activities

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

Cross-country skiing along the Rim Trail

Cross-country skiing along the Rim Trail
 
South Rim
 
From December through March, there is often enough snow on the South Rim to cross-country ski and snowshoe. The Rim Trail from Yavapai Point to Pipe Creek Vista is especially scenic. The Greenway Trail through Grand Canyon Village is another great ski and snowshoe route.
 
North Rim
 
The North Rim offers a classic multi-day backcountry ski trip from Jacob Lake to North Rim Village following the snowed-over highway. This trip is 43 miles each way and should be attempted only by experienced backcountry skiers. A backcountry permit is required to enter the park.
 
Day cross-country ski or snowshoe trips on the Kaibab Plateau can be made off US 89A by following national forest roads.

Hiking

Hiker in the Grand Canyon

Hiker in the Grand Canyon
 
One of the best ways to experience the Grand Canyon is to take a walk. Whether it's a few minutes stroll along a paved rim trail, or a ten day trek through a remote corner of the canyon, a walk takes you away from the distractions of our civilization and lets you experience the natural quiet of the Grand Canyon.
 
Take It Easy
 
Whether or not you're an experienced hiker, take it easy until you get used to the Grand Canyon. High altitude, dry air, and summer heat can cause problems for anyone. Travel at the speed of the slowest member of your group, and stop often to enjoy the view.
 
The Ten Essentials
 
Hike Prepared! Remember that the temperature rises as you descend into the canyon, especially during the summer. Always be prepared for heat and sudden weather changes, injuries, and delays because of slow hikers. Carry these essentials on anything longer than a casual stroll:

  • Plenty of water
  • Extra food
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Knife
  • Lighter or fire starter
  • Rain gear and extra clothes
  • First aid kit

 
Hiking Tips
 
Summer Hiking
 
Winter Hiking
 
Backcountry Updates and Closures
 
Hiking Permits
 
backcountry permit is required for all overnight or longer hikes anywhere in the park. Permits for popular areas can be difficult to obtain, so it is advisable to apply well in advance, and have alternate trip plans.
 
Permits are required for all access to the Hualapai Indian Reservation, and the Havasupai Indian Reservation, including hiking, backpacking, and camping.
 
Permits are not required for day hikes in Grand Canyon National Park, or for day hikes, backpacking, or camping on the public lands surrounding the park, including the Kaibab National Forest and Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.
 
Day Hikes at the South Rim
 
Day Hikes at the North Rim

Backpacking in the Grand Canyon

Guided Hikes
 
If you don't feel up to organizing your own hike, join a ranger-led day hike. For hikes with an educational emphasis, consider joining a trip lead by the Grand Canyon Field Institute. And finally, you can go with a commercial guide service authorized by the National Park Service. For more information, see the park's Guided Hikes page.
 
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
 

You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view, as if it were a changeless spectacle from which a curtain might be lifted, but to see it you have to toil from month to month through its labyrinths. It is a region more difficult to traverse than the Alps or the Himalayas, but if strength and courage are sufficient for the task by a year's toil a concept of sublimity can be obtained never again to be equaled on the hither side of Paradise. -Major John Wesley Powell

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Camping

Back country camping in the Grand Canyon

Back country camping in the Grand Canyon
 
Both Grand Canyon National Park and the surrounding Kaibab National Forest have developed vehicle campgrounds. There are no campgrounds in Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument or the Havasupai or Hualapai reservations. All of the campgrounds except for Toroweap charge a nightly fee.
 
Backcountry Camping
 
Except for those holding a backcountry camping permit, camping is limited to developed campgrounds within the national park. Camping at undeveloped sites is allowed on the Kaibab National Forest.
 
Campground Location Map
 
South Rim
 
Mather Campground

  • Location: Grand Canyon Village near Market Plaza
  • Season: All year
  • Units: 315
  • Tents: Yes
  • RVs and Trailers: Up to 30 feet
  • Dump Station: Yes, except in winter
  • Hookups: No
  • Water: Yes
  • Showers: Yes, at Market Plaza
  • Self-Serve Laundry: Yes, at Market Plaza
  • Handicap-Accessible: Yes
  • Management: Grand Canyon National Park
  • Reservations: National Recreation Reservation Service, or 877-444-6777

 
Mather Campground is the largest in the Grand Canyon area and the only one open all year. Pets are allowed but must be leashed at all times and must not be left unattended. Wood gathering is not permitted, but wood is available at the general store in Market Plaza. Reservations are strongly recommended during the busy season from March through October.
 
