Train, Amtrak Thruway, shuttle • 2 days 7h –
- Take the train from Birmingham to New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal
- Take the train from New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal to Maricopa
- Take the Amtrak Thruway from Maricopa Amtrak to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, AZ
- Take a shuttle bus from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, AZ to Williams
- Take the train from Williams, AR to Grand Canyon
What is the easiest way to get to the Grand Canyon?
Go by train – Most people drive to the Grand Canyon—and a car is necessary if you plan to visit more than one area along the rim—but a fun, relaxed, and scenic alternative is to take the Grand Canyon Railway, which makes daily round-trips between Williams, Arizona, and the Grand Canyon Depot.
- Featuring vintage rail cars with live music, the train winds through thick woods and across broad meadows, offering views of unsuspecting wildlife along the way.
- The cowboy characters who bring the Old West to life aboard make the trip particularly fun for children.
- This article was originally published in January 2020.
It was updated in August 2022 with new information.
How long does it take to drive from Alabama to the Grand Canyon?
Get ready for an epic road trip from Birmingham, Alabama all the way to one of the country’s most popular natural wonders, the Grand Canyon. Along the way, you’ll visit multiple states and enjoy plenty of awesome scenery, rich heritage, and vibrant towns.
- The 1,700-mile road trip from Birmingham, Alabama to the Grand Canyon takes at least 25 hours to drive.
- Northern highlights include Memphis, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, while Dallas, Jackson, Fort Worth and El Paso are the key stops in the south.
- To help you plan your trip, we’ve selected the greatest routes, must-see highlights, the best times of the year to travel, and our recommended overnight stops.
So, read on to discover how to get the most from this road trip from Birmingham, Alabama to the Grand Canyon.
Where is the best place to enter Grand Canyon?
Which Rim of Grand Canyon is best – North Rim – Sunset at the North Rim Lodge Though part of the same National Park, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is strikingly different from her Southern sister. While the South Rim bustles with activity during peak travel season, at the North Rim, you can still hear the call of a canyon wren echoing through the Ponderosa Pines – it receives only 1/10th of the visitation that the South Rim does.
- A full 1,000′ higher in altitude, the North Rim runs about 10 degrees cooler than the South rim, and supports plant and animal life that the drier South Rim cannot, such as aspen, birch, maple and oak trees, and the Kaibab Squirrel with its metallic gray coat and distinctive tufted ears.
- Grand Canyon North Rim’s season is relatively short.
It is only open from mid-May through mid-October due to heavy snowfall during the winter months. It is also less accessible from most major Western cities than the South Rim (6 hours from Las Vegas, 8 hours from Phoenix, 7 hours from Salt Lake City), though commuter flights are offered into St.
George, Utah and Page, Arizona, both of which are about 3 hours away. At 8,000′ above sea level, summertime temperatures are surprisingly pleasant, with daytime highs in the 70’s and ‘80’s. Nighttime lows remain quite cold until late spring, and can dip back down into the 20’s as early as August. For those visiting in the fall, particularly the second or third week of September, Grand Canyon North Rim is THE place to be for a radiant display of fall colors put on by the area’s deciduous trees – you won’t see that at the South Rim.
The main visitation area of Grand Canyon North Rim is much smaller than that of the South Rim. While the South Rim has close to two dozen major viewpoints, the North Rim has only three. The views themselves are also much different than what one sees from the other side – while the views from Grand Canyon South Rim tend to reveal the depth of the Grand Canyon, the views from the North Rim are more about the width.
- The Colorado River is visible from several viewpoints at the South Rim, while from the North Rim, one has to peek through Angel’s Window in order to see a small sliver of the river.
- But those who have seen the canyon from both sides tend to agree that the North Rim is the nicer side of the Grand Canyon, in several senses of the word – calmer, quieter, and reminiscent of what the National Parks may have been like in years past.
Visitor services at Grand Canyon North Rim are fewer in number and smaller in scale than at the South Rim. The Grand Canyon Lodge is the only in-park lodge at the North Rim. Built in the 1920’s, and also financed by the railroad industry, the Grand Canyon Lodge has a couple hundred cabins and a handful of motel rooms as well as a restaurant, lounge, deli, campground and gift shop.
- Out-of-park lodging is also more scarce than at the South Rim, with the Kaibab Lodge (5 miles outside the park) and the Jacob Lake Lodge (50 miles North of the park) taking up the overflow with a few dozen cabins and motel rooms.
- The next nearest lodging is about 90 minutes from the park.
- Hiking, sightseeing and ranger-led programs are the primary activities offered at the North Rim.
Very few commercial tours are offered in the immediate area of the park; most take place in outlying communities such as Kanab, Utah, St. George, Utah, or Page-Lake Powell, Arizona. The North Rim is best visited by couples and outdoors-minded families seeking a quiet getaway.
It is also a good alternative for those who’ve already been to the South Rim. Hikers, photographers and nature enthusiasts will probably like the North Rim. Visitors traveling in the fall, particularly late September, should seriously consider at least a brief visit to the North Rim to experience the spectacular fall colors of the Kaibab National Forest.
Because of its high altitude (8,000′), Grand Canyon North Rim is not recommended for those with cardiac or respiratory ailments. It is also not recommended for families traveling with younger children, especially those who need a lot of sensory stimulation (many of the rooms in the area don’t have TVs!).
What is the best month to visit the Grand Canyon?
