Grand Canyon is a truly amazing place – but planning a trip there can be overwhelming and time consuming. When I was planning my first Grand Canyon itinerary, I was worried about:

#1 Grand Canyon National Park can get really crowded and I didn’t want to spend hours waiting in line to get into the national park and waiting in line for a shuttle

#2 I also didn’t want to spend my precious vacation driving around a parking lot trying to find a place to park

#3 I didn’t want to miss out on all attractions of the park – but I didn’t know what they were!

#4 I wanted to see all the famous Grand Canyon views, but didn’t know where they all were and when the best time to see them would be

#5 I really wanted to do some hiking, but didn’t know which trails were best to do

If this is you too, don’t worry.  Fortunately, it’s possible to overcome these concerns and have a dream vacation to the Grand Canyon. 

Your trip to Grand Canyon National Park can absolutely look like this:

Grand canyon

++ You know exactly when and where to go to beat the crowds. You don’t wait for hours in line for the shuttle or spend time looking for a parking space.  You arrive when there are empty spaces and park your car for the rest of the day.

++ You know all the best viewpoints and you’re there at the best times for the best photos. You see the most incredible canyon views on and – if you’re interested – below the rim.

++ You know all the other top things to do in the park. There are historical sites, fascinating museums, and fun activities that many people miss out on.

I have used all my years of experience planning and traveling to create your personal – and flexible Grand Canyon itinerary planner

You’ll know exactly how to spend each day – what to do, where to be, and when to go for the best views and to avoid the crowds.

But you’ll also have the flexibility to choose options for your own comfort level and interests.


>> Essential tips for visiting the park
>> Daily schedule
>>Detailed step-by-step breakdown of each activity and place
>> Alternatives
for different levels of fitness and interest
>> Detailed driving directions with maps
>> Tips
and important information
>> Detailed hike descriptions
>> Recommendations on where – and when – to find the best views
>> Recommendations on other attractions and activities
>> How to adjust your schedule depending on where you stay
>> Useful links for booking


Grand Canyon Accommodations Guide

All the accommodations inside the park plus a hand-curated list of additional options near the park

Grand Canyon Dining Guide

All the dining choices inside the park plus a carefully selected list of additional places nearby

Grand Canyon Shuttle Guide

A complete guide to all the shuttle routes around the South Rim


James Ian Grand Canyon

Hi.  I’m James and I totally get how stressful planning a trip to the national parks can be.  You want to have the trip of a lifetime, but it’s hard to know exactly how to plan it all. 

I’ve traveled to 82 countries, all 7 continents, 32 states in the US, and all the major national parks (and many ‘minor’ ones). 

Through all those travels, I’ve learned exactly how to plan.  And in my travels to Grand Canyon, I’ve discovered the park’s hidden secrets, where the best views are, when to take the best photos, all the other great attractions and activities, and how to avoid the crowds. 

And I am sharing all this with you in these itineraries.

A private one-day tour of Grand Canyon’s South Rim can cost as much as $2,000! Save money and use my itinerary to create your own personal trip with your family and/ or friends for less than $10/ day!

Take the overwhelm out of your planning, save time, and start your trip confident that you will see all the best that Grand Canyon National Park has to offer.



Grand Canyon 1 Day
32 pages
Grand Canyon 1 day



Grand Canyon 2 Day
52 pages
Grand Canyon 2 day



Grand Canyon 3 Day
66 pages
Grand Canyon 3 day


Best Seller


>> Buy the itinerary

>> Get instant access to a downloadable PDF + access to downloadable PDFs of the free bonus extras + access to frequent updates

>> Save the PDFs to your computer then upload them to your phone or print them out for your trip

>> Have an awesome trip to Grand Canyon National Park!

“Thanks for doing all the hard work! This was so easy to follow and we didn’t miss out on anything.”

Anna, Fresno


Grand Canyon itinerary page with markup
Grand Canyon itinerary page with markup
Grand Canyon itinerary page with markup
Grand Canyon itinerary page with markup


What happens if my plans change and I can’t use the itinerary this year?

This itinerary is specifically designed so you can use it any year. You’ll get access to an exclusive section of my website with major updates that may affect the itinerary. So, you can use it this year, next year or in five years’ time, and still have access to any current updates that might affect your trip.

What happens if my plans change after I’ve bought the itinerary and I have more (or less) time to spend in the park?

The itineraries are designed for the length of time you plan to be in the park, but they can be adjusted.

