enjoy the view. You will learn more about Grand Canyon at Yavapai Geology museum.

If you don’t want to walk back, take a free ORANGE shuttle bus and return to the Visitor center hassle-free.

Pin the one you like more.

Explore Grand Canyon national park South rim in half day. What are the best Grand Canyon things to do. Find Grand Canyon picture ideas, and scenic viewpoints. Visit Mather Point, Yavapai and drive along Desert View Drive. This is the best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip if you can only spare a half day!

| USA National Park | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Road Trip

#arizona #desert #nevada #grandcanyon #utah #lasvegas
Explore Grand Canyon national park South rim in half day. What are the best Grand Canyon things to do. Find Grand Canyon picture ideas, and scenic viewpoints. Visit Mather Point, Yavapai and drive along Desert View Drive. This is the best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip if you can only spare a half day!

| USA National Park | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Road Trip

#arizona #desert #nevada #grandcanyon #utah #lasvegas

STOP 3: Yavapai Point and Yavapai geology museum

Yavapai museum is a mecca for all lovers of geology and geography. Inside the museum there is a huge panoramic window offering stunning vistas of the Canyon, showcasing where to look to see each group of rocks forming Grand Canyon.

There are a lot of educational displays about the rocks, the formation of Grandy Canyon, 3D models of South and North Rim, and more. There is also a bookstore and souvenir shop. Amongst stickers and postcards, I bought a cute little jigsaw puzzle.

In winter Yavapai geology museum is the best place to look over Canyon from a warm place, and in summer, a place where you can escape the heat.

If you can only spend a half day at the Grand Canyon in the morning, I would suggest returning back to the parking lot. Weather by walking or taking in ORANGE line.

How to spend Half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim will be easier after reading this detailed Grand Canyon itinerary. You will get Grand Canyon picture ideas, learn about things to do in famous USA national park when doing your part of Arizona travel. You might fly in Phoenix or Las Vegas and have a fabulous USA West Coast roadtrip.


| USA travel | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Southwest itinerary

#lasvegas #pictureidea #nationalpark #southrim #travelitinerary #grandcanyon
View over Grand Canyon from Yavapai museum panoramic window.

STOP 4: Visit the Grand Canyon Visitor Center

Stop by at the Visitor center. Here you will find out all the information you need about the Grand Canyon visit. There is a bookstore, bike rentals, cafe, and restrooms. You can purchase more souvenirs, buy National Park Passport, badges and get a Grand Canyon passport stamp.

Visitor centre offers all the info about trails and hikes, ther difficulty level etc. Here you can learn more about the geology, plants, birds and about culture, history and crafts of indigenous tribes. As an introduction to Great Canyon they have a 20 minutes long Grand Canyon: A Journey of Wonder film.

After the Visitor center and before hitting the road, make sure you have enough water and food for all the people in your group. Also, I would suggest to take a stop at the restroom.

Time frame: We came to the parking lot around 8 a.m. and came back from Yavapai point around 10:30 – 11 am. This was not rushed and we took a lot of photos, stopped on every corner and read almost everything in Yavapai Geological museum (I studied Geography so this is super interesting for me). Plus I searched for the car in the parking lot. 

Sharing is caring!

This half day Grand Canyon South Rim itinerary will give you an idea of how to best spend your time at Grand Canyon. This will be a moderately paced itinerary, where you will see all the major sites. From most visited Mather point, Yavapai point and driving along scenic Desert View Drive. The best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip.

| Travel itinerary | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | South rim

#arizona #desert #usatravel #southwest #travelitinerary #vacationplan
This half day Grand Canyon South Rim itinerary will give you an idea of how to best spend your time at Grand Canyon. This will be a moderately paced itinerary, where you will see all the major sites. From most visited Mather point, Yavapai point and driving along scenic Desert View Drive. The best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip.

| Travel itinerary | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | South rim

#arizona #desert #usatravel #southwest #travelitinerary #vacationplan

GET READY FOR: Desert View Drive (64 East)

For your first visit to Grandy Canyon, when you only have a half day at Grand Canyon, drive along scenic Desert View Drive (64 East) towards the East Grand Canyon entrance.

Desert View Drive is a 22 mi (35 km) long drive offering stunning panoramic views over the Grand Canyon and the result of the Colorado river over tens of thousands of years. Parking spots are available at every viewpoint. Parking spaces are limited so be prepared, that at some stops you will have to wait for a while to get a spot or park a bit further and walk to the view.

