Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is a day trip from Mesa, Arizona. There are many activities in the area, including helicopter tours, horseback rides, a scenic train ride, and mule trips. And, of course, the hiking can’t be beat.
Vast, magnificent and inarguably beautiful, the Grand Canyon is easily Arizona’s most distinguishable landmark. Stretching 277 miles from end to end, steep, rocky walls descend more than a mile to the canyon’s floor, where the wild Colorado River traces a swift course southwest.
Find everything you need for a Grand Canyon adventure in Grand Canyon Village. Located on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Northern Arizona, it holds some of the best scenic overlooks in the park, including Yavapai Point.
Directions from Mesa to Grand Canyon
Distance: 496 miles round trip
Take the scenic trip from Mesa to Grand Canyon National Park for a day of breathtaking views and exciting experiences. Fuel up with a mouthwatering breakfast at a local cafe, then hop in your car and follow I-17 N to Flagstaff, AZ. From Flagstaff take I-40 W to AZ-64 N, continue following AZ-64 N to the South Rim.
You can reach Grand Canyon National Park from main entrances on the South Rim – including the South Rim’s eastern entrance – and the North Rim. The Canyon's western edge is also accessible via roads on the Hualapai Indian Reservation.
Tour the Grand Canyon
Begin your tour at the visitor center by picking up a copy of the self-guided walking tour brochure for in-depth information on the canyon and its history. Highlights of the tour include Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar Hotel Buckey O’Neill Cabin, Hopi House, Lookout Studio, and Kolb Studio. You’ll also learn how Grand Canyon Village grew up around the Santa Fe Railroad starting in 1901. Stop by the rustic Grand Canyon Railway Depot, which welcomes Grand Canyon Railway passengers to the village.
Grand Canyon Activities
There are many activities in the area, including helicopter tours, horseback rides, a scenic train ride, and mule trips. And, of course, the hiking can’t be beat. Some of the best hikes include Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, Rim Trail, and Hermit Trail. Backcountry permits are not required for day hikes, but – with the exception of Phantom Ranch – they are if you plan to spend the night.
For visitors who aren’t up for a hike into the canyon, a shuttle transports visitors along the rim of the canyon, stopping at many breathtaking vantage points. You can also enjoy the views directly from Grand Canyon Village, then refuel at one of the village’s restaurants: Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar, or Maswik Lodge.
For more information, check out the Grand Canyon Chamber & Visitor’s Bureau and National Park Service sites.