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In 5 National Parks, Hidden Gems and Roads Less Traveled

One less-utilized access point is the east entrance, 25 miles west of Cameron, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation. Both entrances, divided by 23 scenic miles along the canyon’s rim, lead to the same spot at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center.

“Check the wait times online,” Mr. Mohn said. “But the biggest bottleneck is going to be at the south entrance.”

After lingering at the first overlook at Mather Point, many people leave without exploring other areas, a missed opportunity, said Mr. Mohn, especially for those who want to take in the grandeur without human chatter or iPhones held aloft.

“There are tons of different viewpoints on the South Rim, and people get stuck around the south entrance, and then they kind of tire out,” he said. The walkable Rim Trail, which stretches from Mather Point along the southern rim for 13 miles, has designated outlooks for a more personal experience. An even easier way to access the trails along the South Rim is by using a park shuttle to the trailheads.

Desert View Drive, the picturesque road that runs from Grand Canyon Village at the south entrance to the Desert View Services Area at the east entrance, also has numerous places to stop for dramatic views.

And a north entrance, 30 miles south of Jacob Lake, Ariz., on Highway 67, has a visitor’s center that puts people at the North Rim where they’ll find considerably more solitude; only 10 percent of visitors go to the North Rim, according to the N.P.S. If time allows, drive to Toroweap Overlook, about 50 miles west of the visitor center, to get a spectacularly vertical view of the Colorado River, but plan carefully because the road can get rough.

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