National parks are not free in the United States. A one-week pass for a car costs $ 25. For travelers using public transport is $ 12 per person. There is a pass that allows to travel all national parks for a year for $ 80.
WHEN TO GO
For the rims winter seems a good time to go. Temperatures are not too cold (around 7 ° C maximum, minimum -5 ° C) and is when less rainfall occur. In any case, in the summer the maximum temperature does not exceed 30 ° C and the rains remain scarce (although there are frequent storms), so the number of tourists and the prices can be more decisive than the weather.
For those who decide to go down, at the bottom the temperatures are more extreme, 10 degrees more in summer and 10 less in winter.
AREAS TO VISIT
Three main areas:
- West, the star is the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass walkway that allows visitors to stand 1300 m above the abyss. Access only through an organized tour is allowed, because this area, although part of the Grand Canyon, doesn’t belong to the national park and is under Hualapai community jurisdiction. The Skywalk already costs $ 29 plus the price of the tour.
- The north rim. It is only open from mid-May to mid-October, if wheather allows. There are fewer facilities and the road runs close to the edge for few kilometers.
- The south rim. The most visited by far. Open all year, with plenty of facilities, excellent views and the opportunity to travel along the road (Desert View Drive) about 40 km and stop to contemplate the canyon from multiple viewpoints.
HOW TO GET THERE
The simplest, recommended and economical way to get to any of the 3 zones is using your own or a rental car. For those relying on public transport:
- To the west you can only go with an organized tour.
- South rim:
- Arizona Shuttle. From Flagstaff ($ 30) or Williams ($ 22); three per day ($ 2 discount if booked online).
- From Williams you can take the Grand Canyon Train for $ 32.5 one way.
- There is the possibility of taxis and shuttle, while the price skyrockets.
- A 14 km south of the park is the small town of Tusayan, which has an airport with flights to Las Vegas.
- North rim: no public transport.
- Go from one rim to the other: Trans Canyon Shuttle. $ 85. Running while the North Rim is open. This minibus leads from Grand Canyon Lodge in the north, at 7am and 2.30pm, to Bright Angel Lodge in the south (4 hours). Stops also in Marble Canyon. It allows to transport luggage without passenger for 20 $ up to 20 pounds.
GETTING AROUND IN THE PARK
Fre minibuses on the south rim cross the main area, close to Grand Canyon Village. They are very practical. Besides there are shuttles that lead to the start of the main trekking routes on both sides.
Needless to say that booking in advance is essential even in low season. Hotel prices start at $ 80 double room (low season).
- West: accommodation depends on your tour.
- South. Managed by Xanterra Parks and Resorts.
|Near the rim||Different types depending on the price:
Bright Angel Lodge.
El Tovar Hotel.
|Grand Canyon Village: Mather Camp, from 15$ per area and Trailer Village.
Deser View Camp (40 km east of Grand Canyon Village). From 12$ per area. No reservations allowed.
|Base of the Canyon||Phantom Ranch is the only accomodation at the base and thus extremely demanded. It can be booked 13 months in advance.||There are 32 areas where camping is allowed along the canyon. The busiest is Bright Angel for being next to Phantom Ranch. You need to get a permit in the Backcountry Information Center.|
|In Tusayan||Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn.
Canyon Plaza Resort.
Holiday Inn Express.
Red Feather Lodge.
|Ten-X, may to september, pretty basic (no showers), 10$ per vehicle.
|Rim||Grand Canyon Lodge.||North Rim Camp, 2 km away. From 15 $ per area.|
|North of the park||Kaibab Lodge, 30 km north.
Jacob Lake Inn, 75 km.
|DeMotte, 28 km.
Jacob Lake and Kaibab Camper Village, 75 km. They do not make reservations.
WHERE TO EAT
Any of these accommodations have a cafeteria and/or restaurant, at reasonable prices. Besides, there are grocery stores, especially on the south side.