GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
The Grand Canyon is more than a great chasm carved over millennia through the rocks of the Colorado Plateau. It is more than an awe-inspiring view. It is more than a pleasuring ground for those who explore the roads, hike the trails, or float the currents of the turbulent Colorado River.
This canyon is a gift that transcends what we experience. Its beauty and size humble us. Its timelessness provokes a comparison to our short existence. In its vast spaces we may find solace from our hectic lives.
The Grand Canyon we visit today is a gift from past generations. Take time to enjoy this gift. Sit and watch the changing play of light and shadows. Wander along a trail and feel the sunshine and wind on your face. Attend a ranger program. Follow the antics of ravens soaring above the rim. Listen for the roar of the rapids far below Pima Point. Savor a sunrise or sunset.
As the shadows lengthen across the spires and buttes, time passing into the depths of the canyon, understand what this great chasm passes to us: a sense of humility born in the interconnections of all that is and a willingness to care for this land. We have the responsibility to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to form their own connections with Grand Canyon National Park.
Grand Canyon National Park, a World Heritage Site, encompasses 1,218,375 acres and lies on the Colorado Plateau in northwestern Arizona. The land is semi-arid and consists of raised plateaus and structural basins typical of the southwestern United States. Drainage systems have cut deeply through the rock, forming numerous steep-walled canyons. Forests are found at higher elevations while the lower elevations are comprised of a series of desert basins.
Well known for its geologic significance, the Grand Canyon is one of the most studied geologic landscapes in the world. It offers an excellent record of three of the four eras of geological time, a rich and diverse fossil record, a vast array of geologic features and rock types, and numerous caves containing extensive and significant geological, paleontological, archeological and biological resources. It is considered one of the finest examples of arid-land erosion in the world. The Canyon, incised by the Colorado River, is immense, averaging 4,000 feet deep for its entire 277 miles. It is 6,000 feet deep at its deepest point and 15 miles at its widest. However, the significance of Grand Canyon is not limited to its geology.
The Park contains several major ecosystems. Its great biological diversity can be attributed to the presence of five of the seven life zones and three of the four desert types in North America. The five life zones represented are the Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian, and Hudsonian. This is equivalent to traveling from Mexico to Canada. The Park also serves as an ecological refuge, with relatively undisturbed remnants of dwindling ecosystems (such as boreal forest and desert riparian communities). It is home to numerous rare, endemic (found only at Grand Canyon), and specially protected (threatened/endangered) plant and animal species. Over 1,500 plant, 355 bird, 89 mammalian, 47 reptile, 9 amphibian, and 17 fish species are found in the park.
The on-site lodging is limited and booked many months ahead of time. And, it is a long drive in any direction to hotel facilities. There are very few private campgrounds available nearby also....more
Backcountry Camping, Open All Year. Details: To camp in the park in a location other than a developed campground on the rim you must obtain a permit from the Backcountry Information Center, this includes Bright Angel Campground at Phantom Ranch. All campsites in the Inner Canyon require a backcountry permit. Applying well in advance is recommended although a small number of permits are sometimes available for the same day. There is a fee of $10 per permit plus an additional fee of $5 per night per person.
Desert View Campground, South Rim. Details: Desert View Campground is located 25 miles east of Grand Canyon Village (South Rim) and is open mid-May(weather permitting) though mid-October. Desert View Campground is available on a first-come, first-served basis (no reservations). $10 per site per night. Hook-ups are not available.
Mather Campground, South Rim, Open All Year. Reservations Online or by Phone at 1-800-365-CAMP. Details: Open year-round. Operated by the National Park Service and located in Grand Canyon Village, this campground offers tent and RV camping (no hook-ups, 30 foot trailer or RV maximum). Reservations are strongly recommended from April through November. For reservations, call (800) 365-2267; outside the U.S. call (301) 722-1257. Fees are $15 per site per night. A maximum of two vehicles, six people, three tents are allowed per site. Group sites are also available, $40/night, maximum of 50 people and three vehicles per group site. Sites may be reserved up to five months in advance. From December through February reservations are not available and campsites are $10 per site per night on a first-come first-served basis. Golden Age or Golden Access passport holders pay only ? price year round (passport number is needed when making reservation and passport holder must be camping at the site).
