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Featured image for GC South Rim map

Download PDF Map of the South Rim and Grand Canyon Village

Find historic buildings designed by architect Mary Colter, interactive visitor centers and incredible museums, along with lodges, hotels and campgrounds.

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Rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

Insiders Guide to Rafting the Grand Canyon

The ultimate guide to rafting the Grand Canyon including how long it takes, whether you need a permit and how much it costs.



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Grand Canyon Essentials: 12 Basic Things You Need to Know

Read this before you plan your visit to the park.

One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World resides in Arizona, known as the Grand Canyon State. Digging deep into 1.8 billion-year-old rock, the Colorado River cut an immense canyon, revealing ancient human and geological history along the way. Today, the stunning mile-deep Grand Canyon is protected as a national park. Explore the popular South Rim, quiet North Rim and its isolated canyon depths. Before you head to the park, here are a few basic Grand Canyon essentials you need to know.

What a hole. Sunrise at Desert View Point in the Grand Canyon (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s easy to peer into the canyon from the rim, but if you want to get to the Colorado River at the bottom, it’s a long hike that isn’t recommended for a day-trip, or a long rafting trip that requires a permit or guide. Outside the park, you can go on a guided one-day whitewater rafting trip along the canyon’s bottom at Grand Canyon West.

Get your pass.

You can buy a $35, 7-day pass at a park entrance station, or use your America the Beautiful or other interagency annual pass to get into the national park. Grand Canyon West is not part of the national park and has its own fees.

There’s no Uber. Map showing the areas of the Grand Canyon (Photo: iStock)

Things are spread far apart in the Southwest and you won’t find ride-share services to or from the park. The South Rim, the North Rim and Grand Canyon West are all several hours apart and are far from major cities. Rent a car and plan your route ahead of time to make sure you don’t spend all your time driving.

Don’t become a statistic.

Rangers respond to heat-exhausted hikers every day in the summer. Hike smart and avoid being out in the middle of the day when there’s little shade. Temperatures on the rim may seem reasonable, but they soar above 100°F in the inner canyon in summer months.