A lesser-used access point is the East Entrance, 25 miles west of Cameron, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation. Both entrances, separated by 23 scenic miles along the canyon rim, lead to the same spot at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center.
“Check the wait times online,” Mr. Mohn said. “But the biggest bottleneck comes at the southern entrance.”
After lingering at the first view of Mather PuntMany people leave without exploring other areas, a missed opportunity, Mr Mohn said, especially for those who want to soak up the grandeur without human chatter or iPhones held up.
“There are a lot of different viewpoints on the South Rim, and people get stuck around the South entrance, and then they get a little tired,” he said. The walkable Rim Trail, which stretches 13 miles from Mather Point along the southern rim, has designated views for a more personalized experience. An even easier way to access the trails along the South Rim is to use a park shuttle to the trailheads.
Desert View Drive, the picturesque road that runs from Grand Canyon Village at the south entrance to the Service area with desert view at the eastern entrance, also has plenty of places to stop for dramatic views.
And a north entrance, 30 miles south of Jacob Lake, Ariz., on Highway 67, has a visitor center that helps people at the North Rim where they will find significantly more solitude; only 10 percent of visitors go to the North Rim, according to the NPS. If time permits, drive to Toroweap Overlook, about 50 miles west of the visitor center, to get spectacular vertical views of the Colorado River, but plan carefully as the road can get rough.