Grand Canyon National Park and Unesco Heritage Site

Grand Canyon National Park and Unesco Heritage Site

Grand Canyon National Park and Unesco Heritage Site

The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular national parks in the United States, but did you know that it is also designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site?  Established as a world heritage site in 1979, the Grand Canyon is also considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world. This amazing attraction has been the top tourist destination in Arizona and is visited by over five million people annually from all around the world. For travelers coming from around the world wanting to experience the best of the United States, the Grand Canyon is typically at the top of their bucket list and highlight in visiting a US national park.


Here are some highlights to visiting the Grand Canyon National Park
Rim trail Grand Canyon National Park and Unesco Heritage Site


” The Grand Canyon fills me with awe, it is beyond comparison – beyond description, absolutely unparalleled throughout the world. Let this great wonder of nature remain as it is now. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one site that all Americans should see. ” – Theodore Roosevelt


Walking the Rim trail

Rim trail Grand Canyon National Park and Unesco Heritage Site


One of the most popular hiking spots is the Rim trail which is about 13 miles from Hermits rest to the South Kaibab trail head, although the most visited tourist route only covers 1.7 miles one way from Monument Creek Vista to Hermits Rest in the Grand Canyon Village. Passing along the rim trail, you can stop at a variety of overlook areas and popular vista points. Walking along the rim trail offers the perfect opportunity to photograph some of the most stunning views of the canyon while you can stroll easily on the mostly flat paved trail.

Tip – there is also a shuttle bus system through the various points along the trail so you can stop or start anywhere you choose depending on how much time you have to explore the rim trail. The trail is mostly flat, paved and wheel chair accessible.



Colorful blooms on the Rim Trail Grand Canyon National Park


Posing on the edge of the Rim Trail


Posing on the Rim Trail Grand Canyon National Park




Looking below Rim Trail Grand Canyon National Park


Close up details along the Rim Trail



The Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon National Park


Grand Canyon Village

There is a lot to see at Grand Canyon village which is a historic area worth spending some time in. Many of the buildings in the village are considered National Historic Landmarks and is one of the largest planned developments within the National Park system. Popular sites include the Hopi House, Lookout Studio and Bright Angel Lodge, all designed by famous architect Mary E.J. Colter. Other important buildings worth visiting in the village include: El Tovar Hotel, The Red Horse Cabin and the Santa Fe Railway Station.


The Hopi House

The stone Hopi House (below) was created as a reflection of typical adobe Pueblo style buildings used by the local Hopi Indians. Built in 1905 features museum quality Indian fine arts and crafts and the upstairs studio areas have been converted into more gallery spaces for special shows and more art and craft displays.


Hopi House Grand Canyon Village



The Lookout Studio

A gorgeous jagged stone building sitting on the edge of the South Rim, the Lookout studio is one of the historic buildings in the Grand Canyon Historic district. Designed by local architect,  Mary Colter in the popular rustic style, the studio is currently being is used as a gift shop and observation area with an outdoor Terrace. Originally constructed by the Santa Fe Railway, the Lookout studio was created to be a photography studio and gallery like the Kolb Studio which is also located on the rim of the canyon.

Tip – make sure you go out to the outdoor patio to get another inspiring view of the canyon to photograph


The Lookout Studio Grand Canyon Village


Views from the Lookout Studio


The Lookout Studio views Grand Canyon Village


Trail hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

Further down from the Lookout Studio is the trail head for the hike down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon from the South Rim. This hike is fairly strenuous at points and has a series of switchbacks leading down to the canyon. There is two options of trails which you can do as a loop – the first is the South Kaibab trail which is 6.8 miles and the second is the Bright Angel trail at 9.3 miles.  This ends up being a very long hike and the Park system does not recommend doing this hike in one day and alone. If you just want to experience a short part of the hike and to see some of the vistas from the trail, that is relatively easy to do and  you can decide how long you want to spend going down and of course trekking all the way back up to the rim of the canyon.

Tip – the national park does not recommend doing this in one day, although you can just do as much as you are comfortable hiking down and back up the canyon trail.



Trail to the bottom Grand Canyon National Park and Unesco Heritage Site

View of the trail head to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

It’s a long hike to the bottom of the Canyon and back



Trail to the bottom of the Grand Canyon from the South Rim



El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon

A stay at the iconic El Tovar will give you a wonderful experience of grand style created in 1905 and considered one of the fanciest hotels in the National Park system then and to current standards.  The intimate hotel features 78 guest rooms, a gift shop, fine dining restaurant, bar, newsstand and lounging areas. For an exceptional stay at this landmark hotel, you can check prices and reviews here for the latest updates and information.

