We did two things right on this visit to Grand Canyon National Park. The combination of the two allowed us to avoid crowds and have easy access to all the best vantage points.
The first is coming in March. This is shoulder season in the park, with many of the amenities just opening up for the season and service just gearing up for the upcoming crowds. There are plenty of people here, and at times the parking lots have been full. Lines for the shuttle buses exist, but it appears most riders get on the first bus that arrives. Restaurants are busy, but it hasn't been hard to get in. All we can think is “What must it be like in the height of the summer?” We are die hard off-season travelers. It has certainly paid off this time.
The second is bringing our bicycles. There are greenways throughout the park, enabling us to walk or cycle just about anywhere we want. We haven't set foot on a shuttle bus, and don't have to worry about car traffic.
A few portions of the Rim Trail are open to bicycles. We made sure to ride those. In addition, the road from Grand Canyon Village to Hermit's Rest at the western end of the Rim Trail just closed to cars on March 1. Shuttle buses own the road, but bikes are allowed. We covered that over the course of a sunny, warm afternoon, with frequent stops for the views.
This is definitely our type of tourism. We get to see the Grand Canyon on our own terms.