Withand with private cars still being allowed to enter the park (until the year 2008) means no long lines, no parking problems, and plenty of motel rooms, and lots of seats on all area activities. This a great year to visit your National Park before you can no longer enjoy your visit to Grand Canyon . Soon everyone will be made to park your car outside the park and stand in line to ride the new shuttle system to move around in the park to visit the different view points. Instead of driving you own car at your own pace, like you can now.
Located entirely in northern Arizona, the park encompasses 277 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. One of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world, Grand Canyon is unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers to visitors on the rim. Grand Canyon National Park is a World Heritage Site.
OPERATING HOURS, SEASONS:
The South Rim is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The North Rim is closed from late October to mid-May.
CLIMATE, RECOMMENDED CLOTHING:
The South Rim is 7000 feet above sea level, which means snow in winter and cool nights even in summer. Inner canyon hiking (below the rim) is another story, however: summer temperatures along the Colorado River at the canyon bottom can reach 120 F. The North Rim is 8000 feet above sea level and can receive snow throughout most of the year. Weather is particularly changeable in spring and fall; visitors should be prepared for a variety of climates.
Grand Canyon Village (South Rim) is located 60 miles north of Interstate 40 at Williams via highway 64, and 80 miles northwest of Flagstaff via highway 180. Only ten miles from rim to rim as the crow flies, the North Rim is 215 miles (about 4 1/2 hours) from the South Rim by car. The North Rim is 44 miles south of Jacob Lake, AZ, via highway 67.
FEES, COSTS, RATES:
Private vehicle - $20.00
Individual (pedestrians, bicycle, etc.) - $10.00
Annual Grand Canyon pass - $40.00
(individual or vehicle)
Annual Golden Eagle pass - $50.00
Permit Fee (per permit) - $20.00
Frequent Hiker (all permits annually) - $50.00
Nightly Impact Fee (per person) - $4.00
Fees for those arriving by commercial bus or tour vary. Persons holding a Golden Age Passport (available to U.S. citizens or residents 62 years of age or older for a one-time fee of $10.00), Golden Eagle Passport or Golden Access Passport are admitted without additional charge.
FACILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES:
The main park visitor center (South Rim) is located just east of Grand Canyon Village, approximately six miles north of the south entrance station. Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (longer hours during peak season). Interpretive centers are also located at Yavapai Observation Station, Tusayan Museum, Desert View, and the North Rim (mid-May through late October only; located in the lobby of Grand Canyon Lodge).
The inner canyon is accessed via the so-called "Corridor Trails": The Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail from the South Rim, and the North Kaibab Trail from the North Rim. There are other less heavily traveled and more remote inner canyon trails, as well. All overnight travel below the rim requires a Backcountry Permit (see Permits, below). The Rim Trail on the South Rim offers vistas along the South Rim; a variety of rim trails are also available through the more heavily forested regions on the North Rim. All main park roads are paved. A large network of gravel roads exists in the Kaibab National Forest outside the park (on both rims).
The park offers free ranger-led programs throughout the year, including a wide variety of walks, talks, and a nightly evening program (outdoors in summer, indoors during cooler we
RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES/PARK USE:
The canyon may be viewed from the rim at a number of overlooks along the East Rim Drive (26 miles from Grand Canyon Village to Desert View) and the West Rim Drive (nine miles from Grand Canyon Village to Hermits Rest; closed to private vehicles from Memorial Day through September, when it may be accessed by free park shuttles). Visitors may also hike along the rim on the Rim Trail or below the rim on a number of
inner canyon trails. All hiking at Grand Canyon is strenuous, due to altitude (the South Rim is 7000 feet above sea level) and extreme temperatures (up to 120o F in the inner canyon). A trip from rim to river and back is a two-day trip for most; visitors may spend the night at Phantom Ranch (with advance reservations) or camp at Bright Angel Campground, adjacent to Phantom Ranch (with a Backcountry Permit). Phantom Ranch is also accessible by mule (a two-day trip). The park offers free programs throughout the year. The concessionaire offers a variety of activities (mule trips, bus tours, etc.) throughout the year.
SPECIAL EVENTS, PROGRAMS:
Regularly scheduled special events at Grand Canyon include the Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival each September, regularly scheduled theatrical productions in summer, art exhibits at Kolb Studio on the rim (April through October), and others.
ADJACENT VISITOR ATTRACTIONS:
The town of Tusayan is just outside the south entrance station and offers additional opportunities for lodging, dining, and shopping. The Grand Canyon IMAX theater is located in Tusayan. Just south of Tusayan is Grand Canyon National Park Airport. Ten-X Campground (U.S. Forest Service) is also located just south of Tusayan.
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Shipping: 499 Linger Lane, Valle, AZ.