The Best Places to See Sunrise and Sunset in the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Sunset, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is spectacular from any vantage point, and at any time of day. But as many visitors to this wonder of the world will attest, sunrise and sunset are the times when the views are at their most sublime. The key to success in photographing this majestic vista lie in finding the time when the lighting is just right. At sunrise and sunset, the warm, mellow tones in the light, and the low angle of the rays, will make it easier to capture the sheer scale of the canyon, while during the middle part of the day, the bright light from above can flatten the contours and make the precipitant drops and towering peaks more difficult to see.

South Rim Sunrise and Sunset Spots

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is the most popular access point for the natural wonder, and so one thing to note is that you will most definitely not be alone if you head to one of the most spectacular viewpoints for sunrise and sunset. That said, wander just a short distance round the rim or along a trail and you will surely find an awe-inspiring vantage point to call your own. For sunrise vistas, those in the know head for Mather Point, and for sunset, to Hopi Point or Yavapai Point.

North Rim Sunrise and Sunset Spots

If you approach the Canyon from the north, you will find a rim that is less developed, more natural and somewhat less crowded than the south rim. Here too, sunrise and sunset are the best times to take in the magnificent vistas. For the best views, head for Bright Angel Point, or Point Imperial, or make your way to spectacular Cape Royal for the most outstanding vistas.

Grand Canyon West

Another option for your visit to the Grand Canyon is to venture to the portion of the canyon outside the National Park, at Grand Canyon West. There you can take the amazing Skywalk out over the edge of the canyon, which could be a fantastic place to take in the colourful sunrise and sunset views. The views may not be quite as spectacular, but the experience of walking out over the drop through the walkway is one to add to your bucket list.

But you do not have to stick to the rim viewpoints and main tourist points. In order to experience the full majesty of the canyon, you could consider hiking down into the canyon itself, perhaps to spend a night at the Bright Angel Campsite. For something entirely different, perhaps you might like to consider an early morning or late night flight over or into the western part of the canyon, to see the magnificent vista come alive with color from the air.

Wherever you go in the Grand Canyon, whether you stay on the rim, or have a proper Grand Canyon adventure, make sure you get up early to see the sunrise, and don’t leave until you have had the chance to watch the sun sink below the horizon at least once.

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