Staying Safe at Grand Canyon National Park Starts with YOU

For emergencies dial 911.



Elevations are 7,000 feet (2,135 m) on the South Rim and 8,000 feet (2,438 m) on the North Rim. Arizona's dry climate may affect you differently than your home environment. To reduce risk of sunburn, dehydration, naseua, shortness of breath, and exhaustion:

  • Use sunblock and reapply throughout the day
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water or electrolyte drinks
  • Take your time while visiting overlooks and hiking
  • During the summer, rest often in the shade
A family viewing the Grand Canyon safely from behind the railing at an overlook.
Family viewing Grand Canyon safely from behind overlook railings

Leah Miller Photography

View Grand Canyon Safely

Grand Canyon National Park rangers are encouraging visitors to have a safe and memorable vacation to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. A trip to Grand Canyon can be both fun and safe by keeping these few tips in mind.

  • Stay on designated trails and walkways and always keep a safe distance of at least six feet (2 m) from the edge.
  • In areas where there is a railing or fence, do not climb over the barrier.
  • Keep an eye on all of the people in your group, especially small children. Make sure that your travel companions have both feet firmly planted on pavement or developed trails at all times.
  • Know where the edge is. Watch foot placement and look for trip hazards.
  • Do not run, jump, or perform physical stunts when near the rim.
  • Do not back up without first looking where you are going

Never Throw Anything Over the Edge

  • Never throw rocks, coins, trash, or anything else over the edge.
  • Objects tossed over the edge or dislodged by walking off trail can injure hikers and wildlife below, or start landslides.
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
1 minute, 59 seconds

A visitor, tempted tempted to throw a rock into Grand Canyon, meets his "Inner Ranger" and realizes that this small action could cause a landslide, hurt wildlife or visitors down below.


Recreate Responsibly

During winter months, we encourage you to follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce the spread of seasonak flu and COVID-19, and to follow Leave No Trace principles when you visit.

  • Know before you go. Visit our Park Operations Update webpage for a list of what is open and closed. Make a plan. If you are felling sick - stay home.

  • Keep your distance. Recreate with the people in your group or household. Give others plenty of room whether you are on a trail, inside a public building or in a parking lot. In crowded areas. Learn how to protect yourself and others >

  • Keep it with you. If you brought it, take it with you. Trash pickup and restroom facilities may still be limited in some park areas.

  • Keep it inclusive. Be an active part of making our nation’s parks and public lands safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.

Winter Weather

  • Winter weather varies greatly and can change suddenly.
  • Be prepared with layered clothing for cold, rain, wind, and snow.
  • Over-the-shoe traction devices and hiking poles are recommended for your safety when walking on icy trails and pathways.

Winter Driving Conditions

  • Snow and ice present potentially hazardous driving conditions and can temporarily close park roads.
  • Call 928-628-7496, before driving to the park, for road condition updates.
  • Please slow down and drive carefully while exploring Grand Canyon in winter.

Your Vehicle

  • Bring an extra set of car keys;it could be a long wait for a locksmith.
  • Automobile mechanic available on the South Rim, but only for minor repairs. Towing to the nearest cities, Flagstaff or Williams AZ, for major repairs is likely.
  • 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 Weather

  • Summer temperatures on the South Rim, at 7000 feet (2135 m), are relatively pleasant with high temperatures generally in the 80s (27-32°C)
  • Summer thunderstorms (July through 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 about lightning danger
  • North Rim summer high temperatures are typically cooler than the South Rim due to increased elevation (8000 feet/ 2440 m), with highs typically ranging in the 70s (21-26°C).

Seeing Wildlife

While it may seem like a national park is like wildlife sanctuary, we’re a whole different animal! Keep a long distance from wildlife to maintain the safety of you, your family, your pets, and the wildlife you have come to appreciate.

Graphic illustrates with graph and silhouettes, safe animal viewing distance of 50 ft. for small animals, 100 ft for large animals.

How close is too close?

  • Stay at least 100 feet (30 meters) or about two bus lengths away from elk, deer, bighorn sheep, California Condors, and mountain lions.
  • Keep at least 50 feet (15 meters) or about one bus-length away from other smaller wildlife like squirrels, birds, and reptiles.
  • Stay safe and never assume you are the one that can get away with a close encounter.

What if an animal approaches me?

  • Wildlife may not know better, but YOU do. Although it may feel flattering, if any kind of wildlife approaches you, back away and maintain that safe distance.
  • It’s your responsibility and your safety —help us keep wildlife wild.

Can I feed the animals?

  • Feeding animals is prohibited. This is for their safety as well as yours.
  • Wildlife will quickly become persistent pests to you when fed.
  • Make sure to dispose of your trash properly, even the scent left over in an empty cooler can attract a wild animal.
Learn more about wildlife viewing and safety and how to see wildlife and take great photos.
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3 minutes, 11 seconds

A visitor, tempted to feed a squirrel for a photo, meets her "Inner Ranger" and realizes that small actions have big impacts to wildlife and other visitors.


No Collecting

Grand Canyon National Park—a World Heritage Site—belongs to everyone. Please leave everything where you find it; including rocks, plants, firewood, and artifacts.

Last updated: December 4, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



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