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You Won’t Believe What’s at the Bottom of the Grand Canyon

You Won’t Believe What’s at the Bottom of the Grand Canyon

The view from the rim of the Grand Canyon is breathtakingly beautiful and something everyone should see. While Grand Canyon National Park welcomes more than four million visitors annually, most guests don’t venture to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Experiencing the bottom of the Grand Canyon is an unforgettable experience but not an easy task. However, it’s worth the effort.

So what’s at the bottom of the Grand Canyon that makes it worth seeing? Let’s look and see!

What Is the Grand Canyon? 

The Grand Canyon is a massive canyon in the northern Arizona landscape carved by the Colorado River. It’s the result of arid-land erosion over millions of years and continues to occur. The canyon averages approximately 4,000 feet deep but is more than 6,000 feet at its deepest point and 18 miles at its widest.

How to Access It

Accessing the Grand Canyon is relatively easy, and there are several options. Grand Canyon National Park has two sections, the South Rim and the North Rim. The South Rim is the most frequented of the two and is open year-round. NPS estimates that 90% of the park’s guests visit the South Rim section. However, the park’s north rim is equally as exciting but closes during the winter.

Many visitors to the Grand Canyon fly into Las Vegas or Phoenix. Due to the park’s remote location, either option requires visitors to drive for several hours. However, there are some fantastic options for lodging so guests can take their time exploring the canyon and have a comfortable place to rest during their adventures.

History

Teddy Roosevelt fell in love with the Grand Canyon when he first visited it in 1903. Roosevelt went on to proclaim the area the Grand Canyon Game Reserve in 1906, but it became a national monument two years later. The park later received its national park designation on February 26, 1919. 

President Roosevelt once talked about the park’s beauty when he said, “Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.” The federal government has done a fantastic job of preserving and protecting this park for future generations.

Hiking

One of the most popular activities at the Grand Canyon is hiking. This is an excellent way to explore the canyon. The views are incredible, and hikers gain a new perspective on the canyon around every bend in the trails. The park offers trails for every level of hiking, so bring your hiking boots.

Some popular hikes in the park’s north section are Canyon Rim Trail, Bright Angel Trail, and South Kaibab Trail. The North Kaibab Trail is the north section’s only officially maintained trail into the canyon. Many are out-and-back trails, allowing hikers to customize the distance to fit their experience and physical condition.

While hiking is one of the most popular activities in the park, it can also be the most dangerous. Hikers should come with plenty of water and do their research to avoid biting off more than they can chew. Every step you take into the canyon means a step you’ll have to take to climb up later. Summers at the canyon can bring extreme heat, which sneaks up on many guests and can cause a risky situation.

Pro Tip: Hike to one of these 9 Most Beautiful Areas of the Grand Canyon.

Man looking over the edge of the Grand Canyon
Hiking through the Grand Canyon is sure to leave you speechless.

Camping

Several campgrounds split between the canyon’s north and south rims. These campgrounds reach capacity well in advance and can be challenging to snag, especially during peak season. Mather Campground is the park’s only campground that’s open year-round.

None of the campgrounds in the park have RV hookups, but Trailer Village RV Park is down the road from the South Rim, open year-round, and offers full hookups.

Pro TipMake sure to avoid these Don’ts of Grand Canyon RV Camping.

Other Activities

You don’t have to worry about being bored at the Grand Canyon. There is so much to see and do in this area that you’ll have no problem filling your schedule with fun and exciting activities. Even if hiking isn’t your thing, you can enjoy the views while biking or driving. 

These are excellent opportunities to experience many views of the canyon. Desert View Drive is a 23-mile road providing some of the most scenic views in the park. If you enter the park through the East Entrance Station, you’ll travel along this route to the canyon.

Make sure you have ample space on your phone or memory card to store your pictures and videos. The colors in the canyon transform as the sun moves across the sky and shadows pass throughout the canyon. 

Depending on your sense of adventure, there are many adventurous activities to enjoy. You can hop on a mule trip down to the bottom or float through the Grand Canyon. Trips can last anywhere from three to 21 days and require reservations. Both opportunities offer incredible views of the canyon.

Woman posing with arms outstretched at the top of the Grand Canyon
While many see the Grand Canyon from above, going to the bottom of the Grand Canyon is quite a unique experience.

Can You Go to the Bottom of the Grand Canyon?

Going to the bottom of the Grand Canyon provides a unique perspective of the canyon that few visitors experience. There are three options to visit the bottom of the canyon in the national park; hiking, riding a mule, or rafting. However, concessionaires outside the park offer helicopters and vehicles capable of reaching the bottom.

What’s at the Bottom of the Grand Canyon?

The bottom of the Grand Canyon is the Colorado River. The river carved the incredible canyon over the past several million years. However, that’s not all at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Phantom Ranch is one of the most popular destinations for hikers and mule riders at the bottom of the canyon. This is the only established spot for meals and lodging for those adventurous enough to work their way to the bottom of the canyon. However, ensure you have reservations, or you’ll be in a frustrating situation at the bottom.

Do People Live at the Bottom of the Grand Canyon?

The Grand Canyon extends beyond Grand Canyon National Park. The Havasupai people have inhabited a section of the Grand Canyon for more than 800 years. There are an estimated 200 members of the Havasupai tribe living in the remote Supai Village.

Is Visiting the Grand Canyon Worth It?

Visiting Grand Canyon National Park is one experience that everyone should do at least once. It’s an outing that all ages will enjoy and remember for years.

Whether you want to view it from the rim or travel to the bottom, the Grand Canyon is a fantastic location. Take the time to plan your trip, and you’ll have an incredible visit. Remember to pack water and sunscreen, especially when visiting during the summer.

Will you trek to the bottom of the Grand Canyon? Tell us in the comments!

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