|Accessibility||Basic Visit Guide||Biking||Bus & Air Tours|
|Camping||Fees||Fishing||Food / Supplies|
|Medical Services||Mule Trips||Parking||Permits|
|Pet Information||Programs||Religious Services||River Trip Guide|
|Shuttle Info||Train Rides||Visitor Centers||Weather|
Basic Visit Recommendations
I recommend that you plan your trip and the areas you would like to see and then go and relax and make a day of it. Go and see all that is in the area and enjoy it. You spend more quality time and learn and see more than you could ever imagine.
Grand Canyon is heavily visited for most of the year and it is imperative to plan ahead for lodging, backcountry permits, or mule trips. Persons planning day visits only should arrive early in the day as parking is limited. Write the park in advance to request a Trip Planner (or Backcountry Trip Planner if you are planning to backpack).
Grand Canyon National Park is in a remote part of the country. Here are a few tips.
Bring an extra set of car keys - it could be a long wait for a locksmith.
Film is available at both rims, but the closest camera repair is in Flagstaff, Williams or Page, Arizona.
There is an automobile mechanic on the South Rim, but you may experience delays waiting for parts.
Distances are deceiving in this part of the country: it may look like you can visit three parks in one day, but the reality is often different.
Keep your gas tank full the next gas station may be quite some distance down the road.
Carry water in your car, particularly during summer months.
Bicycles are not available for rent at the park. If you plan to bring one, remember that in Arizona bicycles are subject to the same traffic rules as automobiles. Use extreme caution when riding on park roads; shoulders are narrow and vehicle traffic is heavy. The West Rim Drive is open to bicycles throughout the year, but remember that during the summer months there is heavy bus traffic on the West Rim Drive. Use caution and do not obstruct traffic. Bicycles are not allowed on any park trails.
Mountain bikes are allowed only on those roads open to automobile traffic.
See the Biking Guide for more information.
Bus and Air Tours
Persons wishing to take a guided bus tour may make arrangements to do so through Grand Canyon National Park Lodges.
For more information write:
AmFac Parks & Resorts
14001 E. Iliff
Aurora, Colorado 80014
Visitors arriving in the park should proceed to the Bright Angel Lodge Transportation Desk to make arrangements. A variety of different tours is available throughout the year.
All scenic air tours operate from outside Grand Canyon National Park. Local commercial air tour operators are located in Grand Canyon Airport (just south of Tusayan).
See the Scenic Air Tours for more information.
From 11 April to 12 October the park operates a free shuttle bus system on the South Rim in Grand Canyon Village and along the West Rim Drive. These shuttles provide transportation; they are not tour buses. You must get off the bus to see the canyon.
Check the park newspaper, The Guide" when you enter the park for the latest information on the hiker's shuttle.
Reservations are required from April through November. For online reservations, visit http://reservations.nps.gov or call Biospherics at: 800-365-2267; outside the U.S. call: 301-722-1257.
Camping in the park on the South Rim is generally restricted to established campgrounds, although a few remote sites are available with a Backcountry permit. There are three established campgrounds on the South Rim; Mather Campground, Trailer Village, Desert View Campground. North Rim has one established campground. North Rim Campground (no hook-ups) in the park a mile from the rim.
See the Camping Page for more information.
Fishing in the park requires an Arizona State fishing license. Licenses are available at Canyon Village Marketplace in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. Call: 928-638-2234 or 928-638-2262. Licenses are also available at Marble Canyon Lodge, located 2.5 hours north from the South Rim, near Lees Ferry. Licenses are not available at the North Rim. Make sure you know the regulations before you fish. Most fishing opportunities require an overnight backcountry use permit.
Food / Supplies
Groceries and supplies are available on the South Rim at Babbitt's General Store (both in Grand Canyon Village and at Desert View). There is a small camper store on the North Rim, adjacent to the North Rim Campground.
The South Rim offers diesel fuel and propane in Grand Canyon Village. Showers and laundry are located adjacent to Mather Campground on the South Rim. Babbitt's also sells and rents camping equipment. Grand Canyon Village has a post office, Western Union office, bank and an automatic teller machine (ATM). Car rental is available at Grand Canyon Airport (outside the park, just south of Tusayan). There is a barber/beauty shop at Bright Angel Lodge.
Canyon Village Marketplace - Located at Market Plaza. Open daily 8:00 am - 7:00 pm.
Delicatessen at Marketplace - Located at Market Plaza. Open daily 8:00 am - 6:00 pm.
El Tovar Dining Room - Located on the rim. Open daily for Breakfast: 6:30 am - 11:00 am; Lunch: 11:30 am - 2:00 pm; Dinner: 5:00 - 10:00 pm (Dinner reservations required: 928-638-2631 ext. 6432; Lounge: 11:00 am - 11:30 pm.