North Rim Campground, Open mid-May to mid-October, Reservations Online or by Phone at 1-800-365-CAMP. Details: For the 2004 season, visitor services and facilities inside the national park on the North Rim will be open from May 10 - October 14, 2004. Open from mid-May to mid-October. Operated by the National Park Service, campsites are $15-$20, no hook-ups, dump station available. Laundry and showers located near the campground for a fee. A maximum of two vehicles, six people, three tents are allowed per site. (A vehicle which is towing a trailer, pop-up, tent trailer, fifth wheel, or a motorhome pulling a vehicle is considered 2 vehicles.) Reservations are required. For reservations, call Spherix at (800) 365-2267; outside the U.S. call (301) 722-1257. Reservations may be made up to, but not more than, five months in advance. Golden Age or Golden Access passport holders pay only ? price year round.
Out-of-Park Camping North Rim. Details: The Forest Service operates 2 campgrounds: 16 and 45 miles north of the North Rim. Dispersed camping is permitted in the national forest outside the park.
Out-of-Park Camping South Rim. Details: There is a commercial campground in Tusayan, 7 miles south of Grand Canyon Village (Camper Village, 928-638-2887), and a Forest Service campground (Ten X, 928-638-2443) 2 miles south of Tusayan in the Kaibab National Forest.
Trailer Village, South Rim, Open All Year. Phone: 888-297-2757. Details: Trailer Village offers RV sites with hook-ups; reservations strongly suggested. Cost: $25 (+ tax) per site per night for two people; $2 for each additional person over age 16. Campers may register at the entrance to Trailer Village. Call 303-297-2757 or 888-297-2757. A dump station is located nearby.
Grand Canyon National Park offers a variety of non-camping lodging options. Use the details provided below to determine which lodge best fits the needs of you and/or your group:
In-Park Lodging North Rim, Open From mid-May to mid-October. ReservationsOnline. Phone: 888-297-2757
Details: For the 2004 season, visitor services and facilities inside the national park on the North Rim will be open from May 10 - October 14, 2004. A variety of lodging facilities are available and reservations are handled by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Call 303-297-2757 or 888-297-2757, FAX 303-297-3175, or write Xanterra Parks & Resorts, 14001 East Illiff, Ste. 600, Aurora, CO 80014. Make reservations as far ahead as possible. Check at Grand Canyon Lodge for last-minute availability. Open from mid-May to mid-October.
In-Park Lodging South Rim, Open All Year, Reservations Online. Phone 888-297-2757.
Details: A variety of lodging facilities are available and reservations are handled by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Call 303-297-2757 or 888-297-2757, FAX 303-297-3175, or write Xanterra Parks & Resorts, 14001 East Illiff, Ste. 600, Aurora, CO 80014. Prices range from $55 to $291 per night (subject to change). There is no youth hostel in Grand Canyon National Park. Lodging is booked well in advance, especially during the summer months. Be sure to make reservations as far ahead as possible. For Phantom Ranch reservations contact the information listed above.
Inner Canyon Phantom Ranch, Open All Year, Reservations Online. Phone: 888-297-2757
Details: Overnight hikers may arrange to stay at Phantom Ranch. Reservations for meals and lodging are required. A backcountry permit is not required for overnight stays at the dormitories or cabins at Phantom Ranch. Call 303-297-2757 or 888-297-2757.
Out-of Park North Rim, Open All Year.
Details: Lodging facilities are available outside the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park just past the park boundary; in Jacob Lake, Arizona; and in Kanab, Utah.
Out-of-Park Lodging South Rim, Open All Year.
Details: A variety of lodging facilities are available outside the Grand Canyon National Park in Tusayan, just 7 miles south of the South Rim; in Williams, 60 miles south on Highway 64; and in Flagstaff, 80 miles south on Highway 180.