Grand Canyon National Park

Location: 

Northern Arizona on the Kaibab Plateau / Kaibab Forest

Elevation:

North Rim – 8,000' (2,400 m)

South Rim- 7,000' (2,100 m)

Length:

277 River Miles Long (446 km)

Widest Point:

18 miles across

Deepest Point:

6,093' (1,857 m).

About

Established as the 17th national park in the U.S. in 1919. The Grand Canyon is one of the most visited national parks in the United States. Carved predominantly by the Colorado River, there are multiple access points on the north and south sides of the canyon.

Geology

The Grand Canyon was carved by Colorado River as well as wind, rain, snow, and heat/cold. This process was started nearly 2 billion years ago, layer after layer and about 5 million years ago the Colorado River started to work its way through slowly increasing the width and depth into the spectacular canyon it is today. 

Accessibility

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is currently closed during winter months due to snow levels on the roads. Efforts are on-going to work out a plan to keep this road plowed from snow to one-day allow year-round access to the North Rim. North Rim visitor services and Highway 67 are generally open from mid-May to mid-October. Lodging is sparse, but the North Rim is located just 95 miles from the East Zion area, making East Zion National Park an excellent base camp. On your return to East Zion you will see spectacular views of the Grand Staircase and can take a short detour to Coral Pink Sand Dunes. Kanab Airport also offers scenic flights over the North Rim. 

The South Rim Of The Grand Canyon is always open (weather permitting).

Park Trails

North Rim Of The Grand Canyon:

Most visitors access the Grand Canyon on the south rim and a small percentage of tourists visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. At elevations that range to nearly 9,000', The North Rim has some of the most spectacular views in the world. 

Scenic Overlooks – Grand Canyon North Rim:

There are three main scenic areas to access viewpoints; Bright Angel Point, Point Imperial, and Cape Royal. Bright Angel Point is located at the southern end of the main entrance road and includes a paved, half-mile round-trip walking trail that leads to dramatic Grand Canyon views. 

How to Experience Scenic Overlooks:

Upon arrival at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon visitors should allot approximately half a day to take in Point Imperial and Cape Royal.  This time-frame includes driving, scenic pullouts, and short hikes.  

Point Imperial: The highest point on the North Rim at 8,803 feet, and offers expansive views toward the east end of the canyon. 

Cape Royal: Offers incredible panoramic views of the entire canyon, and it’s one of the ideal locations to capture photos and views at either sunrise or sunset. 

Point Sublime: Travelers interested in a more rugged two-hour drive can travel to Point Sublime which is one of the most westerly views of this section of the North Rim. This remote area is best accessed with a well-maintained four-wheel drive vehicle, a full tank of gas, and with a prior check of road conditions.  

Traveling Down Into the Canyon:

Hiking: There are hiking trails that lead down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (some as long as 11+ miles). Bear in mind that these trails descend thousands of feet and that you are hiking at higher elevations. Any distance that you descend, you will also have to hike back up and these trails involve steep switchbacks. 

Mule Trips: Traveling by mule is a unique, and much less strenuous method to experience the North Rim in spring and summer. The mules are surefooted but if you have a fear of heights this may not be the experience you are looking for.  This is an excellent way to be able to view the canyon without having to worry about where you are personally walking.

Alternate North Rim Access: The remote Toroweap Overlook, is also known as Toroweap Point or Tuweep Overlook. This point is only accessible on a very rough dirt road that is best accessed in a four-wheel drive vehicle.  This viewpoint sits 3,000 feet above the Colorado River, and the hike from here down into the Grand Canyon should only be attempted by experienced hikers.

Preparation:

For all hikes into the Grand Canyon it is imperative that you take plenty of water. Remember that you are traveling from high elevations, temperatures may be more cool, down into the depths of a canyon where temperatures can become very hot. Water filters can be helpful in not having to carry too much water, but ensure that you have plenty of water to make your ascent. Heat exhaustion has been the cause of many hiking deaths or serious health challenges for hikers in the Grand Canyon National Park.

 

 

 

Planning Your Trip to the Grand Canyon  

  • Lodging: Hotels, Motels, Cabins, Cabins, Campgrounds can be found near The Grand Canyon
  • Dining: There are several restaurant options in the Grand Canyon area.
  • Fees and Permit information can be found on the park website.
  • How to Beat the Crowds: Peak season is May-September, anytime from late October to early April, or in the early morning or later evenings.  
  • Pets:
    • Are Permitted: 
      • Leashed pets are allowed on trails above the rim, Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village, and throughout developed areas.
      • Yavapai Lodge is an in park lodge that offers pet friendly rooms. 
    • Pets are not permitted: 
      • Below the rim. 
      • On shuttle buses.

Nearest airports to the grand canyon

Trying to decide which airport you should fly into to visit the Grand Canyon National Park? Here are three options:

  • ST. GEORGE REGIONAL AIRPORT: Three-hour drive to the park.
  • MCCARRAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT in Las Vegas: The nearest major airport with direct flights from many foreign and domestic destinations. Five-hour drive to the park.
  • SALT LAKE CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Major airport with direct flights from many foreign and domestic destinations. Seven-hour drive to the park.

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