At various location through the park, it is possible to get a cell phone signal (but just barely - the towers are few and far between thankfully so as to preserve the view as much as possible).
While normally I am no big fan of cell phones in places such as Grand Canyon National Park, they have arranged a cell phone information system, so that by dialing a number and entering a code, it is possible to get recorded information about each of these locations.
So, watch for the signs, but otherwise please keep your phone turned off. Except for very specific local spots, it probably won't get enough signal to work anyway.
Though I'm not sure that the cell phone tour is extremely important: most everything in the major locations of the park are very well marked with signs already.
This is most likely the more frequented of information centers of 6 that have some type of information. This one is at Mather Point, a main intersection of activity, and bus traffic. There is a museum inside that depicts the evolution of the rock formations over time. The majority of the building is for gift selling, though. It is open 8-7 during summer and lesser hours over fall and winter, ending at 5PM then
The Grand Canyon Visitor Center is so immense it's its own area. You can't park right next to it, you either have to walk or take a shuttle bus. There are tons of outdoor displays and the inside (which is huge) is still in the process of trying to fill the area with more displays. Suffice to say, this can be a day trip in itself and certainly will fill a few hours if the weather is not cooperating or if you have a few hours in the middle of the hot day to kill.
Rangers are very helpful in helping you plan your visit. We did a six month trip to just about every National Park out west and the Grand Canyon staff was at the very top of the list with regard to knowledge and helpfulness. And that's not even counting the backcountry rangers, who should be given another big pat of the back. When I was there to work out the details of our upcoming backcountry trip I mentioned I needed some white gas for my stove and one of them pulled out a nearly full container and said someone had donated it when they were leaving the park. She gave it to me at no charge. It wound up lasting us for the entire six month trip, nearly 30 nights of backpacking!
One great thing about the Grand Canyon is they make getting drinking water for free easy. There are faucets perfect for refilling your water bottles at the Visitor center and lots of them. Drink it. It's only free, but it's essential to desert survival.
What to do whenever you arrive at the Grand Canyon? This was the question we asked ourselves once we arrived at The South Rim. We wanted to take a helicopter flight and we wanted to hike into the canyon. Lot's of questions we had and didn't find all the answers on the internet before we drove towards the National Park itself. Well, the answer is ---> Visit the Visitor Center, which is located at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
We learned that this is definately the first stop before visiting the “Rim of the world”! While here, we found comprehensive hiking information for us and heared that a plain flight was a more value for money way to see the Grand Canyon, compared to a helicopter flight.
The clerk provided us with an array of media and literature covering all of the Grand Canyon’s spectacular sights. This local representatives also offered us advice and materials for travel in and around the Grand Canyon based on extensive knowledge of the area.
My friends and i made our way to the canyon on the way to vegas. It is overated, JUST KIDDING. It truly is awsome, and huge. We ran around the upper rim, just next to the edge. There was no rails, and i could have reached out a penny and dropped it off the edge. We were close. Here is some info that will be helpfull.
Grand Canyon is heavily visited for most of the year and it is imperative to plan ahead for lodging, camping, backcountry permits, or mule trips. Persons planning day visits only should arrive early in the day as parking is limited.
At the park entrance station (either North or South Rim) you will be given a copy of The Guide, the park newspaper. In it you will find a listing of parking areas, ranger programs, and visitor facilities.
When visiting the South Rim, park your vehicle and ride the Village shuttle bus to Canyon View Information Plaza, then plan your visit. At Canyon View Information Plaza you will find informative exhibits about Grand Canyon and an inspiring view of the canyon is only a short stroll away.
Person walkin in
$10 - 7 Days
Admits one individual when entering by foot, bicycle, or motorcycle. Individuals 15 years old and younger are admitted free of charge.
$20 - 7 Days
Admits one single, private, non-commercial vehicle and all its passengers. Organized non-profit groups, (service organizations, scouts, church groups, college/school clubs) are not eligible for the $20.00 vehicle permit, regardless of the type of vehicle utilized.
Grand Canyon Pass
$40 - Annual
Valid for twelve months from the date of purchase, for unlimited visits to Grand Canyon National Park. It admits the purchaser and any accompanying persons in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle, or the purchaser and accompanying immediate family (spouse, children, parents) when entry is by other means (train, shuttle, bicycle, foot, and boat). This passport covers entrance fees only and is NOT refundable and/or transferable.
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The rock layers that make up the walls of Grand Canyon Range from fairly young to old. Kaibab Limestone, deposited approximately 260 million years ago, forms the cap rock in most of this region. The oldest rocks exposed at the bottom of the canyon,gneiss(NICE) and schist, date to as much as 1,800 million (1.8 billion) years ago.
The canyon itself formed over the last 5-6 million years. Tentative evidence suggest that the lower 2,000 feet of the canyon's depth was carved in the last 750,000 years.
The elevation of the Colorado River, at the bottom of the Canyon, averages out to around 2,200 feet (670 meters). The average elevation of the south rim is around 6,800 feet (2,072 meters) with the highest spot, Grandview Point, being 7,400 feet (2,255 meters).
The average elevation of the north rim is about 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) with the highest point, Point Imperial, being 8,800 feet (2,682 meters). The depth of the Canyon at the South Rim, near Grand Canyon Village, measures almost a vertical mile, about 5,000 feet (1,524 meters).
The Canyon, as measured from Lee's Ferry just below Glen Canyon Dam at the southern end of Lake Powell to the Grand Wash Cliffs at Lake Mead, is 277 miles (443 km) long. It averages 10 miles (16 km) in width from rim to rim, with the greatest distance being about 18 miles (29 km) and the least being about 5 miles (8 km).
Its depth as measured from the north rim is slightly more than a mile or about 5,700 feet (1,737 meters). The south rim is approximately 1,200 feet (365 meters) lower than the north rim. The area of the park includes over a million acres of land or 1,218,375.54 acres (493,077 hectares 1,904 square miles, 4,931 km2) to be exact.
Visitor Center - Park Headquarters.
Those guys who work here, they are real lucky! Could one ever get tired of views like these? I wonder...