Grand Canyon National Park

Year Established: 1919
Annual Visitors: 4.53 Million
Size: 1.2 Million Acres
State: Arizona

Best Time to Visit Grand Canyon National Park

March to May and September to October

Check out other national parks in Arizona:

If you are planning to visit more national parks, check out our complete list of all US National Parks here.

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Best Experiences in Grand Canyon National Park

Also Check out:

  • South Kaibab
  • Rim Trail
  • Bright Angel
  • Hermit Road
  • Navajo Point
  • Lipan Point

A Brief History

The Colorado River has cut a 277-mile-long, 6,000-foot-deep gorge through this area over millions of years, creating a landscape that Theodore Roosevelt called “a natural wonder that has no equal anywhere else in the world.”

The beautiful canyon is 18 miles wide and has layers of white, cream, and brown sandstone, brownish shale, gray limestone, and pink granite that show 2 billion years of geological history. Native tribes who used to live here left thousands of drawings and symbols on the rocks that are now carved.

The Grand Canyon of Arizona is almost a mile deep and protrudes from the desert landscape. This four-plateau masterpiece carved by the Colorado River provides a rare opportunity to see all 40 layers of Earth’s crust in one place.

More recently, the Grand Canyon has become a place where brave people can descend its ridges or raft its famous whitewater rapids. At night, the dark sky in the park makes it easy to see the stars.

It has been 150 years since John Wesley Powell led the first group through the Grand Canyon in 1869 to find out more about a part of the canyon that was not on American maps.

In the summer, people who want to follow in the footsteps of the pioneers should join one of the water trips that leave from Lee’s Ferry. Itineraries range from a few days to a few weeks, and you can experience the Colorado River by whitewater rafting through rapids, peacefully paddling up little-known side canyons, and exploring Native American ruins that can only be reached by river.

shoshone point grand canyon the chambers rv image

The park’s colorful canyon can be accessed from the park’s South Rim. Though it’s only a short distance from the parking lots, even on the busiest summer days, Shoshone Point is peaceful. Ten-X, hidden by the Kaibab National Forest, is a great campground for those who like solitude. Meanwhile, the West Rim is home to the Skywalk, a glass-bottomed platform that protrudes out over the canyon and provides breathtaking, unobstructed views for visitors. this platform is located on Hualapai Indian Tribal Lands.

The North Rim, which is visited by only a tenth as many people as the South, is arguably the park’s most scenic entrance. Those who are up for an adventure and are willing to go a little further can spend the night at the rustic Grand Canyon Lodge or camp out under the stars in the northern campsite. Adventurous types may cover a lot of ground on foot.

In addition to its well-known white-water rafting and kayaking, the Colorado River also features a plethora of tranquil rivers, limestone cliffs, hidden ruins, and cactus gardens. While the river’s currents can be strong, the peace and quiet of its winding caverns, secret waterfalls, and empty beaches is a potent counterbalance.

Landlubbers have preferred mule rides since 1887. These trips into the beast’s belly are gradual and steady, making them ideal for the risk-averse explorer. High-octane jeep trips provide a happy medium by taking visitors to the canyon’s most famous sights, such as the canyon’s historic stagecoach pathways, the wildlife-rich Kaibab Forest, and the canyon’s breathtaking sunsets. Tourists take in the historic landmarks, go on nature walks with elk, and study ancient Native American cave paintings, only with less fluff.

The canyon can only be fully appreciated from both a distance and up close. Therefore, a trip isn’t complete without taking in the scenery from above on a plane or helicopter tour. These fly high above the canyon and other nearby landmarks like Monument Valley, Rainbow Bridge, Antelope Canyon, and Lake Powell.

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About Grand Canyon National Park

Unexpectedly, the Grand Canyon doesn’t break very many records. It’s neither the biggest nor the deepest canyon, yet it has such massive popularity. It is by far the most well-known canyon in existence. In fact, many people call it “The Canyon” as if there were none other.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is the main attraction at Grand Canyon National Park. It is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and 6,093 feet deep at its deepest point. No one will ever see it all in one trip, but you can get a sense of its beauty and size in a day or two.

Layers of different colored rock sink into the earth, making a chasm that looks like it was made by tectonic plates breaking apart. But this cut through the United States was made by the Colorado River when it went through what is now north Arizona. Geologists still argue about how long ago that was.

The flow of water and the rise of the Colorado Plateau worked together to make a mile-deep canyon. The rocks that are left were once covered by a warm, shallow sea or swamp, but now they are in a hot, dry desert where the sun makes them shine.

You may find popular places on the South Rim to be crowded when you visit, but there’s a reason why.

From Grand Canyon Village, Hermit Road goes west for 8 miles until it reaches Hermit’s Rest, which is made of stone. It shows how the canyon country looked in the last days of the American Frontier through a number of wooden buildings built in the 20th century.

South Rim of the Grand Canyon

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Those interested in hiking can do so by taking the free shuttle to Hermit’s Rest and then walk along the Rim Trail back to Grand Canyon Village. Feel free to hop on and off the buses as frequently as you like at the various stops and vantage points if you’d rather take in the sights from the comfort of a seat.

The easiest place to steer clear from the massive amounts of tourists is to go east from Grand Canyon Village along the more tranquil Desert View Drive. This 25-mile route does not offer a shuttle bus service, so guests need to bring their own cars. However, there are six vantage spots and five pullover sites.

