Story originally appeared on Club Wyndham.
Retreat to the gorgeous mountains of Arizona and explore the famous Grand Canyon over the course of three amazing days while staying at Club Wyndham Flagstaff.
Take in the sights by car, tour the rim on foot, and even head down to explore the expanses of the canyon itself. Pack a bag, put on your hiking boots, and head out for an unforgettable adventure at the Grand Canyon National Park. And make sure to bring your camera!
Day 1: Take In The Sights With A Scenic Drive
At roughly 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, the Grand Canyon takes up more square feet than the entire state of Rhode Island — so it’s fair to say that one of the best ways to see the sights is by car. Driving on your first day gives you the amazing opportunity to stop at some of the top spots along the South Rim, plus catch breathtaking views out the window along the way.
Start your day at the Desert View Watchtower, a seven-story watchtower designed in 1932 and marking off one of the best rim views on the south side of the canyon! From the watchtower, follow the scenic Desert View Drive along 25 miles of the canyon, taking in the natural beauty from the car and stopping at a few of the many viewpoints scattered along the way, like Moran Point or Grandview Point. One stop that you absolutely must make is at Duck on a Rock Viewpoint, a famous lookout onto the rift featuring incredible rock formations that you won’t want to miss.
At the end of your scenic drive awaits the Grand Canyon Village where you can stop for lunch at the classic Arizona Steakhouse, or if you’re in the mood for something elegant, head to the El Tovar Dining Room for fine dining and canyon views.
After lunch, spend an afternoon exploring this quaint and historic town built on the canyon rim. Discover the history of the Grand Canyon Railroad Depot, the Buck O’Neil Cabin (which boasts being the oldest structure on the South Rim), and much more before heading home, perhaps catching a view of one of the famous Grand Canyon sunsets along the way.
As you head back to Club Wyndham Flagstaff, you’re bound to be famished, so get your fill at Agave Mexican Restaurant for a Mexican meal with colorful flair or try out Club Wyndham’s very own Oakmont restaurant for modern American cuisine and delicious cocktails.
Day 2: Hike Along The Highlights Of The South Rim
Start your second day bright and early back at Grand Canyon Village, which is the perfect home base for hiking along the South Rim. Spend your day in natural bliss along the breathtaking edge of the canyon while enjoying the views at your own pace.
Begin the day light and easy with the Trail of Time, a shorter, relaxing trail that offers hikers an easy path along the rim dotted with signs giving detailed information on the geological wonders of the canyon all around you.
Once you’ve dipped your toes in with the Trail of Time, it’s on to something a little more daring: the South Rim Trail. This trail follows along the Southern Rim of the canyon, starting at the Grand Canyon Village and continuing for about 13 miles all featuring one-of-a-kind views.
Before you explore this gorgeous trail, make sure to drop by the Maswik Food Court in the Grand Canyon Village for a grab-and-go lunch that you can enjoy from the rim of the canyon. With a delicious picnic lunch packed, you can then head to this relatively flat (but much longer!) hiking path, which offers a number of lookouts over particularly famous parts of the canyon. It also has a convenient shuttle service stopping at various points along the trail to bring you back to the village at the end of your day of sightseeing.
Day 3: Venture Into The Canyon For A Full Day Of Exploration
By day three, you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with the vastness of the canyon from above. Now it’s time to head down into the canyon itself.
One of the best paths in is the famous nine-mile Bright Angel Trail, which leads from the Grand Canyon Village down into the canyon. Though the entire hike requires an overnight stay, there are rest houses at the 1.5-mile and 3-mile marks for any hikers looking to make a day trip out of it instead.
Along the trail, you’ll be able to take in the true magnitude of the canyon in a whole new way as you descend into the heart of it. See the geological layers of the rocky walls up close, check out the unique ecosystem of canyon life, and watch the Colorado River snake through the base of the canyon all while testing your hiking skills.
Finish off your day by heading up to the rim where you can take a last look around the village and stop in at one of the restaurants for dinner. The Yavapai Tavern is a local watering hole, perfect for a casual pub-style bite. After dinner, make your way back to the rim and stop at one of the many viewpoints to catch a final Grand Canyon sunset before retreating back to your Club Wyndham Flagstaff resort.