Bicycling The Grand Canyon
What is the best way to see the Grand Canyon: Bicycling the Grand Canyon may be the best secret in the park! I’m not kidding. On our first night arriving to the Grand Canyon (during our Route 66 Road Trip from California to the Midwest) we had a drink at the Bright Angel Lodge (another good tip for a chill dive-bar with live music). Here we met a Bright Angel Bicycles guide. He suggested we take a 3 hour bike ride along the Eastern rim of the Canyon. We liked this idea so planned to do a morning hike into the canyon and bike in the afternoon.
After the morning hike, we headed back to the visitors center to book our 2pm bicycle trip. Here we learned that we had already seen what the trip covered. So instead, we decided to rent a few bicycles and explore on our own. Starting at the Visitor’s Center we rode West along the green way bicycle path towards Bright Angel Trailhead. We were informed that from Bright Angel Trailhead to Hopi Point the road has a 6% grade incline. To avoid this, we rode the bus between these stops hopping off at Hopi Point where we bicycled the remaining 5 stops.
We began our Grand Canyon exploration at the Visitor Center. We then rode their hop on and hop off buses (this is the only option besides by foot or bicycle as private cars are not allowed on the roads of the canyon rim) heading to South Kaibab Trailhead. Here we did a nice 1 mile hike into the canyon. Note, if you plan to hike be sure to bring hiking boots as the trails have snow (dependent on when you visit) and ice and are quite muddy. It’s also quite chilly hiking in so bring adequate layers and gear.
Why bike the Grand Canyon: Bicycling was the best way to see and experience the Grand Canyon. We were able to explore at our own pace vs. having to wait 10-15 minutes at each stop to catch the bus. We bicycled for two and a half hours, saw 5 different stops on the South rim of the canyon and encountered native wildlife including Elk & Deer. It truly was magnificent!! To be just a few feet away from the rim of the canyon, biking at your pace, seeing what you want to see was perfection. Note that it can take up for 45-60 minutes to take the bus from the edge of the rim back to the Village (where the bike rentals are returned) so be sure to allow enough time. Note that each bus only has 3 bike racks so plan to have to wait a bus or two in case there are other bikers ahead of you. As you can see bicycling the Grand Canyon was a once in a lifetime experience. I fell in love and am confident you will too! Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.