Grand Canyon National Park Travel Guide

  • Grand Canyon National Park
    by Lalany10
  • Grand Canyon National Park
    by Lalany10
  • Lookout Studio-view of Bright Angel
    Lookout Studio-view of Bright Angel
    by BruceDunning

Grand Canyon National Park Things to Do

  • Overlooks and Points

    This is the first overlook after the lesser-used East Entrance on Hwy 64 from Cameron, and my recommendation for your initial gawk at the canyon. This entrance is best if coming from Page, Moab, Monument Valley or Mesa Verde, or up from Flagstaff on 89 if intending to visit Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments along the way. It has a...

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  • Sunset/Sunrise

    “Have mercy on Grand Canyon rangers. Don’t ever ask them, “Where’s the best place to see the sunset?” One, they are asked this a hundred times a week. Two, it drives a ranger crazy. It’s like asking the mother of quintuplets to choose her favorite. There is no best place to see the sunset. The canyon has two rims. Each rim is 227miles long. For...

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  • Information

    The National Park has facilities on the North Rim and South Rim; 10 miles opposite each other as the crow flies. They are 220 miles/354 kms (about 5 hours) apart by car, and both have the same astonishing scenery but which one you might choose may depend on other parks or cities on your itinerary and/or how you intend to get there. Here are some...

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Grand Canyon National Park Hotels

  • Yavapai Lodge

    We decided to go to Grand Canyon on a labor day weekend within the same week, on that Wednesday...

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  • Phantom Ranch

    With only 1 place to stay at the bottom of the canyon in a national park that has over 5 million...

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  • Bar 10 Ranch

    Parashant National Monument, PO Box 910088, St. George, UT 84791-0088, Arizona, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

Grand Canyon National Park Restaurants

  • Yavapai -Canyon Cafeteria

    3 out of 5 stars

    I'll preface this review with the same points as Maswik Food Court: • It is a cafeteria. Adjust expectations accordingly • It serves thousands of people on a high-season day • It is at a park in the middle of nowhere • It doesn’t score well with people who employ the word “dine” We didn’t eat here on this last trip but have in the past (had...

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  • Bright Angel

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    This is one of three wait-staffed restaurants at the South Rim, and the least expensive of those options - although we noticed that the dinner menu had been upscaled since our last visit. It’s a commodious, casual dining room with windows facing the rim but no canyon view (it sits too far back) so don’t feel as if you MUST land a booth on that...

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  • El Tovar

    3 out of 5 stars

    We skipped this one on our last trip as we did it the time before and while it was OK, it wasn’t memorable or worth the triple-digit price tag. So, just to share a couple of personal observations and insights: A lot of tourists expect dinner at this grande dame of canyon hotels to come with a fantastic view, and most of them end up sorely...

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Grand Canyon National Park Nightlife

  • Nature Nights

    There are numerous pubs in the Grand Canyon and they are all very busy but the main early evening entertainment is watching the sunset. On the North Rim, the main bar is actually right on the rim so you can actually do both at once but getting a seat is a go early affair. South Rim pubs are more in the hotels, which are set a bit back so you'll...

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  • Star gazing

    At the GC visitor center you can check the program guide to catch a star gazing event with a ranger. They start at around 8.30. It was a fun experience. It's easy to stay for this if you are watching the sunset from Mather point behind the visitor center. The best part is that it's FREE :) Dress for the weather. In spring, the weather can be warm...

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  • Cafe Glow

    There are numerous pubs in the Grand Canyon and they are all very busy but the main early evening entertainment is watching the sunset. On the North Rim, the main bar is actually right on the rim so you can actually do both at once but getting a seat is a go early affair. South Rim pubs are more in the hotels, which are set a bit back so you'll...

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Grand Canyon National Park Transportation

  • By Train

    Grand CAnyon RR comes form and returns to Williams Arizona, about 60 miles south. It takes over 200,000 passengers to the park south rim only annually. It was one of the first rides into the park for original visitors, and the only way to get here, other than walk or long horse rides. It began in 1901, and continued until 1968, when closed due to...

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  • By Shuttle

    Want to see the canyon from both sides? Getting to the remote North Rim generally requires your own wheels or an escorted tour but there are two alternatives: The Trans Canyon shuttle makes the 4.5 hour, one-way trip twice a day from either rim from mid-May to mid-October, and once a day from mid-October to the end of November. It isn’t cheap, and...

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  • By Car

    In 1966, when my husband was transferred from the USNavy Post Graduate School in Monterey CA to Key West Florida, we had two children and three cars. We shipped one car from San Francisco to Miami by rail, and then drove the other two cars. My husband drove the 1932 Plymouth (pictured) and I drove our 1963 VW bus. My parents came out from Maryland...

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Grand Canyon National Park Shopping

  • Hopi House

    This is another of Mary Colter’s designs, and one that’s little changed from when it was built in 1905. The Harvey Company wanted a facility in which to sell local Native American arts and crafts to the expanding market of visitors, and Mary’s Pueblo-style showroom was a perfect fit. As with others of her creations, it was constructed using...

