2 - 3 Hours
One Per Car
Per Entrance 55+
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Grand Canyon South Rim Tour
Witness one of the natural wonders of the world in all its glory. The Grand Canyon is so massive, and awe-inspiring that you have to see it with your own two eyes to understand its scale truly. This Grand Canyon South Rim self-guided tour takes you to all the best vistas and hiking trails and fills you in on the fascinating history of the canyon and the Native people who once lived there. So get out there and see something incredible!
Get a FREE bonus tour of the North Rim with your Grand Canyon South Rim tour purchase!
About the Tour
Your first stop will be at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, where you’ll find Mather Point–your first good look at the canyon. Try not to let your jaw hit the floor when you see it!
From there, you’ll proceed to Yavapai Point and the Yavapai Geology Museum, where you’ll get some insider knowledge on the canyon’s complex geology, and how these layers of rock help us see back in time millions of years!
Then, head to Grand Canyon Village for some snacks, souvenirs, and a walk along the South Rim Trail. There’s a reason this trail is the most popular spot in the park: the views it offers are astounding. But there’s also plenty of history to be found here. As you walk, you’ll dive into the peculiar construction of the Hopi House, the enigmatic architect who built it, and the heated feud between galleries along the rim.
The next part of the Grand Canyon South Rim tour takes place aboard the free Shuttle. You’ll receive simple directions to the shuttle stop and head down Hermit Road, which isn’t accessible to cars. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to stop at some incredible vistas including Powell Point, Hopi Point, and The Abyss. You’ll arrive at Hermit’s Rest, which features a splendid hiking trail for the avid adventurer, then head back to explore the park’s eastern half.
More great views await you at Pipe Creek Vista and the aptly named Grandview Point, which also features a stupendously lush hike below the canyon’s rim. As you continue toward Moran Point, you’ll get acquainted with the Hopi and their traditions and the Ancient Puebloans who preceded them.
Finally, you’ll arrive at the impressive, medieval-looking Desert View Watchtower, offering more spectacular views and snacks to go with them. The tour concludes here, having taken you through the entire park.
Update on Road Conditions (As of June’23)
- South Entrance Road – OPEN
- Desert View Drive – OPEN
- Hermit Road – Not OPEN to personal vehicles – Access by Hermit Road (Red) Route shuttle
- North Rim Roads – Open with limited services
Winter Closures 2023
North Rim: Typically closed mid-October to mid-May. This includes the primary road leading to the North Rim, State Route 67.
South Rim: Open year-round
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Where to start?
You can start the tour from any of the below entrances.
South Entrance: 450 AZ-64, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023, USA
From Grand Canyon Village: 100 S Entrance Rd, Grand Canyon Village
How does it work?
- Once you book a tour, you’ll get a text/email with instructions.
- Download the app (while in good wifi/signal) and use your unique password to access your tours.
- To begin touring, go to the starting point and launch the app.
- The audio starts automatically once you reach the starting point. Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
- Please note that no one will meet you at the starting point.
What You'll See
South Entrance Station
Grand Canyon National Park Sign
Grand Canyon History
Flora of the Grand Canyon
The CCC in the Grand Canyon
Yavapai Geology Museum
More About the Canyon
Grand Canyon Village
The Fight for the River
Lunch and Ice Cream
Lookout Studio & Kolb Studio
The Kolb Brothers vs The Man
Hermit Road Shuttle Route
Monument Creek Vista
Pipe Creek Vista
Duck on a Rock Viewpoint
Geology of the Canyon
Mary Jane Colter
Desert View Watchtower
Preview The Tour
The Grand Canyon’s average depth is about a mile, but that’s not the whole story. At its deepest point, the canyon dives down a whopping 6,000 feet!
You can absolutely visit the Grand Canyon without a tour, though you might end up missing out on a few things. Grand Canyon National Park is loaded with different trails, overlooks, and other attractions, so at least make sure to do your research if you decide to visit without any sort of guidance.
Absolutely! Your phone makes this very possible these days. The important thing is to make sure whatever self-guiding application you use allows offline map access, as many parts of the park have very poor or no service.
