- The park, focusing on the world-famous Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, encompasses 277 miles of the river, with adjacent uplands, from the southern terminus of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to the eastern boundary of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The forces of erosion have exposed an immense variety of formations which illustrate vast periods of geological history. Grand Canyon National Park is a World Heritage Site.
Copyright: National Park Service
Grand Canyon National Park
Recreation - The Grand Canyon supports a large variety of recreation opportunities for visitors of diverse interests and abilities. The main park visitor center is located on the South Rim east of Grand Canyon Village. Interpretive centers are also located at Yavapai Observation Station, Tusayan Museum, Desert View and the North Rim (mid-May through late October only).
The inner canyon is accessed via the so-called "Corridor Trails": The Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail (South Rim) and North Kaibab Trail (North Rim). There are other less heavily traveled and more remote inner canyon trails, as well. All overnight travel below the rim requires a Backcountry Permit. The Rim Trail on the South Rim offers vistas along the South Rim; a variety of rim trails are also available through the more heavily forested regions on the North Rim. All main park roads are paved. A large network of gravel roads exists in the Kaibab National Forest outside the park on both rims.
The park offers free ranger-led programs throughout the year, including a wide variety of walks, talks and a nightly evening program (outdoors in summer, indoors during cooler weather).
Climate - Climate within Grand Canyon National Park varies significantly depending on your location within the canyon. The South Rim is 7,000 feet above sea level, which means snow in winter and cool nights even in summer. Inner canyon hiking (below the rim) is another story, however: summer temperatures along the Colorado River at the canyon bottom can reach 120 degrees F. The North Rim is 8000 feet above sea level and can receive snow throughout most of the year. Weather is particularly changeable in spring and fall; visitors should be prepared for a variety of climates.
Grand Canyon National Park is located in northwestern Arizona. The Kaibab National Forest creates a buffer of undeveloped land around the central canyon.