Grand Canyon Village Detail Map
 
Trailer Village

  • Location: Grand Canyon Village near Market Plaza
  • Season: All year
  • Units: 78
  • Tents: No
  • RVs and Trailers: Yes
  • Dump Station: Yes, except in winter
  • Hookups: Yes, all sites
  • Water: Yes
  • Showers: Yes, at Market Plaza
  • Self-Serve Laundry: Yes, at Market Plaza
  • Handicap-Accessible: Yes
  • Management: Grand Canyon National Park
  • Reservations: 888-297-2757 or 928-638-2631

Trailer Village is located next to Mather Campground in Grand Canyon Village.
 
Desert View Campground

  • Location: Desert View
  • Season: May to mid-October
  • Units: 50
  • Tents: Yes
  • RVs and Trailers: Yes, up to 30 feet
  • Dump Station: No
  • Hookups: No
  • Water: Yes
  • Showers: No
  • Self-Serve Laundry: No
  • Handicap-Accessible: Yes
  • Management: Grand Canyon National Park
  • Reservations: First-come, first-served

Located at Desert View at the east end of Desert View Drive, this campground can handle some RVs up to 30 feet but most sites are designed for smaller RVs, trailers, or tents. Pets are allowed but must be leashed at all times and cannot be left unattended.
 
Desert View Map
 
Ten-X Campground

  • Location: Two miles south of Tusayan
  • Season: May to September
  • Units: 70
  • Tents: Yes
  • RVs and Trailers: Yes, up to 40 feet
  • Dump Station: No
  • Hookups: No
  • Water: Yes
  • Showers: No
  • Self-Serve Laundry: No
  • Handicap-Accessible: Yes
  • Management: Kaibab National Forest
  • Reservations: Recreation.gov, 877-444-6777

This campground is two miles south of Tusayan on the east side of Arizona 64. Firewood may be collected outside the campground. Two group campsites are available and must be reserved in advance.
 
Lees Ferry
 
Lees Ferry Campground

  • Location: Five miles from Marble Canyon at Lees Ferry
  • Season: All year
  • Units: 54
  • Tents: Yes
  • RVs and Trailers: Yes
  • Dump Station: Yes
  • Hookups: No
  • Water: Yes
  • Showers: No
  • Self-Serve Laundry: At Marble Canyon
  • Handicap-Accessible: Yes
  • Management: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, 928-608-6200
  • Reservations: First-come, first-served

This campground is located at the head of Marble Canyon at historic Lees Ferry, where most Grand Canyon river trips begin. Fishing is popular on the Colorado River, and a boat ramp is available. A general store and gas station are located five miles away at Marble Canyon.
 
North Rim
 
North Rim Campground

  • Location: North Rim Village
  • Season: Mid-May to mid-October
  • Units: 83
  • Tents: Yes
  • RVs and Trailers: Yes
  • Dump Station: Yes
  • Hookups: No
  • Water: Yes
  • Showers: At campground entrance
  • Self-Serve Laundry: At campground entrance
  • Handicap-Accessible: Yes
  • Management: Grand Canyon National Park
  • Reservations: National Recreation Reservation Service, or 877-444-6777

North Rim Campground is located just north of the North Rim Village on the entrance road. Collection of firewood is not allowed, but wood may be purchased at the adjacent general store. Because sites fill up early, reservations are strongly recommended.
 
Toroweap Campground

  • Location: Toroweap Overlook
  • Season: All year, but access road may be impassable after a winter storm
  • Units: 9
  • Tents: Yes
  • RVs and Trailers: No
  • Dump Station: No
  • Hookups: No
  • Water: No
  • Showers: No
  • Self-Serve Laundry: No
  • Handicap-Accessible: No
  • Management: Grand Canyon National Park
  • Reservations: Backcountry permit required

This campground is located just north of Toroweap Overlook. There are 9 sites, available with a backcountry permit. Water is not available. See the Toroweap page for more information on the area.
 
