• View of Grand Canyon National Park at sunset from the South Rim

    Grand Canyon

    National Park Arizona

Things To Know Before You Come

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View northwest across the Grand Canyon

A Mile-Deep Canyon (1.6 km)

Separates the park into
The South Rim
The North Rim

The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River creates a barrier that bisects the park. Even though the average distance across the canyon is only 10 miles/ 16 km, it takes 5 hours to drive the 215 miles / 346 km between the park's South Rim Village and the North Rim Village.


Most People Visit

Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim.

  • The South Rim is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
    All visitor services: camping, lodging, and food are available year round.

  • Reservations are strongly recommended during spring, summer and fall.
    Make South Rim Lodging Reservations here -- Make South Rim Campground Reservations here

  • Because the South Rim is easier to get to, day-use visitors should expect
    traffic congestion and parking problems, particularly in summer.

  • The least crowded time is November through February. However, winter weather is a major consideration when planning a trip during these months.

  • A free shuttle bus system operates in the Grand Canyon Village area. Make your visit easier and save fuel by parking your car and using the shuttle to get around.

  • The South Rim of Grand Canyon averages 7000 feet/2134 m above sea level.
    Visitors with respiratory or heart problems may experience difficulties.
    Walking at this elevation can be strenuous.

Download the Park Newspaper for the South Rim of Grand Canyon


Park Newspaper

Download the 2014 Winter (English)
December 1, 2014 - February 28, 2015
Winter South Rim Guide (letter-size)
(Prints on 8.5 x 11" paper 4.1 MB PDF File)

Winter South Rim Guide (tabloid size)
(Prints on 11 x 17" paper 2.9 MB PDF File)

Contains maps, schedules and information.

South Rim lodging and camping along with most other visitor services within the park are open all year.

Reserve lodging and campsites as far ahead as possible, especially during busy summer and fall months.

Download Winter South Rim Village Shuttle Bus/ Parking Map
as one large page 22.5 x 17" (1.9 MB PDF file)


The North Rim has a Short Season and is Closed for the Winter

The North Rim Is harder to get to, and is more wild and secluded.

  • North Rim restaurants, lodging and store will be 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.

  • 2014 Winter visits to the North Rim :
    Grand Canyon Lodge closed for the season on October 16, 2014,
    The North Rim Visitor Center closed on October 20, 2014.

    Highway 67 from US 89A at Jacob Lake to the North Rim closed for the winter on Monday, December 1, 2014. Even though it is not possible to drive to the North Rim during the winter, hikers, snowshoers and cross country skiers will be able to enter the North Rim of the park through the winter months, providing backcountry permits have been obtained. Personal snowmobiles are not permitted inside the park.

Download the Park Newspaper for the North Rim of Grand Canyon
Front cover of 2014 North Rim Grand Canyon Guide Newspaper.

North Rim Guide

Park  Newspaper

Download the 2014 Season (English)
May 15 through October 15, 2014.

North Rim Guide (letter-size)
(Prints on 8.5 x 11" pape 1.7 MB PDF File)

North Rim Guide (tabloid size)
(Prints on 11 x 17" paper 2.5 MB PDF File)
Even though the North Rim of the park has closed for the winter, the 2014 edition of the North Rim Guide contains the maps, schedules and information needed to plan your visit in 2015. 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" (700 kb PDF)


Grand Canyon is in a Remote Part of the Country:

  • Bring an extra set of car keys; it could be a long wait for a locksmith.
  • Film is still available at the South Rim, but the closest camera repair is in Phoenix, AZ .
  • There is an automobile mechanic on the South Rim, but only for minor repairs. Most likely the car will have to be towed to Flagstaff or Williams, AZ .
  • Distances are deceiving in this part of the country. It may look like you can visit three parks in one day, but reality is often different.
  • Keep your gas tank full. The next gas station may be quite a distance down the road.
  • Carry water in your car, particularly during summer months.

Lightning Danger
Summer thunderstorms (July - September) provide beauty, excitement, and much needed water to Grand Canyon, but they also bring risk. Dangerous, potentially deadly, lightning accompanies thunderstorms. Lightning has killed and injured visitors to the park. Learn more...

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. 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!

Did You Know?