One Day At The Grand Canyon (South Rim)
One Day At The Grand Canyon (South Rim)
With only one day at the magnificent Grand Canyon, you have to go all out!

one day at the grand canyon (south rim)

If you only have one day to spend at the Grand Canyon, my top recommendation is to hike the Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point (if you are in the physical shape to do so).

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View of Plateau Point from the rim of the canyon

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It is one of the more popular trails in the park, but we found the further we hiked on the trail, the fewer people we encountered. Many hikers either turn around after reaching the various rest houses along the trail into the canyon, or they will hike to the Indian Garden, which is where the campsite is located. 

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The Indian Garden is much lusher than the rest of the canyon and offers some shaded opportunities to stop for water and snacks. We initially planned to hike to this point and return to the canyon rim but decided to add on the hike to Plateau Point before returning instead. This was the best decision we could have made.

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Views from the Indian Garden

The view while hiking into the canyon via the Bright Angel Trail does not change much, but everything changes when you hike beyond the Indian Garden to Plateau point. In fact, if you do not intend to hike to Plateau Point, I wouldn’t bother going very far on the Bright Angel Trail since hiking out is physically taxing and the view hardly changes (instead I would recommend hiking to Ooh Aah Point on the South Kaibab Trail).

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Views once you have passed the Indian Garden, headed to Plateau Point

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Walking up on Plateau Point - great views of the Colorado River

Our hike ended up being 12 miles total and 3200 feet of elevation gain. Depending on how long you spend on this hike and how you feel afterwards, you can spend time riding the park shuttle to a few other canyon viewpoints, or you can eat a recovery ice cream from the store close to the trailhead and sit for a while like we did. Watching the sun set over the Grand Canyon is the perfect way to end your day. Although there is no bad place to watch the sun set, I found Yavapai Point to be a great viewing spot!

I should also add that we visited in October, so the weather was cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon, which made this hike doable. If you are visiting in hotter months, make sure you follow guidelines regarding safe times of day for hiking. Remember, temperatures inside the canyon typically run about 20 degrees warmer than the canyon rim!

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