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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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!
South Rim: Open all year, is located 60 miles north of Williams, Arizona (via route 64 from Interstate 40) and 80 miles northwest of Flagstaff (via route 180). Grand Canyon lies entirely within the state of Arizona.
North Rim: located 30 miles south of Jacob Lake on Highway 67; the actual rim of the canyon is an additional 14 miles south. Jacob Lake, AZ is located in northern Arizona on Highway 89A, not far from the Utah border.
This weather varies with cold winters and mild pleasant summers, moderate humidity, and considerable diurnal temperature changes at the higher elevations, with hot and drier summers at the bottom of the Grand Canyon along with cool damp winters. Summer thunderstorms and winter snowfall adds to the weather variety in this region.
Grand Canyon National Park Vehicle Permit - $30.00
Admits one single, private, non-commercial vehicle and all its passengers. Organized groups are not eligible for the vehicle permit.
Grand Canyon National Park Motorcycle Permit - $25.00
Admits one single, private, non-commercial motorcycle and its passenger(s).
Grand Canyon National Park Individual Permit - $15.00
Admits one individual when entering by foot, bicycle, park shuttle bus, Grand Canyon Railway and private rafting trip. Individuals 15 years old and younger are admitted free of charge.
Grand Canyon National Park Annual Pass - $60.00
Valid for twelve months from the date of purchase, for unlimited visits to Grand Canyon National Park. It admits the purchaser and any accompanying persons in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle, or the purchaser and accompanying immediate family (spouse, children, parents) when entry is by other means (train, shuttle, bicycle, and foot).
Grand Canyon Visitor Center is close to Mather Point, where most visitors park and get their first look at Grand Canyon. Four large parking areas are located here as well as the transit center for the park's free shuttle buses.
The North Rim Visitor Center is located within the Grand Canyon Lodge complex, adjacent to the main parking area for Grand Canyon Lodge. The visitor center and the lodge are located at the southern terminus of Arizona Highway 67, near the canyon rim.