Outside the national park boundaries in the town of Tusayan, the National Geographic Visitors Center (928/638-2206, www.explorethecanyon.com , 8:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Mar. 1–Oct. 31, 10:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. Nov. 1–Feb. 28) shows the most-watched, highest-grossing IMAX film ever made: Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets. Millions of viewers have seen this 34-minute film, which screens every hour on the half-hour.
Most bus tours stop here, and for the many tourists who don’t have time to do justice to the canyon itself, the movie has become almost a substitute. The white-water rafting scenes and hawk’s-eye views of the river are the closest most day visitors will get to the inner canyon.
Tickets are $13 for “adults” (age 11 and older), with discounts for children and groups that reserve in advance. The theater seats 500-plus, but if you have to wait for the next screening, you can spend the time browsing through the visitors center’s gift shop and exhibits or grab a quick bite at the deli. Park passes can also be purchased here.