Spring (March-May) Spring and fall (the ‘shoulder seasons’) are often considered the best times of year to visit the Grand Canyon because daytime temperatures are typically lower and crowds are generally thinner.
How much time do you need to spend at the Grand Canyon?
How long to spend at the Grand Canyon – It really depends on what you want to see and do! Some visitors stop by a couple of viewpoints and arrive and leave within a day but there are so many more fantastic things to do at the Grand Canyon, We recommend spending at least one full day at the Grand Canyon South Rim and ideally two if time permits.
One full day will allow time to explore some of the best viewpoints at the Grand Canyon, hike a portion of the Rim Trail, and maybe catch a sunrise and sunset. A second day will enable you to descend into the Canyon while exploring part of the Bright Angel or South Kaibab Trails and enjoy a scenic drive along Desert View Drive.
Check out our guide to exploring the Grand Canyon in one day for more ideas. Grand Canyon Itinerary tip: on our last visit, we spent 2 nights at the Grand Canyon South Rim and had two full days to explore the park. It was the perfect amount of time to experience the Grand Canyon South Rim.
Is Grand Canyon worth the drive?
Being one of the seven wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon welcomes millions of visitors every single year. It is one of the number one tourist destinations worldwide, and it’s an experience that will create lifelong memories for you and your family.
What city is closest to the Grand Canyon?
The two major cities closest to the Canyon are Phoenix and Las Vegas. Flagstaff, AZ is only 1.5 hours from the South Rim and although it is a smaller city, it does have an international airport. Tusayan is the closest town to Grand Canyon Village and also has a small public airport.
Is Grand Canyon hard?
How hard is it to hike into the Grand Canyon? How long will my hike take? Which is easier the South Kaibab Trail or the Bright Angel Trail? How long will it take to get to the bottom from the South Rim? Can I go to the bottom and back in one day? Should I hike alone? Where do I park my vehicle(s)? How can I get my stuff carried out on a mule? Where can I go to find the more remote trails? Are there toilets in the canyon? Anything I should know about hiking in the backcountry with a service dog?
Do I need a map? Do I need a tent? Do I need a stove?
FOOD AND WATER QUESTIONS:
How much water do I need? Where can I find water? How do I treat my water? How much food should I take?
What should I tell family/friends/employer about my trip? Is there someone I can check in and out with just to be safe? In case of emergency, how do I contact a ranger? If I get into trouble and need to be rescued, who pays expenses for my rescue? Is there an emergency phone number I can leave with a contact back home? Should I be concerned about snakes and scorpions?
Do I need a permit? What should I do if I can’t get a permit? Can I deviate from my permit itinerary? Can I get a refund or hiker credit for my backcountry permit? Are there penalties for backpacking without a permit? Why can’t a large group split into two small groups? How much does a backcountry permit cost? Has there always been a charge for a backcountry permit? What costs are recovered by the backcountry permit charge? Why aren’t all backcountry costs covered by tax dollars or with entrance fee money? Will the sewage treatment plant repairs and the pipeline project affect backcountry costs?
What do I do with my trash? Will my cell phone work in the canyon? Where can I get information about mule rides into the canyon? Where do I make Phantom Ranch reservations? Are there any statistics on backcountry use?
HIKING QUESTIONS: Q: How hard is it to hike into the Grand Canyon? A: The answer is up to you. Depending on how prepared you are, your trip can be a vacation or a challenge, a revelation or an ordeal. The majority of Grand Canyon hikers are here for the first time, and although many are avid hikers, they find that hiking the Grand Canyon is very different from most other hiking experiences.
- They tend to react to the experience in one of two ways, either they can’t wait to get back, or they swear they will never do it again.
- Mental attitude and adequate water and food consumption are absolutely essential to the success of any hike into the Grand Canyon, particularly in summer.
- The day hiker and the overnight backpacker must be equally prepared for the lack of water, extreme heat and cold, and isolation characteristic of the Grand Canyon.
Hiking in the Grand Canyon is so demanding that even people in excellent condition often emerge sore and fatigued. Yet small children, senior citizens, and people with physical disabilities have successfully hiked the canyon. Backcountry rangers recommend that hikers make their first trip into the inner canyon on one of the park’s Corridor trails: Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, or North Kaibab Trail.
- This area includes three campgrounds: Havasupai Gardens (formerly known as Indian Garden), Bright Angel, and Cottonwood each having ranger stations, water, and emergency phones.
- Q: How long will my hike take? A: Monitor the amount of time it takes you to get down to any location; it can take twice that amount of time to cover the same distance going out.
This “rule of thumb” seems to work well regardless of individual fitness, age and/or length of stride. Most first-time Grand Canyon hikers walk uphill at an average speed of one mile per hour. Q: Which is easier the South Kaibab Trail or the Bright Angel Trail? A: Although both trails are maintained, they are very strenuous and involve hiking numerous switchbacks.
- The Bright Angel Trail is roughly 2 miles longer but has water, some shade, and half-way down is Havasupai Gardens, a wonderful place for a rest stop.
- There you will find water, toilet facilities, a ranger station, and a place to sit in the shade.
- The South Kaibab Trail has no water and very little shade.
If you are hiking from the South Rim to Bright Angel Campground and back, a popular option is to take the South Kaibab Trail down, and the Bright Angel Trail up, thereby completing a “loop hike”. Leave your car at the Backcountry Information Center lot and take the free Hikers’ Express shuttle bus to the South Kaibab trailhead.
