If I can only do one tour, which one should I pick??
Hi Erin! I'll highlight the differences:
The main difference in what you'll SEE is that the Hermit tour has river views (where you can see all the way to the bottom of the canyon). You'll also encounter less people on the Hermit tour as it's more off the beaten path. The Hermit tour requires more of your time because a 15 minute shuttle ride is required in order to get you to the start point and end point. We have been seeing some condors lately on this tour, so you might get lucky and see them too on this ride.
The Yaki tour departs directly from the shop. You're at your first canyon view within 10 minutes of departing. It runs right along the rim so you have views almost all the way. It does not have river views. We see elk often on this ride. It's a good one if you have more time constraints.
My suggestion is to do the Hermit tour, and if you really love it (which you will) - rent the bikes for another hour or two and do the Yaki route by yourself. Hope this helps?
Keep in mind that almost the entirety of the Rim Trail is closed to bikes. On Hermit Road you'll be on the road with the shuttle buses out of sight of the canyon most of he time except at the viewing points where the buses stop. The last mile of the Rim Trail before Hermit's Rest is paved and open to bikes but away from the canyon with no views. If you just want to ride a bike then go for it but if you want to see the canyon, forget the bikes and hike the trail.
I completely agree with the above comment!
Enjoy your stay :)
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