Rim walk in the South Rim Historic District.
There are many ways to experience Grand Canyon.
Individual interests, available time, and the weather
can all influence a visit.
Below are some suggestions to assist you in personalizing your Grand Canyon experience.
Choose Your Destination: --South Rim --- North Rim
The South Rim and Desert View (Open All Year)
Your phone provides a fun way to learn more about the Park.
Listen to park rangers give 2 minute audio tours at various points of interest on the South Rim, from Hermit Road to Yaki Point, and the North Rim. Learn more...
Walking or Hiking
Walk part of the well defined, and mostly level Rim Trail
, starting from any viewpoint in the village or along the historic Hermit Road
and greenway. Day hike
in and around the canyon or backpack overnight
below the rim. (permit required)
South Rim Mule Trips are offered year round.
The Canyon Vistas Ride is a 3 hour trip that travels along the canyon rim.
Overnight Rides go to the bottom of the canyon and stay at Phantom Ranch. More..
Tour the Scenic Hermit Road
Offering some of the best scenic views that are available,
Free shuttle bus service runs March 1 - Nov. 30, with the road closed to private vehicles. Commercial bus tours
are available, or travel by foot, or bicycle. More...
Visit the Scenic Desert View Drive
East of Grand Canyon Village, tour in your private vehicle or by commercial bus tour
25 miles (42 km) one-way. Views of the river at Moran, Lipan and Desert View Points. You may exit or enter the park to the east. (via Arizona highways 64 and 89)
At Desert View Point
, climb to the top of a 70 ft. tall (21.5 m) stone Watchtower
for a panoramic view that extends for more than 100 miles on a clear day. The historic Watchtower is a replica of the prehistoric towers found on the Colorado Plateau and was designed in 1932 by legendary architect, Mary Jane Colter.
The Tusayan Museum and Ruin
, near Desert View, provides a glimpse into Pueblo Indian life at Grand Canyon some 800 years ago. View indoor exhibits and walk a self-guiding trail through the ruin. How was the life of these early people similar to ours today?
Visit a Grand Canyon . Lighting is the key to all good photos. When it comes to the Grand Canyon, the lighting is more dramatic during the early morning and the late afternoon. Long shadows bring out depth and texture.
Participate in a Grand Canyon Field Institute Learning Adventure
The Grand Canyon Field Institute
offers guided educational tours led by expert instructors while backpacking, camping, hiking, and whitewater rafting. Topics include geology, history, archaeology, photography, and more.
Journey to Grand Canyon National Park aboard Grand Canyon Railway
From Williams, Arizona (along Interstate 40) the Grand Canyon Railway carries more than 230,000 people by rail to Grand Canyon National Park each year.
The North Rim: season runs May 15 through October 15, 2015
The North Rim Visitor Center is located adjacent to the parking lot on Bright Angel Peninsula. This is a great place to start your adventure on the North Rim. Speak with a ranger who will be happy to help with questions you may have about the area. The Visitor Center also features interpretive exhibits, maps, brochures and a bookstore.
Free Interpretive Ranger Programs
are offered daily throughout the season; between May 15th and October 15.
For an idea of what is offered, download the 2015 Program Schedule
(250 kb PDF)
Take a day hike through this beautiful scenery. Experience the wild and remote feeling of the North Rim. Solitude can be found hiking the trails, and enjoying an awe-inspiring view. Watch mule deer and turkeys feeding in mountain meadows. Enjoy, discover, and celebrate the unique world of the North Rim.
North Rim Mule Trips are offered May 15 through October 15, every year.
One Hour Ride Grand Canyon rim. 1/2 Day Trip to Uncle Jim Point
Inner-Canyon 1/2 Day Trip to Supai Tunnel on the North Kaibab Trail More..
Tour the North Rim Scenic Drive (photos here)
Point Imperial and Cape Royal are reached via a winding scenic drive. Driving to both points, with short walks at each and several stops at pullouts along the way, can take half a day. Point Imperial is 11 miles/ 18km - 20 min. one way. Cape Royal is 23 miles/ 37km - 45 min. one way.
The North Rim has a short season (May 15 through October 15)
The North Rim Is harder to get to, and is more wild and secluded.
- North Rim restaurants, lodging and store are open from May 15 through October 15, 2015.
- Reservations are strongly recommended.
North Rim Lodging reservations. -- North Rim Campground reservations. -- Driving Directions
Additional facilities are available in the surrounding Kaibab National Forest, the Kaibab Lodge area, and Jacob Lake.
- The North Rim is over 8000 feet/2438 m. in elevation.
Visitors with respiratory or heart problems may experience difficulties. Walking at this elevation can be strenuous.
- Winter visits to the North Rim :
There is a day use period - with limited services - beginning after the lodge closes on October 15 and lasting until December 1st, or when snow closes highway 67, whichever happens first. For more details, read this year's news release: North Rim "Shoulder Season" Day Use 2015
Even though it is not possible to drive vehicles to the North Rim during the winter, hikers, snowshoers and cross country skiers are able to enter the North Rim of the park through the winter months, provided backcountry permits have been obtained. Personal snowmobiles are not permitted inside the park. The North Rim reopens on May 15 of every year.
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. Go to the Traveling Green page for helpful tips on planning your next green adventure.
Thanks for doing what you can to help protect our environment!