99% of visitors to the Grand Canyon NP admire its beauty only from designated viewpoints. This is truly sad as the Grand Canyon gets better the closer you get to it.
I can testify to that, as I have been to the Grand Canyon four times so far (in 3.5 years that I've been living in the US!) and I am sure I will visit it again in the future.
First time I was there in September of 2007 with my friends Ania and Molli. We were visiting the South Rim then, which sees 10 times as many tourists as the North Rim. We were all shocked by the number of people and cars that we encountered there and decided to run away from there as far as possible, and as soon as possible. I also promised myself then to never come back to the Grand Canyon (or at least to the South Rim), a promise that I clearly did not keep...
I learned from my mistake and when my other friend (Agnieszka) was visiting, I insisted on going to the North Rim. That was a very smart choice as I really loved it there. It was much more peaceful than the South Rim and, in my opinion, the viewpoints on the North Rim are more diverse than the ones on the southern side. During that visit I also managed to convince Agnieszka to go for a hike half way down the canyon. She was complaining a lot and was afraid that we would not manage to get out of the canyon, but in the end we both loved it!
I got more ambitious during my third visit to the Grand Canyon in May 2009 when my (mostly German) friends and I decided to hike all the way down to the canyon floor. That was my first, and surely not last, proper backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon. It demanded advanced planning (done by Sebastian, thank you!) as to do it, one has to first obtain a permit from the Grand Canyon backpacking office. That trip was definitely awesome and ignited my appetite for more backpacking trips into the Grand Canyon.
Actually, I was hoping that during our honeymoon we would be able to backpack to the Havasu Falls, but, unfortunately, there were no campsites left by the time we knew our itinerary. So instead I managed to convince my dearest husband to go for a hike to the Horseshoe Mesa, which is described in a separate post. In meantime, you can enjoy a short movie from the Grand Canyon that we took during our hike.
Here are photos of the Grand Canyon taken from the viewpoints located along the South Rim:
My other posts about the Grand Canyon