Why would you travel all the way to the Grand Canyon and then step out only as far as the Visitors’ Centre viewpoint? Surprising I know, but not unheard of.
We made a 2-day visit to the Grand Canyon on our recent US family road trip. During this time we hired bikes and cycled the Hermit Road bicycle tour. Read this essential travel guide to find out all the information you need for biking the South Rim at the Grand Canyon. Discover information on bike rental, maps and routes,
We wanted to see more and get away from the crowds and cycling at the Grand Canyon sounded like a lot of fun. We weren’t wrong!
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Why cycle at the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is one of the natural wonders of the world and a US National Park. It is an absolutely spectacular place, offering unrivalled, breath-taking views over this vast natural phenomenon.
Cycling at the Grand Canyon provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy this magnificent natural beauty and even better, escape the crowds.
Bike rental at the Grand Canyon
Firstly, we set off to hire our bikes. We rented the bikes from Bright Angel Bicycles who fitted us up with high-quality bikes and helmets. They have a wide range of bikes to suit all the family, including trailers and tag-alongs.
The Bright Angel bike station is located next to the Visitors’ Centre at Mather’s Point. There is a café, serving hot drinks and grab ‘n’ go food.
Guided bike tours
We opted for a guided bike ride. With the shuttle ride, the guided tour takes about three hours. In the summer these tours depart three times a day at 9am, 1pm and 2pm. You have to check in 30 minutes in advance to get your bike fitted.
Prices are about $67.50 (+tax) for adults, but there are concession prices for children. We booked online in advance.
Hermit Road Tour
Once we were fully equipped, we were shuttled with our bikes to the start of the Hermit Road Tour, at Hopi Point. Luckily for us, this bypasses the steep uphill section of road at the start of the cycle route.
After being dropped off at Hopi Point, we cycled with a guide and 2 other families for about 5.2 miles west around the South Rim. It was awesome.
The route is fairly flat, mostly traffic-free and ideal for family cycling. We stopped regularly at the best view-points to take in breath-taking views of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River.
Our cycle tour guide was a font of knowledge on the geology, anthropology and wildlife of the Canyon area. He happily answered the many questions the kids threw at him.
The route from Hopi Point to Hermit's Rest
Eventually, we finished our bike ride at Hermit’s rest. As you can see from the elevation chart, the route we took was either flat or downhill. It was not particularly taxing, allowing you to fully focus on the breathtaking scenery of the Grand Canyon to your right.
Hermit’s Rest was first built in 1914 as a stopping point for tourists on the site of the former Hermit Camp. The stop now has a café, toilets and gift shops and even more great photo opportunities of this stunning area. You can have your photo taken with the historic bell at the entrance to the Mary Jane Colter building.
After a short break all the cyclists and bikes are transported back to the starting point at Hopi’s point.
Cycling at the Grand Canyon is an exhilarating trip. It is a must-do visit for anyone who likes biking or outstanding views. The traffic restrictions ensure the roads are safe from busy traffic.
Furthermore, the frequent stops to delight in the scenery ensure you don’t get too tired. A great way for all the family to enjoy a day out.
You can do it – break from the crowd!
PIN FOR LATER: Cycling at the Grand Canyon