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 Grand Canyon National Park
 The South Rim of the Grand Canyon

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The South Rim is open 365 days a year, 7 days a week. Visitor services and facilities are open and available every day of the year (including holidays).

Most visitors come to the South Rim. Reservations for camping and lodging are essential. When making reservations for lodging and camping, remember to identify the rim you plan on visiting.

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How to Get to the South Rim

Grand Canyon National Park (SOUTH RIM) is located 60 miles north of Williams, Arizona (via route 64 from Interstate 40) and 80 miles northwest of Flagstaff (via route 180). Grand Canyon lies entirely within the state of Arizona. Commercial airlines serve Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Las Vegas. There is limited air service into Grand Canyon Airport (just south of the park) from Las Vegas and elsewhere. Greyhound provides bus service to Flagstaff. Shuttle service between Phoenix and Flagstaff, and between Flagstaff and Grand Canyon Village is offered by Open Road Tours (800-766-7117), call for prices and schedules. Amtrak provides rail service to Flagstaff with connecting bus service to the canyon. Grand Canyon Railway offers train service from Williams (for additional information call: 1-800-THE-TRAIN). You may wish to view an area map.

Approximate Driving Distances

North Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ - 212 miles / 341 kilometers
Take Highway 67 north to Highway 89Alt. Take Highway 89Alt east to Highway 89. Take Highway 89 south to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 west to the East Entrance on the South Rim - known as Desert View.
Flagstaff, AZ - 81 miles / 130 kilometers - there are three ways to go:
* Take I-40 west to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 north directly to the South Rim.
* Take Highway 180 west to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 north directly to the South Rim.
* Take Highway 89 north to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 west to the East Entrance on the South Rim - known as Desert View.
Phoenix, AZ - 231 miles / 372 kilometers
Take I-17 north to I-40. Take I-40 west to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 north directly to the South Rim.
Sedona, AZ - 119 miles / 192 kilometers
Take Highway 89Alt to I-40. Take I-40 west to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 north directly to the South Rim.
Williams, AZ - 63 miles / 101 kilometers
Take Highway 64 north directly to the South Rim.
Las Vegas, NV - 278 miles / 447 kilometers
Take Highway 93 south to I-40. Take I-40 east to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 north directly to the South Rim.
Los Angeles, CA - 494 miles / 795 kilometers
Take I-15 east to I-40. Take I-40 east to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 north directly to the South Rim.
Salt Lake City, UT - 510 miles / 821 kilometers
Take I-15 south to Highway 14. Take Highway 14 east to Highway 89. Take Highway 89 south to Highway 89Alt. Take Highway 89Alt east to Highway 89. Take Highway 89 south to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 west to the East Entrance on the South Rim - known as Desert View.
Denver, CO - 859 miles / 1382 kilometers
Take I-25 south to I-40. Take I-40 west to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 north directly to the South Rim.
Albuquerque, NM - 412 miles / 663 kilometers
Take I-40 west to Highway 64. Take Highway 64 north directly to the South Rim.

The South Rim: An Overview

Day-use visitors should expect traffic congestion and parking problems, particularly in summer. The least crowded time is November through February. However, winter weather is a major consideration when planning a trip during these months.

The South Rim of Grand Canyon averages 7000 feet/2134 m above sea level. Visitors with respiratory or heart problems may experience difficulties. All walking at this elevation can be strenuous.

How to See the Canyon

Canyon View Information Plaza is the park's visitor facility. Here you will find the visitor center (Canyon View Center), a large bookstore, and ample restrooms, all within a short walk of Mather Point. Because this facility was designed as the terminus for a mass transit system that is not yet operating, you cannot drive to it. Park your car and ride the free shuttle or walk the short trail from Mather Point.

There are many overlooks accessible by car that offer spectacular views of the canyon. Desert View Drive (Highway 64) follows the canyon rim for 26 miles/42 km east of Grand Canyon Village to Desert View - the east entrance to the park. Desert View Drive is open to private vehicles throughout the year. Hermit Road follows the rim for 8 miles/13 km west from Grand Canyon Village to Hermits Rest. Hermit Road is closed to private vehicles much of the year, but the park runs a free shuttle bus to provide transportation to overlooks.

A hiking trail, known as the Rim Trail, follows the rim from Pipe Creek Vista to Hermits Rest. The section of the Rim Trail between Pipe Creek Vista and Maricopa Point is paved, and mostly wheelchair accessible. Unpaved portions of the trail, between Maricopa Point and Hermits Rest, are narrow and close to the edge. Bicycles are not permitted on the Rim Trail.

Yavapai Observation Station at Yavapai Point offers panoramic views of the canyon, including the Colorado River and Phantom Ranch. Yavapai Observation Station is open all year.

For viewing and photographing the canyon, the best light is early or late in the day. Mid-day sun tends to flatten the view and soften the colors. Remember that days are short in the winter and long in the summer. If you plan to see the canyon at sunrise or sunset, it is recommended that you be on the rim at least an hour before.

The Colorado River flows along the bottom of the canyon, 5000 feet/1524 m below the rim. Because of the enormous depth of Grand Canyon, the river is visible only from certain viewpoints. It is a two-day hike to the river and back from the South Rim. It's a longer trip from the North Rim. It is possible to drive to the Colorado River at Lees Ferry (near Marble Canyon, Arizona), a 2.5 hour drive (one way) from the South Rim. Lees Ferry marks the official beginning of Grand Canyon.

Havasupai Indian Reservation

The Havasupai Indian Reservation is in a large tributary canyon on the south side of the Colorado River. This land lies outside the boundary and jurisdiction of the National Park Service and is administered by the Havasupai Indian Tribe. The village of Supai is accessible only by foot (an 8-mile hike) or horseback. Hiking is by tribal permit only. Inquiries should be directed to Havasupai Tourist Enterprises, P.O. Box 160, Supai, AZ 86435. (928) 448-2121 or (928) 448-2141 for the tourist office, (928) 448-2111 for lodging.

Hualapai Indian Reservation

Grand Canyon West (located on the south side of the Colorado River) is managed by the Hualapai Tribe. The Hualapai Indian Reservation is located on the south side of the Colorado River. This land lies outside the boundary and jurisdiction of the National Park Service and is administered by the Hualapai Indian Tribe. Inquiries should be directed to Hualapai Tribe, P.O. Box 538, Peach Springs, Arizona, 86434, (928) 769-2216. They can provide you with driving directions, as well as a rate structure for access to their lands along the rim.

 

 

Information courtesy of National Park Service.

 

 


 

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