South Rim Grand Canyon Facts

~South Rim Grand Canyon Article

Here’s How You Do It:

Get your Permits (overnight camping below the rim) – requests can (and should) be made on the first day of the month, 4 months prior to the visit. Often there are 800 requests in a single day. *Day hiking – no permit required.

Flying in? Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Make camping/hotel reservations (links below) up to a year in advance if you are scheduling during the peak season but we discourage this. The crowds are pretty intense. Try for the off season and book several months in advance to be safe. We booked about 2 weeks in advance for a weekend in beginning of November and had no problem getting into Mather Campground in the park.

Want to camp and you are from out of the area? Check our destination camping article.

~Location: South Rim 60 miles north of Williams, AZ. Directions

 ~Ranger Station:  There is an entire area very near the entrance to the park with information center , market etc. You will be given a map when you pull in and the driving distance to the first viewing area is approx. 15 minutes, depending on traffic.

Gift purchases as in shot glasses 😉

 ~Nearest Town and Amenities: The nearest town is Williams (60 miles) however there is lodging within a mile of the entrance to the park.

There are 5 lodges within the park but travelers are encouraged to reserve up to 13 months in advance as they fill quickly.

 ~Campground/s: Mather Campground is the main and very convenient camping spot however please heed this warning, you need advance reservations if you are even considering a busy time of the year (Mar-Oct). This campground is only $18 per night and that allows for 3 tents, max of 6 people and 2 vehicles.

Desert View Campground – $12 per night (yes, that is the price). First come/first serve. Check in is 11:00am and sites fill up fast.

 ~Warnings: Heat and water. I can’t say enough about this. We hiked in early Nov. in temperate weather for 17 miles total and water was a bit of an issue. We had enough but we found ourselves conserving until we were able to hit a refill area. At any time of the year when the temperature goes up, heat is not to be taken lightly. Check the visitor centers and talk to staff to get a clear picture on current weather BEFORE DOING ANY HIKING.

 ~Permits: Day hikes – None required. Developed Campgrounds – None required but there is a nightly fee to be paid upon entry. Backcountry overnight and yes, this means below the rim – Permit required.

 ~Weather: Always check.

 ~Suggestions: Avoid peak season but if you have to visit Mar-Oct, hike early in the morning. Crowds increase throughout the day. For sunrise viewing during cold weather consider a camp chair and your sleeping bag along with a thermos filled with a hot beverage. Hand warmers also come in handy. During warmer months, please talk to rangers and fully understand the temperature gain as you descend into the canyon.

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