Posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014 3:44:39 PM
Length:80 miles (1 hour 45 minutes)
08 - Highly Recommended
10 - Iconic
06 - Ok, but you're not here for that
05 - Moderate Traffic
I’m not sure that I can add anything unique to the superlatives usually ascribed to the Grand Canyon. It’s just one of those places that you have to see for yourself, and this route gives you great access to stops on the canyon’s south rim.
While the area around the Grand Canyon Village can be very busy, much of the the actual drive really isn’t that bad from my experience (even in peak season).
The drive from Williams covers some extensive flat plains, prompting you to wonder where the big hole is — leaving some of us with visions (a la Clark Griswold) of absent-mindedly driving through some nondescript guard-rail into the abyss. Alas you can’t miss the canyon, first for the transition into the ponderosa pines of the Kaibab National Forest, and then the traffic control for the park entrance.
I didn’t spend too much time in the village itself, and instead spent hours exploring each pull-out along the canyon as route 64 becomes the East Rim Drive. Each pull-out offers different views and angles of the canyon, and I found it to be relatively uncrowded. By the time the highway leaves the canyon’s eastern edge you’ll be driving into some nice desert views (and best yet, little traffic!).