DeMotte Campground

  • Location: On Arizona 67, 25 miles south of Jacob Lake
  • Season: Mid-May through October, depending on snowfall
  • Units: 38
  • Tents: Yes
  • RVs and Trailers: Yes
  • Dump Station: No
  • Hookups: No
  • Water: Yes
  • Showers: No
  • Self-Serve Laundry: No
  • Handicap-Accessible: Yes
  • Management: Kaibab National Forest
  • Reservations: First-come, first-served

DeMotte Campground is seven miles north of the North Entrance to Grand Canyon National Park, and is located on the edge of beautiful DeMotte Park. Nearby Kaibab Lodge has rooms and a restaurant, and there is a general store and service station across the highway.
 
Jacob Lake Campground

  • Location: Jacob Lake at the junction of US 89A and Arizona 67
  • Season: Mid-May through October, depending on snowfall
  • Units: 51
  • Tents: Yes
  • RVs and Trailers: Yes
  • Dump Station: No
  • Hookups: No
  • Water: Yes
  • Showers: No
  • Self-Serve Laundry: No
  • Handicap-Accessible: Yes
  • Management: Kaibab National Forest
  • Reservations: First-come, first-served

This campground is located in the ponderosa pine forest across from Jacob Lake Lodge. The lodge has rooms, a restaurant, a general store, and a service station.

Westerners live outdoors more than people elsewhere because outdoors is mainly what they've got. -Wallace Stegner

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Lodging and Restaurants

El Tovar Hotel on the South Rim

El Tovar Hotel on the South Rim
 
The South Rim has most of the lodging and restaurants that are in or near the park. The North Rim has one lodge, Grand Canyon Lodge, within the park, and two outside the park on Arizona 67- Jacob Lake Inn and Kaibab Lodge. All of the North Rim lodges have restaurants. There is also a resort at the bottom of the canyon along the Kaibab Trail, Phantom Ranch, which can be accessed by hiking the trail or by mule trip.
 
Advance Reservations Recommended
 
Rooms are scarce during the busy period from March through November, so be sure to make advance reservations.
 
Lodging Within the Park
 
South Rim and Phantom Ranch
North Rim
 
Lodging Outside the Park
 
South Rim
Kaibab Lodge, DeMotte Park, North Rim
Jacob Lake Inn, Jacob Lake, North Rim
 

Restaurants and Dining

All of the lodges listed above have dining at the lodge or nearby. In addition, the towns of Tusayan, Williams, and Flagstaff, south of the South Rim, also have numerous cafes, restaurants, and fast food. In the area of the North Rim, the nearest towns with restaurants and fast food are Fredonia on US 89A and Page on US 89, and Kanab, Utah, on US 89.

We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune. -Theodore Roosevelt

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Scenic Drives

Driving across Navajo Bridge

Driving across Navajo Bridge
 
There are two roads at the South Rim and one on the North Rim that offer excellent scenic drives.
 
Hermit Road closely follows the rim west of Grand Canyon Village past several spectacular viewpoints. Access is by free shuttle bus most of the year. The Hermit Shuttle stops at all of the major viewpoints on the outbound trip, so you can get off at any viewpoint, spend as long as you like, and catch the next shuttle. You can also walk the Rim Trail between viewpoints.
 
Desert View Drive runs along the rim east of Grand Canyon Village and passes several viewpoints with a great variety of views of the eastern Grand Canyon. There is no shuttle service.
 
On the North Rim, Cape Royal Road winds through the beautiful alpine forest on the Kaibab Plateau passing several viewpoints before ending at one of the finest viewpoints on either rim of the Grand Canyon.
 
Hermit Road
 
Desert View Drive
 
Cape Royal Road

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National Park Entrance Fees

America the Beautiful - Annual Pass

America the Beautiful - Annual Pass
 
National Park entrance permits and passes cover entrance fees to the national park only and do not cover campground fees. You can purchase an entrance permit, valid for seven days, or several different passes, which are valid for one year or more. Permits and passes can be obtained at the park entrance stations, at ranger stations and visitor centers in the park, and at businesses outside the park.
 