You can check out Lipan and Navajo Point to get a good look at the red rock layers. The Desert View Watchtower marks the end of the road just beyond the stunning Tusayan Ruins.

These frightening remains are the only thing left of the Puebloan village. About twenty Native Americans, back when this was their home 900 years ago, constructed it.

The Bottom of the Grand Canyon

Many tourists only go as far as the South Rim viewpoints, but it’s hard to look down the Grand Canyon’s steep walls and not wonder what’s down there.

Starting at Grand Canyon Village, Bright Angel Trail drops 4,380 feet over 8 miles to the Colorado River at the bottom of the cliffs. Due to the way the trail goes down, you can expect a lot of switchbacks and sore knees. On the plus side, the Phantom Ranch (the only lodge beyond the rim) is only 2 miles away.

North Rim of the Grand Canyon

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While Grand Canyon Village is only 10 miles away, it takes five hours to drive around the gorge. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is the quieter side, with only 10% of the park’s visitors going there.

It’s a great place to go to get away from the crowds. Since the North Rim is about 1,000 feet higher than the South Rim, it is also the colder side. People on the North Rim may be standing in snow that is falling, while people down below may be sunbathing on the river bank.

Hiking Between Rims

There are a few ways to hike from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other, but it’s not a good idea to do it in one day. The 24 mile Bright Angel and North Kaibab trails route from Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim to Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim is likely the best choice.

The walk is incredible in every way, and definitely worth it. But if it’s too long, you could also try the shorter (but still difficult) South Rim to South Rim trek, which follows the South Kaibab trail to the river and then goes back up the Bright Angel.

Keep an eye out for the rare California condor as it soars high on the thermals, no matter which way you go.

Also, check the weather first too. Hikers who leave the clifftops in the cold light of an icy dawn may be wearing thick coats, but by the time they get to the bottom of the canyon, it may be dangerously hot.

Take Flight Over Grand Canyon National Park

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Seeing the Grand Canyon from above could be the most effective way to grasp its immense size. Every day, planes and helicopters take off from the Airport on the South Rim to take tourists on aerial tours of the park.

Those fortunate enough to take one of these flights will be awed by the size of the gorge, carved out by a river that appears to run quietly even today.

The National Park Service has restricted the number of planes and banned them from flying below the rim. The goal here is to reduce noise and ensure the security of the area.

While the Hualapai Reservations and Havasupai andare beyond the boundaries of the National Park, they are used by certain helicopter tours that land in the canyon.

Beautiful waterfalls can be found in the Havasupai region of the canyon, where Havasu Creek spills into the Colorado River.

The biggest attraction of the Hualapai Reservation is the Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped, glass bottom walkway that extends 70 feet over the rim. The designers claim it can support the equivalent of seventy Boeing 747s.

Assuming those planes were able to shatter the glass, it still would have a long way to fall before it hit the ground. Due to the depth of the Grand Canyon, you could stack all of those planes on top of each other and still not reach the edge.

Grand Canyon RV Parks

If you are looking for somewhere to stay in your RV in our around the Grand Canyon National Park, check out our post:

Visitor Information


Individuals 15 years old and younger are admitted free of charge.

Daily Park Passes

$20.00 per person
$35.00 per vehicle
$30.00 per motorcycle

Annual Park Passes

Grand Canyon Annual Park Pass – $70

America The Beautiful Annual Park Pass

You can also get an annual park pass to ALL National Parks in the United States for $80.
Keep in mind they have Senior, Military, and other discounts available!

Contacting Grand Canyon National Park

South Rim is open all year round and North Rim closes during the winter months.

Phone Number

(928) 638-7888

Visitor Centers

Grand Canyon Visitor Center
grand canyon visitor center the chambers rv

You should start your trip to Grand Canyon National Park at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is on the South Rim and gives an interesting and informative overview of Arizona’s most famous landmark. The visitor center also has maps, brochures, Grand Canyon tours, and tickets to get into the park. This building also has the ticket booth, exhibits, restrooms, store, cafe, and IMAX theater, which shows Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.


S Entrance Rd,
Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023

Hours of Operation

  • Sunday 8:00 AM–4:00 PM
  • Monday 8:00 AM–4:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM–4:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM–4:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM–4:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM–4:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM–4:00 PM

Be sure to check for seasonal closures.

Verkamps Visitor Center (South Rim)
verkamps visitor center south rim the chambers rv

In the Village Historic District, Verkamp’s Visitor Center has displays about the Grand Canyon Community and what it was like to live and work on the edge of one of the seven natural wonders. There is also a Grand Canyon Conservancy Museum Store and an information desk with people who can help you. Outside the building, near the edge of the canyon, there is a place to fill up water bottles, and public restrooms are in a separate building behind the Visitor Center.


100 S Entrance Rd,
Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023

Hours of Operation

  • Sunday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
  • Monday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM–6:00 PM

Be sure to check for seasonal closures.

North Rim Visitor Center Park Store
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Rangers are at the Roaring Springs Overlook Kiosk, just north of the Visitor Center building, and along the canyon rim every day from 10 am to 4 pm to answer questions. From May 15 to October 15, 2022, the Visitor Center Park Store is open for the season. Visitors can ask questions, make plans for trips, and find out about the day’s events and activities. The store is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm and has a wide range of books, maps, souvenirs, and gifts.


North Rim, AZ 86023

Hours of Operation

  • Sunday 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Monday 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Thursday 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Friday 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Saturday 9:00 AM–5:00 PM

Be sure to check for seasonal closures.