Q: How long will it take to get to the bottom from the South Rim? A: The South Kaibab Trail is 6.8 miles to Bright Angel Campground and the Bright Angel Trail is 9.3 miles. It will take most hikers between 4 and 5 hours to get to the campground on either trail. Oddly enough, very few people ask how long the return hike will take.
The return hike may take twice as long, though 7 to 8 hours seems to be average. Underestimating the elevation change and not eating or drinking enough can easily add a few hours to those averages. Q: Can I go to the bottom and back in one day? A: The National Park Service DOES NOT RECOMMEND hiking from the rim to the river and back in one day.
- Q: Should I hike alone? A: Risks are greater for those who hike alone.
- There is no one to assist you if you become lost, ill, or injured.
- Mountain lions do inhabit the Grand Canyon.
- Hikers traveling alone are at greater risk of attack.
- Be sure to keep your group together; a good plan is to have your most skilled members at the front and rear of your group with the novices in the middle.
Q: Where do I park my vehicle(s)? A: South Rim: Hikers can park at the Backcountry Information Center (parking lot D). It is a short walk over to the Bright Angel Trailhead. A free hikers’ shuttle goes to the South Kaibab trailhead from the Backcountry Information Center, Bright Angel Lodge, and Yavapai Lodge.
Private automobiles are not allowed to access the South Kaibab trailhead. Taxi service is available 24-hours a day, 928-638-2631. Backpackers with permits in the Boucher and Hermit areas are given the gate combination for Hermit Road. Drivers must yield to shuttle buses and observe posted speed limits.
With regards to backpacking the South Kaibab/Bright Angel Loop, park at the Backcountry Information Center and take the free Hikers’ Express shuttle to the South Kaibab Trailhead or walk to the Bright Angel Trailhead. North Rim: There is a parking lot at the North Kaibab trailhead.
If you have only one vehicle, it is best to park it near the trailhead where you exit the canyon. Be sure not to drive off-road, block another vehicle, or otherwise obstruct traffic when you park. Valuables should be secured out of sight (in a trunk if possible), glove compartments left open for inspection and the vehicle locked.
On the South Rim, the Bright Angel Lodge offers a storage service for valuables for a fee on a space available basis. Q: How can I get my stuff carried out on a mule? A: The Bright Angel Lodge (South Rim) works directly with mule outfitters to provide pack animal services for a fee.
The service is arranged from above the rim only. Visit the Bright Angel Lodge transportation desk after you arrive at the park. Q: Where can I go to find the more remote trails? A: A good place to start would be the Grand Canyon Conservancy bookstore. It is fair to say that most of our backpackers would like to visit the canyon without seeing other people on the trails and in the campsites.
Most of the canyon offers visitors the chance to have a very remote wilderness experience. However, if you have never hiked the Grand Canyon you should consider the Corridor trails for your first visit. The Corridor has been very popular for over a century because it offers the most dramatic views of the most familiar monuments.
- Here a hiker can enter the deepest exposed rock layers of the Inner Gorge and cross the Colorado River to the north side.
- Q: Are there toilets in the canyon? A: There are very few.
- Not all campsites have toilet facilities.
- Be prepared to provide your own toilet paper.
- Where toilets are available, you must use them.
Only human waste and toilet paper should be deposited in the toilets. Where toilets are not available you must carry out your used toilet paper (a plastic ziplock bag works well) and bury feces in a small hole about 6 in / 15 cm deep. Be sure you are at least 200 ft / 60 m from trails, campsites, and water sources.
Along the Colorado River, urinate directly into the wet sand at the river’s edge. Q: Anything I should know about hiking in the backcountry with a service dog? A: For the safety of your service dog, the mules, and the riders on those mules, we recommend you check in with the Backcountry Information Center prior to your hike to learn how you can mitigate specific hazards posed by hiking in the Corridor.
EQUIPMENT QUESTIONS: Q: Do I need a map? A: A map is essential for planning a trip and staying oriented during your hike. Overnight hikers on the Corridor trails will be able to hike safely with the general map they will get with their permit but topographic maps are needed anywhere else.
- Grand Canyon topographic maps are available for purchase from the Grand Canyon Conservancy.
- Q: Do I need a tent? A: When hiking the Grand Canyon, it is desirable to travel as light as is reasonable.
- Even though it is a desert, it does rain occasionally in the canyon.
- Rain is most likely to occur in July and August and during the winter months.
A tent can offer protection from rain. During summer consider taking a lighter sleeping bag (or even a sheet) to save weight if you decide to carry a tent. Another option is to take only the rain fly or a bivy sack as shelter. During winter, tents are desirable equipment.
Q: Do I need a stove? A: You need to balance the weight of a stove and fuel against your desire for hot meals. During the heat of summer, cold meals are often more attractive. During cold weather, a stove may be important for survival. Fires are prohibited throughout the backcountry. FOOD AND WATER QUESTIONS: Q: How much water do I need? A: In warm months each hiker should carry and drink about a gallon (4 liters) of water per day.
Watch your “ins and outs”. Drink enough so that urine frequency, clarity, and volume are normal. You are not drinking enough water if your urine is dark, small in quantity, or non-existent in the course of a day’s hiking. In addition, eating adequate amounts of food will help you replace the electrolytes (salts) that you are sweating.
