Basic Information

View northwest across the Grand Canyon

A Mile-Deep Canyon (1.6 km)

The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is a mile-deep canyon (1.6 km) 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.
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Graphic shows cover of Grand Canyon Trip Planner showing Grand Canyon at sunset.


Trip Planner English

Backcountry Trip Planning Included - A Handy Source of Information/ Maps

How will you experience the canyon ?
Read our Trip Planner before you visit the park. Contains useful information and essential maps. (both North & South Rims)

This PDF "newspaper" contains active links that can connect you to more detailed information. The Trip Planner is formatted to print on standard letter-size paper.

TRIP PLANNER TRANSLATIONS are available in seven additional languages.
and may be downloaded here
 

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.

 
graphic shows front and back sides of South Rim pocket map. Text reads: Download South Rim Pocket Map: Services, facilities and viewpoints inside the park.
Click anywhere in the photo to download the South Rim Pocket Map.
 
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.

Quick links to information about:

 
Logo in the shape of a square has green corners, and the words Your Pass Now stacked on top of each other.

Buy Your Grand Canyon Park Pass Online at

Your Pass Now

Private Vehicle ($35 valid for 7 days)
Motorcycle ($30 valid for 7 days)
Individual (bicyclist, hiker, pedestrian) ($20 valid for 7 days)
Annual - Grand Canyon Only ($70)

Additional ways to purchase a Grand Canyon park pass >
 

 

The North Rim
The North Rim is Open for the Season

The North Rim has a short season, is harder to get to, and is more wild and secluded.

  • North Rim facilities and lodging are open May 15 through October 15, each year
  • Lodging and Camping 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.
  • Detailed North Rim Information and Video


About winter visits to the North Rim :

Between October 15 and October 31 the lodge and restaurants are closed, but the North Rim Campground remains open with limited services.

Between November 1st and December 1st, the North Rim is open for "dawn to dusk" day use with limited services. However, if snow closes highway 67 before December 1, the park will also close.

  • The North Rim is closed to all vehicles between November 1st and May 15th, and no visitor services are available. During these winter months backpackers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers are permitted to use the North Rim Campground, provided a backcountry use permit has been obtained in advance. – These permits are available through the South Rim Backcountry Information Center (e-mail us or call 928-638-7875) and at the Visitor Center at Pipe Spring National Monument located in Fredonia, Arizona.

    The closest place to park during this time is Jacob Lake. The hike through the snow from Jacob Lake to the North Rim Campground is around 45 miles. Hikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers will need to remain off the closed road (per Superintendent's Compendium re: safety from snowplows) and forge a path through the snow.

 
north rim pocket map graphic
Click on the graphic above to download the North Rim Pocket Map and Services Guide.
 

Safety Message: 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...


 
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
Duration:
8 minutes, 39 seconds

In "More Than A View," Park Ranger Stephanie Sutton invites us to go beyond the rim and explore all that Grand Canyon National Park has to offer; diverse life zones, landforms, and cultural history.

 
An audio described version of this video is available here.
 
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 our Traveling Green page for helpful tips on planning your next green adventure.

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

 

Entrance Fees:

Entrance Passes:

Last updated: June 3, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Phone:

(928) 638-7888

Contact Us