Grand Canyon South Rim has overlook points that are accessible by bus. The Red and Orange bus lines stop right in front of each designated overlook points. However, when the crowd is too thick, I’d recommend you to walk a bit further away from the main spot by following the trail on your right or left. If you do that, you’ll be rewarded with a nice spot sans the noise of other tourists. And good photos, too.
Remember this: Grand Canyon has no bad side or bad photographic angle. So, wherever you’ll be standing, as long as the view isn’t fully blocked by trees, I guarantee that you’ll get the shot you want. Just like I said, venture a few steps from the main overlook points and you’ll see the difference in views, shadows and lights.
Warning: If you go a few steps from the crowd, be careful in treading the trail, especially on windy days. There are no safety fences. If you’re afraid of heights, don’t attempt to go near the rim and look down. If you’re travelling with children, hold them tight and do not give them a chance to be away from you. Some trails are very near the rim and some are a few steps away.
How much time to stay in each overlook points? I’d say, 20-30 minutes. Don’t just go there and take a picture without even appreciating or drinking in the view in your memory. Take time to sit and gaze at those magnificent curves of nature before you. Don’t worry, buses come and go every 10-15 minutes or less.
If you only have a day in Grand Canyon South Rim, take this suggestion. Get on the red and orange bus lines and get off at every bus stops. If the next stop is within walking distance, go and do it. A mile hike or two would make a difference in your impression of the grand nature.
And oh, don’t forget to get a map from the Visitor’s Centre. Or ask it at the toll booth when you enter the Grand Canyon Village.
Enjoy the views.
Hermits Rest Overlook View
Most of the view here is obstructed by the trees. There’s a nice souvenir shop and cafe here. And yes, a clean washroom, too. Go up the little hill behind the cafe and you’ll see a different perspective of the place.
Pima Point Overlook View
In this point, you don’t need to go far to enjoy the view.
Monument Creek Overlook View
Walk few steps away from the bus stop and the views are amazing. If the weather is hot, sit down or stand under the shades and drink in the view.
The Abyss Overlook View
Here, you’ll get a view of the mighty Colorado River. Partly. 😉
Mohave Point Overlook View
You want the best view of sunset? This is where you should be.
Hopi Point Overlook View
When you get off the bus, walk on the trail on your right. Find a spot where you can comfortably watch the setting sun.
The ledge (see picture below) is not far from the bus stop. Good place to sit down and be amazed.
It is called such because standing here and looking down, you’ll see the curvy and zigzag-y view of the Bright Angel Trailhead. Also, on a beautiful, clear sky day, San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff is seen from afar.
Bright Angel Lodge
Go behind the lodge. The view is stunningly breathtaking. I hiked the Bright Angel Trailhead—and it’s panoramic and unforgettable!
Trail of Time
This trail starts from Bright Angel Lodge. Walk on your right until you reach the Yavapai Geology Museum. This trail is my favourite. It’s educational and fun. And the view—-oh boy, the view!
Yavapai Geology Museum Overlook View
First of all, go and see the museum. Sharpen your mind with geology info and touch the rocks that are a million of years old. You won’t be disappointed. The museum’s glass windows are overlooking right into the Grand Canyon’s rim. When you’re done, walk on your right, to the direction going to Mather Point.
Mather Point Overlook View
I watched my first sunset here. It was crowded. So, you better pick a spot somewhere away from the selfie posers. And those selfie sticks really hit hard, too!
Pipecreek Vista Overlook View
The photo below shows it all. This spot is just few steps from the bus stop, on your right.
South Kaibab Overlook View
Before I started my long hike down, I drank in the view and scanned the trail below. This was my longest and most tiring day at the Grand Canyon. But, it’s the most beautiful hike I’ve ever done in my life!
This is the last stop of the Orange bus line. If you’re a fan of waking up early in the morning, you should watch the sunrise here. The guy I was with in the bus said that it was splendid and there were only four people of them there—all solo travelers. Silence was sacred and the sunrise beauty was spellbinding!
Shoot me a message via the comment below should you have questions for photographic spots at the Grand Canyon. I hope you’ll enjoy your trip as much as I did.