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After Spending a Fortune to Get There, Here are 7 Free Things to Do at the Grand Canyon National Park

Traveling to the Grand Canyon is a trip many people have on their bucket list. Those who have the opportunity to look at the majestic views can understand why it is one of the world’s seven natural wonders. Unfortunately for most of us, this natural wonder isn’t exactly in our backyard. Whether you fly or drive to the Grand Canyon, travel costs add up quickly.

And once you arrive, the last thing you’ll want to do is dish out more money for activities.  

Thankfully, we’ve gathered a list of seven free things to do at the Grand Canyon National Park. Let’s take a look.

Where Is Grand Canyon National Park? 

Grand Canyon National Park lies in northern Arizona, about an hour and 20 minutes from Flagstaff. Driving from Phoenix to Grand Canyon National Park will take about three and a half hours. And Utah lies to the north. 

What Is Grand Canyon National Park Best Known For?

Grand Canyon National Park has jaw-dropping views, colorful layers, and sharp drops. It is well known for being one of the world’s natural wonders. You can take rugged hikes and guests often enjoy the many opportunities to view wildlife. Above all, the canyon makes visitors feel awe-inspired by its vastness. 

Pro Tip: Check out these 9 Most Beautiful Areas of the Grand Canyon on your adventure!

Group of friends sitting together looking at view in Grand Canyon National Park
Admiring the view in Grand Canyon National Park is 100% free.

7 Free Things to Do at the Grand Canyon National Park

There might be a million ways to spend your hard-earned money on experiences in and around Grand Canyon National Park, and while most of those experiences are great, they add up quickly.

Thankfully, you’ll find many things to do at the Grand Canyon that won’t lighten your wallet. Let’s get started.

1. Walk the South Rim Trail 

The South Rim Trail works great for almost any visitor as you can easily navigate the paved path. Those looking for a shorter hike can walk however long they wish before returning.

But those looking to cover more distance can transverse the entire 13-mile trail. There are only slight elevation changes as you don’t go down into the canyon. You can simply enjoy great views from the rim. 

2. Visit Grand Canyon Village

Next, round out your trip with a visit to the Grand Canyon Village. This cute little area lies steps from the canyon’s ledge and has a wealth of information.

Visitors can explore several historic buildings that give individuals an even deeper appreciation for the area. Those looking to do some shopping can do so, stocking up on some great items to take back home.

Additionally, visitors can get park maps and plan their adventures after speaking with park rangers. 

3. Hike to Mather Point

Stroll over to the well-known Mather Point, requiring only a five-minute walk from the visitor center. This is a popular spot for a good reason. The views from this vista are some of the best; for many, it is the first view they get of the canyon. On a clear day, you can see up to 30 miles away.

4. Explore Trails on the North Rim

The north rim sees significantly less traffic than the south rim, making for a crowd-free and relaxing day of exploring. Visiting the north rim during the summer also means cooler temperatures with plenty of shade. While the views are slightly less dramatic from this side, they are still magnificent and worth seeing.

5. Hike the North Kaibab Trail

The North Kaibab trail is great for those looking to sneak away from some crowds while taking on a bit of a challenge. This one has steep elevation changes with plenty of switchbacks.

Along with getting your heart pumping, you’ll get some great views and a trip through several different ecosystems. Hikers can also enjoy the old Pumphouse Residence.

6. Drive on the Navajo Bridge

In 1928 a ferry that allowed travelers to cross the Colorado River sank. This meant that travelers would now need to travel 800 miles around the canyon to cross the Colorado River. Thankfully, in 1929, construction workers completed the Navajo Bridge allowing crossings to resume. 

In 1995 a new bridge was constructed to accommodate modern traffic. While driving across the bridge, you’ll find yourself at 466 feet above the river. Crossing the bridge gives visitors a beautiful view of the layered rock. 

7. Explore Trails Near the South Rim

The south rim has many trails to hike, such as the paved 13-mile South Rim Trail. It’s friendly for wheelchairs and strollers. However, this one gets very busy. If you want to break away from the crowds, consider one of the many other paths near the south rim.

Hiking to Skeleton Point is a 6-mile round trip hike but provides the best 360-degree views. This is typically the turnaround point for many day-hikers. However, it’s not for the faint of heart. The trail drops 2,000 feet in elevation and can be rather strenuous.

You can also hike to the popular Phantom Ranch.

However, as this will require you to stay overnight in the canyon, you’ll need to acquire a permit. This hike drops 4,700 feet into the canyon and is 7.4 miles each way. Coming back on your adventure, we recommend taking Bright Angel Trail, a 9.9-mile hike that takes you back out of the canyon.

What Is the Best Month to Visit Grand Canyon National Park?

If you want to visit Grand Canyon National park, timing is essential. We recommend visiting the park in April and May. After this time, the temperatures continue to climb.

Additionally, visitors start flocking to the park as schools get out for the summer, especially after Memorial Day. Battling crowds and excessive temperatures is a great way to ruin your vacation in a hurry.

Spring offers the best weather and experience in the park.

Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for these Most Dangerous Creatures in Grand Canyon National Park.

Is Grand Canyon National Park Worth Visiting? 

The Grand Canyon is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. This massive piece of natural wonder is more than just a hole in the ground. It’s an example of how powerful nature can be and create things that man simply can’t imagine.

Don’t miss a chance to experience this incredible national park. You won’t regret it!

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