Visiting Grand Canyon



Ariel view of the grand canyon

Overview

The great gorge is accessible from two sides, north and south. Most of the more than five million visitors per year choose to go to the South Rim, which has many more tourist facilities than the north side and, accordingly, tends to get action-packed during the summer season and even some winter weekends. The North Rim is a quieter and more remote place and preferred by people who wish for a more serene, less crowded experience.

The access road to the North Rim is frequently closed during winter due to snow. Both rims can get very cold in the winter, and nights are cool even during summer months. Hiking inside the canyon below the rim, however, is quite another story, as summer temperatures near the Colorado River at the bottom may reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Hikers, in particular, will face extreme changes in climate and should be prepared for these.

THE SOUTH RIM


Trecking in south rim

Tusayan

If you, like the majority of visitors, approach the canyon from the south on Highway 180 via the nearby towns of Flagstaff or Williams, you will most likely stop at Tusayan, a commercial area consisting mainly of gas stations, motels, fast food restaurants and the Grand Canyon Airport. The main attraction here, however, is the Grand Canyon IMAX Theater , which is highly recommended. The theater features one of the best films in the nature genre, drawing you right into the chasm and taking you on a vertiginous flight between the canyon’s walls. A few miles further north, at the park gate, you will be requested to pay your $20 entrance fee per vehicle, or $10 per individual (pedestrian, bicycle, etc.). An Annual Grand Canyon Pass is available for $40.

Grand Canyon Village


paranomic view of Grand Canyon Village


EI Tovar Hotel

Your first stop inside the park should be the Park Headquarters and Visitor Center , where an abundance of books, films and slides will help you to get better acquainted with the park, and rangers will be available to answer any Grand Canyon question you might have. You can stock up on supplies at Canyon Village Marketplace & Deli just south of the Visitor Center , then go on to see the historic El Tovar Hotel . For those who don’t suffer from vertigo, the Grand Canyon Skywalk offers a breathtaking view of the chasm through its glass bottom. From the village, you have the choice of exploring the canyon using either the West Rim or the East Rim Drive.

East Rim Drive


Yaki Point of the Grand Canyon


Grand View Point with panoramic wide-angle views


Tusayan Ruins


Tusayan Museum


Watch tower desert View

This 26-mile drive skirts most of the canyon’s south rim, offering several overlooks to get a better view. Among the best viewing areas en route are Yaki Point , thrusting out beyond the rim for a good look at canyon formations, and Grandview Point with its panoramic wide-angle views. A visit to the Tusayan Ruins and Museum provides fascinating information about the ancient Native American cultures in the area. The drive ends at the Watchtower at Desert View, a visitor complex containing services and a campground with views of the Painted Desert to the east and the Colorado River deep down inside the gorge.

West Rim Drive

This drive stays a little closer to the edge than its eastern counterpart and also offers a greater variety of canyon views. Note that it is closed to private vehicles in the summer, when a free shuttle service from Grand Canyon Village takes over transportation, meaning you can always hop on the bus if you get tired after choosing to hike the eight-mile Rim Trail .

THE NORTH RIM


Kaibab National Forest in Fall season

While the South Rim is open 24 hours, 365 days a year, facilities on the north side close down from late October to mid-May. You can still visit the North Rim in winter, provided the access road is not closed by snow, but be advised to bring a thermos with hot coffee or tea! The best time for visiting the North Rim is actually the fall season, when the Kaibab National Forest turns into a dazzling showcase of yellow leaves trembling on aspen trees. A cross-canyon shuttle connecting north and south rim in both directions is available May through October for $60 one way, $100 round trip.


Bright angle Point very beautiful to see at sun set and sun rise


Mule rides


Horse shoe bent of the colorado river

Visitor facilities on the northern edge are all clustered in the relatively small area around Grand Canyon Lodge , a rustically elegant castle-style hotel with terrific views from its terraces and dining rooms. It’s also the North Rim’s visitor center, booking center for mule rides and various other activities. A quarter-mile paved trail leads from the Grand Canyon Lodge to Bright Angel Point , famous as the best spot for seeing sunsets and sunrises over the canyon.

