This is one big park. While most folks head to the South Rim, the North Rim shouldn't be overlooked. But visiting both rims in one visit is tough.
It's tough because of the miles involved.
"A 277 mile long (446 km) canyon separates the park into South and North Rims. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is a mile-deep, (1.6 km) and creates a barrier that bisects the park," the National Park Service points out. "Even though the average distance across the canyon is only 10 miles/ 16 km, be aware that it is a five-hour drive of 215 miles/ 346 km between the park's South Rim Village and the North Rim Village."
Reaching the South Rim
Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim is located 60 miles north of Williams, Arizona (via route 64 from Interstate 40) and 80 miles northwest of Flagstaff (via route 180). Grand Canyon lies entirely within the state of Arizona.
Commercial airlines serve Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Las Vegas. There is limited air service into Grand Canyon Airport (7 miles/ 11km south of the park) from Las Vegas and elsewhere.
Greyhound provides bus service to Flagstaff. Daily scheduled shuttle service between Phoenix and Flagstaff, and between Flagstaff and Grand Canyon Village is offered by Arizona Shuttle (800-563-1980) On demand shuttle service between Flagstaff/Sedona/Williams and Grand Canyon National Park and between North and South Rims is provided by Grand Canyon Shuttle Service (888) 215-3105. Call for prices and schedules. The Trans-Canyon Shuttle (928-638-2820) runs between the North and South rims of the park once each day, in each direction, between May 15th and October 15, with a limited schedule between October 16 and October 31. The travel time is about 4 1/2 hours each way.
Amtrak provides rail service to Flagstaff with connecting bus service to the canyon. Grand Canyon Railway offers train service from Williams (for additional information call: 1-800-THE-TRAIN).
Shuttle Service to the South Rim
"Park & Ride" from Tusayan/ Grand Canyon Airport
A "park & ride" shuttle bus service is provided between the gateway community of
Tusayan/ Grand Canyon Airport, and the Grand Canyon National Park Visitor Center.
(7 miles/ 11km south of the S. Rim village)
The service is in operation through September 7, 2012. Twenty minutes each way (riding time; no stop).Buses will run every 15 minutes. First bus leaves Tusayan at 8 am from IMAX Theater. First bus leaves Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 8:40 am. Last buses leave from both areas at 9:30 pm.
In summer free shuttle buses usually are operating on four routes.
* The routes interconnect, but do not overlap.
* No tickets are required, and bus stops are clearly marked throughout the park by signs.
* Buses are white with a green stripe.
* The buses display the route name on the front.
* Pets are not permitted on buses.
* Service may be suspended during inclement weather.
Each shuttle bus is equipped with a 2 or 3-capacity bicycle rack on the front. Bicyclists are required to load and unload their own bikes, and are responsible for bike security. Bicycle one way and ride the shuttle the other.
Shuttle buses are equipped with ramps and space to carry passengers in wheelchairs. Please note: wheelchairs larger than 30 inches wide by 48 inches long (76 by 122 cm) cannot be accommodated on shuttle buses.
Most motorized scooters will not fit on the buses..
The Scenic Drive Accessibility Permit allows entry for visitors with mobility issues to some areas closed to public traffic. The permit is available at entrance gates, National Park Service visitor centers, and hotel lobbies.
Reaching the North Rim
The entrance to the Grand Canyon's North Rim is located 30 miles south of Jacob Lake on Highway 67; the actual rim of the canyon is an additional 14 miles south. Jacob Lake, AZ is located in northern Arizona on Highway 89A, not far from the Utah border. Grand Canyon lies entirely within the state of Arizona.
Commercial airlines serve Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas. There is also regularly scheduled air service into the St. George, UT Airport from Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. (St. George, UT is 156 miles/ 251 km to the west of the North Rim)
On demand shuttle service between Flagstaff/Sedona/Williams and Grand Canyon National Park and between the North and South Rims is provided by Grand Canyon Shuttle Service (888) 215-3105. Call for prices and schedules.
The Trans Canyon Shuttle (928-638-2820) runs between the north and south rims of the park once each day, in each direction, between May 15th and October 15, with a limited schedule between October 16 and October 31.The travel time is about 4 1/2 hours each way.
Visitor lodging and food services inside the National Park on the North Rim are open from mid-May to mid-October. The road from Jacob Lake to the North Rim (Highway 67) is usually closed from mid-October to mid-May. During some years, however, there may be a short period when the North Rim is open - with limited services - for day use only.