- During the summer months, your fluid/electrolyte loss can exceed two quarts per hour if you hike uphill in direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day.
- Because the inner canyon air is so dry and hot, sweat evaporates instantly making its loss almost imperceptible.
- Do not wait until you start feeling thirsty to start replacing lost fluid.
By the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Your body can absorb only about one quart of fluid per hour. Drink one-half to one full quart of water or sports drink each and every hour you are hiking in the heat. Carry your water bottle in your hand and drink small amounts often.
Mile-and-a-half and Three-Mile resthouses (on the Bright Angel Trail) => May to Sep Havasupai Gardens => year-round Bright Angel Campground => year-round Phantom Ranch => year-round Cottonwood Campground => May to mid-Oct Roaring Springs Trail Junction => May to mid-Oct
Visit the Backcountry Updates and Closures page for current information on the availability of drinking water along the Corridor trails. For other locations, water may be obtained directly from the Colorado River, creeks, and potholes, but must be treated before drinking.
Be aware that many water sources in the canyon are intermittent and unreliable. Q: How do I treat my water? A: There are three common methods for treating water: boiling, iodine tablets, and filters. Because of occasional pipeline failures, it is a good idea to be prepared with one of these methods even when hiking Corridor trails.
Hikers should also be prepared to let high sediment loads from the Colorado River settle out overnight during spring floods. Q: How much food should I take? A: Plenty. Eating is equally important to both day hikers and overnight backpackers. Carry high-energy, salty snacks as well as meals.
The hike out is much easier when you provide your body with enough calories to support the extreme physical activity you are engaged in. When you make camp, or any time you leave your pack unattended, be sure to hang your food and trash in nylon stuff sacks or place in food storage containers when provided.
There are many small animals that will damage your pack and eat your supplies if not secured properly. Do not feed wildlife! Improper food storage and feeding harms wildlife. Violators will be cited. SAFETY QUESTIONS: Q: What should I tell family/friends/employer about my overnight hiking trip? A: Someone should know your hiking itinerary (include name of the trip leader/ permit holder if not you), your rim destination after the hike, and the date of your return home.
If you indicate you will contact them once you are out of the canyon, BE SURE YOU DO SO! You are accountable for costs associated with search and rescue efforts on your behalf, and while the National Park Service has your life and safety as its highest priority, it is irresponsible to initiate such efforts frivolously.
Q: Is there someone I can check in and out with just to be safe? A: There is no formal check in or check out service we provide to the public. We encourage hikers to notify a friend or family member of their hiking itinerary. Q: In case of emergency, how do I contact a ranger? A: Ranger stations are located at Havasupai Gardens (staffed year-round) and Phantom Ranch (staffed year-round).
- There are emergency phones at the ranger stations, at the Bright Angel Trail rest houses, and at the junction of the South Kaibab and Tonto trails.
- These phones are connected to the park’s 24-hour dispatch center and do not require coins.
- There may be times when these phones do not function; be prepared to send a member of your group up or down the trail to request emergency assistance.
It is recommended to send two people for help in case of injury of those seeking help. Fatigue is not an emergency. Q: If I get into trouble and need to be rescued, who pays for my rescue? A: The National Park Service coordinates all emergency rescue operations within the park, which is a discretionary function of the agency.
- The costs of an inner canyon rescue are covered by the tax payer, however ground ambulance transport and supporting commercial aeromedical transportation is the financial responsibility of the patient.
- Q: Is there an emergency phone number I can leave with a contact back home? A: 928-638-7805.
- Tell your contact person your hiking itinerary (including name of trip leader/permit holder if not you), your rim destination after the hike, and the date of your return home.
If you indicate you will contact them once you are out of the canyon, BE SURE YOU DO SO! Q: Should I be concerned about snakes and scorpions? A: The canyon is home to a variety of snakes and scorpions, some of which are venomous. A good rule to follow is to always be aware of where you place your hands and feet.
Snakebites are rare and occur mostly when people attempt to handle snakes. Do not attempt to capture or otherwise molest any wildlife. If bitten, contact a ranger by signaling or sending someone for help. Although snakes often do not inject venom when they bite, any animal bite should be examined by a physician and monitored for signs of infection.
Scorpions are common in the canyon and stings occur with regularity. While scorpion stings are painful, they rarely cause serious health problems. The elderly and very young children are most susceptible to their venom. If stung, apply cool compresses to the sting site (for pain relief) and monitor the victim.
It is rare for an evacuation to be necessary. Scorpions are small and their tan color makes them difficult to see. Avoid stings by shaking out your boots and clothing before dressing, wear shoes (even in camp), and shake out your bedding before climbing into it. PERMIT QUESTIONS: Q: Do I need a permit? A: A backcountry permit is required for all overnight use of the backcountry including overnight horseback riding, overnight cross-country ski trips, off-river overnight hikes by river trip members, and overnight camping at rim sites other than developed campgrounds.
A backcountry permit is not required for overnight stays at the dormitories or cabins at Phantom Ranch. A permit is not required for day hiking or day horseback riding in the canyon. Q: What should I do if I can’t get a permit? A: Since hiking the canyon is a challenge you are ready to try, consider a day hike.
Often a day hike can be a safer and more enjoyable choice than an overnight trip into a difficult area that is beyond the capabilities of an single member of your group. Or you could try to obtain a permit by adding your name to the waiting list for last-minute space at the Backcountry Information Center.
