Stone watchtower in front of Grand Canyon
The tower houses a Pueblo meeting room and murals done in the traditional Hopi style.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

8 Incredible Ways to Experience the Majesty of the Grand Canyon

Desert Viewpoint Watchtower

Did you know that the Grand Canyon has its very own castle-like structure? Built in 1932 as a homage to the original Pueblo watchtowers found all around the Southwest, the Desert Viewpoint Watchtower not only provides sweeping vistas of the Grand Canyon, but also acts as a historical landmark and museum.

The tower houses a kiva, or Pueblo meeting room, complete with furniture and a fire-pit, along with murals done in the traditional Hopi style by the painter Fred Kabotie. There’s even a gift shop on the bottom floor with Native American crafts, jewelry and souvenirs to take home with you.

People sitting on mules on trail overlooking the Grand CanyonSee the majesty of the Canyon aboard a trusty mule.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Mule Trips

For an iconic experience on your Grand Canyon vacation, consider a mule trip either along the rim or into the canyon. Mule wranglers will lead the way, stopping at points of interest to rest and providing in-depth information about rock formations and local folklore.

While most rides only last a few hours, Xanterra Travel Collection has overnight rides into the canyon with lodging at the historic Phantom Ranch. Because of the popularity of these trips, stays are booked through a lottery system, which books 10 months in advance for a desired stay.

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Woman hiking on narrow trail in Grand CanyonThe North Kaibab Trail is one of the most strenuous hikes in the Grand Canyon.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hike the North Kaibab Trail

While none of the hiking trails within the Grand Canyon are particularly easy, the North Kaibab Trail definitely ranks as one of the most strenuous. Measuring 14 miles long, this backcountry trail provides a challenging multi-day hike for solo travelers, couples and groups. Despite its difficulty, it rewards with two designated campgrounds, water and toilets along the way.

Gather your camping supplies and hit the trail. Besides the impressive rock formations inside the canyon, a hike on the North Kaibab Trail will also bring you to Ribbon Falls and the Bright Angel Trail’s Silver Bridge, a pedestrian suspension bridge that crosses the Colorado River.

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