The Grand Canyon will blow you away. It will transcend anything you'll ever experience. The Grand Canyon is sheer breathtaking beauty that will provoke all that inspires. It is a treasured gift of nature that took millions of years to sculpt. A lifetime of thrill and enjoyment for the world.
Over 5 million visitors annually travel to the Grand Canyon to experience one of the World's Seven Wonders. Vast and magnificent stretching 277 miles long and 6,000 feet deep. The Grand Canyon National Park covers over 1.2 million acres or about 1.900 square miles.
The width of the Grand Canyon ranges from about 10 to 18 miles across but to get from the South Rim to the North Rim would require a drive of about 215 miles. You could hike from one side to the other, but that trek would likely take 3 days of some rough hiking.
Carved by the Colorado River, the official beginning of the Grand Canyon is Lees Ferry close to Glen Canyon Dam which creates Lake Powell. It ends at Grand Wash Cliffs as the river enters Lake Mead. A rafting trip through its entire length would take two weeks or longer.
Which Rim Should You Visit?
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Grand Canyon National Park is only comprised of the South Rim and the North Rim. Grand Canyon West and Havasupai are well outside the park boundaries on the Hualapai and Havasupai Indian Reservations. Hualapai is home of the famous "Skywalk" and Havasupai boasts the spectacular set of waterfalls at the bottom of the canyon.
Grand Canyon South Rim
The greatest number of tourists visit the Grand Canyon South Rim. It features the most services and amenities including restaurants, hotels, museums, multiple visitor centers, campgrounds, museums and free Ranger programs in addition to complimentary shuttle buses that continuously run between attractions. The South Rim has the easiest access from Interstate 40 and the cities of Flagstaff and Williams AZ.
The South Rim is open every day, all year. Its Rim Trail is 14 miles long and follows the canyon edge with amazing views from many of the major overlook points. The 25-mile Desert View Drive connects Grand Canyon Village and the east entrance (Desert View) to the South Rim.
Grand Canyon North Rim
The North Rim offers superb views from a different canyon perspective. Hiking trails are more rugged and remote than those at the South Rim. The north side of Grand Canyon is definitely for the more adventurous that prefers smaller crowds. Although the views of the North Rim are equally impressive, there are fewer views of the distant Colorado River.
From mid-October to mid-May visitor services at the North rim of the Grand Canyon are closed. Although the North Rim is open during the winter months (weather permitting), Highway 67 from Jacob's Lake to the entrance ma be closed due to heavy snow and ice. Driving distance between the South Rim and North Rim is over 200 miles, so if you plan on travel to both sides, plan a multiple day trip.
Planning Your Visit To The Grand Canyon
Using the left side navigation, find more information about each of the rims at the Grand Canyon. Once you make a choice, you have to decide the best time to visit, how long you will stay, and what you plan to see and do while you are there. There is much to consider when planning the most memorable experience at Grand Canyon National Park.
General Information and Questions
Grand Canyon National Park
P.O. Box 129
(928) 638-7888 (General Questions)
(928) 638-7875 (Back Country Camping)