Trails

The inner canyon is accessible by so-called ‘Corridor Trails’ connecting the rims. The trailhead for the North Kaibab Trail is about two miles north of the North Rim visitor area. The North Kaibab Trail descends deep into the canyon, then links with Bright Angel Trail for the steep ascent up the South Rim. It is one of the busiest trails, but there are many less-traveled trails in remoter areas of the canyon. Keep in mind that all hiking in the Grand Canyon is strenuous, and it is imperative to carry plenty of water, food snacks, sunscreen and, vitally important in the summer, a shade hat. Also remember that the Backcountry Office requires a permit for overnight travel below the rim ($20 per person).

Jacob Lake


Jacob Lake

This is a small settlement at the intersection of U.S. 89A and State Route 67, the road leading to the North Rim. It’s also the place where you might end up staying overnight if you haven’t made reservations for camping or lodging in the summer. The Forest Service’s Jacob Lake Campground is usually available till late afternoon, and you still may find vacancies at the commercial Kaibab Lodge Camper Village. From here all the way to the canyon is a huge area of still largely unexplored wilderness, with trails where you’re more likely to meet squirrels, deer, bears and mountain lions than humans.

Things to do In Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park


A view from Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon draws more than 10 million visitors a year. As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, this amazing landscape awes and inspires. A mile in depth and more than 250 miles long, the Colorado River winds through its vast corridors. Drive or ride the Grand Canyon Railway as an alternative to getting there. Park amenities include both rustic and upscale lodging. Fine dining is available at the four-star dining room of the El Tovar. Admission is around USD20 per car.

Address : Apache Street and Center Road, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023 | Open Hours: Daily | Contact: +1 520 638 2631 | Visit Web Site

Grand Canyon Village


A view of grand canyon village

South Rim’s Grand Canyon Village is the hub of activity for canyon visitors. A variety of accommodations, from historical landmarks, quaint cabins, modern facilities or camping and hookups for RVs, are available. Museums, gift shops, restaurants, mule rides, train rides and other activities are clustered here as well. Yet, it is the spectacular canyon views that bring the visitors back each year. The Visitor Center , which was previously located here, is now across from Mather point.

Address : Grand Canyon Village, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023 | Open Hours: 24 hours daily | Contact: +1 928 638 7888 | visit web site

Grand Canyon Skywalk


Top View of the Grand Canyon Sky Walk


Panoromic view of the sky walk

The Skywalk offers visitors an absolutely stunning view of the Grand Canyon, from a Glass Bridge suspended 4,000 ft above the Colorado River. Located on the Hualapai reservation just west of Grand Canyon Village, this $40 million architectural marvel juts out 70 ft from the edge of the chasm, with a glass-bottomed walkway revealing the canyon from a dizzying perspective. Opened in March 2007, upwards of one million pounds of steel went into the construction of the Skywalk, which can withstand 71 million pounds of weight and canyon winds of 100mph. All in all, a not-to-be-missed, seeing-is-believing, step-out-over-eternity experience, even for the likes of Buzz Aldrin. Admission USD25.

Address : Eagle Point, Las Vegas, NV 89146 | Contact: +1 877 716 9378 / +1 702 878 9378 |  reservations@destinationgrandcanyon.com

Grand Canyon IMAX Theater Show


Interior of the IMAX Theater in the Grand Canyon

‘Grand Canyon, the Hidden Secrets’ was created by Academy Award winner Keith Merrill, and the music was composed by Emmy and Oscar winner Bill Conti. A tourist information center, food court and gift shop are on the premises of the Grand Canyon IMAX Theatre where this movie is screened. The film shows daily every hour on the half hour.

