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Most visitors to the Grand Canyon simply drive up to the rim, step out, snap a few pictures and leave. Hopefully, you aren’t one of those people, because that’s not really experiencing the Canyon at its best. Sure you saw it, but spending a few minutes looking over the edge doesn’t really do this natural wonder justice. Here are some of our favorite ways to experience one of the world’s seven natural wonders.

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See the Grand Canyon the way the first explorers did | Flickr photo by irene.

Take a mule ride down into the canyon
Take on the Grand Canyon just like the early pioneers did, on the original 4×4, the mule. The ride down into the canyon by mule is a one-of-a- kind way to see the beauty of the Canyon up close. Enjoy the stunning scenery with only the quiet footsteps of your four-legged transport.

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Hit the Canyon trails on two wheels | Flickr photo by Guy Mullins 

Go on a South Rim cycling tour
If you’d rather ride two wheels versus four hooves, a Grand Canyon cycling tour might be for you. The trails along the South Rim are great for pedaling your way along Canyon.

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Hop on a helicopter for the best Canyon views | Photo by GettingStamped.com 

Take a Grand Canyon helicopter tour
For an unparalleled Canyon view, nothing really compares to seeing it from a helicopter. Soar through the high canyon walls while following the rushing Colorado River. For an even more unusual experience, some Grand Canyon helicopter tours even make a landing on the rim. Tours can be arranged from Las Vegas or from the Canyon’s West Rim.

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For a journey back in time, ride the Grand Canyon Railway | Flickr photo by Tony Hisgett 

Ride the Grand Canyon Railway into the park
Another unique way to see the Grand Canyon is aboard the Grand Canyon Railway. Take a step back in time and make the voyage to the canyon as travelers have for more than 100 years. The train ride starts in Williams, Arizona and comes to a stop at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. If you plan your visit just right, you can ride the once-monthly steam powered locomotive.

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Come check out the views from Hermit’s Rest Route | Flickr photo by grand_canyon_nps

Board the free shuttle on Scenic Hermits Rest Route
A favorite among park enthusiasts is Hermits Rest Route on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The National Park offers a free shuttle to Hermits Rest with plenty of great lookout points along the way. The bus trip takes around 75 minutes round trip (without stops) and is a must.

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Yup, you can hike the Canyon from rim to rim.


Hike from rim to rim
You probably didn’t know that you can actually hike across the Grand Canyon, did you? The adventurous (and fit!) can take the 3-4 day trek from the South Rim to the North Rim (or in reverse). Most people opt to start at the North Rim since it’s around 1,000 feet higher. Permits for this hike are required, but it’s a Grand Canyon experience you’ll never forget. If you aren’t up for a cross canyon hike, there are still lots of day hikes that will get you down into the canyon too.

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Challenge the rapids inside the Canyon | Flickr photo by Jennifer


Raft the Colorado River
Feel the power of the mighty Colorado River aboard a giant inflatable river raft and ride the rapids that have been shaping this marvelous canyon for millions of years. Rafting trips can be arranged from just about every tourist city around the Canyon.

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Hit the beach—INSIDE the Grand Canyon! | Flickr photo by Matt Francey


Have a day at “the beach”
Most don’t associate the Grand Canyon as a beach destination, but there are lots of beaches along the banks of the Colorado River. While the best way to visit a Grand Canyon beach is via a rafting tour, there are some you can hike to as well.

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Grand Canyon Under Canvas 


Stay at unique Canyon lodgings
For a place to stay as unique as your visit to the Grand Canyon, it doesn’t get too much better than the glamping tents of Under Canvas Grand Canyon. Sleep under the stars in their luxury tents along Route 66 in historic Williams—a popular gateway to the Canyon. Another option is to sleep on the canyon rim at the El Tovar Hotel, featuring turn-of-the-century charms and located about 20 feet from the South Rim.

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