There are 6 (six) developed canyon viewpoints and 5 (five) unmarked pullouts. Depending on the available time you can stop at all canyon viewpoints or only a few of them. Since you will be driving from West to East, all the viewpoints will be on the left side. The road will go slightly up and on the drive, you can also visit Navajo point, the highest overlook on the South Rim with the elevation of 7461 ft (2275 m).

Explore Grand Canyon national park South rim in half day. What are the best Grand Canyon things to do. Find Grand Canyon picture ideas, and scenic viewpoints. Visit Mather Point, Yavapai and drive along Desert View Drive. This is the best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip if you can only spare a half day!

| USA National Park | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Road Trip

#arizona #desert #nevada #grandcanyon #utah #lasvegas
Orange route bus line at Grand Canyon.

Alongside Desert View Drive there are picnic spots, but if you are bringing snacks, it is better to have them on pullouts or scenic view areas. Why? Picnic areas are all on the other side of the road – meaning, they have no view. 

For time reference, be prepared to spend between 3 to 4 hours on Desert View Drive for stops and photos. The drive alone will take 1 hour – without the stops. Then for stopping at the viewpoints, reading the info, walking around, and taking photos, add another 2-3 hours. You can easily spend an hour just at the Desert View and Watchtower, which will be your last view (or first if doing this itinerary vice versa) of the magnificent Grand Canyon.

We left the parking lot at Grand Canyon Visitor Centre and started the scenic Desert View Drive at 11 a.m. and left Desert View Point at 2:30 p.m. Which is a total of 3 hours and 30 minutes with driving and panoramic view stops.

Alongside the Desert View Drive there are picnic spots, but if you are bringing snacks, it is better to have them on pullouts or scenic view areas. Why? Picnic areas are all on the other side of the road - have no view.  

For a time reference, be prepared to spend between 3 to 4 hours on that drive for stops and photos. The drive alone will take 1 hour - without the stops. Then for stopping at the viewpoints, reading the info, walking around and taking photos, add another 2-3 hours. You can easily spend an hour just at the) Desert View and Watchtower, which will be your last view (of first if doing this itinerary vice versa) of the magnificent Grand Canyon.

We left the parking lot at Grand Canyon Visitor Centre and started the scenic Desert View Drive at 11 a.m. and left Desert View point at 2:30 p.m. Which is a total of 3 hours and 30 minutes with driving and panoramic view stops.
Stunning view of Grand Canyon.

STOP 5: Pullout: Pipe Creek Vista (optional)

Elevation: 7130 feet / 2173 meters

Pipe Creek Vista is only a short 5 min drive (1.4 mi or 2.3 km) from Grand Canyon Visitor center. This is the first pullout on a scenic Desert View Drive. Since it is the first, the parking spaces might all be taken so you will have to wait for someone to leave.

If you don’t have a car, you can access this point by using the free Kaibab Rim (Orange Route) Shuttle Bus (the same line that took you from the Yavapai point to the Visitor center). You could also access this viewpoint by bicycle.

Do you want to travel like me?
Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources;

FLIGHTS: I use Google Flights or Skyscanner to find the best flight deals. The destination everywhere feature is perfect to find some cheap deals!

ACCOMMODATION: Booking.com is my favorite site for finding great hotel deals.

RENTAL CARS: When planning an epic road trip, I travel with Discover Cars.

TOURS & ACTIVITIES: I like to wander around on my own, but when I want to explore with a group I book a tour with GetYourGuide.

STOP 6: Pullout: Duck on a rock (optional)

Elevation: 7096 feet / 2162 meters 

Along Desert View Drive, there are six developed canyon viewpoints and five unmarked pullouts. And one of those pullouts is Duck on a rock. It is roughly 3 mi (5 km) or 5 min drive away from Pipe Creek Vista. At pullouts, there will usually be fewer people than at the official viewpoints.

This viewpoint is special because a rock formation resembles a duck on a rock. Because of continuous natural processes, like erosion, rainfall, snow, and wind … formations in the Grand Canyon change over time. So this Duck on a rock might look different on your next visit.

Sharing is caring! And pinning is winning!

