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Grand Canyon Basics

One of the 7 wonders of the natural world travelers from every corner of the globe have the Grand Canyon on their To Do List.  If you're one of these people you've come to the right place.  Grand Canyon Guru is dedicated to providing the best travel planning information for the worlds Grandest Canyon.  Developed by a Grand Canyon local this site is the top vacation guide for anything you need to know about America's favorite National Park.  Whether you're looking for a Grand Canyon Tour, Grand Canyon Hotel, or information on Hiking, River Rafting, Helicopter Flights, or the Skywalk, the Guru is your best source for Grand Canyon Information. 

Over ten million years ago, the Colorado River began carving out what would eventually become the one of the greatest wonders of the natural world: the Grand Canyon. Today white water rafters traverse the Grand Canyons 277 miles down the Colorado River, which is also used to measure the length of the Canyon. The Grand Canyon is neither the widest nor the deepest canyon in the world, but it is certainly the most spectacular because it exposes myriad rock formations seen nowhere else in the world, some dating back 2 billion years - close to the age of the world's oldest rocks! The formation of Grand Canyon National Park came much, much later, in 1919. At the South Rim, the depth of the Canyon is 1 mile, while the elevation at the North Rim is about1,000 ft. higher. As the crow flies, the length from rim to rim ranges from between ten and eighteen miles. Trail miles are much longer, posing an exciting challenge for the most committed of Canyon hikers.  Starting at Lee's Ferry below Lake Powell, Grand Canyon National Park encompasses a whopping 1.2 million acres, ending at Grand Wash Cliffs near Lake Mead. Parts of the Canyon are also found on Native American Reservation land.

Planning a trip to the Grand Canyon? Grand Canyon National Park and the surrounding tribal lands, National Forests and Monument are vast and a well planned trip will ensure you make the most of your Grand Canyon adventure.  Below you’ll find a list of the major destinations in Grand Canyon National Park and the surrounding areas to help you plan the activities and accommodations you need to ensure an amazing trip

The South Rim is the most popular destination in the Grand Canyon and the area the offers the most services, programs, trail access and some would say the best views! The more quite side of Grand Canyon National Park is the North Rim. Here you’ll find more solitude, but less services and more difficult access to the canyon. The West Rim, also known as Grand Canyon West is home to the Skywalk and Hualapai Tribe. Toroweap, also called Tuweap is one of the most isolated areas in Grand Canyon National Park and offers a primitive campground, hiking and solitude. If you venture below the rim, you’ll find Phantom Ranch, Havasu Falls and the mighty Colorado River, places that offer a true canyon adventure! Check out more information on Grand Canyon destinations,  so you can plan your Grand Canyon Adventure today.

Can you believe that the average visit of Grand Canyon National Park's 5 million visitors lasts only two hours? The Canyon offers many recreational and sightseeing activities for those willing to get off the crowded viewpoints and below the Rim. Hiking, backpacking, camping and whitewater rafting the Grand Canyon Railway are some of the most popular activities. Mule rides, jeep tours, fly-fishing and wildlife viewing are also exciting ways to pass the time on a visit to Grand Canyon National Park.

Go for a Scenic Flight- One of the most popular thing to do at the Grand Canyon is hoping in a helicopter or plane for a scenic Grand Canyon flight.

Take a whitewater rafting trip- The Grand Canyon is amond the top ten whitewater rafting destinations in the world.  Feel the exhilaration of big rapids, spot bighorn sheep, and hike hidden side canyons on the Colorado River.

Kick back and relax-  Head out to one of the of the more quiet Grand Canyon destinations like the North Rim for a little solitude and relaxation.

Take a train ride-  The Grand Canyon Railway goes from Williams, Arizona to the Grand Canyon Village.  If you're into trains, this is the best way to get to Grand Canyon National Park.

Visit Havasu Falls-  Havasu Falls is located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation in the Western Grand Canyon.  It's not easy to get there, but the blue green waterfalls make it well worth the effort.

Go Hiking-  The Grand Canyon is a hikers playground.  There are hundreds of miles of challenging trail in Grand Canyon National Park, from day hikes on the Bright Angel Trail, to muli-day backs from the North Rim to the South Rim of the canyon.

Take a drive- Scenic drives and the Grand Canyon go hand in hand.  From cruising along Desert View Drive to taking your jeep out to Point Sublime there is a Grand Canyon Vista with your name on it.

Ride a mule-  Mule rides a a classic Grand Canyon activity.  Get in the saddle and ride below the rim of the world's grandest canyon with experienced wranglers.

Shoot some photos-  It's hard to beat the Grand Canyon for a landscape photographer.  Awesome vistas, lots of sunny days, and beautiful colors and lighting make the canyon a must shoot for pros and amateurs alike.

Walk the Skywalk-  The Grand Canyon Skywalk is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations at the Grand Canyon.  This glass-bottomed cantilever observation deck give you a bird's eye view of the Canyon.

People are often shocked to learn how long driving distances can be around the Canyon, not realizing just how huge it is. Most people visit the South Rim, home of Grand Canyon Village. The Canyon is widest and deepest here, offering what many believe are the most spectacular views. Driving distances from nearby cities are: Las Vegas: 5 hours, Phoenix: 4 hours, Flagstaff, AZ: 1 1/2 hours, and Williams, AZ: 1 hour. It will take you 3 hours to drive from the South Rim to the North Rim, and 6 hours if you are coming from Phoenix. From Las Vegas, it's a 5 hour drive, and you can hit up Zion National Park on the way. Found within the Havasupai Indian Reservation, Havasu Falls is a popular place to check out when visiting the Canyon. Driving times to the Hualapai Hilltop Trailhead are: Las Vegas: 4 hours, Phoenix: 5 hours, South Rim: 3 hours. Lodging accommodations can be found within the park, and in Tusuyan, the closest town to the entrance of the South Rim. There is also some lodging available in Seligman, AZ, the closest town to the Havasu Falls trailhead, and at the North Rim of the Canyon. Save for acts of nature, The South Rim is open all day, every day, while the North Rim is closed from mid October to mid May due to snow. The entrance fee is $25 per vehicle. Extra fees apply for camping and backpacking.

Spring and fall are the best times of year to visit the Canyon, when you will most likely find mild daytime temperatures and clear skies. Although it's often the only time many families can make it out, summers in the Canyon are hot and dry, although monsoons will cool things off in the afternoons of July and August. A great way to escape the heat and crowds of the summer is to break away to the cool breezes of North Rim. A rafting trip on the chilly waters of the Colorado is another great activity when temps reach the low 100's. This is also a great time to hike down to Havasu Falls, where you will be rewarded for your journey with stunning blue green waterfalls. Winters are slower at the Canyon, when many people do not expect to see snow, but it gets quite cold at 7,000 ft!

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