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Sunset/Sunrise Grand Canyon National Park – Insider Tips


Sunset and Sunrise at Grand Canyon National Park

Ideally, the best way to enjoy the chameleon-like splendor of the Grand Canyon is to watch the subtle changes that take place over the course of a day. However, since you probably want to see as much as you can, this isn’t really practical. So to make the most of your time and see the magnificence of it all, try seeing it at sunrise or sunset.

Best Place for Photos

The park rangers at the Grand Canyon are asked over and over, “Where’s the best place to take photos?” Realistically, there is no “best” place. The canyon has two rims and each is well over 200 miles long; there are plenty of places to view. At dawn, grab your camera and coffee and just start walking. No matter what spot you pick, you’re going to be treated to a fantastic view. In the evenings, find a spot to sit in one place to see it all. Although, if you really want specifics, some people have recommended Yavapai Point, Mohave Point, Mather Point, Hopi Point, Bright Angel Point, Cape Royal, Point Imperial or Pima Point as good vantage places to see the sun move. Some of these places you can expect to be more crowded.

What You Should Expect to See at Sunrise

At sunrise it is awesome to see the sun first touch the tops of the rocks and gradually travel down into the canyon. Seeing this moment is the chance of a lifetime, you’ll want to make the most of it. The morning light is fantastic for photography. Be sure to arrive at least a half-hour before sunrise so you can see the magic happen in its entirety.

What You Should Expect to See at Sunset

Seeing the sun set over the Grand Canyon is also a moving experience. You see the shadows creep up the canyon walls and see their lengthening shadows and deep orange glow of the setting sun against these walls. Watch the formations take on different colors and shapes with the angles of the sun. Again, like sunrise, be sure to arrive about 30 minutes prior to sunset so you can see it all unfold.

Visiting the Grand Canyon National Park is a shutterbug’s paradise. Whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer, when you watch the sun rise or set, you’re going to get the chance to capture some excellent scenery. Fortunately, since the Grand Canyon is located in such an arid climate, you won’t have too many days where it is overcast and drizzly all day long which makes it easier to plan for viewing.

Warning: Some people are pretty brave in the way they attempt to take their photos. Stay safe and away from the edges, every year people fall into the canyon taking photos; many are injured, some fatally.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about sunsets and sunrises in Grand Canyon National Park.

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