How to spend Half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim will be easier after reading this detailed Grand Canyon itinerary. You will get Grand Canyon picture ideas, learn about things to do in famous USA national park when doing your part of Arizona travel. You might fly in Phoenix or Las Vegas and have a fabulous USA West Coast roadtrip.


| USA travel | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Southwest itinerary

#lasvegas #pictureidea #nationalpark #southrim #travelitinerary #grandcanyon
How to spend Half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim will be easier after reading this detailed Grand Canyon itinerary. You will get Grand Canyon picture ideas, learn about things to do in famous USA national park when doing your part of Arizona travel. You might fly in Phoenix or Las Vegas and have a fabulous USA West Coast roadtrip.


| USA travel | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Southwest itinerary

#lasvegas #pictureidea #nationalpark #southrim #travelitinerary #grandcanyon

STOP 7: Learn about the history of the Grandview Point

Elevation: 7399 feet / 2256 meters

Around 10 minutes drive (5.4 mi / 9 km) further down there is Grandview Point. Grandview Point is very popular stop offering scenic views of the immense Grand Canyon from east to west. This is a panoramic spot that you must include in your half day Grand Canyon itinerary. From this point, you will also be able to see several bends of the Colorado river.

Parking spaces are available but at the time we left, there were cars already parked alongside the road leading to the lookout. If possible, come early and beat the crowds, or have patience and wait for an open spot. A lot of cars might also be the reason that Grandview point is also a starting point of the historic Grandview Trail.

Grandview Trail was built to reach the Last Chance copper mine. Mine was never that profitable, so the mine owner also build a hotel back at the beginning of the 1900s. This is the location where Grand Canyon tourism began. Grandview was once Grand Canyon’s most popular tourist destination. That is until the Santa Fe Railroad reached Grand Canyon village (11 mi / 18 km west) and only a few people opted to come here.

Explore Grand Canyon national park South rim in half day. What are the best Grand Canyon things to do. Find Grand Canyon picture ideas, and scenic viewpoints. Visit Mather Point, Yavapai and drive along Desert View Drive. This is the best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip if you can only spare a half day! | USA National Park | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Road Trip #arizona #desert #nevada #grandcanyon #utah #lasvegas
Grand Canyon and bends of the Colorado river.

STOP 8: Stop by Moran Point

Elevation: 7160 feet / 2182 meters

Moran Point, 12 minutes drive (6.2 mi / 10 km) from Grandview Point, is famous for two things. The first one is that this scenic point was named after famous painter Thomas Moran, whose work often featured paintings of the American West and Rocky mountains.

The second thing that makes Moran Point famous is a geological one. While many rocks can be seen on any viewpoint, here you can see all three main rock groups that are making the Grand Canyon;
• Metamorphic Basement Rocks (they are the oldest and thus at the bottom, and are around 1.84 billion years old),
• the Grand Canyon supergroup (the middle rocks, they sit on top of the Basement rocks) and
• Layered Paleozoic Rocks (at the top, a layer that makes formations and shapes).

Just in case, so you won’t forget! Pin those.

This half day Grand Canyon South Rim itinerary will give you an idea of how to best spend your time at Grand Canyon. This will be a moderately paced itinerary, where you will see all the major sites. From most visited Mather point, Yavapai point and driving along scenic Desert View Drive. The best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip.

| Travel itinerary | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | South rim

#arizona #desert #usatravel #southwest #travelitinerary #vacationplan
This half day Grand Canyon South Rim itinerary will give you an idea of how to best spend your time at Grand Canyon. This will be a moderately paced itinerary, where you will see all the major sites. From most visited Mather point, Yavapai point and driving along scenic Desert View Drive. The best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip.

| Travel itinerary | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | South rim

#arizona #desert #usatravel #southwest #travelitinerary #vacationplan

STOP 9: Admire almost 360° view from Lipan Point

Elevation: 7360 feet / 2243 meters

Short 10 minutes drive (5.7 mi / 9.1 km) further East on Desert Drive you will see the sign for Lipan Point. This stunning vista point offers almost 360° views of the Grand Canyon and several points of interest. 

From Lipan Point, you can spot Hance Rapid, one of the most hazardous whitewater rapids on the Colorado River with a full height of a three-story building.

A second interesting point is Unkar Delta, which is a more than 1000-year-old home of the ancestral Puebloan people. There are archeological studies taking place.

Third one is already mentioned Grand Canyon Supergroup, which is unique at Grand Canyon, and only visible from a few places on the South Rim.

