Seeing a Grand Canyon sunset is a unique experience that will give you a different view all together of the canyon’s beauty. As the sun sets, the layers of rock and their colors are highlighted in a subtle way. Seeing the sunset also gave us an excuse to have ice cream treats and go for an evening stroll along the rim trail!
There is a lot written about best places to see the sunset and when to get there, and I’m glad that we didn’t overly stress about this point. Our original plan was to get on the bus loop and head out to Yavapai Point several hours before sunset. But after talking to park rangers and fellow travelers, we came to the conclusion that there are many great places to view the sunset, so rather than spend a few hours ‘staking out our spot’, we stayed in the Grand Canyon Village and toured the Hopi House, went on a ranger-led talk, had dinner, and then watched the sunset from the viewing area near El Tovar – all in the time that would have spent getting to and from Yavapai, but without missing a thing.
Now, if you have a week or more at the Grand Canyon, you may want to check out a few different locations, as I’m sure each will offer a unique perspective….but I wanted to write this page to encourage you NOT to stress out about getting to ‘the best point to see a Grand Canyon sunset’…as I think that there are many! There are so many good vista points along the rim – I can’t imagine a bad place to view the sunset. I think many people try to go to Mather or Yavapai which are very nice vistas, but they will also be overly crowded as the space along the rim is extremely limited at these points.
The spot near El Tovar had many benches, concessions, crafts / souvenirs at the Hopi House and was an easy 5-minute walk back to our Maswik Lodge cabin. And while the sunset occasion does bring many people out to the rim to view – there was no lack of space along the rim to gather. In fact, having a crowd made it more fun in that we could take family pictures of each other and exchange stories with people from all over the world (literally)!
So add a Grand Canyon sunset viewing to your itinerary and align the location with wherever you’re going to be along the rim – that’s the best place!