Other Fees
 
Some Grand Canyon destinations outside the national park and monument charge fees which are not covered by National Park passes. These destinations include Supai on the Havasupai Indian Reservation and Grand Canyon West on the Hualapai Indian Reservation. See Supai and Grand Canyon West for more information.
 
Entry Permits and Passes:
 

  • Vehicle Permit: $30, admits one private vehicle and all its passengers
  • Individual Permit: $15, admits one person, arriving on foot, bicycle, or motorcycle
  • Grand Canyon National Park Annual Pass: $60, good for one year at Grand Canyon National Park
  • America the Beautiful Pass: $80, good for one year at all national parks and other federal recreation sites that charge entrance fees
  • America the Beautiful Senior Pass: $10, a lifetime pass to all federal lands charging an entrance fee, including national parks. Available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 and over.
  • America the Beautiful Access Pass: Free, a lifetime pass to all federal lands charging an entrance fee, including national parks. Available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities.
  • America the Beautiful Volunteer Pass: Free, valid for one year at all federal lands charging an entrance fee, including national parks. Available to volunteers who have done 500 hours of volunteer service on an annual basis.

 

For more details on entrance fees and passes, see the park website.

Driving Directions

Driving across Navajo Bridge

Driving across Navajo Bridge
 
South Rim
Road access to Grand Canyon Village and the South Rim is from Flagstaff and Williams along I-40 and US 89 from Cameron. Since there are three highways to the South Rim, consider doing a loop drive. For example, you could go to the South Rim from Williams via AZ 64, or Flagstaff via US 180, drive Desert View Drive, and then return through Cameron and south on US 89. From US 89, turn left on the Wupatki National Momument Road, which loops past Wupatki National Monument, with its native ruins, and Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument- the most recent volcano in the Grand Canyon area.
 

  • From Williams, drive 63 miles north on Arizona 64 to the South Rim Entrance Station.
  • From Flagstaff, drive 81 miles north via US 180 and Arizona 64 to the South Rim Entrance Station.
  • From Cameron, drive 55 miles west on Arizona 64 and Desert View Drive to Grand Canyon Village.

 

Tips for Getting Around the South Rim
 
Free South Rim Shuttles
 
From March through October, roads and parking in the Grand Canyon Village area are congested. The best way to get around the village is via the free shuttle buses, which operate year-round in the village and to the Kaibab Trailhead and Yaki Point, and seasonally along Hermit Road and to Tusayan and the airport.
 
Park Away From the Rim
 
It is easiest to find a parking spot near the Backcountry Information Center at the west end of the village, or near Park Headquarters at the east end of the village. There are also large parking lots at Market Plaza and Canyon View Information Plaza, but these tend to fill early.
 
South Rim Transit Map
 
Download this map, which shows the shuttle bus routes and stops, as well as parking, in relation to the facilities in Grand Canyon Village.
 
Supai
 

  • From Flagstaff, drive 70 miles west on I-40, then exit onto Arizona 66 at Seligman. Drive 30 miles west, and then turn right on Supai Highway. Continue 58 miles to the Hualapai Hilltop Trailhead at the end of the road. The Hualapai Trail is 8 miles to Supai Village.
  • From Kingman, drive 58 miles east on Arizona 66 (Andy Devine Avenue), and then turn left on Supai Highway. Continue 58 miles to the Hualapai Hilltop Trailhead at the end of the road. The Hualapai Trail is 8 miles to Supai Village.

 

Grand Canyon West
 

  • From Las Vegas, drive approximately 73 miles southeast on US 93, and then turn left on Pearce Ferry Road. Drive 20.4 miles, and then bear right on Diamond Bar Road. Continue 16.6 miles, and then bear left on Buck and Doe Road, and drive 4.5 miles to Grand Canyon West Airport.
  • From Kingman, drive 44 miles north on Stockton Hill Road, and then turn right and drive 6.4 miles on Pierce Ferry Road. Turn right on Diamond Bar Road, and drive 16.6 miles. Bear left on Buck and Doe Road, and drive 4.5 miles to Grand Canyon West Airport.