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  • Grand Canyon Marketplace

    Forget something? This is where you can probably find it. The General at Market Plaza (South Rim) is a combination camp, liquor and clothing store, grocery, deli and gift shop, and rents backpacking equipment besides. Not just for tourists, this is Supply Central for residents of Grand Canyon Village between trips to lower-priced supermarkets...

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  • Verkamp's Curios

    I do not know 40 years later exactly what shop I was in when I took this picture. But I know Verkamp's was there in 1966 because they've been there since 1906, and I think they must be one of the few souvenier shops that is on the National Register. They do sell whips because I see them on the virtual tour of the store, and they are right near the...

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Grand Canyon National Park Local Customs

  • Drop Off

    We went out before the sunrise to take pictures. It is really dark out in the desert - no street lights. When you are driving, you have the headlights of course. Buses on the Hermit Rest Route run one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset, but after you get off the bus (or park) and walk to the overlook, it's dark. But it is definitely worth...

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  • No Litter

    This makes me crazy. Have trash? 1. Find a bin: they’re all over the park 2. Open bin 3. Throw trash in It’s not hard. When hiking the trails, carry a bag to collect your garbage until you can access a receptacle. Bring your own reusable bottle instead of throwaway plastic. Water at the park is perfectly safe to drink, and there are many...

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  • Information

    I'll mention this again in case you didn't read my "Where it belongs" review about trash. The park does not sell individual bottles of water. Not any. Or not under a one-gallon size, anyway. Disposable plastic water bottles create a big litter problem for more than just our parks, and create tons of unnecessary trash besides. Fresh, perfectly...

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Grand Canyon National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Weather Hazards

    The rim or any other high, exposed spot are bad places to be in a thunderstorm - visitors have been seriously injured or even killed by lighting - so if you see one coming, head for your car or nearest building. If neither of those are an option, here are some valuable tips for what to...

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  • River Hazards

    Even on a hot summer day. The conditions created by the Glen Canyon Dam resulted in year round just above freezing water. Hypothermia will set in after only a few minutes. The currents in the river are also stronger than they appear. Many people have died trying to swim the Colorado. Don't do it.

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  • Use Common Sense

    Ok I'm guilty! I took a piece of the red rock from inside of the Grand Canyon. I claim ignorance, even tho that isn't really a defence. I took the rock home to my geologist friend and he told me he would add it to his illegal rock collection.I learned my lesson, but it is true, leave the beauty where it belongs.

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Grand Canyon National Park Tourist Traps

  • South Rim

    The South Rim, in and of itself, is a tourist trap. It is said that the average visitor spends only 8 minutes actually looking at the grand Canyon and that the rest of the time is spent wandering around Grand Canyon Village. There are exhibits and observation points that are worth seeing, but making this the entire Grand Canyon experience would be...

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  • Grand Canyon WEST: not the National...

    Visitors to Las Vegas will see many tours touted to Grand Canyon WEST/Skywalk. Folks, this isn't the National Park, and reviews from many people who have done it have been less than glowing. The tours look attractive as this location is closer to Vegas than the South Rim but the views are not breathtaking, entry fees are ridiculously high, and you...

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  • South Rim

    The South Rim, in and of itself, is a tourist trap. It is said that the average visitor spends only 8 minutes actually looking at the grand Canyon and that the rest of the time is spent wandering around Grand Canyon Village. There are exhibits and observation points that are worth seeing, but making this the entire Grand Canyon experience would be...

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Grand Canyon National Park What to Pack

  • Temperature Extremes

    Our trip was in October, and it was cold in the morning. In the picture my dad has on his overcoat, and was still too cold, so he has borrowed my scarf and has it wrapped around his head (it is Navy and gold). The arid South Rim is pleasant, even in the peak of summer. It gets nippy in the winter. The inner gorge OTOH is relentlessly hot in the...

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  • Water

    No one should try to hike into the Crand Canyon without carrying sufficient water supplies. During the summer months it will get very hot below the rim of the canyon to the point that the extreme heat can become life threatening without preparation. Bring at least a gallon per person to be on the safe side.

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  • Good to go: day-hiking stuff

    Backpack: keeps your hands free and provides lots of room to pack along what you need The temps can change in a hurry so be prepared for anything. In summer, it can be hot during the day but much cooler at night. Sturdy shoes/boots, shorts and long pants, t-shirts, hat, good socks, weather-resistent jacket for the warmer months. During winter,...

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Grand Canyon National Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Rafting

    As we head toward Page, Arizona we fly over the entire length of the river that we has just rafted for the last 7 days and 6 nights, we traveled for a total of 187 miles on the river and we were now covering the same distance in a matter of minutes. We were still amazed to realize that we had actually done it, rafted the Grand Canyon. Our first...

