Visiting the Grand Canyon

Carved over millions of years, the Grand Canyon is one of the most popular travel destinations in the United States

The Grand Canyon is one of those rare phenomena which actually can be done justice by a great photograph. A shot like the one here neither underplays nor exaggerates the grandeur—it really looks this way. Yet human nature favors the first-person experience, and that's why teh

The South Rim is the most accessible (and most popular ) entrance to Grand Canyon National Park and, unlike the North Rim, is open year-round. Many guided tours—by mule, horse, air, motor coach and boat—require advance reservations, but several ranger programs are offered daily, covering topics like local wildlife, geology and the Colorado River. The South Rim is also home to numerous bookstores, exhibits and discovery centers, and visitors can find free shuttles to key lookout points where private vehicles aren’t allowed. A popular tour is the quick, all-paved route to spectacular Mather Point.

Of course, without the Colorado River’s tenacious work, Arizona never could have become the Grand Canyon State. The river carved this impressive gorge—10 miles wide at its narrowest point, North Rim to South Rim as the crow flies—over the course of millions of years. The Grand Canyon is one of 162 natural sites recognized on the United Nations’ World Heritage List for having “outstanding universal value.”

While many visitors have been known to day-trip to the Grand Canyon, it's a trip that's worthy of at least one overnight stay in the area, allowing two days of exploration.

Video: The Grand Canyon,  by Dennis Burkhart