Frequently Asked Questions
Grand Canyon National Park
Things to Do
If you're coming from Las Vegas, you might want to skip the South Rim and instead check out the West Rim (it's a 3 hour drive versus a 5 hour drive) and take a walk out on the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Its the glass bridge that extends 70 feet out over the canyon rim and looks straight down through the glass 4,000 feet to the canyon floor below. Be prepared to make room in your budget here, though - entrance packages that include the Grand Canyon Skywalk start at about $88 per person, child or adult.
We always recommend trying to fit in one or two of the guided National Park ranger talks, too. They run almost all day for about an hour each, meet in several different spots at the South Rim and North Rim and cover a range of different topics from wildlife to geology to art and history to astronomy. All are great and they're completely free. Check out the current season's edition of The Guide – the National Park's newspaper – for detailed times, descriptions and meeting places. It's available at nps.gov/grca.
There are several companies that provide Grand Canyon shuttles or taxi cabs from Flagstaff to the South Rim, with prices averaging $42 - $58 per person. Shuttles to the Grand Canyon depart almost exclusively from Flagstaff, offering pickup and return to Flagstaff hotels, and the price is usually exclusive of a $6 per person National Park entrance fee.
Once inside the Park, take the free shuttle bus system from viewpoint to viewpoint and around Grand Canyon Village. You can also take the daily TransCanyon shuttle from the South Rim to the North Rim, and vice versa.
A word of advice: The expense of renting a car or fueling your own vehicle is comparable to the total cost of shuttle(s), and you'll have greater freedom when it comes to where, when and how you decide to get around. Arizona is a vast state, so even in the cities and towns, you'll find that points of interest are too spread out to reach on foot, there is little to no public transportation, and cabs must be scheduled as opposed to caught; a rental or private vehicle will become necessary at some point, so you might as well drive yourself everywhere vs. trying to stick to shuttles and taxis.
Average high/low temperatures at the West Rim each month: January high 64 / low 39; February high 70 / low 43; March high 77 / low 49; April high 86 / low 56; May high 96 / low 65; June high 108 / low 73; July high 113 / low 79; August high 110 / low 78; September high 102 / low 70; October high 89 / low 58; November high 73 / low 46; December high 64 / low 39.
Average high/low temperatures at the North Rim each month (note: the North Rim is CLOSED mid-October through mid-May annually): January high 37 / low 16; February high 39 / low 18; March high 44 / low 21; April high 53 / low 29; May high 62 / low 34; June high 73 / low 40; July high 77 / low 46; August high 75 / low 45; September high 69 / low 39; October high 59 / low 31; November high 46 / low 24; December high 40 / low 20.
Average high/low temperatures below the Rim each month: January high 56 / low 36; February high 63 / low 40; March high 71 / low 46; April high 83 / low 55; May high 91 / low 62; June high 101 / low 71; July high 106 / low 77; August high 102 / low 74; September high 97 / low 68; October high 86 / low 58; November high 68 / low 45; December high 57 / low 36.
The Backcountry office is the same group that will issue your permit and reserve your campsite if available.
Submit the permit request form in one of the following ways:
- Bring request to the Backcountry Information Center, located inside the park on both the South Rim and the North Rim. The South Rim Backcountry Information Center is open daily, year round, for walk-in visitors from 8 am to noon and 1-5 pm Mountain Standard Time. The North Rim Backcountry Information Center (located in the administrative building) is open daily mid-May to mid-October for walk-in visitors from 8 am to noon and 1-5 pm Mountain Standard Time.
- Fax request to the Backcountry Information Center, 928-638-2125.
NOTE: You can send a fax 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year - HOWEVER the first day of every month we receive many faxes and the number may be busy.
- Mail request to Grand Canyon National Park, Permits Office, 1824 S. Thompson St., Suite 201, Flagstaff AZ, 86001
WEATHER AND AVERAGE TEMPERATURES
Wondering what to expect of the weather during your trip? See Grand Canyon Weather & Average Temperatures »
DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO THE SOUTH RIM
Get to the Grand Canyon South Rim from anywhere using the quickest, shortest and best routes. Driving Directions to the South Rim »
PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES
Drive yourself or take a shuttle? Learn the transportation options for each Grand Canyon rim. See All Grand Canyon Transportation »
GRAND CANYON'S NEAREST AIRPORTS
Most visitors fly into Phoenix or Las Vegas and drive to the Grand Canyon. Learn how: See All Nearby Grand Canyon Airports »