Grand Canyon, Arizona is among the most popular tourist destinations in entire USA. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is spread across a huge region and encompasses the world renowned Grand Canyon National Park. The annual footfall registered here is in excess of millions.
The Grand Canyon has been created by the Colorado River over a period of millions of years. The average elevation at this place varies from 2000 feet at shores of Lake Mead to over 9000 feet at Point Imperial. One may be amazed to know that geologists have traced back its history to over two billion years! Quite amusingly, Grand Canyon National Park is spanned across 1.2 million acres, almost equivalent to size of entire Delaware.
Grand Canyon boasts of plenty of unique plants and animals. Some of the most curious animals include California condor, Canyon Wrens, hummingbirds and ravens. Coyotes can be seen lurching everywhere and if one is lucky enough, these can be heard singing as well. There are numerous members of the cat family including lions and bobcats.
The Grand Canyon is divided into two main regions, North Rim and South Rim. South Rim is more accessible and rightly receives higher footfall than the former. There are numerous must visit places in Grand Canyon. These include Grand Canyon Village, historic Watchtower and Hermits Rest, all in the South Rim.
Tourists can enjoy excellent view of historic buildings and monuments in the region, including Bright Angel Trail, from Grand Canyon Village. The Colorado River can be watched in full swing from the historic watchtower. The Hermits Rest is another popular stop for tourists for enjoying snacks and pick up souvenirs.
One may also enjoy serene locations and cool weather of North Rim. This region is accessible only during summers as the winter snow makes it inaccessible. Popular tourist destinations in this region include Cape Royal, Point Imperial and Bright Angel Point. Tourists can also visit the Havasupai Indian Reservation and Hualapai Indian Reservation regions.
There are numerous activities to be enjoyed here. These include hiking, white water rafting and helicopter tours. Hiking is an immensely popular activity in the region. A large number of tourists visit the region for hiking tours. However, hiking here can be tricky as hikers fail to acknowledge the intricacies of hiking here.
One may enjoy white water rafting here as well. Rafting tours spanning between three and eighteen days are organized by numerous tour organizers. Other popular activities include ranger tours, mule rides, mountain biking and motor-coach rides.
Tourists can use the shuttle service to get around or their own vehicles. They are required to pay a certain fee regardless of their mode of travel. Ways to get around include car, bike and mule. Having advance booking for stay at hotels is necessary as avenues to stay are limited and are generally occupied.
To reach Grand Canyon one may avail flight to either Las Vegas or Phoenix Airports. Bus service is not available here, but guided tours can be considered. Reaching here by train is an option, but takes much longer time than driving.