 

North Rim
 
Note: The North Rim is closed from mid-October through mid-May. See the North Rim for more information.
 

  • From Flagstaff, drive 109 miles north on US 89. Turn left on US 89A, and drive 55 miles north to Jacob Lake. (There is a Forest Service Visitor Center at Jacob Lake.) Turn left on Arizona 67, and drive 43 miles, passing the North Entrance Station, to North Rim Village.
  • From Kanab, Utah, drive 37 miles south on US 89A to Jacob Lake. (There is a Forest Service Visitor Center at Jacob Lake.) Turn right on Arizona 67, and drive 43 miles, passing the North Entrance Station, to North Rim Village.

 

Toroweap
 

  • From Kanab, Utah, drive 7 miles south on US 89A. Turn right on Arizona 389. Drive 8.3 miles west, and then turn right on dirt County Road 109 (Mount Trumbull Road). After 37 miles, stay left on CR 5. Drive 6 miles, and then stay left on CR 115. Continue 14 miles, passing the Toroweap Ranger Station, to Toroweap Overlook and Campground.

 

Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument
 

  • The national monument is approximately 30 miles southwest of St. George, Utah. The main access is from St. George, south on River Road 8 miles to the Utah/Arizona border. From here, several dirt roads provide access to points within the monument. All of the roads on the national monument are dirt and are impassable in wet weather. There are no services or facilities in the national monument, so visitors must be prepared for desert back road driving and camping.

 
 

Getting There

Grand Canyon Railway arriving at the South Rim

Grand Canyon Railway arriving at the South Rim
 
Where is the Grand Canyon?
 
The Grand Canyon is located in northwestern Arizona, about 80 miles northwest of Flagstaff, Arizona, and about 150 miles southeast of St. George, Utah. Although access to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is often made from Utah, the entire Grand Canyon lies within the state of Arizona.
 
Map of Grand Canyon Region
NPS Map of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah
Grand Canyon from Space

 
Public Transportation
 
Public transportation to and around the Grand canyon is limited. To reach any point other than Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim, North Rim Village, and Grand Canyon West, you'll need a car.
 

  • Scheduled airlines serve Flagstaff, Prescott, and Kingman, Arizona, and St. George, Utah. Visitors may also fly into the major airline hubs at Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona. Air tour and air charter services are available to Grand Canyon National Park Airport at the South Rim, and Grand Canyon West Airport on the southwest rim. See the Activities: Air Tour page for more information.
  • Amtrak serves Flagstaff, Williams, and Kingman, Arizona with rail service.
  • Grand Canyon Railway offers service between Williams and Grand Canyon Village.
  • Greyhound provides bus service to Flagstaff and Kingman, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, and St. George, Utah.
  • Arizona Shuttle offers ground shuttle service from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Sedona, Flagstaff, and Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim.
  • Trans Canyon Shuttle offers ground shuttle service between Grand Canyon Village, Marble Canyon, and North Rim Village.

 

Rental Cars
 
Rental cars are available in Las Vegas, Nevada, St. George, Utah, and Page, Flagstaff, Kingman, Prescott, and Phoenix, Arizona.
 
Driving Directions
National Park Entrance Fees
 

We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope. -Wallace Stegner

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Thunder River

 

By far the most popular of the North Rim's non-maintained trails, the Thunder River Trail takes you into an area with interesting geology, the world's shortest river, and aptly-named Thunder Spring, which roars out of a cave in the Redwall Limestone. You can do this as an overnight hike, but most backpackers like to take longer because of the long drive to the trailhead. There are plenty of side hikes that you can do from the Thunder River area.

Nankoweap Trail

 
This long, rough trail is a challenge to most hikers, but it leads into the beautiful Nankoweap Creek area with its permanent stream and easy access to the river. There are two trailheads for the Nankoweap Trail; most hikers use the Saddle Mountain Trailhead. To reach this trailhead, turn south on Buffalo Ranch Road about a mile east of the point where US 89A climbs onto the Kaibab Plateau. This graded road is passable to most vehicles, except after a major storm. It's 27.4 miles south to the signed trailhead for the Saddle Mountain and Nankoweap trails.
 

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