Places To Go
South Rim (open all year)
Grand Canyon Village is the center of activity and the transportation hub for the South Rim of the park. The village is the only place where the railroad reaches the rim of the canyon.
Within Grand Canyon Village, there are three main areas of interest:
1) The Visitor Center / 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.
2) Market Plaza - the business center where the general store, bank and US Post Office are located,
3) The Historic District, with the railroad depot, original lodges; where the pioneer village started.
To get around the village, the Village Shuttle Bus (Blue Route) connects the Visitor Center / parking areas with the lodges, campground, restaurants, and shops.
From the Visitor Center, the easiest and fastest way to get out and see Grand Canyon is to take the scenic Kaibab Rim Shuttle Bus (orange route) This bus provides the only access to the South Kaibab Trailhead, and Yaki Point.
The Scenic Hermit Road Shuttle Route (red) operates March 1st - Nov. 30.
stops at 9 canyon overlooks along the scenic 7 mile (11 km) Hermit Road. (west of the village)
Grand Canyon Visitor Center
(South Rim) and the Books and More bookstore, are located just South of Mather Point. Outdoor exhibit provide a variety of information about Grand Canyon National Park and what to do once you are here.
In the Village you will find the Historic District, the heart of development on the South Rim, predominantly built by the Santa Fe Railroad during the first half of the 20th Century.
Several of the buildings date from the early 1900s, including Mary Colter's Lookout Studio and Hopi House.
Stop by the Train Depot, take one of the walking tours, and imagine yourself back in the day when President Teddy Roosevelt and artist Thomas Moran spent time here at the canyon. Trains arrive at the Grand Canyon Depot at least once a day.
Visit Verkamp's Visitor Center, formerly a curio shop, to learn to learn more of the history of this community. A Grand Canyon Association bookstore within this visitor center is a great place to browse for gifts.
Across the street from the depot, above the Xanterra South Rim General Offices begins another segment of the Greenway Trail.This segment of the Greenway, away from the rim, takes walkers and bicyclists from Grand Canyon Village to Market Plaza. For bicyclists the Greenway provides a much safer route than the park's busy narrow roads.
Yavapai Museum of Geology (Yavapai Observation Station)
is located one mile east (1.6 km) of Market Plaza and features spectacular views of Grand Canyon. Geological displays include three-dimensional models, powerful photographs, and interpretive exhibits that describe the complicated geologic story of the area.
The Yavapai Museum exhibits explain the deposition of rock layers, the uplift of the Colorado Plateau, and the carving of Grand Canyon. A Grand Canyon Association bookstore within the museum is a great place to browse for gifts.
Desert View (Open All Year)
Desert View is a small settlement located 25 miles/ 41 km east
of Grand Canyon Village, near the eastern edge of Grand Canyon National Park.
At Desert View, the Colorado River makes a turn to the north while the Painted Desert extends toward the Navaho and Hopi Indian Reservations. On a clear day, one can see well over 100 miles. (161 km)
Mary Colter's historic Watchtower is located here, as well as a general store, gas station and campground.
A worthwhile trip for those who enjoy the road less traveled, the North Rim, or "other side" of the Grand Canyon is visited by only 10% of all Grand Canyon visitors. There is only one lodge, Grand Canyon Lodge (managed by Forever Resorts) and one campground on the North Rim operated by the NPS.
The hike across the canyon from South Rim to North Rim is 21 miles (34 km). However, traveling from the South Rim to the North Rim by automobile requires a five-hour drive of 220 miles (354 km). Driving directions to the North Rim...
Last updated: May 19, 2016