The Arizona Room - Located on the rim next to Bright Angel Lodge. Open daily for dinner only, 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm. Closed: 02 Jan - 16 Feb. Reservations are not accepted.
Bright Angel Restaurant - Located in Bright Angel Lodge. Open daily 6:30 am - 10:00 pm. Lounge open 11:00 am - 11:00 pm.
Bright Angel Fountain - Located outside Bright Angel Lodge on the rim. Ice cream and snacks. Open daily as weather permits
Maswik Cafeteria - Located in Maswik Lodge at the west end of the village. Open daily 6:00 am - 10:00 pm. Sports Lounge open daily 5:00 pm - 12:00 am.
Yavapai Cafeteria - Located at Market Plaza. Open daily 6:00 am - 9:00 pm. Hours may fluctuate seasonally. Closed: 02 Jan - 16 Feb.
Hermits Rest Snack Bar - Open daily 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room - Located on the rim. Open daily for Breakfast: 6:30 am to 10:00 am; Lunch:11:30 am to 2:30 pm; Dinner: 4:45 to 9:30 pm. For dinner reservations call: 928-638-2612 ext. 160.
Snack Shop - Located in the Grand Canyon Lodge complex. Open 7:00 am to 9:00 pm daily.
Saloon - Located in the Grand Canyon Lodge complex. Open 11:00 am to 10:00 pm daily. Open for gourmet coffee and pastries 5:00 am to 9:00 am daily.
In 1996 Grand Canyon National Park received 25,000 requests for backcountry permits. The park issued 16,000 permits, and close to 50,000 people camped overnight in the backcountry at Grand Canyon. The majority of these people are here for the first time, and although many are avid hikers, they find that hiking the Grand Canyon is very different from most other backpacking experiences. They tend to react to the experience in one of two ways: either they can't wait to get back, or they swear they'll never do it again.
Depending upon how prepared you are and what the canyon serves up at any particular time, your trip can be a vacation or a challenge, a revelation or an ordeal.
You will be hiking in a desert climate, where water and protection from the elements make the difference between life and death. Your trip begins at a high elevation (7,000 to 8,000 feet), and requires a bone-jarring descent at the beginning of your trip, when your pack is heaviest. You'll face the long climb out when you are already tired.
Grand Canyon National Park encompasses more than 1.2 million acres, the vast majority of which are inaccessible due to the predominance of cliffs and inhospitable to all but plants and animals able to survive in the desert. The Colorado River bisects the canyon; hikers can cross the river only at Phantom Ranch. If you choose to hike from rim to river to rim, you will have to deal with an elevation differential of more than 10,000 feet from start to finish.
See the Hiking Page for more information.
There are six lodges in the park (including the historic El Tovar Hotel) and a wide variety of eating establishments (from cafeterias to formal dining at the El Tovar Hotel). They are: Bright Angle Lodge, El Tovar Hotel, Kachina Lodge, Thunderbird Lodge, Maswik Lodge, Yavapai Lodge in the South Rim, as well as Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim and Phantom Ranch on the canyon bottom. Lodging in the park is completely booked well in advance. Be sure to make reservations as far ahead as possible.
See the Lodging Page for more information.
Medical Services in the Park
The South Rim Walk-In Clinic is open all year. Mon - Fri, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm. Phone: 928-638-2551.
Emergency medical services are provided by rangers and clinic staff.
A dentist serves the South Rim by appointment only. Call: 928-638-2395.
North Rim emergency medical services are provided by rangers on duty
Mule rides from the South Rim are arranged through Amfac Parks & Resorts.
See the Mule Guide for more information.
Upon arriving at the park, be sure to read THE GUIDE and other information provided at the entrance station. This information will direct you to parking areas and access to visitor services.
Parking is available in lots throughout Grand Canyon Village. Please avoid parking along the roadside except where signage or lines on the road indicate that it is permissible. The largest parking lots can be found at Park Headquarters (Lot A), the Backcountry Information Center (Lot E) near Maswik Lodge, and Market Plaza (Lot B). Parking is often available near the railroad tracks (Lot D), even when other lots are full. RVs are encouraged to park at the Backcountry Information Center lot, where oversized stalls are available.
Easily accessible shuttle bus stops are located at all parking areas.
Permits and Reservations
Permit Fee (per permit) - $ 20.00
Frequent Hiker (all permits annually) - $ 50.00
Nightly Impact Fee (per person) - $ 4.00
Reservations for camping and lodging must be made in advance, particularly during peak season. Permits are required for all overnight hikes; permits must be obtained in person or by written request (phone reservations are not accepted). Write and request a copy of the park's Backcountry Trip Planner for additional information on backpacking in the park. Permits are not required for day hikes.