Participation is limited to WALK-IN VISITORS ONLY and obtaining a same-day permit is unlikely (anticipate a 1 to 3 day – or longer – wait). You may participate in the waiting list for as many consecutive days as you like. However, those on the waiting list must be present at the Backcountry Information Center at 8am (Mountain Standard Time) each day to maintain their position on the waiting list.
- Be aware that permits are very difficult to obtain during the popular season.
- Q: Can I deviate from my permit itinerary? A: No.
- You are required to follow the itinerary authorized on your backcountry permit.
- Itineraries are controlled by use limits designed to protect the fragile environment of the inner canyon against the damaging effects of overuse.
Additionally, your itinerary gives the National Park Service an indication of where you can be found in the event you are reported overdue. Q: Can I get a refund or hiker credit for my backcountry permit? A: Backcountry permits are non-refundable. The intent of this policy is to deter people from buying permits that they are not going to use.
- Hiker Credit is available for permits cancelled at least three days in advance, minus a $10 cancellation fee.
- Hiker Credit can be used to purchase backcountry permits at Grand Canyon National Park and is good for one year.
- You can notify us of cancellations in person, by mail, or by fax.
- Q: Are there penalties for backpacking without a permit? A: Yes.
Regulations regarding backcountry use are enforced by park rangers. Violations may result in fines and/or court appearances. Review all regulations listed on your permit and feel free to ask a ranger for clarification, if needed, before beginning your trip.
- Each individual hiker on your trip is as accountable as the trip leader for abiding by rules and regulations.
- Q: Why can’t a large group split into two small groups? A: The majority of people visiting the canyon’s backcountry are seeking a quality wilderness experience.
- Solitude is often a big part of this experience.
When a large group splits into two smaller groups and camps in the same area on the same night, they are in effect circumventing the large group limits put in place to help protect the canyon and provide for a quality experience of other visitors. A large group split into two smaller groups, but camping in the same area on the same night, still typically acts like one large group.
A large group split into multiple smaller groups can effectively monopolize campsite space. NOTE: Regulations stipulate that all permits are void when a group obtains multiple permits for the same campground or use area for the same night. Q: How much does a backcountry permit cost? A: $10 per permit plus $12 per person or stock animal per night camped below the rim and $12 per group per night camped above the rim.
Denied requests do not incur a charge. Permits cancelled at least four days in advance qualify for hiker credit (minus a $10 cancellation charge) valid for one year. Backcountry Information Center charges are NON-REFUNDABLE! Q: Has there always been a charge for a backcountry permit? A: Grand Canyon National Park began charging for overnight backcountry permits in 1997.
Backcountry charges were modified in 2015, and most recently in February 2022. (For more info on the 2022 increase, see Feb-28-2022 news release, Grand Canyon National Park announces backcountry camping fee increase,) The most common backcountry permit is for two people for two nights. For comparison purposes, as of February 2022, the inflation adjusted 1997 charge for a two person/two night permit would be $64.81, the inflation adjusted 2015 charge would be $50, and the 2022 charge (after July 1) is $58.1997: $20/permit + $4/person/night (with inflation: $35/permit + $7/person/night) 2000: $10/permit + $5/person/night (with inflation: $16.33/permit + $8.16/person/night) 2015: $10/permit + $8/person/night (with inflation: $11.86/permit + $9.49/person/night) 2022: $10/permit + $12/person/night (for permit start dates in July 2022 and later) Q: What costs are recovered by the backcountry permit charge? A: The backcountry permit charge is designed to recover the costs of running the backcountry permit operation of Grand Canyon National Park – this operation focuses on overnight backcountry canyon use.
Backcountry rangers use education, permits, and advice to promote enjoyment and safe hiking practices that maximize hiker safety and minimize negative effects on the canyon environment. Q: Why aren’t all backcountry costs covered by tax dollars or with entrance fee money? A: Tax dollars and entrance fee money pay most inner canyon ranger costs, Preventative Search and Rescue operation costs, and costs for maintaining and repairing inner-canyon trails.
All these are considered items which benefit the general park visitor. The focus of backcountry permit operations is specifically on providing services to overnight backcountry canyon users, and law and policy require these costs to be paid by the user of the service. The backcountry permit charge is designed specifically to recover backcountry permit operations costs alone.
Q: Will the sewage treatment plant repairs and the pipeline project affect backcountry costs? A: No and yes. Both the sewage treatment plant project at Bright Angel Campground and the transcanyon pipeline project benefit the general park visitor and are therefore being paid for through other funding sources.
Backcountry permit charges do NOT pay these costs. However, during this time there will be significant impacts to inner canyon users as campgrounds are temporarily closed to allow necessary work to take place. This will mean fewer backcountry permits can be issued and therefore fewer users will be paying backcountry permit operations recovery costs during this time.
Visit the following web pages for more info
News Release, Feb-1-2022, Phantom Ranch Wastewater Treatment Plant Repairs Begin, https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/news/phantom-ranch-wastewater-treatment-plant-construction-begins.htm News Release, May-8-2019, Finding of No Significant Impact Signed for the Transcanyon Water Distribution Pipeline Project in Grand Canyon National Park, https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/news/finding-of-no-significant-impact-for-transcanyon-waterline.htm
OTHER QUESTIONS: Q: What do I do with my trash? A: You are required to carry out all of your trash, including toilet paper, to rim disposal facilities. To do otherwise is littering. When in camp, be sure to hang your trash with your food sack to prevent wildlife from getting into it.
