How to visit Grand Canyon south rim (advice from a local)


number one when is the best time to

visit the best time to visit very much

depends on what you're looking for if

it's crowds you're concerned with the

least visited times are between December

and February save holidays know that if

you come during late December crowds can

be worse than in summer

other than the holidays though

visitation is low in winter due to cold

and snow the Park Service will not use

salt to melt road ice so surfaces can

get slippery

despite this the canyon can appear

breathtaking after a winter snow in

summertime many families will visit

causing many people to believe that

traveling and scream or fall to be ideal

but autumn is just as busy as the summer

though there certainly are less crying



number two where is the glass skywalk

the Skywalk is on Hualapai tribal land

and 250 road miles from the national

park where many people show up expecting

to find it the Skywalk sets perched over

a side Canyon of Grand Canyon proper and

therefore offers completely different

views than what visitors will encounter

along the main south realm a rather high

cost of admission has also soured the

experience for some Grand Canyon West as

the area is called typically sees

tourists from Las Vegas due to its

proximity to Nevada

number three how many people fall off

fatalities vary from year to year but on

average around five or more will fall

from the rim either accidentally or



far greater accidents occur from other

reasons such as dehydration from

unprepared hikers in 2016 the park

exceeded six million visitors for the

year helping to put into perspective the

relatively few fatalities that do

actually occur as parks experience

record visitor numbers an emerging

problem involving accidents is actually

traffic related a huge percentage of

visitors and rental cars are foreign

nationals who may not be familiar with

US traffic laws or driving in general


number four how do you get down there

the Bright Angel Trail is typically

categorized as the easiest way to and

from the Colorado River this however

does it mean that it is easy to hike to

the bottom and back for unprepared

hikers the Bright Angel like the South

Kayaba is a maintained trail and because

of its proximity to the main village is

the most used the Oasis at Indian garden

and Phantom Ranch provide amenities not

available on many of the other non

maintained trails there are also

overnight mule rides to the bottom but

you must make reservations for these

more than a year in advance

Grand Canyon officially begins at a

place called Lee's ferry which is

accessible by car it is here where

rafters put in for the long journey down

the 277 mile long Canyon however there

are no roads to the bottom of the canyon

within the park so don't listen to your

car's GPS it could lead you astray

five how long does it take to get to the

bottom and do you need permission the

amount of time it takes a hiker to reach

the Colorado River and return safely to

the rim depends entirely on the hiker

and the trail he or she uses it

typically takes an individual twice as

long to climb out as it does to go down

and therefore the recommendation is to

spend two days although some people do

this in one day spending two or more is

safer and allows for more time to

appreciate the incredible scenery the

mule ride takes about six hours to reach

the bottom for an overnight stay at

Phantom Ranch camping overnight within

the canyon requires a fee and

backcountry permit that one can obtain

at the backcountry office there is a

limited number of permits available so

during prime times of spring and fall it

is best to reserve them in advance

remember most hikers seen on the trails

are not going all the way to the river

but doing shorter day hikes the Rim

Trail that stretches west of the village

paralleling hermit road is great for day

hikes as much of it is paved and level

between March and November one can also

use the free Red Line shuttle bus in

conjunction with walking the rim path


number six what about wildlife and

dangerous animals visitors commonly see

elk and deer in the village area that

display little fear of people while the

park does have some carnivorous

predators like mountain lions and

Toyotas the animal that most people have

negative encounters with is the cute

little rock squirrel it is illegal to

feed wildlife despite many warnings and

people are bitten while trying to feed

or pet this animal the parks medical

clinic reports that during the summer

they can receive several visits per day

from tourists regarding squirrel bites


number seven where are the best places

to see sunset and sunrise although this

can depend on the time of year the best

places to see sunset and sunrise and the

canyon itself are away from the main

village area lookouts on hermit Road

will be the most convenient for those

staying in the village without cars

Powell and Hopi points are good for

sunrise while Mojave and Pima are good

for sunset these are all accessible on

the red line shuttle March through

November when cars are prohibited from

permit road keep in mind that the free

shuttles get very crowded during sunset

so a good alternative is to get tickets

for the in park sunset tour otherwise

sunrise is a better time to use the free

Red Line bus since few people are up so

early in the morning if you have your

own car you could also consider driving

out highway 64 East to Ripon Point or

desert view



number eight where's the best place to

find souvenirs curio shops can be found

throughout the village selling typical

tourist gifts too expensive native made

art shops usually identify which

souvenirs are authentic handmade versus

cheap replicas made in China having

verifiable authenticity combined with

fees that a concessionaire must pay the

Park Service though means prices can be

high for certain items park related

educational gifts can be found in the

nonprofit GCA stores like that at the

maine visitor center the best deals on

souvenirs will be found at roadside

stands on tribal lands or during the

park especially those found along 64

East on the Navajo Reservation

number nine where is the best lodging

and dining we all know that services

like gas food and lodging can be

expensive in resort areas and national

parks are no exception within Grand

Canyon National Park there are three

restaurants the finest dining but

potentially the most expensive for

dinner is at El Tovar hotel

if you want to experience dining there

while saving some money consider going

for breakfast instead oddly the price

won't be much more than the poorly

reviewed cafeteria food found at Nazca

core Yavapai lodges don't expect

amenities like swimming pools high-speed

Wi-Fi or an extensive cellular network

within the park a few miles to the south

lies the town of to see on in park

border community with many additional

hotels services if you're staying in

Tucson during the summer consider taking

the free Purple Line shuttle into the

park to avoid long lines of the entrance

station if you want a park service

sanctioned tour you can get these inside

the park for much less than what to see

on tour operators charge


number ten where does the train go the

grand canyon railway provides near daily

service from Ann to Williams Arizona 60

miles south of the park the Train

provides visitors and train buffs an

alternative way to reach the park but

don't expect to see the canyon during

your journey the train arrives around

noon and passengers then have about

three hours to visit the rim the free

Blue Line bus can be used to get around

the village and the red and orange lines

used to go out on to the rims where

there are better views keep in mind that

the shuttles provide free mass transit

so do expect them to be popular to avoid

having to do things on your own consider

purchasing a guided bus tour when buying

your train ticket ahead of time to enjoy

more that the park has to offer some

visitors make plans to stay overnight

then take the train back to Williams the

following afternoon


number 11 what about air tours today

most visitors to Grand Canyon will not

have to witness Boise aircraft covering

about the airspace above the most

popular vistas remains restricted

however there are areas where scenic

flights are permitted popular helicopter

tours originate from Grand Canyon

Airport just a few miles south of the

National Park


number twelve what's best to see with a

limited amount of time the average

visitor at Grand Canyon stays only two

or three hours this is a mistake as you

will most likely only see the canyon

from the most visited spots like Mather

point at the crowded visitor center if

possible stay longer to visit other

museums and historic sites if you have

limited time and are passing through the

area consider driving in from the east

and exiting from the south or vice versa

you can avoid congestion this way and

still see great views from Grand View

Moran Lipan or Desert View this will

work out well for many travelers

planning on seeing other monuments and

parks on the Colorado Plateau