Just in case, so you won’t forget! Pin those.

How to spend Half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim will be easier after reading this detailed Grand Canyon itinerary. You will get Grand Canyon picture ideas, learn about things to do in famous USA national park when doing your part of Arizona travel. You might fly in Phoenix or Las Vegas and have a fabulous USA West Coast roadtrip.


| USA travel | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Southwest itinerary

#lasvegas #pictureidea #nationalpark #southrim #travelitinerary #grandcanyon
How to spend Half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim will be easier after reading this detailed Grand Canyon itinerary. You will get Grand Canyon picture ideas, learn about things to do in famous USA national park when doing your part of Arizona travel. You might fly in Phoenix or Las Vegas and have a fabulous USA West Coast roadtrip.


| USA travel | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Southwest itinerary

#lasvegas #pictureidea #nationalpark #southrim #travelitinerary #grandcanyon

STOP 10: Take in the view from Navajo point

Elevation: 7461 feet / 2275 meters

Navajo Point, on the Grand Canyon’s Sout Rim, is the highest scenic viewpoint. Here you can indulge in beautiful views of the canyon to the west and catch a view of the Colorado river up north. If you only have half day at Grand Canyon, this is the stop to include in your trip itinerary.

This is an amazing spot to admire the massive scale of the Grand Canyon, and the trying to comprehend the power and time it took the colorado river to create all of this. From here you spot the Watchtower standing only a few miles east.

Besides Mather Point and Lipan Point, this is one of the best places to watch sunrise over the Grand Canyon.

Explore Grand Canyon national park South rim in half day. What are the best Grand Canyon things to do. Find Grand Canyon picture ideas, and scenic viewpoints. Visit Mather Point, Yavapai and drive along Desert View Drive. This is the best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip if you can only spare a half day!

| USA National Park | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Road Trip

#arizona #desert #nevada #grandcanyon #utah #lasvegas
View of Grand Canyon and Colorado river from Navajo point.

STOP 11: Make the most at Desert View Point and Desert View Watchtower

Elevation: 7438 feet / 2267 meters

This is the last stop on your Grand Canyon journey. The Desert View Watchtower, the centerpiece of the Desert View, is a 70 foot / 21 meters tall tower, built in 1932, and portrays ancestral Puebloans architecture in the Four Corners region. Inside you can learn more about the indigenous people who lived around the area.

Below the Desert View Point you can see the Colorado river making a sharp 90° turn to the West. Here you will also find a memorial plaque to commemorate an Aviation Accident that happened in 1956.

Since this is the last stop on your half day at Grand Canyon itinerary, stack up on Gas, have a coffee, buy souvenirs or have a small bite and stock up on snacks before you continue your southwest road trip to explore new natural wonders. We were heading towards Monument valley.

How to spend Half Day at Grand Canyon South Rim will be easier after reading this detailed Grand Canyon itinerary. You will get Grand Canyon picture ideas, learn about things to do in famous USA national park when doing your part of Arizona travel. You might fly in Phoenix or Las Vegas and have a fabulous USA West Coast roadtrip.


| USA travel | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Southwest itinerary

#lasvegas #pictureidea #nationalpark #southrim #travelitinerary #grandcanyon
View over the Grand Canyon at Desert View Point and Desert View Watchtower.

How to spend half day at Grand Canyon, in a nutshell

This half day Grand Canyon itinerary is perfect for a first-time visitor to Grand Canyon who are short on time. Following this moderately paced itinerary for Grand Canyon, you will see all the major sites, panoramic views, highlights and make the most of this natural wonder. From most visited Mather Point, Yavapai Point and geological museum, to admiring the views from the panoramic vistas along Desert View Drive. 

If you are thinking about visiting the Grand Canyon in April, this is the best itinerary for a Grand Canyon trip. I use the exact same route as described above at the end of April 2022. For easier planning, I also included time frames. You can follow them by minute or adjust them to your own needs. You can skip some of the stops on scenic Desert View Drive if you wish to save time. Or do the itinerary in reverse, if you are driving from Monument Valley to Grand Canyon South Rim.

This half day Grand Canyon South Rim itinerary will give you an idea of how to best spend your time at Grand Canyon. This will be a moderately paced itinerary, where you will see all the major sites. From most visited Mather point, Yavapai point and driving along scenic Desert View Drive. The best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip.

| Travel itinerary | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | South rim

#arizona #desert #usatravel #southwest #travelitinerary #vacationplan
Taking in all the magnificent views of the Grand Canyon from Desert View Point.

