Havasu Canyon: 200 miles W of Grand Canyon Village; 70 miles N of Ariz. 66; 155 miles NW of Flagstaff; 115 miles NE of Kingman

Grand Canyon West: 240 miles W of Grand Canyon Village; 70 miles N of Kingman; 115 miles E of Las Vegas, NV

With roughly four million people each year visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, and traffic congestion and parking problems becoming the most memorable aspects of many people's trips, you may want to consider an alternative to the South Rim. For most travelers, this means driving around to the North Rim; however, the North Rim is open only from mid-May to late October and, unfortunately, is not immune to parking problems and traffic congestion.

There are a couple of lesser-known alternatives. A visit to Havasu Canyon, on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, entails a 20-mile round-trip hike or horseback ride similar to that from Grand Canyon Village to Phantom Ranch, although with a decidedly different setting at the bottom of the canyon. Grand Canyon West, home to the much-hyped Skywalk, is on the Hualapai Indian Reservation and is primarily a tour-bus destination for vacationers from Las Vegas. With bus tours, cafeteria-style restaurants, contrived attractions, and as much buzzing helicopter and small-plane traffic as any busy airport, Grand Canyon West is definitely someplace that can be appreciated only by those who have very little time to spare but who desperately want to see something that looks like the Grand Canyon. This is also the only place where you can fly down into the canyon, which accounts for all the air traffic.