Tip – for an elegant meal for lunch or dinner, make a reservation in the main dining room. There is also outdoor patio seating with magnificent views of the canyon available.


El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon Village

Rustic and comfortable stay at El Tovar


El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon Village


Elegant wooden interior and details

El Tovar Hotel interior Grand Canyon Village


The main dining room at El Tovar


El Tovar dining room Grand Canyon Village

Essentials to get you there

If you are planning  on visiting the Grand Canyon National Park, you need to book your flights, hotels, rental car in advance, especially during the peak traveling seasons to this area when everything reserves quickly and prices skyrocket. The affiliate sites below help support to maintain this website so any purchases below is kindly appreciated.

 Flying into Flagstaff airport

The closest regional airport is located just outside of the park at Flagstaff airport. You can check out the latest vendor flight information and prices below.

Travel deals with Travelocity

Expedia  – National Parks Deals

Car rental options in the Flagstaff area

Priceline name your price rental car

Travelocity rental car options

Hotel options in the area and around Grand Canyon village, check out these links below

Prices for hotel/inn accommodations fluctuate quickly based on availability and time of year. It is advisable to book way in advance to secure the best prices for your stay at Grand Teton National park or close by in Jackson or Teton Village.

TripAdvisor reviews and details, check here for prices and availability.

Priceline hotel reviews and details, check here for prices and calendar

Grand Canyon National Park from above and Unesco Heritage Site



Travel Buzz Media Unesco experiences

This post is part of a collaboration with Travel Buzz Media and a round up of editorial content about Unesco sites around the world. You can read more stories about fall travel below from our contributors:

Passing Thru – A visit to Suomenlinna (Helsinki, Finland)

Traveling with MJ – Marlbork castle in Poland – 71 Unesco World Heritage Sites

Boomeresque – A visit to maritime Greenwich



Solitary tree at The Grand Canyon National Park Arizona

If you enjoyed this post about the Grand Canyon, please check out my other Arizona posts below

A road trip through the Apache Trail

A weekend getaway to Phoenix, Arizona

Grand Canyon morning tour

Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on the Grand Canyon National Park and Unesco Heritage Site, hopefully you will be able to see and experience this amazing national park and explore the amazing landmarks and scenic points around the park. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

If you like what you see, come and check out my other social media channels for more updates, including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter

Grand Canyon National Park and Unesco Heritage Site

Note – The affiliate sites listed above help support and maintain this website when you purchase from any the links above. Thank you so much for your support.

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16 Responses to Grand Canyon National Park and Unesco Heritage Site

  1. Rob October 17, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

    Fantastic! What incredible views. We have yet to see the Grand Canyon but we definitely want to go to see this stunning area. Thank you for the suggestions on where to stay and how to get there it will be a great help when e plan our trip.

  2. Sia October 16, 2016 at 9:19 pm #

    Wow such stunning views! So many tourists each year but you definitely can’t blame them for wanting to see these magnificent views with their own eyes. It looks surreal! I love how the studio is built to match the surrounding and kind of blends with nature.The Hopi house is also really interesting and it was good to learn something about the natives of these lands. The canyon would be a highlight for me as well when I finally managed to make it to the States!

  3. Christina October 16, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    The Grand Canyon is such a stunning natural destination. Love your photos! Well done. Your blog makes me want to visit and when I do I’ll be sure to leave enough time to do some hikes.

  4. Jennifer Coleman October 16, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

    Gorgeous photos and great intel. We did the hike into Havasu Falls a couple of years ago….amazing!

  5. Holly October 16, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    I would like to visit the Grand Canyon. Hopefully in the next few months or so. Beautiful photos.

  6. Nancy October 16, 2016 at 8:33 am #

    I didn’t realize the Grand Canyon was a UNESCO Heritage Site – thanks for the intel! I have been the Grand Canyon on the Arizona side and would like to return for more adventure. I have been wondering about El Tovar – it seems like the best place to stay. Thanks for sharing this informative article.

  7. Carol Colborn October 16, 2016 at 8:33 am #

    Some awesome photos of this gem! Congratulations on your photography.

  8. Leah October 16, 2016 at 8:16 am #

    Gorgeous…gorgeous…gorgeous! I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never visited the Grand Canyon. Take away my American citizenship now. 🙁

    • Noel October 16, 2016 at 8:36 am #

      You’ll have to take a plane back to America one of these days to visit some of these fantastic gems.

  9. Vicki Louise October 16, 2016 at 12:00 am #

    I love the pained rock effect in the Grand Canyon – and it’s sheer size is always impressive. We didn’t have time to hike in and back out again whilst we were there but enjoyed the Rim Walk. It certainly is a highlight of the US National Park system!


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I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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