Address : 118, Hwy 64, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023 | Open Hours: 10:30am-6:30pm daily | Contact: +1 928 638 2468 | visit web site

For more places to be explored in Grand Canyon click here

Eat

We Cook Pizza & Pasta


Hotels entrance

We cook Pizza & Pasta has been the premier Pizza & Pasta restaurant on the South Rim of The Grand Canyon since 1981! Great food. Served fast. Since you’re going to be driving past us on your way to the Grand Canyon National Park, you should stop and enjoy some great pizza, killer hot wings, a savory pasta carb buildup, or crispy-fresh salad bar, all washed down with a frosty cold beer or icy coca-cola! Visitors often tell us that our food is the best they’ve had their entire vacation! All the local salesmen and delivery persons stop and eat here. Many take food away to share with their family. The locals eat here, of course, and many hikers begin or end their trek at our establishment, but we also have customers who regularly drive several hours just to enjoy our great food! So, whether you are on your way to or from Grand Canyon National Park, enjoy some great food, served fast. The photographs on our website are taken of actual pizzas, taken directly from our pizza oven to the table, and then photographed…what you see is what you’ll get!! The pizzas are awesome! But ALL of the food is GREAT!! We hope you’ll join us for friendly, southwestern hospitality and unforgettable pizza, delicious pastas and world-famous wings when you visit Grand Canyon National Park!

Address : 605 State Route 64, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023 | Contact: (928) 638-2278 | Open Hours: Sun: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Mon: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Tue: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Wed: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Thu: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Fri: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Cafe Tusayan


Cafe Tusayan

Located just outside the entrance of the South Rim, this village serves as a home base to many visitors to the Grand Canyon. The place itself does not offer much in terms of natural beauty, but the Grand Canyon IMAX Theater will give you a virtual taste of the wonders just a few miles ahead. You may also stay at one of the hotels or dine at one of Tusayan’s restaurants. Shuttle busses are available to the Rim.

Address : 352 State Route 64, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023 | Open Hours: Mo to Su from 12:00am to 12:00am | Contact: (928) 638-2901

For more restaurants click here

Stay

Here are the some of the hotels/Lodges were you need to book in advance & some of them can be directly check in.

Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn


Best Westren Inn

Offers you the best quality for money with the sophistated places in the lodge.you can have the best views of the Grand Canyon too..

Address : Highway 64, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
Check Rates here

Phantom Ranch


Phantom Tanch extrier view

This favorite stop-over for hikers was built in 1922, and is located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, alongside Bright Angel Creek. Access to the ranch is by mule, hiking or white water raft trip. Overnight accommodations at Phantom Ranch consist of dormitory spaces and cabins. Dormitories are separate for women and men. Each has five bunks/10 beds, a shower, and restroom. Most cabins are furnished with a set of bunk beds, cold water sink, and toilet, and there is a separate shower house. Cabin accommodations at Phantom Ranch are included with the overnight mule trips, while the dormitory-style lodging is available to backpackers. All overnight accommodations include bedding and towels. Guests need to register with the Bright Angel Transportation desk before hiking down.Address : Grand Canyon Natl Park, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023 | Contact: 928-638-3283

El Tovar Hotel


EI Tovar Hotel

National Historic Landmark Hotel fashioned after a European hunting Lodge; garnished with antiques, Indian murals, paintings & Amenities such as Refrigerator, Telephone, Television (Cable/Satellite), Non-Smoking Rooms, Television, Daily Maid Service, Balcony/Terrace, Mini-Bar.

Address : Grand Canyon Natl Park, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023 | Contact: 928-638-2631

For More details of other hotels click here

Plan your trip

As Grand Canyon is the well know place for the tourism we have a multiple number of options such as road,rail* & flights.For those trip planns click here
Hats off to Yahoo! & WTG for this beautiful guide
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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mypurush
    Sep 27, 2010 @ 09:56:55

    Dear Troy Montemayor,

    Sorry for the inconvenience made by me.
    Please let me know the name of the photo.So,that i can replace it by another one.

    Thanks,
    mypurush

    Reply

  2. mypurush
    Sep 28, 2010 @ 14:18:53

    Image changed

    Reply

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