The Grand Canyon Area Travel Guide is a resource for those planning to visit Grand Canyon National Park and other locations in and around the Grand Canyon and Northern Arizona. The area features diverse outdoor recreation and some of the world's most spectacular sightseeing.
(Right: The Inner Grand Canyon as seen from South Rim)
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Detailed Grand Canyon Area Map in separate window.
(Index at bottom of this page.)
South Rim |
Inner Canyon |
North Rim |
Toroweap Overlook |
Havasu Canyon |
Grand Canyon Skywalk
Introduction to Grand Canyon Area of Northern Arizona
The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is in northern Arizona about 80 miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona. It runs about 277 miles, from Marble Canyon in the east to Lake Mead in the west. Most visitor activities take place in Grand Canyon National Park, in the South Rim and North Rim villages on either side of the canyon. The South Rim is the destination of most visitors, 80 miles north of Flagstaff, and convenient to Interstates 40 and 17, 210 miles from Phoenix and about 275 miles from Las Vegas. The more remote North Rim is accessed by secondary roads, about 350 miles from Phoenix and 275 miles from Las Vegas. The two rims are only about 10 air miles apart but 215 miles by road.
The South and North Rims of the Grand Canyon offer visitor services such as food, lodging and camping, as well as access to the most popular trails into the canyon. The South Rim is open all year but at 7,000 feet elevation experiences winter. Many of its vista points offer views of the Colorado River and the Inner Canyon. At 8,000 feet, the North Rim offers cool summers but must close from November to May due to harsh winters. It is far less crowded than the South Rim but offers limited views of the Inner Canyon.
The Phantom Ranch sits in the bottom of the canyon between the two rims. It offers rental cabins, bunkhouses, meals and snacks. There is also a nearby campground. Visitors may venture to the bottom by hiking or on muleback. Many see the Inner Canyon through a white water raft trip on the Colorado River. Such trips takes at least three days. Rafting the entire canyon can take a week or more. Many people take air tours of the canyon by plane or helicopter.
Almost all Grand Canyon activities must be reserved well in advance, including lodging, camping, backpacking, mule trips, and white water rafting, as well as meals at the Phantom Ranch.
There are other exciting opportunities to see the Grand Canyon from more remote locations. The unfenced Toroweap Overlook is 3,000 feet straight above the Colorado River. Outside Grand Canyon National Park, Havasu Canyon on the remote Havasupai Reservation offers spectacular waterfalls and travertine pools. Further west, the Hualapai Tribe offers the unique Grand Canyon Skywalk and other visitor activities. The reservation also offers the only auto road to the bottom of the canyon.
The scenic Grand Canyon Railway running from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim, offers an alternative way of experiencing the Grand Canyon. Other nearby destinations include the Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, Lake Powell, Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon, Route 66, and Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. See the index below for more information.
Note: Some of the links in this guide are to publications in PDF format. The PDF's can only be viewed or printed using
Adobe Acrobat Reader (available free, online).
Grand Canyon Area Travel Guide Index
Guides to Nearby Destinations
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