National Geographic Visitor Center & IMAX Theater

Hourly, on the half hour, the IMAX theater here screens a terrific 34-minute film called Grand Canyon – The Hidden Secrets. This recommended film plunges you through the Colorado River rapids and into the history of the canyon through the eyes of ancient Native Americans, John Wesley Powell and a soaring eagle. It's a cheaper alternative to a canyon flyover.

See the website for details on scenic helicopter flights, pink jeep tours to the South Rim and a smooth-water float trip on the Colorado.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Grand Canyon National Park

4.37 MILES

Forged by millions of years of erosion by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon captures the history, scale and beauty of the American West. Overlooks peer…

2. Picnic Area


Pleasant picnic area with shade and tables but no canyon views.

3. Pipe Creek Vista

5.43 MILES

Pipe Creek Vista, an easy and pleasant 1-mile ramble along the rim, east from the Visitor Center, offers a quiet alternative to Mather Point. Views from…

4. Picnic Area

5.46 MILES

Pleasant picnic area with shade and tables but no canyon views.

5. Grand Canyon Pioneer Cemetery

5.52 MILES

More than 390 people are buried at the Grand Canyon Pioneer Cemetery; the lives of many of them, including the Kolb brothers, John Verkamp, Ralph Cameron…

6. Grand Canyon Train Depot

5.72 MILES

This train depot, designed by Francis Wilson and completed in 1910, was built nine years after the first train arrived in the Village from Williams. A…

7. Fred Harvey History Room

5.76 MILES

Fred Harvey's Harvey Company opened the first Harvey House in 1876 in Topeka, Kansas. In the following decades Harvey, in collaboration with the Atchison,…

8. Bright Angel Lodge

5.76 MILES

Commissioned by the Fred Harvey Company, designed by Mary Colter and completed in 1935, the log-and-stone Bright Angel Lodge offered canyon travelers…