- By Jocelyn
- On Feb 3, 2017
- North America
- Travel Tips
I believe that you have heard about the Grand Canyon which is world-famous and it's combined with West Rim, South Rim, East Rim and North Rim. The South Rim is also named Grand Canyon National Park which is located in northwestern Arizona, the park encompasses 277 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands.
Most of the 5 million annual visitors to the Grand Canyon arrive at the South Rim and experience its beauty from the many overlooks along the canyon edge. There are many miles of paved and unpaved walkways along the rim.
Then here is a tourist guide to Grand Canyon National Park for you.
Hours of Operation of the Grand Canyon National Park
South Rim is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Services are available and facilities are open year round.
Grand Canyon National Park Vehicle Permit - $30.00
Grand Canyon National Park Motorcycle Permit - $25.00
Grand Canyon National Park Individual Permit - $15.00/person
Get to Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon South Rim is 4 hours from Las Vegas, Nevada (I-40 & AZ-180), 3.5 hours from Kanab, Utah (UT-89 & AZ-64), and 1.5 hours from Flagstaff, Arizona (AZ-180).
From Las Vegas (275 miles)
Phoenix (229 miles)
Falgstaff (80 miles)
Join a bus tour is another way to see the park, with someone else behind the wheel so you can spend your time taking in the amazing views. The drivers are also trained naturalists, so you'll learn some fun things about the park's geologic and human history, too.
Many Grand Canyon visitors fly into one of two metropolitan airports located within half a day's drive of the South Rim:
Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS), which is 275 mils (443 km) from the South Rim
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX), 230 mils (370 km) from the South Rim.
Flagstaff's Pulliam Field (FLG) is the nearest commercial airport to the canyon. Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCN) is located just outside of the South Rim entrance in the town of Tusayan; it is primarily utilized by companies who provide Grand Canyon air tours and private aircraft.
The Grand Canyon Railway operates a train ride from the town of Williams to the Grand Canyon Village (travel time is 2.5 hours in each direction). The terminus at Grand Canyon Village is within walking distance of some accommodations. The train features a historic steam locomotive during the summer season, restored Pullman cars, and a staged old west style shootout. However, the Grand Canyon is not visible from the train. It is simply another option for traveling to the canyon, and takes about twice as long as driving to the canyon.
Hotels near Grand Canyon South Rim
The rim-adjacent towns of Tusayan and Williams, located 8 and 60 miles from the South Rim respectively, are the most practical options for booking your South Rim hotel, particularly if you are unable to secure a reservation at one of the Grand Canyon National Park lodges along the rim. National Park lodge reservations usually require a 12-month advance timeframe. During the busy summer season, you may need to look further beyond the South Rim to Flagstaff (90 miles) or Sedona (120 miles). Both of these larger cities offer plenty of lodging options from motels and hotels to bed & breakfasts and cabins, vacation rentals and resorts. In addition, Flagstaff and Sedona offer spectacular scenery, broad choices of restaurants and bars, plus attractions and tours departing daily for the Grand Canyon.
What to Eat
Many travelers prefer a quick meal at one of the on-site cafeterias in the South Rim, instead of an extended (and expensive) meal at one of the park's restaurants. Whatever you do, avoid the food in the nearby town of Tusayan, Arizona; recent travelers say that the city's restaurants are particularly disappointing. In fact, many recommend packing lunches from local delis.
What to do in Grand Canyon National Park
Hiking in Grand Canyon National Park can be a fun and rewarding experience as in other national parks. It is a great way to both see and experience the park.
THE SOUTH RIM is the Grand Canyon's most popular area. The south side is steeper and shorter -- 7,000 above sea level to the North Rim's 8,500 -- so the downward views are dizzying and the opposite cliff's intricate red-rock steps stretch out in front of you like a big orange IMAX.
Lots of incredible viewpoints right off the shuttle (Grandview, Desert View/Watchtower, Yavapai...), but if you're able and willing, South Rim hiking will justify your efforts. See Bright Angel Trail or South Kaibab Trail at least.
Hotels, campgrounds and guides book solid from early spring to late fall. Plan ahead.
Grand Canyon National Park is in a remote part of the country. Here are a few tips:
- Bring an extra set of car keys – it could be a long wait for a locksmith.
- Film is available at both rims, but the closest camera repair is in Flagstaff, Williams or Page, Arizona.
- There is an automobile mechanic on the South Rim, but you may experience delays waiting for parts.
- Distances are deceiving in this part of the country: it may look like you can visit three parks in one day, but the reality is often different.
- Keep your gas tank full the next gas station may be quite some distance down the road.
- Carry water in your car, particularly during summer months.
I wish this tourist guide could do a help for you to travel to Grand Canyon National Park. In fact, most travelers prefer to join a Las Vegas to Grand Canyon bus tour, no matter for west rim or south rim. Of course, you can plan ahead of time and choose the best way you want to do for full joy!