Outbound Collective logo

A Weekend of Adventure at the Grand Canyon's Southern Rim

A two day trip chasing views at Grand Canyon National Park's Southern Rim

By: Michael Fricke + Save to a List

Every year I celebrate the anniversary of my getting sober by going camping.  This year my girlfriend and I celebrated by taking a trip to the Grand Canyon. We started out after work driving from Southern California to Williams, Arizona where we stayed in a hotel for the first night. We didn't get any views of driving through the desert because we drove through the night to get there.

The next day we woke and headed into Grand Canyon National Park. The first thing we did was check out the visitor center and Mather Point. It was good but if you are pressed on time there are other views in the park I liked better, but really any view of the Grand Canyon is great, one might even say Grand (that's the only time I'm doing that this article I promise).

After that we checked into our campsite at Mather Campground, setup camp and headed out to the trail. We utilized the shuttle system at the park to get to our trailhead. I recommend using the shuttle if you are going on a busy weekend as parking can be crazy at popular national parks these days.

For our first hike we did part of the Bright Angel Trail. It is one of the most popular trails in the park but it is easy to see why.  It heads down into the canyon and has great views. There was still snow at the top of the rim at the time we went (late March) which was really nice. The weather was cool but once we got hiking it felt great.

As you may be able to tell by the pictures it was a bit cloudy but still an amazing experience.  One day I would love to do Rim to Rim. We only went about two miles down and back up because we wanted to also see some other parts of the park.

When we got back up from Bright Angel we headed west on the Rim Trail to see the sunset at Hopi Point. It was beautiful. The clouds started to clear as we started hiking the Rim Trail.  

Hiking along the Rim we saw multiple elk.

We reached Hopi Point and the sunset was beautiful. It was busy but awesome no less.

From Hopi Point we were able to take the shuttle back to the campground and head to bed.

Day 2

We woke up the next day and headed east to the Desert View Watchtower.

The Watchtower is really cool.  It has better views of the river than other views.  The inside of the tower is nice and has some Native American art inside.

On the way back to the entrance we stopped at all the viewpoints.

Full on adventure, it was time to head back to California. We stopped at a diner in Williams to get lunch and I got a good picture with Smokey the Bear outside the Forest Service office.

All in all it was an excellent trip. We did a lot of the easy viewpoints but it was awesome and a great introduction to the Grand Canyon. I definitely would love to come back and do some of the longer hikes.

You can keep up with my adventures on my Instagram.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


10 Things you need to do in Baja

wyld honeys

Journey to Wyoming’s premier snowmobiling destination: Togwotee Mountain Lodge

Samuel Brockway

Hiking in comfort: a review of Danner Mountain 600 Evo boots

Meghan White

A peek through God's window

Heather Arnold