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  • Native Americans

    Many visitors to the Grand Canyon NP do not know about a special oasis at the bottom of the Grand Canyon west of the Grand Canyon Village. Here, there is a small tribe of Havasupai Indians who live year round near some beautiful waterfalls fed by a turquoise coloured creek. The village of Supai is only accessible by foot, mule or helicopter and...

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  • Side Trips

    Horse shoe bend is an awesome spot to stop right outside of Page. It is about 2 hrs from the south rim. You'll drive up to this very unassuming location, where the parking lot is in front of the path which begins with you climbing a tall sand dune. It's about 3/4 mile hike without shade. About halfway there is a structure that has been build for...

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Grand Canyon National Park Sports & Outdoors

  • Hiking

    Some places you can't get to without hiking. So, if you are capable or capable of getting into shape, please try it. This shot is taken from the hike to Ribbon Falls, over halfway across the Grand Canyon. This is a place you cannot get to by mule. Sure, you can take the mule down to Phantom Ranch. If that is what you like, please do but if you are...

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  • don't drive/hike Grand Canyon National...

    Some places you can't get to without hiking. So, if you are capable or capable of getting into shape, please try it. This shot is taken from the hike to Ribbon Falls, over halfway across the Grand Canyon. This is a place you cannot get to by mule. Sure, you can take the mule down to Phantom Ranch. If that is what you like, please do but if you are...

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  • Hiking - An amazing experience.

    Hiking the Grand Canyon was an amazing experience. We recommend it to anyone who has the ability to do it. One cannot see what the Grand Canyon is about from the top. Even if 18 miles isn't feasible, hike part way down and back up! The top half of Bright Angel Trail has drinkable water every 1.5 miles, so traveling light on this part of the trail...

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Grand Canyon National Park Favorites

  • Information

    “In the United States, a park ranger is more likely to be assaulted in the line of duty than is any other federal officer, including those who work for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF); and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). A park ranger is twelve times more likely to die on the job than is a special agent for the...

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  • Scenery

    Near the last switchback, we saw a rainbow. I kept telling Jim that the rain would let up and he would just shake his head. Near the top seeing one of my last below the Rim views across the Canyon, the rainbow appeared as if from nowhere. The rain didn't exactly stop. Well, it didn't stop at all, but I received my sign that the weather was...

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  • Hiking

    Enjoy the Grand Canyon very early morning for not only the most beautiful light but also a more peaceful experience. If you are physically able, don't be content to just drive from viewpoint to viewpoint. Get out and walk and you'll see a lot more. Walk into the canyon. It will give you an entirely different perspective of this massive chasm. If...

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Comments (3)

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Mar 25, 2014 at 3:35 AM

    Annual National Park Week is April 19-27 this year with lots of special events happening at the parks. Even better, Saturday 4/19 and Sunday 4/30 are FREE admission days so it's a great opportunity to pack up the car with family and/or friends and go check out one of our national treasures!

    http://www.nps.gov/npweek/

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2013 at 5:45 AM

    UPDATE: According to the vendor page for accommodations, the North Rim park and lodge are open:

    reservations.foreverresorts....

    Do note that the lodge and facilities close for the season on Oct 15. Weather (and funds) permitting, the Visitor Center and backcountry permit office will be open until Oct. 31.

    nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/h...

    The NPS website for the park (North and South rims) is also up and running again:

    http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    SHUTDOWN UPDATE: 10/12/2013
    The canyon will open to visitors tomorrow (10/12) with state of Arizona funding through the rest of the upcoming week. Hopefully a budget agreement during the next 7 days will return operations to the federal funding and keep it open beyond that point.
    I'm assuming this may only be the South Rim as the North Rim usually closes up about this time of year but I'll update this post as more info becomes available.

 
Explore Deeper into Grand Canyon National Park
Rim, South
Things to Do
Hikes
Things to Do
Bright Angel Trail
Things to Do
Hikes/Trails
Off The Beaten Path
Mule Rides
Things to Do
Hiking Hazards
Warnings and Dangers
Rim, North
Things to Do
Fauna & Flora
Warnings and Dangers
Don't Fall
Warnings and Dangers
Colorado River
Things to Do
Plan Ahead
Warnings and Dangers
Trails
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Transportation
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Outside the Park
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Air Tour
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Cameron dining room
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Colorado River
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Fauna & Flora
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Outside the Park
Off The Beaten Path
Maswik
Restaurants
Sunset/Sunrise
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Fauna & Flora
Off The Beaten Path
Rim, North
Off The Beaten Path
Entrance fee
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Colorado River
Off The Beaten Path
Phantom Ranch
Off The Beaten Path
By Mule
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Water
Warnings and Dangers
By Boat
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Camp Cooking
Restaurants
Stuff and more Stuff
Shopping
"Be Part of Something Grand"
Shopping
South Rim: Below-the-rim day hikes
Things to Do
Incrediable Hiking!!
Things to Do
Below the rim: know your limits
Warnings and Dangers
Under the Stars
Things to Do
You snooze, you lose
Warnings and Dangers
South Rim: Desert View
Things to Do
Map of Grand Canyon National Park

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