The Grand Canyon is an astonishing natural beauty and the biggest canyon in the United States. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, this valley running through the Colorado Plateau is an iconic travel spot for people around the globe.
Our buddies at Hotels.com were looking for inspiration for a Grand Canyon two-day trip, and we were happy to oblige.
We’ve got plenty of insights on how to get the most out of the Grand Canyon in two days and you’ll be surprised just how much you can see and do in a short amount of time, which is made easier due to the close proximity of hotels to the national park.
The towns of Grand Canyon Village and Tusayan, both within a minute’s drive to the famous South Rim, are perfect locations to book a hotel close to the Grand Canyon if you’re coming from the south (LA, San Diego, Phoenix). Alternatively if you’re coming from Utah or Colorado you might want to look at hotels in North Rim.
Grand Canyon 2 Day Trip: Day 1
Our Grand Canyon two-day itinerary is packed with sightseeing adventures and plenty of fun. We’ve got cool trip ideas for the morning, noon, and night.
The Grand Canyon is a magnificent, awe-inspiring place spanning over 270 miles long and 18 miles wide. It’s a vast space to cover, which is why we recommend fly-over tours for your very first visit.
If you wake up early for the Discovery Air Tour of the Grand Canyon South Rim, you won’t regret it. Soaring over the valley in a plane is one thing, but add a bright sunrise to the mix, and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable morning activity. Nothing is more spectacular than greeting the day from miles high in the air as the sunlight spills over the valley.
Now that you’ve seen the Grand Canyon South Rim in all its glory from up in the air, it’s time to explore a different area. Head to the East Rim for an incredible hiking trail that will take you to the area’s only water source: the Horseshoe Bend.
This horseshoe-shaped desert lake makes for a perfect travel photo, and you can catch a great view of it if you’re up for the drive. It’s a two-hour journey from some major hotels, but the view is well worth it. Horseshoe Bend is a geological masterwork and one you won’t soon forget.
Take the highway until you get to the scenic trail. You can park your car for $10, and it’s a fifteen-minute, easy hike to the lookout point from there.
Sunset in the Grand Canyon is simply breathtaking, and you’ll be treated to spectacular pink and orange hues over the skyline as you drive back to your hotel. But before you turn in for the evening, you’ve got to check out Pima Point. The lookout spot boasts panoramic views of the canyon, and you can see the Colorado River, as well.
You can drive out to the point on your way back from your hotel. It’s only ten or fifteen minutes from the major accommodations in the area.
Grand Canyon 2-Day Tour: Day 2
After a good night’s rest, it’s time to embrace your second day in the Grand Canyon. You had a long drive on day one of your trip, so, we’ve kept your day two activities as close to the major hotels as possible.
You can’t leave the Grand Canyon without visiting one of its most unique attractions: the Grand Canyon Railway. Built in the 1800s, this historic railway was used to transport ore to Arizona. Today, you can take the train ride every morning from 9:30 AM for a scenic adventure.
The route passes through beautiful pine forests, and the train guides will keep you entertained with all of the histories of the region.
The Rim Trail is one of the most popular hiking paths in the Grand Canyon, and one of the best ways to see a handful of viewpoints in one trip. The trail takes you along the edge of the canyon’s South Rim, passing through Hopi Point and Maricopa Point, where you can see impeccable views.
The trail ends at Hermit’s Rest, a fascinating and historic stone structure dating back to 1914.
The entire trail spans twelve miles, but don’t worry; it’s not too challenging. Plus, there are shuttles along the way to pick you up if you want to take the easy route home.
Did you know that the Grand Canyon is one of the world’s best stargazing locations? The iconic destination recently received International Dark Sky Park certification, putting it among only sixty U.S Parks with the prestigious ‘Dark Sky Park’ title. Including the famous and gorgeous Joshua Tree.
Dark Sky Parks have minimal light pollution, making for night sky views unobstructed by artificial light. That means you can even spot the milky from the Grand Canyon – if the weather permits.
One of the best places to stargaze in the Grand Canyon is Mather Point, only a few minutes’ drive from major hotels. The viewing platform has incredible panoramic views, and the moonlit sky is utterly romantic for your final night in the Grand Canyon.
Take a picnic blanket with you and lay under the stars as you bid farewell to the Grand Canyon, one of the most iconic travel destinations in the world.
Enjoy 2 Days in the Grand Canyon
No matter where you are in the Grand Canyon, you’ll be blown away by the expansive natural landscapes, sightseeing attractions, and unique activities on offer. The Grand Canyon is one of those places anyone can enjoy, from couples looking for a romantic getaway to big families on the hunt for an epic outdoorsy exploration.
Hopefully, you’ll get to enjoy all of our recommendations from this Grand Canyon itinerary. Two days is a short time, but you can certainly see the best of the best attractions in just one weekend.
COVID Travel Advisory
Travel destinations may be opening up, but please be aware of the changing nature of travel regulations and restrictions. If you feel comfortable traveling please check local guidelines and ensure your safety and the safety of others at all times.
Here are some good COVID travel tips to help you and those around you travel safely:
- Carry and wear a face mask whenever required by local and state laws. Pack some extra for the cars, bags, etc to make sure you’re not without.
- Similarly, pack hand sanitizer in a few extra bags so you don’t get caught out without it.
- Research the destinations that you’re traveling to (local websites, Twitter, Facebook, etc) to get real time information of closures, restrictions and regulations in place.
- Research hotels that offer free cancellations in case your plans are interrupted. Or in case you need to change your plans at the last minute.