Enclose all plastic and aluminum in nylon stuff sacks. Wildlife will eat plastic and aluminum that smells of food, and may die as a result. You are required to carry out all toilet paper and hygiene products in areas that do not have toilet facilities. Q: Will my cell phone work in the canyon? A: Probably not.
Cell phone service throughout much of Northern Arizona is difficult to maintain. It is nearly impossible to get and keep a signal at Grand Canyon, Marble Canyon, Arizona Strip, and area tribal lands. Satellite phones are being tested with some success in places outside of the narrowest portions of the canyon.
Q: Where can I get information about mule rides into the canyon? A: South Rim: Mule rides are offered through Xanterra Parks & Resorts, 888-297-2757. There is a two-day round-trip ride to the Colorado River at the canyon floor. Overnight riders stay and eat at Phantom Ranch. If you wish to make a trip into the canyon on mule, plan ahead! A waiting list is maintained for cancellations, after arriving at the park contact the Bright Angel Lodge transportation desk for further information at 928-638-2631.
( more info ) North Rim: Between May 15, and October 15, Mule rides are offered through Grand Canyon Trail Rides, 435-679-8665. One-hour rides along the rim and half-day rim or inner canyon trips are usually available on a daily basis. Full-day trips into the canyon include lunch.
- More info ) Q: Where do I make Phantom Ranch reservations? A: Reservations are made through Grand Canyon National Park Lodges (Xanterra Parks and Resorts) via an on-line lottery 15 months in advance.
- Phantom Ranch, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, is a popular destination for both hikers and mule riders.
Overnight dormitories and cabins can be reserved and meals are available for purchase. Advance reservations for meals and lodging at Phantom Ranch are required. The Backcountry Information Center does not make reservations for Phantom Ranch lodging or meals.
yearly statistics permittee breakdown by country and US state use trends, corridor and non-corridor use area details
Additional backcountry info can be found on the following webpages.
Which is most beautiful side of Grand Canyon?
Final Thoughts – The South Rim is the choice for visitors looking for the classic Grand Canyon experience. It has the best views, the best transportation, the best tours, the best activities, and the best lodging and dining. If you want an easy way to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, the West Rim is a good option, and if you want to experience the Grand Canyon without those pesky crowds, the North Rim should be your choice.
Which is better North or South Grand Canyon?
South Rim vs. North Rim Each year, more than 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon which consists of the South Rim and the North Rim. Most people see this majestic wonder from its South Rim. Although the Rims are separated by about 20 miles, a five-hour road trip or 2-3 day hikes are required to get between the two sides. The two rims offer visitors completely different atmospheres, elevations, and activities. Below are some differences between the two rims. South Rim
Since the South Rim is more accessible from several large cities, it makes it a perfect day trip. Easily accessible viewpoints make it simple to enjoy the famous Grand Canyon views. The is open all year long, so are the food courts and restaurants. The South Rim is at a lower elevation which allows you to get a better view of the walls of the opposite rim. The sheer magnitude of the Grand Canyon is much more visible from the South Rim. The South Rim is more “user friendly” with paved paths along the rim. In the winter, The South Rim is covered in snow. It’s a beautiful sight, but make sure to wear your winter gear. The Grand Canyon South Rim offers restaurants, cafeterias, stores and lodges. It’s great for families with children. The South Rim has more scheduled activities such as mule rides, helicopter rides, and,
The North Rim stays pleasantly cool, even during the summer. Since it’s covered in trees, the North Rim has a natural shade while the South Rim heats up drastically during the summer months. The atmosphere at the North Rim is much more relaxing because so few people visit. Here the emphasis is on relaxation and getting away from stress, rather than on the, The North Rim offers different views, but they are still dramatic in a subtle way. There are plenty of hiking opportunities, but to get the most out of the North Rim, you’ll need to hike on lengthier and less accessible trails. People visiting the North Rim don’t specifically go there to check out the Grand Canyon but rather to enjoy the atmosphere of a comfortable summer vacation. Kids play around the campground while parents socialize at the lodge, and hikers roam through the woods. To them, the Grand Canyon is just an additional benefit to the North Rim.
Is it better to stay in the Grand Canyon or outside of it?
Lodging inside the Grand Canyon or Nearby? Pros and Cons – Visiting the Grand Canyon does not necessarily require you to stay within the park: in fact often, depending on how you have designed your road trip itinerary, it may be more functional to choose accommodations in the immediate vicinity or perhaps somewhere 1 or 2 hours away.
Everything depends on your travel plan. At the same time, if you choose to sleep outside the park, it will be easier to find accommodations and at a more affordable price. Hotels inside the Grand Canyon tend to fill up quickly and tend to be more expensive, but they have two indisputable advantages. namely, the location which is convenient for visiting the park and the possibility in some facilities (if you are lucky enough to get the right room) to enjoy a breathtaking view from your window.
Let’s look at both possibilities in detail:
What’s the best way to explore the Grand Canyon?
Grand Canyon Tours information Updated Mar 31, 2021 A world heritage site. One of the unofficial wonders of the world. Top five in the must-see-places-before-you-die list. Yes, we are talking about the Grand Canyon. This page will provide information on Grand Canyon Tours and things to do at Grand Canyon.
- Before the excitement gets to you and you rush off on a Grand Canyon Tour without any guided notion or itinerary in hand, we recommend you read this.
