A Perfect 3 Day Itinerary for Visiting Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon, one of the most iconic natural wonders in the world, offers breathtaking vistas, thrilling hikes, and a glimpse into geological history. With its vast expanse and myriad of activities, planning a trip can be overwhelming. Here’s a perfect 3 day itinerary to help you make the most of your visit to Grand Canyon National Park.


Day 1: South Rim Exploration

Morning: Arrival and Orientation

  •  Arrival: Start your journey by arriving at the South Rim, the most accessible and popular part of the Grand Canyon.
  •  Visitor Center: Head to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center to pick up maps, get the latest information on trails, and watch the introductory film, “Grand Canyon: A Journey of Wonder.”

Afternoon: Scenic Drives and Short Hikes

  •  Desert View Drive: Take the Desert View Drive, a scenic route that offers several overlooks and viewpoints. Don’t miss the Desert View Watchtower for a unique panoramic view.
  •  Mather Point: After returning from Desert View, visit Mather Point, one of the most iconic viewpoints of the canyon.
  •  Rim Trail: Walk a portion of the Rim Trail for stunning views without too much exertion. The trail from Mather Point to Yavapai Point is particularly beautiful.

Evening: Sunset at Hopi Point

  •  Hopi Point: End your first day by watching the sunset at Hopi Point. This spot offers one of the best sunset views in the park.

Day 2: Hiking and Adventure

Morning: Hike into the Canyon

  •  Bright Angel Trail: Start early and embark on a hike down the Bright Angel Trail. Even if you don’t go all the way to the bottom, hiking partway gives you a great perspective of the canyon’s depth and scale. Aim to hike to the 1.5 Mile Resthouse or the 3 Mile Resthouse and back.

Afternoon: Relax and Recover

  •  Lunch at El Tovar Hotel: After your hike, treat yourself to a well deserved lunch at the historic El Tovar Hotel.
  •  Grand Canyon Village: Spend some time exploring Grand Canyon Village. Visit the Hopi House, Lookout Studio, and Kolb Studio for a blend of history, culture, and shopping.

Evening: Stargazing

  •  Stargazing: The Grand Canyon is a designated Dark Sky Park, making it perfect for stargazing. Check with the Visitor Center for any ranger led stargazing programs or simply find a quiet spot to enjoy the night sky.

Day 3: More Adventures and Hidden Gems

Morning: Sunrise and Scenic Points

  •  Yaki Point: Wake up early to watch the sunrise at Yaki Point. The serene beauty of the canyon bathed in the soft morning light is worth the early start.
  •  Hermit Road: After sunrise, take the free shuttle bus along Hermit Road. This scenic route has several overlooks, including Mohave Point and Pima Point, offering different perspectives of the canyon.

Afternoon: Unique Experiences

  •  Helicopter Tour: For an unforgettable experience, consider taking a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. Seeing the canyon from above provides a completely different and awe inspiring view.
  •  Colorado River Rafting: If you’re feeling adventurous, a half day rafting trip on the Colorado River is a thrilling way to experience the canyon from a different angle.

Evening: Reflection and Farewell

  •  Shoshone Point: End your trip with a quiet and lesser known spot, Shoshone Point. It’s a peaceful place to reflect on your journey and bid farewell to the Grand Canyon.

Three days in Grand Canyon National Park can offer a lifetime of memories. From breathtaking views and thrilling hikes to serene moments and unique experiences, this itinerary ensures you experience the best the Grand Canyon has to offer. Pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready for an unforgettable journey!

Remember to plan ahead, check weather conditions, and stay safe during your visit. The Grand Canyon awaits you!