Best Places to View the Grand Canyon Choosing one of the many Grand Canyon tours offered by reliable providers helps Canyon visitors narrow down the options for breathtaking views. Professionally organized tours save time that could be wasted searching across miles of open territory for accessible locations. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979,1 the Grand Canyon Park offers endless vantage points where travelers can engage in the main local sport, namely gaping at and photographing the jaw-dropping sights in front of them. Here are some of the favorites. Most people—and most tour operators—begin at the Grand Canyon Village. Accessed from the south entrance, this area has the most overlooks and historic Park buildings. From the nearby Grand Canyon Visitors Center, a short, paved path leads to one of the most photographed, world-famous views of the park, at Mather Point. Mather includes views of some of nature’s own monuments, sculpted over the millennia, including the exotically named pinnacles, The Temple of Zoroaster and the Vishnu Temple. Just beyond Mather Point is Yavapai Point, with views of a long list of Park highlights, including the Phantom Ranch, the Colorado River, Bright Angel Trail, and Indian Gardens. Desert View Drive, near the park’s East Entrance, offers a 25-mile drive along the rim with multiple viewpoints and picnic areas along the way, culminating at the Grand Canyon Village, site of most Park hotels. The various views on this drive are among the best, and together offer a manageable day trip. Desert View Watchtower is the first stop, featuring a historic structure that provides what many consider to be the very best viewpoint of the Grand Canyon. This is a perfect spot for viewing the Painted Desert, among many other Canyon sites. Built in 1932 and designed by architect Mary Jane Colter, the Watchtower incorporates Native American designs and includes a curio shop and art gallery. Further along, Lipan Point gives extraordinary views of the Colorado River, including some of the more challenging rapids. Several stops beyond, find the Tusayan Ruins and Museum, site of an Ancestral Pueblo village of 800 years ago. The ruins and museum offer a fascinating insight into the lives of these ancient peoples. The newest popular view location is the Grand Canyon Skywalk, located on the Hualapai Reservation at the West Rim of the Canyon. A dramatic glass structure perched 4,000 feet above the Canyon floor and extending 70 feet outward, the Skywalk is designed to make the view accessible without obstructing the natural beauty. Its clear glass floor gives visitors the thrilling sensation of flying out over the vast expanse below. Hermit's Rest is found at the west end of the South Rim paved road. Originally built by the historic Fred Harvey Company to accommodate early tourists, the National Historic Landmark building here is another of the four designed by Mary Colter.
When planning a visit to the extraordinary Grand Canyon Park, start with a reliable tour company that has deep knowledge of this complex and special area, and find the right fit for you and your family. Grand Canyon Airlines originated flying tours of the Canyon in 1927, and has flown over one million visitors on one of its many routes. Departing from Las Vegas, from Page, AZ, or from Grand Canyon, they offer a choice of packages that range from under an hour to all-day routes. Their Canyon River Adventures include seasonal raft tours, fixed-wing and helicopter tours, and ground tours by Jeep, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and pontoon boat tours.
Bio Scenic Airlines thought to be the world's oldest, most experienced air tour company, continuously operating since 1927. They have flown over one million visitors on various routes, with tours that include seasonal raft tours, fixed-wing and helicopter tours, and ground tours by Jeep, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and pontoon boat tours. Call for more information at 1-866235-9422, or visit the web site at http://www.scenic.com/