The Grand Canyon is actually one of the best national parks to bring dogs! While many only allow dogs in parking areas and campgrounds, the Grand Canyon’s popular South Rim is almost fully open to your canine. Just be sure to check trail signs before em-bark-ing on a particular hike.
You absolutely must pay a visit to Mather Point, then walk along the famous South Rim Trail. These will give you a great look at the canyon, and they’re both easy to access. Plus, don’t miss the Desert View Watchtower or Hopi House, two totally unique attractions along the South Rim.
Late spring or early fall are always a good bet. The temperatures are more mild than during the summer, but you won’t have to worry about snow closures, as you might during the winter months.
There’s no big secret behind this name, it’s exactly what it sounds like! Explorer John Wesley Powell first coined the term in 1871, because the canyon he saw was, well, grand!
Even if you’re not planning on hiking, you should be prepared for a decent amount of walking if you want to see all the best overlooks along the canyon’s rim. It’s also a good idea to pack plenty of snacks and water. Food is available, but lines can be long so it’s best to be prepared.
Grand Canyon National Park is open 24 hours a day! That means you can catch the most spectacular sunset and not feel like you’re being rushed out of the park directly afterward.
A standard 7-day pass costs $35 for one car. If you’re planning to visit at least two other national parks, though, you should definitely spend a little extra to get the America the Beautiful Pass, which costs $80, allows unlimited entry into any national park, and lasts for an entire year.
Mather Point is one of the most popular places to stargaze, but it also tends to get the most crowded. For a more secluded experience, you can try Desert View Point, Moran Point, or Lipan Point.
If you’ve seen photos of the Grand Canyon, there’s a very good chance they were taken at Mather Point, probably the most popular spot for photography in the whole park. Around sunset, you’ll see tons of folks gathered there with cameras and tripods.
Without a doubt! The Grand Canyon is easily a place everyone has to see at least once in their lifetime, and the South Rim provides tons of ways to experience this natural wonder.
There’s no one answer to this, but the South Rim is generally better for beginners. It sees more crowds, but also features more trails, more overlooks, and way more amenities than the North Rim.
Because there’s no bridge across the Grand Canyon, the drive from one rim to another actually takes a whole four hours. Generally, when visiting the canyon, you should pick one rim and stick with it for that trip.
Flagstaff – 80 miles (1.5 hours)
Phoenix – 230 miles (3.5 hours)
Las Vegas – 277 miles (4.5 hours)
Sedona – 115 miles (2 hours)
Monument Valley – 175 miles (3 hours)
Page (Lake Powell) – 140 miles (2.5 hours)
Bryce Canyon National Park – 288 miles (5 hours)
Zion National Park – 280 miles (5 hours)
Los Angeles – 500 miles (7 hours)
Salt Lake City – 515 miles (8.2 hours)
Albuquerque – 415 miles (6 hours)
Not advised if you only have one day and want to tour the South Rim region. The Skywalk lies outside of the National Park and is a four-hour trip from the South Rim gate.
Entrance fees to Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim) are $25 per vehicle, $12 per pedestrian or cyclist, and vary for commercial bus and excursion van passengers. Both rims are included in the 7-day admission fee. For a one-time fee of $10, U.S. citizens aged 62 or older can obtain an America the Beautiful Senior Pass and gain free admission. Entrance is free for those who have a valid National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass (obtainable for $80 at any national park).
Summer temperatures on the South Rim are in the 50s to 80s F (10s to high 20s C), but temperatures inside the canyon are very high. At the South Rim, winter can be very bad. You can expect snow, icy roads, and possible road closures. Low temperatures can sometimes drop below 0° F (-18° C)
Inclusions and Exclusions
- App on your phone: A link to download the Action Tour Guide App and Password for your tours.
- Flexible schedule: Use any day, any time. Travel over multiple days or on next trip. Never expires.
- Easy to use: Stories play automatically by GPS. Hands-free. Get HELP all day: Call, Chat, or Email.
- At your own pace: No group. Take breaks for photos/ snacks/hikes. Go at your own pace.
- Offline use: No cell signal or wifi required. Offline GPS Map & route. Stop-to-stop direction.
- Don’t miss a thing: Full itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated videos, text, and hidden gems.
- Transportation, parking fees, food, and drinks.
- Entry tickets or reservations to any attractions along the route.
- Car Rentals