Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Grand Canyon
Q:Do I have to make reservations for lodging at the Grand Canyon?
A:Yes, lodging in Grand Canyon National Park becomes completely booked well in advance. Be sure to make reservations as far ahead as possible.
Q:How big is the Grand Canyon?
A:Most people measure the canyon in river miles, along the course of the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon. By that standard, Grand Canyon is 277 miles long.
Q:How old is the Canyon?
A:Although rocks exposed in the walls of the canyon are geologically quite old, the Canyon itself is a fairly young feature. The oldest rocks at the canyon bottom are close to 2000 million years old. The Canyon itself - an erosional feature - has formed only in the past five or six million years. Geologically speaking, Grand Canyon is very young.
Q:What are the entrance fees for Grand Canyon National Park?
Admission to Grand Canyon National Park is for seven days and includes both the North Rim and South Rim.
No refunds are given due to inclement weather.
Grand Canyon National Park Vehicle Permit- $30.00 (U.S. Dollars)
Admits one single, private, non-commercial vehicle and all its passengers. Organized groups are not eligible for the vehicle permit.
Grand Canyon National Park Motorcycle Permit- $25.00 (U.S. Dollars)
Admits one single, private, non-commercial motorcycle and its passenger(s).
Grand Canyon National Park Individual Permit - $15.00/person (U.S. Dollars)
Admits one individual when entering by foot, bicycle, park shuttle bus, Grand Canyon Railway and private rafting trip. Individuals 15 years old and younger are admitted free of charge.
Q:What is the recommended stay duration?
A:Minimalist (3 Days)
Driving/Sightseeing: 1 Day
Hiking/Exploring: 1 Day
Activities/Tours/Special Programs: 1 Day
Adventurist (5-7 Days)
Driving/Sightseeing: 1 Day
Hiking/Exploring: 2 Days
Activities/Tours/Special Programs: 2-4 Days
Notes: Grand Canyon is called “Grand” for a reason, standing along the rim is overwhelming and unforgettable, and something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. If you only have a few days in the area, a drive along Hermit Road or the Desert View Drive will provide some outstanding views into the canyon. If you have some more time to spend at the canyon consider a trip along the North Rim's Cape Royal Road where you will find some fantastic panoramic views of the canyon. As amazing as the rim views of the canyon are, there is much more in store for you than just what meets the eye upon first glimpse of this grand national park. The Grand Canyon area is a wealth of historic and geologic information and there are many museums and historic points in the south rim area. In the Village you will find the Historic District, Several of the buildings date from the early 1900s, including Mary Colter's Lookout Studio and Hopi House. Other popular spots include the Yavapai Museum, Desert View Watchtower, Kolb Studio, and the Historic Train Depot. Adventurists who really want a 'grand experience' will want to take a trip below the rim. There are (2) primary trails that lead from the popular South Rim down to the base of the canyon, the Bright Angel Trail, and the South Kabib Trial. Both of these trails can be strenuous and you should never try and hike from the rim to the canyon floor and back up to the rim in only one day, you should plan at least 2 days for this trip. The Grand Canyon also offers many great tours and activities that will make your grand canyon visit complete. A float trip down the Colorado River is a life changing experience! While there are 1 day smooth-water trips available, if you want to participate in any white-water trips, there is a 3-day minimum, so plan accordingly. Other great activities include a mule trips both along the rim, and down into the canyon, scenic flight-seeing trips over the canyon via airplane or helicopter, guided day hikes, bus tours, jeep tours and more!
Q:What is the weather like at the Grand Canyon?
A:Summer temperatures on the South Rim are relatively pleasant (50°s - 80°s F) but inner canyon temperatures are extreme. Daytime highs at the river, 5000 feet below the rim, often exceed 100° F. North Rim summer temperatures are cooler than those on the South Rim due to the increased elevation.
Winter conditions at the South Rim can be extreme: expect snow, icy roads, and possible road closures. Temperatures are low, and with the wind-chill factor can at times drop below 0° F. Canyon views may be temporarily obscured during winter storms; in such cases, entrance fees are not refundable. The North Rim is closed in winter.
Spring and Fall weather is extremely unpredictable; be prepared for sudden changes in the weather during these seasons. It is best to dress in layers so that you may be comfortable in any condition.
Q:When is the best time to visit the Grand Canyon?
A:Expect heavy crowds during spring, summer, and fall months. You will find fewer crowds in the early spring or late fall. The South Rim is open year round, but heavy snows close the road to the North Rim from late October to mid May of each year.