Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

In A Nutshell

Open year-round, the South Rim has two entrances. The South Entrance is on Highway 64, from Flagstaff or Williams. The East Entrance is on Highway 64, via Cameron and Highway 89. 

Fees and Passes

Entrance to the park is $25 per vehicle and $12 per person for pedestrians and bicyclists. The entrance fee is good for seven consecutive days from the date of purchase on either rim.

A 12-month Grand Canyon Park Pass is available for $50. The America the Beautiful—National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, available only at entrance stations, costs $80 per year and is valid for all federal recreation areas and national parks. The America the Beautiful Access Pass, available at the visitor center, is free to U.S. citizens or residents with lifetime disabilities. The America the Beautiful Senior Pass, available only at entrance stations, costs $10 (one-time fee) for U.S. citizens or residents age 62 and older. 

Getting to Grand Canyon—South Rim

Car: From the west, take Highway 64 at Williams to the South Entrance (59 miles). From the east, you have two choices. Take U.S. Highway 160, to Highway 89, to Highway 64, and then go on to the East Entrance. You can also take I-40 to Highway 89, to Highway 64, and then proceed to the East Entrance. From Flagstaff, take Highway 180 to Highway 64, and then continue on to the park (80 miles). 

Train: Amtrak serves both Williams and Flagstaff. Connecting rail service from Williams is available on Grand Canyon Railway. Passengers travel in restored 1920s Harriman coaches for this scenic, two-hour ride.

Airlines: Commuter lines fly daily from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, eight miles south of Grand Canyon Village. Scenic Airlines offers flights from several Southwest destinations; for more information, please call (800) 634-6801 or (702) 638-3300. Shuttles run hourly from the airport to Grand Canyon Village. Taxi service to and from Grand Canyon airport is available.

Bus: Open Road Tours and Transportation provides transportation from Phoenix and Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon. Please call (800) 766-7117 or (928) 226-8060 for more information.

South Rim to North Rim Shuttle: Between May and Mid-October, a rim-to-rim bus operates daily. Allow five hours to make a one-way trip. Please call (928) 638-2820 for the Trans Canyon Shuttle.

Rental Car: Cars may be rented in Flagstaff, Phoenix or Las Vegas.

Taxi: For South Rim taxi service 24 hours a day, please call (928) 638-2631, ext. 6563. 

Getting Around Grand Canyon

Free Shuttle Service: One of the easiest ways to get around the sometimes confusing Grand Canyon Village area is to use the free shuttle buses. Shuttles arrive frequently, every 10 to 15 minutes on most routes, and stop at most concession facilities, parking areas, campgrounds and scenic overlooks. Shuttles generally operate from one hour before sunrise to an hour after sunset, even later in the Village area. Use the map in the center of The Guide for routes and stop locations. The shuttle is the easiest way to get to Canyon View Information Plaza. Hermit Road is accessible only by shuttle from March 1 to November 30. Yaki Point and the South Kaibab Trailhead can be reached only by shuttle year-round.

Weather

The South Rim is located in an exposed high-desert region which is renowned for temperature extremes. Weather can change abruptly any time of year. Summers are warm and dry, but prone to spectacular thunderstorms and sudden temperature drops. Winters bring freezing temperatures and snowstorms. 

The 5,000-foot elevation difference between the rim and the river means that, in summer, rim temperatures in the 70s to 80s (21º to 32ºC) can translate to scorching temperatures exceeding 110ºF (43ºC) at the canyon bottom. Both the spring and the fall tend to be pleasant and warm. Always wear a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, sturdy footwear, thick socks and layers of protective clothing. Bring plenty of water and high-energy foods. 

Park Newspaper

The Guide is published by the Grand Canyon Association in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS). It provides information about ranger-led activities, the shuttle schedule and visitor facilities. Free copies are available at park entrance stations and visitor centers. The Guide is available in German, French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese translations. The NPS also publishes the Trip Planner, a guide for planning a visit to Grand Canyon and the surrounding area; please call (928) 638-7888 to obtain a free copy of this publication or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/grca.

Canyon View Information Plaza (CVIP)

Make this your first stop in the park so that you may better plan your activities. Information on hikes, ranger-led programs, weather, bicycling and indoor activities, plus orientation maps of the canyon and the Colorado Plateau are available. The plaza offers a Grand Canyon Association (GCA) bookstore, the Visitor Center and restrooms. Hours change seasonally, so be sure to check The Guide for current information. Outdoor displays are always available.