- There are several ways to tour the Grand Canyon, but it pays to understand its topography and basic layout beforehand.
- Having a mental image of what lies before you helps you plan that itinerary well and make that Grand Canyon trip truly memorable.
One of the best ways to take in the Grand Canyon’s beauty is to view the Canyon from its north and south rims, hike down to the Inner Canyon, take a boat ride along the Colorado and finally, take an aerial tour to get a bird’s eye view of the splendor that lies below.
What is the cheapest month to visit Grand Canyon?
Most Affordable Times to Visit the Grand Canyon – Prices for flights and lodging tend to dip during the low season, which happens between November and February. (The Grand Canyon National Park Vehicle Permit costs $35 all year, but look out for national park free days to save money on admission).
What day of the week is best for Grand Canyon?
Not surprisingly, the weekends are the busiest times at the Grand Canyon, so it’s best to go during the week. Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be the least crowded days of the week.
What is the least crowded month Grand Canyon?
September through October is the best time for avoiding crowds – Grand Canyon National Park has two shoulder seasons: spring (March-June) and fall (September-November). During September and October expect fewer people, cooler temperatures and cheaper lodging compared to the summer months. Low season temperatures can bring incredible opportunities to experience Grand Canyon National Park without the crowds © Getty Images
What is the best state to see the Grand Canyon?
Choosing Which Grand Canyon Rim to Visit –
The Grand Canyon touches four states: Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. The most accessible and popular state to see the Grand Canyon is Arizona (South Rim) and Nevada (West Rim). South Rim will provide you with the classic national park experience with ranger talks, free hop-on-hop-off shuttles, and concessionaires. West Rim is run by the Hualapai Tribe. There is a per-person entrance fee that provides guests with a shuttle to the West Rim from the parking area. Guests may add on a Grand Canyon Skywalk ticket for additional purchase. A helicopter ride from Las Vegas is another popular way to get here. North Rim is the more remote side of the Canyon loved by hikers, backpacking campers and the like. You’ll find the North Rim to be the least busy, but also the most difficult to access. The North RIm is closed October-May due to winter conditions.
For more trip-planning guidance, go to Begin Planning Your Trip »
How long do most people stay at the Grand Canyon?
A guide to the Grand Canyon GETTING THERE Las Vegas and Flagstaff, Ariz., are the nearest large cities served by major airlines. From those launching pads, several highways lead to the heavily-traveled south rim. Access to the the north rim requires a 215-mile drive around the eastern end of the canyon on Arizona Highway 64, northbound U.S.
Highway 89 and westbound U.S. Alternate Highway 89. Arizona Highway 67, which dips south from Alt.U.S.89 to the north rim, is closed from late October to mid-May. In cities near Grand Canyon, travelers find an abundance of transportation options-from car rentals to motorcoach tours to helicopter rides.
Grand Canyon Railway offers excursions from Williams, Ariz., in vintage coaches pulled by antique locomotives. Round-trip adult fares start at $49.50. The railway also can arrange hotel, meal and canyon-tour packages. Call 800-843-8724
GETTING AROUND WHEN TO GO PLACES TO STAY CANYON DINING ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION
The typical visitor takes a brief look into the Grand Canyon and departs pumped full of wonder. The typical stay lasts from five to seven hours, according to park surveys, and the average time spent looking at the canyon is 17 minutes. This means most of the travel along the south rim is by motor vehicle.
- The scenic drive on the portion of the south rim that is called West Rim Drive covers eight miles from the main visitor center, ending at Hermits Rest.
- Private vehicles are forbidden on West Rim Drive from late May through late September.
- Instead, a free shuttle bus takes passengers from one scenic point to the next.
The 25-mile East Rim Drive ends at Desert View, the park’s east entrance. Private vehicles are permitted on East Rim Drive all year. Those well-known mule trips into the canyon require reservations far in advance. Day trips, including lunch, cost $100 per person.
- Overnight trips with a stay at Phantom Ranch in the canyon start at $251.75 per person (including all meals).
- Call 520-638-2401 or fax 520-638-9247 for more details or reservations.
- Colorado River raft and boat trips, which vary in length and difficulty, are offered by more than a dozen companies.
- The voyages begin at Lees Ferry, Ariz., at the northeast extremity of the park-nearly a 50 mile drive from the main south rim visitor center.
Again, summertime reservations are a must. These are best booked through a knowledgeable travel agent. Hikers will find some undemanding trails along the rim, but even short hikes into the canyon call for stamina and plenty of food and water. Free backcountry permits are required for overnight treks.
- The visitor centers can provide detailed information on the intricate Grand Canyon hiking situation.
- Bicyclists must stay off the hiking trails and stick to the roads.
- Summer draws crowds, so everything that can be reserved-such as backcountry camping permits, lodging and excursions-should be booked well in advance.
On the south rim, where the average elevation is 7,000 feet, summer temperatures range from the 50s to the 80s. But down at river level, 5,000 feet below the rim, expect sizzling days topping 100 degrees. The north rim, 1,000 feet higher than the south, is slightly cooler.
Spring and fall can be the most pleasant seasons, although weather conditions can change suddenly. Winter, of course, brings snow and ice, slippery roads and treacherous hiking. Facilities in and roads to the north rim are closed in the winter. At the height of the summer season, places to sleep are at a premium and should be reserved early.
