The Grand Canyon - South Rim
Gift of Nature-Grand Canyon National Park
1. Hermit's Rest
A renowned architect Mary Jane Colter built the Hermit's rest in the year 1914 in such a way that it resembles an old miner's cabin. It has a front porch and a giant fireplace. It has a cafe cum gift shop where you can buy souvenirs and enjoy a cup of coffee. Since the entry of private vehicles is restricted, you can board the Park Shuttle to reach the Hermit's Rest.
2. El Tovar
The beautiful El Tovar hotel was constructed in 1905 and is an important landmark of the South Rim. This boasts of housing several eminent personalities such as Albert Einstein, Theodore Roosevelt, President Bill Clinton, Author Zane Grey and Paul McCartney. Along with accommodation and good food, this hotel also has a lounge and a gift shop.
3. Bright Angel Lodge
The Bright Angel Lodge is a registered National Historic Landmark. This was designed by Mary Jane Colter. It is rustic yet beautiful and much more affordable as compared to the El Tovar. The accommodation and dining was handled by the renowned Fred Harvey Company.
4. Kolb Studio
In 1904, Ellsworth and Emery Kolb who were photographers of the Grand Canyon constructed a studio. It has a bookstore, art galleries and an auditorium.
5. Desert View Watchtower
This 70ft. watchtower was built in 1932. It is the highest point on the Grand Canyon South Rim. Standing here you can have a spectacular 360 view of the Painted Desert, Vermilion Cliffs and the San Francisco Peaks.
6. Lookout Studio
The lookout studio is perched on the edge of the South Rim and provides a marvelous view of the rim. Fred Harvey designed it in 1914 and since then it has been serving as an observation point and gift shop. It also sells books, rock specimens and photography prints.
7. Zuni Point
It's a secretive point that is not exactly marked by a signpost or a clear trail. It can be found somewhere between the 257th and 258th milepost. At this point, the South Rim is at a very little distance from the road. Magnificent views of the red canyon can be seen from Zuni point.
8. Yavapai Geology Museum
The visitors who visit the Grand Canyon just for its view or have an interest in geology can visit the Yavapai Geology Museum and absorb the spectacular views it provides. You can also get a better understanding of the Grand Canyon by attending the Park Ranger's lecture.
How to Get Tickets?
The entry fee to the National park is $12 per adult and $25 per vehicle. Entry fee can be paid at the entrance of the National park or you can book a Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim Tour from your city itself. You can also book tickets online on this website.
How To Get Around?
The best way to cover the South Rim viewpoints in 3-4 hours is to combine shuttle bus rides with walking. In order to travel in and around the South Rim Village you can take the shuttle buses that operate for free. Buses come every 15-30 minutes. Throughout the park, you can find signs indicating bus stops. Between March to October, guided bicycle tours and bicycle rentals are also available. You can also have an aerial view of the canyon through helicopters and air balloons. Another distinct way to see the Grand Canyon is on horseback. The Grand Canyon Apache Stable provides guided horseback tours along the trails of the South Rim.
What Should I Wear?
If you are travelling during the summer months wear shorts, a t-shirt and sturdy sports shoes or running shoes. Carry a spare t-shirt and a light jacket along with you. In winters, wear jeans, full-sleeved t-shirt, a sweater or a jacket and Sports shoes or boots (in case of snowfall at the Grand Canyon). A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses are a must, no matter what weather you are travelling in.
Best Time to Visit
From March to May and from September to November the daytime temperature at the Grand Canyon is cool and the crowd is sparse. That is the best time to visit the Grand Canyon National Park. If you intend to visit during the summer season which is the peak season, you need to book your accommodation in advance as a large number of tourists' horde the canyon at that time.
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Will I Need a Guide?
You do not need a guide if you have your own vehicle. Grand Canyon National Park is easy to self-tour. You just need to do a little research on the layout of the park beforehand.
How To Get There?
Most people interested in visiting the Grand Canyon fly into the two metropolitan airports that are nearest to the Grand Canyon South Rim, i.e. the McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas and Sky Harbor Airport, Phoenix. Both are situated within 5 to 6 hours drive from South Rim. There are various Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim tours that will enable you to reach Grand Canyon South Rim from Las Vegas. You can also rent a car from Las Vegas.