See the Backcountry Guide or Backcountry Permits Guide for more information.
Programs / Activities
The park offers free ranger-led programs throughout the year, including a wide variety of walks, talks, and a nightly evening program (outdoors in summer, indoors during cooler weather).
See the Calendar Page for more information.
Historic Steam Train Service
Grand Canyon Railway (a park concessioner) offers service between Williams, Arizona and Grand Canyon Village (South Rim). The Railroad Express offers bus service for people who only want a one way trip on the vintage train. To ride on the train one way in the morning from Williams, contact any lodge transportation desk within the park. To ride on the train one way in the afternoon, contact Grand Canyon Railway at: 800-843-8724.
Check in at the Williams Station at 9:00 am. The train arrives at the South Rim (Canyon Village) at 12:15 pm. It leaves the South Rim at 3:15 pm and arrives back at Williams at 5:45 pm. You have three hours to visit the Canyon Village area of the park.
Visitor Center / Exhibits
The main park visitor center (South Rim) is located just east of Grand Canyon Village, approximately six miles north of the south entrance station.
Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily (longer hours during peak season).
Interpretive centers are also located at Yavapai Observation Station, Tusayan Museum, Desert View, and the North Rim (mid May through late October only; located in the lobby of Grand Canyon Lodge).
Canyon View Information Plaza - located at Mather Point and open daily year round.
Canyon View Center is open 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, the outdoor exhibits may be viewed at all hours (however the lights at Canyon View Information Plaza are turned off at 9:00 pm).
Access is via shuttle bus to Canyon View Information Plaza.
Several outdoor exhibits provide a variety of information about Grand Canyon National Park and what to do once at the park.
Available facilities include restrooms, pay phones, bookstore, and shuttle bus stops. The canyon rim is only a short stroll away.
Special Program - 10:30 am and 3:30 pm, daily, "Lure of the Canyon" - What lures people to the Grand Canyon? Make your own connection as you are introduced to Grand Canyon National Park. Program may include a short walk on a paved path. Meet at the National Park System exhibit inside Canyon View Center.
Kolb Studio - located in the Village Historic District, at the Bright Angel trailhead. Open daily year round, current hours are 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Once the home and business of the Kolb brothers, pioneering photographers at Grand Canyon, this building has been restored. The bookstore and auditorium are open to the public. Art exhibits are on display in the auditorium, admission is free.
Yavapai Observation Station - located 5 miles north of the park's south entrance. Open daily year round, current hours are 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Contains temporary exhibits about the fossil record at Grand Canyon. A panorama of the canyon is visible through the building's large windows. Educational materials about the park and region are sold in the non-profit bookstore. Public restrooms located next to the parking lot.
Tusayan Museum - located 3 miles west of Desert View and 22 miles west of the Grand Canyon Village on Desert View Drive. Open daily year-round (but may be closed due to inclement weather), current hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. A visit to Tusayan Museum will provide a glimpse of Pueblo Indian Life at Grand Canyon some 800 years ago, admission is free. A self guided trail leads through the adjacent 800-year-old ruin. Ranger led ruin tours are offered daily. Educational materials about the park and region are sold in the non profit bookstore.
Desert View Information Center - located at the park's east entrance on the South Rim. Open daily year round, current hours are 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Open from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm after 15 Jun. Public restrooms located nearby.
North Rim Visitor Center - located adjacent to the parking lot on Bright Angel Peninsula. Park and regional information, maps, brochures, exhibits, and bookstore. Open mid May to mid October, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Interpretive programs offered seasonally. Public restrooms located in back of the building.
Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center - Information, exhibits, and ranger programs at Jacob Lake, 45 miles / 75 km north of the North Rim. Open 8:00 am 5:30 pm daily; Phone: 928-643-7298.
The South Rim is 7,000 feet above sea level, which means snow in winter and cool nights even in summer. Inner canyon hiking (below the rim) is another story, however: summer temperatures along the Colorado River at the canyon bottom can reach 120� F. The North Rim is 8,000 feet above sea level and can receive snow throughout most of the year.
Weather is particularly changeable in spring and fall; visitors should be prepared for a variety of climates.
See the Weather Page for current conditions, forecasts and other weather data.
Activities & Calendar
Address, Email & Phone
Air Tour Guide
Brochures, Maps, Written Info
Camping & Campground Reservations
Religious & Church Services
Geology / Formation
Hiking Safety Guide
Jobs, Internships & Volunteers
Mule Trip Guide
Native American History
River Trip Guide
Stock Use & Horses
Transportation & Driving Directions