Yavapai Observation Station

Located a half-mile west of Mather Point, this facility offers panoramic views of the canyon through large observation windows. Ranger-led programs are available, check The Guide for a current schedule. The historic building also houses a GCA bookstore. Yavapai Observation Station is a must if you have only a few hours in the park. New displays featuring the geologic story of the canyon are scheduled for installation in May, 2007. Hours change seasonally. -

Tusayan Museum and Ruin

Visitors interested in Grand Canyon's cultural history will want to take a tour of the ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) village site at Tusayan while exploring Desert View Drive. This small pueblo was occupied by several farming families for a short period beginning in A.D. 1185. The adjoining museum, which operates a GCA bookstore, interprets the ancestral Puebloan culture and that of the Hopi, who live just to the east and are generally considered to be their descendants.

Tusayan Museum is located 23 miles east of the Village and three miles west of Desert View. Hours change seasonally. See The Guide for details. -

Kolb Studio

This site, now on the National Register of Historic Places, was built by Emery and Ellsworth Kolb as a photography studio in 1904. The Kolbs were the first to film a Grand Canyon river run, and Emery continued showing films, photographing mule riders descending the Bright Angel Trail, and selling curios until his death in 1976. Perched at the head of the Bright Angel Trail, the studio now houses a bookstore and exhibit hall. 

Desert View Information Center

Orientation, park information and books are available. Hours of operation change seasonally, check The Guide for more information. 

VISITOR SERVICES

Visitors to Grand Canyon will find a full range of services available. For the most current information, check The Guide

Banking 

Chase Bank is a full-service bank offering a 24-hour automated teller machine, cash advances on credit cards and wire services. It is located at Market Plaza. Bank hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bookstores

Grand Canyon Association operates several bookstores in the park. Located at Canyon View Information Plaza and in Yavapai Observation Station, Tusayan Museum, Kolb Studio and the Desert View Information Center, the outlets feature books, booklets, trail guides, and video and audio cassette tapes that focus on the Grand Canyon and its vicinity. Call (800) 858-2808 for more information.

Film

Film is available at all Village curio shops and the bookstore at Canyon View Information Plaza.

Gift Shops and Curios

A vast array of souvenirs and gifts commemorating your trip to Grand Canyon is available. Many of the gift and curio shops are known for their extensive selection of southwestern arts and crafts. All shops accept American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa credit cards.

Lookout Studio: A southwestern-style Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter building, Lookout Studio was built as a gift shop and lookout point. The studio, perched on the South Rim, was designed to blend in with its setting. Two viewing porches are open in good weather. Rock and fossil specimens, traditional souvenirs, and books and photographic prints are on sale. The studio is located just a short walk west of historic Bright Angel Lodge and is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (summer) and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (winter). Please call (928) 638-2631, ext. 6087 for more information. 

Hermits Rest Gift Shop: This shop is contained within a rough-hewn cliff house of native Kaibab limestone and was designed by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter. The shop honors the memory of the hermit who prospected in the canyon during the late 1800s. Hermits Rest is also a National Historic Landmark. Traditional gifts, park souvenirs and American Indian handicrafts are sold. The shop is located seven miles west of the Village at the end of scenic Hermit Road and is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. during summer, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in winter. Please call (928) 638-2351 for more information. 

Verkamp's Curios: One of the Grand Canyon's oldest continuously operated retail establishments, Verkamp's Curios is renowned for its quality souvenirs and authentic American Indian handicrafts. Located next to Hopi House, the two-story home and business was constructed in 1906 and its interior was painstakingly renovated in 1988. Verkamp's is open 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in summer and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in winter. For more information, please call (928) 638-2242.

Desert View Watchtower: The 70-foot watchtower was designed by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter in 1932 as a re-creation of the ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) towers found in the Four Corners region and preserved at Hovenweep National Monument. Despite the name, it is not clear whether the peaceable ancestral Puebloans employed these structures as enemy lookouts.

The gift shop sells local American Indian handicrafts including jewelry, rugs and pottery. Desert View Watchtower is 23 miles east of the Village at the park's East Entrance. It is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during summer and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in winter. Call (928) 638-2736 for more information. 

