The Grand Canyon is grand enough on its own, but if you have extra time there you really can’t leave without uncovering its hidden gems. From secret hideaways to little-known spots that are picture perfect, these are nature’s finest showings at the Grand Canyon.
You’ve seen the pictures, now you have to make the trek to the bright blue waters of Havasupai Falls. Nicknamed the ‘Shangri-la’ of the Grand Canyon, you’ll need to plan ahead to make it to the 100ft waterfall and calcium carbonate rich pools for a swim. Home to the Havasupai Tribe (also know as the ‘People of the Blue Green Waters’ for obvious reasons) for over 1,000 years, it’ll take you 4-7 hours of hiking EACH WAY to get there, which is why it’s lucky you can camp anywhere along the river when you arrive.
The Secret Waterfall Cave
Just like all good secrets, no one can tell you ~exactly~ where to find this hidden cave, but there is a video online by a family that found it that shows it’s behind a waterfall that can only be accessed by rafting down the Colorado River (the biggest river in the Grand Canyon). If you love adventure and mystery, searching for this oasis carved out by Mother Nature is a must!
A truly stunning outlook and almost mind-boggling view, Horseshoe Bend is a striking monument against the rocky landscape. Why did the river choose that exact path? Who knows! Located in the Grand Canyon East area which isn’t as frequented, you can see the Horseshoe bend 360 degrees back onto itself from a lookout area that’s a pretty easy 2.4km hike in. The cliffs are over 1000ft here though so you won’t be able to saunter on down to the water but the view is what you came for, right?
Desert View Watchtower
Now this one isn’t 100% created by nature BUT the Desert View Watchtower was created with the intention of it blending seamlessly into the surrounding rock (great for watching in secret) and it has good views, while also being in harmony with the rest of the Canyon. Built in 1932, the 70ft replica of a prehistoric Indian tower is at the eastern-most point of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.
Amongst the endless amazing views at the Grand Canyon, there’s an extra special one on the Cape Royal Trail called the Angels Window. Found on the North Rim, the trail is one of the easier walks in the Canyon and gives you a chance to see the little ‘window’ left in a shelf of rock after a rock fall. You’ll notice there is a walkway on top and its worth a little wander (don’t worry, it’s definitely sturdier than it looks!).
If you’re looking for a unique and extremely impressive view, then go no further than Toroweap (or Tuweep) Overlook. The 3000ft (!) vertical drop gives you an almost birds eye view of the Colorado River and some stunning rock formations (don’t act like you’re not into it) from the Canyon’s volcanic past. It’s truly amazing being able to see exactly what happened thousands of years ago written on the walls of the Canyon.
Lees Ferry is considered the ‘official’ beginning of the Grand Canyon and looks a lot different to the rest of the Canyon. For starters, it’s flat and accessible by road. It’s a natural corridor between Arizona and Utah and with such easy access to the Colorado River, it was an obvious crossing in days gone by. Nature wise, it’s a stark contrast to what you expect from the Canyon and is really helpful in understanding how people actually lived and settled in the barren area.