If you think you might end up with less time, I recommend getting a longer itinerary and trimming down if needed. You can always email me at for suggestions on how to do that if you find yourself in this situation.

However, if you decide to stay longer and want to upgrade, just email me and for the difference in the regular price, I’ll send you the longer itinerary. So you don’t need to pay for two itineraries when you only need one!

Does this itinerary include the North Rim of Grand Canyon?

No. All of these itineraries are for the South Rim only. The South Rim is open year-round, and is by far the most popular – and easiest – place to see and experience the canyon. There are more services, more places of interest, more accommodations, and more trails.

What if I’ve already started to plan my trip? Is this helpful?

Yes. You can check your self-planned trip against this itinerary. You are bound to pick up some extra tips and get some extra ideas for when and where to go.

What if I want to go for longer than 3 days?

The three-day itinerary has you seeing all the major park highlights, but there are loads of extra activities, hiking trails, and options for leisurely days enjoying the park. If you have more time, I recommend doing the three-day itinerary then checking out my Parks Collecting guides for extra things to do.

I’ve included how to connect additional activities such as a river trip or an overnight hike into the canyon to the South Rim itinerary.

I’m planning to go to Grand Canyon in winter. Can I use this itinerary?

Yes. The South Rim is open all year. However, the Hermit Road shuttle doesn’t operate in winter, so you can drive yourself there. To do any hiking below the rim in winter, you should have microspikes or crampons over your hiking boots to give you extra traction, as it can be snowy/ icy.

This is not my first trip to Grand Canyon. Will this itinerary be helpful for me?

This itinerary is designed for first timers to the park. If you’ve been before, you will probably pick up some new tips, but overall, it may not be the best option for you.

I don’t like being stuck with a really rigid plan. Is this itinerary for me?

Yes! This itinerary has been specifically created to give you choices. There are options for those who like to be active and hit the trails but also for those who want to experience the park in a more leisurely way.

I don’t like to hike. Does this itinerary have options for me?

Yes. There are options for people who like to hike and alternate options to experience the same general areas of the park for those who either can’t or prefer not to hike.

I like to hike and want to do some long hikes. Will this itinerary be useful for me?

Yes. The 3-Day Itinerary actually includes an option for a very long below-the-rim hike. If you want to do even more long hikes, then I recommend doing the 3-day itinerary but staying overnight in the canyon in addition.

I am traveling for 2.5 days (or 1.5 days). Which itinerary should I get?

If you have a half day, the easiest way to adjust the itinerary is to go with the longer itinerary and then trim down. You can change the order of the days and choose which day you wish to cut some time off. This is easy to do.

Alternatively, you could get the 2-day itinerary and then go back to a favorite spot for half a day on your third day.

How long do I need to see Grand Canyon National Park?

You can see the highlights in one very full day, but I recommend three days if you can. I like to take a 1.5-week vacation and spend three days on the South Rim and add on a trip down the Colorado River. It’s such a cool trip!

Why should I pay for this? There are lots of blogs with free itineraries.

That’s true, but itinerary blog posts are invariably pretty general. This itinerary is completely different from a typical blog post. It has a detailed minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour breakdown of what to do, so that you can use it to guide your whole trip. It also includes detailed driving directions, hike descriptions, information about each of the viewpoints and attractions, adjustments if you stay in different places, and all the bonus extras.

What’s the difference between this itinerary and a guidebook?

Guidebooks provide information about every place to stay and place to eat and lots of things to do. However, they don’t curate all that information into a workable itinerary. You need to do that yourself, and with so much information to try and digest, it can be hard to know exactly the best things to do / see and when.

On the other hand, they also lack really helpful information such as detailed driving directions from each point in your itinerary to the next, and detailed hike descriptions.

My itineraries have done all the heavy lifting for you. I have sifted through all the information you’d find in guidebooks (from my personal experience) to create a step-by-step schedule – and added in all the practical information you need to know when you get there.

How does this itinerary work when I might stay somewhere different from other people buying it?

The itinerary assumes you will stay in Tusayan, which is the main gateway town to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, or in Grand Canyon Village. However, it includes full details on how to adjust the timing based on where you stay. If you stay somewhere else nearby, you will know exactly how to tweak the timing for where you are staying.



Grand Canyon 1 Day
32 pages
Grand Canyon 1 day



Grand Canyon 2 Day
52 pages
Grand Canyon 2 day



Grand Canyon 3 Day
66 pages
Grand Canyon 3 day


Best Seller