Desert View Trading Post: Near the Desert View Watchtower, the trading post features a snack bar, American Indian jewelry and rugs, and traditional canyon souvenirs. It is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during summer and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in winter. Call (928) 638-2360 for more information. 

El Tovar Hotel Gift Shop: The gift shop carries authentic American Indian jewelry, fine clothing, sundries and souvenirs. A newsstand is also available. Located in the El Tovar Hotel lobby in the Village, the shop is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. year-round. Please call (928) 638-2631, ext. 6356 for more information.

Bright Angel Curio Shop: The shop offers traditional Southwestern gifts and souvenirs, authentic American Indian pottery and jewelry, film and sundries. Located in the Bright Angel Lodge lobby, the shop is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Call (928) 638-2631, ext. 6085 for information. 

Maswik Curio Shop: Gifts, film, souvenirs, American Indian jewelry, pottery and sundries are available. Located in the Maswik Lodge in the Village, it is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information, call (928) 638-2631, ext. 6972.

Yavapai Curio Shop: Traditional souvenirs, gifts, sundries and film are available at this shop which is located in the Yavapai Lodge. It is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seasonally. For more information, please call (928) 638-2631 ext. 7515.

Laundry and Showers

Coin-operated shower and laundry facilities are available next to Mather Campground. They are open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the summer; hours vary in the winter. 

Lost and Found

The park's lost and found is located at the NPS Maintenance Complex, off Center Road. For items lost or found in hotels, restaurants or lounges, please call (928) 638-2631, ext. 6503. For items lost or found at all other locations, please call (928) 638-7798 during business hours. Found items may be turned in at the Canyon View Information Plaza or at the Yavapai Observation Station. 

Medical Services

Call 911 for emergency medical care (9-911 from guest rooms). North Country Grand Canyon Clinic, located on Clinic Road off Center Road between the South Entrance and the Village, is open seven days a week during summer (March—October) and five days a week during the winter. Please call (928) 638-2551 for information.

Post Office

The Village Post Office is located at Market Plaza. Call (928) 638-2512 for more information.

Religious Services

Several denominations hold religious services throughout the park. A schedule is posted on bulletin boards at the campground entrance, the Shrine of the Ages and outside of the post office.

Service Stations 

Desert View Chevron, open April through September, is 25 miles east of the Village. Self-service with credit card is available year-round.

For minor repairs and towing, the Grand Canyon Garage is located next door to the Xanterra General Offices in the Village. Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Call (928) 638-2631 for 24-hour emergency vehicle towing. 

Special Services

Many of the programs, facilities and activities in the park are fully accessible, or accessible with assistance, to visitors with physical disabilities. A free Accessibility Guide is available at Canyon View Information Plaza and park entrance stations.

Wheelchairs: Free wheelchairs are available for loan at Canyon View Information Plaza.

Permits: Special-needs permits allow visitors with mobility concerns access to Hermit Road and other restricted areas. The temporary permits are available at Canyon View Information Plaza, Yavapai Observation Station, Tusayan Museum, El Tovar Registration Desk or at the transportation desks at Bright Angel, Yavapai and Maswik lodges.

Visually Impaired Visitors: Some ranger programs are adapted to meet the needs of visually impaired visitors. 

Shuttle Bus: Most shuttle buses are not wheelchair-accessible; however, accessible shuttle buses are available in response to requests made the day prior to need. Please call (928) 638-0591 to make arrangements for service.

Lodging: Xanterra offers a growing number of wheelchair-accessible guest rooms in many South Rim lodges. All accommodations offer special access with assistance.

Trails and Campgrounds: Much of the paved portion of the Rim Trail is wheelchair-accessible. Mather, Desert View and Trailer Village campgrounds include sites that are wheelchair-accessible.

Further Information: Pick up the Accessibility Guide at Canyon View Information Plaza, Yavapai Observation Station, Tusayan Museum or park entrances.

Stores and Supplies

Delaware North Parks Services operates two full-service grocery and department stores in the park, as well as a store at Tusayan, one mile from the park's South Entrance and seven miles from the Village. Souvenirs, food, drinks, gifts and recreational supplies are on sale. Equipment rental available at: 

General Store: (Located at Market Plaza): Open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in summer, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in winter; (928) 638-2262. 

Desert View Marketplace: Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in summer, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in winter; (928) 638-2393. 

Tusayan Store: Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in summer, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in winter; (928) 638-2854.