Plan Your Visit

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Grand Canyon National Park "Plan Your Visit" section has helpful tips about:


Introduction to Grand Canyon National Park
Nearly five million people each year see the 1 mile deep (1.6 km) Grand Canyon each year. The canyon is 277 river miles (446km) long, and up to 18 miles (29km) wide.

Most visitors (90%) see Grand Canyon from the "South Rim" from overlooks accessed by free park shuttle buses or by their personal vehicles.

CA condor photo (courtesy of Steve Mull) and cover of Grand Canyon Trip Planner newspaper.

California condor courtesy of Steve Mull

A much smaller number of people (10%) see the canyon from the North Rim of the park, which lies just 10 miles (16 km) across the canyon from the South Rim, (as the California condor flies) but is a 220 mile/ 354 km drive by car.

Download our Trip Planning "Newspaper" as a PDF file HERE. (Includes information and maps for both rims and the inner canyon.) Translated Versions in 7 languages HERE


View of Grand Canyon from Mather Point on the South Rim.

View from Mather Point on the South Rim.

The South Rim
The South Rim is the most accessible part of the park and it is open all year.

Elevations average 7000 feet (2134 m) above sea level. Driving Directions to the South Rim

The South Rim includes:

The South Rim is open all year. -- Maps---

Thumbnails of 3 new publications: South Rim Guide Map and Services pocket map. Winter Ranger Program/Shuttle Bus schedule card, and new Backcountry Hiking brochure

Left to right: 1) South Rim Guide Map and Services pocket map, 2) Winter Ranger Program/Shuttle Bus schedule card, and 3) Introduction to Backcountry Hiking brochure

On December 1, 2015, the Grand Canyon Guide Newspaper was discontinued.

In place of the newspaper, download the South Rim Guide Map and Services pocket map, The Park Ranger Program and Free Shuttle Bus schedule, and the Backcountry Hiking/Camping brochure, for current hours of operation, schedules and general info.


view from patio of grand canyon lodge on the north rim

View from Grand Canyon Lodge (North Rim)

NPS photo by Jessica Pope

The North Rim
Averaging 8000 feet/ 2438 m above sea level, rises 1000 feet/ 305 m higher than the South Rim, and because of its remote location, is less accessible than the South Rim.

The North Rim has a short season and is closed for the winter at this time.

and restaurants are open from May 15 through October 15 of each year,

Driving Directions to the North Rim


Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim

Even in good weather the North Rim is harder to get to. It is 220 miles (354 km) by car from the South Rim, or 21 miles (34 km) by foot across the canyon by way of the North and South Kaibab Trails. -- Maps --- North Rim Newspaper


2015 North Rim Grand Canyon Guide Newspaper
Back Issue for Reference
A North Rim Guide Map and Services pocket guide is being prepared for the 2016 North Rim Season. Until that publication is released in the spring of 2016, the 2015 Season newspaper is the best available source of North Rim trip planning information. Please be aware that ranger program schedules and hours of operation may be different during the 2016 season.

Front cover of 2015 North Rim Guide Newspaper

2015 North Rim Guide

Park  Newspaper

Download the 2015 Season (English)
May 15 through October 15, 2015.
North Rim Guide (letter-size)
Pages split to print on 8.5 x 11" paper.
(4.3 MB PDF File)

North Rim Guide (tabloid size)
Prints on 11 x 17" paper
(2.2 MB PDF File)

The 2015 edition of the North Rim Guide contains the maps, schedules and information needed to plan your visit.

The North Rim has a short season, so it is best to reserve lodging and campsites as far ahead as possible.

Download Maps and Trail Guide as one large page 22.5 x 17" (467 kb PDF)

Hikers descending South Kaibab Trail

Hikers Descending South Kaibab Trail

NPS photo by Michael Quinn

The Inner Canyon
includes everything below the rim and is seen mainly by hikers, backpackers, mule riders, or river runners.

The inner canyon is a harsh desert environment with little shade and summer temperatures over 100°F. (>38°C) How to prepare for an inner canyon trip.

There are many opportunities here for adventurous and hardy persons who want to backpack, camp, ride a mule to Phantom Ranch, or take a river trip through the Canyon on the Colorado River.

River trips can take anywhere from several days to three weeks. There are no one-day river trips through the length of Grand Canyon.

Trail Courtesy Practices that Leave No Trace

With so many of us participating in a wide range of trail activities, it really helps when we are considerate of each other. Trail Courtesy Guidelines help protect Grand Canyon's plants, animals and history, and enhance everyone's experience.


How Do People Get Across Grand Canyon?

click on map to download

Grand Canyon Area Map

There is only one way to cross the Colorado River by automobile, and that is 137 miles / 231 km from the South Rim Village (at Marble Canyon, AZ) via the Navajo Bridge, a few miles downstream from Lees Ferry, where the Canyon is only 400 feet/ 122 m wide.

There is no longer an airstrip on the North Rim of the park. That means that the North Rim village may only be reached by driving all the way around - or by hiking across the canyon.

Click on the map to download the
Grand Canyon National Park Area Map
(83kb PDF File)
Kaibab Suspension Bridge crossing the Colorado River above Phantom Ranch

Colorado River footbridge.

If you are hiking across the canyon, the South Kaibab Trail crosses the Colorado River on a narrow foot bridge 70 feet/ 21 m above the water.

It is a 21 mile/ 34 km hike to go "Rim To Rim," with a vertical descent - followed by a climb - of 1 mile/ 1.6 km. This is an overnight hiking trip for 95% of individuals, and most people really shouldn't attempt it during the hot summer months, when high temperatures often average over 100 F. (38 C)


Visiting Grand Canyon with your pet ? Things you should know...

Bottled water - in individual disposable containers - is no longer sold in the park. Learn why

family of 4 with 2 girls in between parents, grand canyon in background

"Traveling Green"
is a great way to help Grand Canyon and other areas you visit reduce carbon emissions, divert and reduce what goes into the waste stream, and to generally help the environment. Visit our Traveling Green page for helpful tips on planning your next green adventure.

Thanks for doing what you can to help protect our environment!

visitors boarding the Village Loop Shuttle Bus at dusk.

Visitors who have parked at the South Rim Visitor Center board free shuttle buses to access village facilities and canyon overlooks.

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