The Grand Canyon is really big, such that it nearly bisects the park. At nearly a mile deep in places, there are no roads across the canyon, necessitating a five-hour drive to get to the North Rim from the South Rim. This often means overcrowding on the south rim.
The least crowded times are from November to February, although weather can be an issue at these times. While the south Rim is open 365 days a year, the North Rim has a shorter season, mid-May to mid-October, due to an almost 1000 foot difference in elevation. Being so far from most towns, the Park is also surprisingly remote, meaning water, gas and other necessities could be in short supply or unavailable in certain areas. Car lock smiths and towing companies are far away, and can result in high prices and long waits.
Like many other parks, The Grand Canyon sees many million of visitors a year, so it is very important that tourists do everything they can to leave the park as pristine as when they arrived. Many ecosystems are very delicate and should be treated with care. Lodging and Camping opportunities are also numbered, so visitors should take care to reserve hotels and campsites well in advance of their trip. Mule rides and river tours are also limited, and must be contacted many months and sometimes years in advance to secure a spot. Transportation within the park is orchestrated by a group of busses that pick up and drop off visitors free of charge.
The Grand Canyon National Park features:
- 5 Park Entrances
- 7 Hotels and Lodges
- 9 Visitor Centers
- 466 miles of paved park roads
Grand Canyon Contact Info
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Driving Directions to Grand Canyon National Park
To get to Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim) will almost certainly require driving, either from Flagstaff, AZ (80 miles), Las Vegas, NV (275 miles) and Phoenix, AZ (230 miles).
Most visitors to the south rim arrive by Arizona Route 64 (AZ 64). To get the North Rim requires quite a bit more effort, as there are no roads across the canyon, necessitating a 220-mile detour. Most Grand Canyon Visitors either fly into Las Vegas or Phoenix, where there are multiple car rental agencies as well as many tour bus companies.
As of now, there are no commercial bus lines offering transportation to either rim.
The Grand Canyon Railway also operates a train between the town of Williams and the Grand Canyon Village, at a travel time of around 2.5 hours.