Following the suggested Grand Canyon South Rim itinerary, you will get a small sample of what Grand Canyon has to offer. There will be enough time to take photos, enjoy the scenery and magnificent views without feeling rushed when trying to explore the grandness of the Grand Canyon in a few hours.

Spending half day at Grand Canyon will only scratch the surface of the adventures Grand Canyon offers. But it will leave an impression grand enough. That way you will be able to continue your USA West coast itinerary and Southwest road trip fulfilled with amazing memories, stunning color,s and panoramic views.

Hopefully, this post helped you to answer a dilemma on how to see the Grand Canyon in half day or at least give you a couple of ideas for your Grand Canyon South Rim trip.

If you have any questions about spending half day at Grand Canyon, ask them in the comments.

Shine on,
Anja

Have you visited Grand Canyon? What is your favorite panoramic viewpoint?
Let me know in the comments!

Pinning is winning and sharing is caring!

Explore Grand Canyon national park South rim in half day. What are the best Grand Canyon things to do. Find Grand Canyon picture ideas, and scenic viewpoints. Visit Mather Point, Yavapai and drive along Desert View Drive. This is the best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip if you can only spare a half day!

| USA National Park | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Road Trip

#arizona #desert #nevada #grandcanyon #utah #lasvegas
Explore Grand Canyon national park South rim in half day. What are the best Grand Canyon things to do. Find Grand Canyon picture ideas, and scenic viewpoints. Visit Mather Point, Yavapai and drive along Desert View Drive. This is the best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip if you can only spare a half day!

| USA National Park | Arizona Travel | USA | Grand Canyon | Road Trip

#arizona #desert #nevada #grandcanyon #utah #lasvegas

Want more travel itinerary ideas?
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Do you want to travel like me?
Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources;

FLIGHTS: I use Google Flights or Skyscanner to find the best flight deals. The destination everywhere feature is perfect to find some cheap deals!

ACCOMMODATION: Booking.com is my favorite site for finding great hotel deals.

RENTAL CARS: When planning an epic road trip, I travel with Discover Cars.

TOURS & ACTIVITIES: I like to wander around on my own, but when I want to explore with a group I book a tour with GetYourGuide.


Skipped to the good part? Here is the gist

This half day Grand Canyon itinerary will give you an idea of how to best spend your time exploring the immense Grand Canyon. This will be a moderately paced Grand Canyon itinerary, where you will see all the major sites and panoramic views. From the most visited Mather Point, Yavapai Point and geological museum, to visiting a couple of panoramic viewpoints along scenic Desert View Drive. This is the best itinerary for Grand Canyon trip if you can only spare half a day to see the highlights and make the most of this natural wonder.

I hope this helped you to plan your perfect half day Grand Canyon itinerary.

If you found this blog helpful, follow me on Instagram and Pinterest. Or you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. Here you will find a lot of travel tips, itineraries, and packing hacks completely for free. If you want to see more of it and would like to encourage me to post even more, you can say thanks and buy me a coffee.


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About Anja On Adventure

anja on Adventure

Anja On Adventure is a travel blog, a collection of insider tips and information on destinations, that I visited as a solo female traveler, tour guide, teacher, yacht stewardess, and Survivor challenge tester.

Anja, is a thirty-something adventure-seeking, sun chasing, beach hopping, gin-loving, tropics enthusiast with a creative mind and sarcastic spirit, who loves coconut and mango but doesn’t like chocolate and sweets. I am passionate about all things travel, maps, and puzzles. Click here to learn more About me.

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4 thoughts on “HOW TO SPEND A HALF DAY AT GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM”

  1. Thanks for the big write up about visiting the Grand Canyon. It’s been on my bucket list for a while, so it was great to see it through your eyes.

    Reply
  2. Love it! You may have only had a half a day, but you got to see sooooo many fabulous viewpoints! Top be honest, I would love to stay longer and get some hikes in…but this is such a great itinerary for seeing the best bits 🙂

    Reply
    • Yeah, there are so many things to see, but you can do a lot even in half day. You can also squeeze in another hike and then skip on a scenic viewpoint. It just depends on your Grand Canyon Itinerary and time frame.

      Reply

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