Campgrounds and trailer sites around the south rim offer only basic facilities. They cost $12 to $18 a night. Reservations are accepted up to five months in advance by DESTINET, 800-365-2267. Permits for camping overnight below the rim are free of charge but severely limited.
Requests may be made up to four months in advance by writing Backcountry Office, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, Ariz.86023. Rates for accommodations at El Tovar Hotel and five lodges in the Grand Canyon Village area range from $53 a room to $271 for an El Tovar suite. The 1,132 Grand Canyon lodging units (counting 201 on the north rim and 15 at Phantom Ranch, on the canyon floor) generally range in style from cabins to motel-hotel rooms.
Phantom Ranch is a refuge for rafters, hikers and mule riders, providing the weary with dormitory bunks, cabins and meals (at extra cost). Write Grand Canyon National Park Lodges at P.O. Box 699, Grand Canyon, Ariz.86023. For same-day reservations, call 520-638-2631.
In advance (the earlier the better), call 303-297-2757, or write Amfac Parks & Resorts, 14001 East Iliff, Suite 600, Aurora, Colo.80014. In Tusayan, 4 miles south of the south entrance on Ariz.64, motels, restaurants and other tourist facilities are sprouting like chickweed. Most of the familiar names in chain hostelry are represented-or soon will be.
It’s autumn now, so the hostess may be seating you before your hiking boots go out of style. In the peak months, however, expect to wait up to a couple of hours for tables at the fancier places around the rim. El Tovar Hotel dining room, overlooking the canyon and named for an early European visitor, Pedro Tovar (circa.1540), is the only establishment flaunting haute ambitions.
Cowpokes with a taste for herb marinades, tarragon butter, fennel and sun dried tomatoes belly up to the linen tablecloths at El Tovar. Dinner reservations (usually a good idea) are accepted at 520-638-2631. At the nearby Arizona Steakhouse, it’s first-come, first-served and dinner only. Crowds build up outside the door, where, while waiting, they are forced to watch descending sunbeams illuminate the canyon rock formations.
It could be worse. Other cafeterias and restaurants are sprinkled about Grand Canyon Village, including Babbitt’s General Store and Delicatessen, where backpackers can fuel up for the trails ahead. Down the road, restaurants in Tusayan (including a buckaroo-themed steakhouse) aim to satisfy the hungry-not the picky.
- Generally speaking, they succeed.
- Not all facilities are accessible, and some historic buildings make wheelchair access difficult.
- But many sites and overlooks may be visited with assistance and several are wholly accessible.
- An accessibility guide is available at the main visitor center or by writing P.O.
Box 129, Grand Canyon, Ariz.86023. TDD calls: 520-638-7804. Write: Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, Ariz.86023. Or call 520-638-7888. : A guide to the Grand Canyon
How far is Grand Canyon from Las Vegas?
Distance from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon The West Rim is the closest rim to Las Vegas. It is located about 130 miles from the heart of Las Vegas. On average, the drive takes approximately two and a half hours. Both the North Rim and South Rim are located over 270 miles from the Las Vegas Strip.
What airport should I fly into for the Grand Canyon?
Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG) – Flagstaff Airport is the closest small commercial airport to Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, just a 92-minute scenic drive via three distinct routes. Fly American Airlines exclusively from, or connect through, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) or Dallas Ft.
Is the Grand Canyon closer to Las Vegas or Phoenix?
FAQs about Is It Better to Drive From Las Vegas or Phoenix To Grand Canyon? –
Is it better to fly into Las Vegas or Phoenix to go to the Grand Canyon? As we mentioned above, for a quick day trip to Grand Canyon National Park, it is better to fly into Phoenix. For longer trips to the Grand Canyon and beyond, or to visit the West or North Rim, you should fly into Las Vegas. What’s closer to the Grand Canyon Phoenix or Las Vegas? Las Vegas is closer to the Grand Canyon at only 128 miles to the West Rim vs 222 miles from Phoenix to its closest rim, the South Rim. Is Grand Canyon closer to Arizona or Las Vegas? Easy answer 🙂 The Grand Canyon is inside Arizona (all 277 miles of it), so it is technically closer. Is it hard to drive from Phoenix to Grand Canyon? It isn’t hard to drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. It can be done in less than 4 hours, and most of the driving is done on large interstate highways. How long does it take to drive from Phoenix to Grand Canyon? It takes 3 hours 27 minutes to drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. Is Phoenix or Las Vegas closer to South Rim Grand Canyon? Phoenix is 53 miles closer than Las Vegas to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. What major city is closest to Grand Canyon? Phoenix is the closest major city to the Grand Canyon National Park, Las Vegas is the closest major city to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. What state is the best place to see the Grand Canyon? Considering Arizona is named the Grand Canyon State, we will go with Arizona as the best state to see the Grand Canyon.
: Is It Better to Drive From Las Vegas or Phoenix To Grand Canyon?
What city is closest to the Grand Canyon?
The two major cities closest to the Canyon are Phoenix and Las Vegas. Flagstaff, AZ is only 1.5 hours from the South Rim and although it is a smaller city, it does have an international airport. Tusayan is the closest town to Grand Canyon Village and also has a small public airport.
Is the Grand Canyon a day trip from Las Vegas?
If you’re in the mood to take a day trip from Las Vegas, make sure it’s a drive to the Grand Canyon. The closest entry point from Las Vegas is Grand Canyon West Rim, which is 128 miles or approximately a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Las Vegas.