Grand Canyon National Park has Reopened

Following the enactment of the continuing resolution, staff at Grand Canyon National Park will resume regular operations this week, including opening visitor centers, offering ranger programs, opening permit offices, and collecting fees at entrance stations. Please visit for updated information about the park. Visitors should know that not all park functions, such as ranger programs, will be available immediately.


Free Entry During National Park Week

Grand Canyon National Park will kick off National Park Week with a weekend of Earth Day activities and then will join national park units around the country in waiving entrance fees on April 22 - 26, 2013.

History to Come Alive at Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon historic people

Grand Canyon, Ariz. --- Travel back in time and meet eight of Grand Canyon National Park's most influential people during "Echoes from the Canyon", the park's first living history event on Friday, August 3, 2012.

Thunder River


By far the most popular of the North Rim's non-maintained trails, the Thunder River Trail takes you into an area with interesting geology, the world's shortest river, and aptly-named Thunder Spring, which roars out of a cave in the Redwall Limestone. You can do this as an overnight hike, but most backpackers like to take longer because of the long drive to the trailhead. There are plenty of side hikes that you can do from the Thunder River area.

Nankoweap Trail

This long, rough trail is a challenge to most hikers, but it leads into the beautiful Nankoweap Creek area with its permanent stream and easy access to the river. There are two trailheads for the Nankoweap Trail; most hikers use the Saddle Mountain Trailhead. To reach this trailhead, turn south on Buffalo Ranch Road about a mile east of the point where US 89A climbs onto the Kaibab Plateau. This graded road is passable to most vehicles, except after a major storm. It's 27.4 miles south to the signed trailhead for the Saddle Mountain and Nankoweap trails.


This gorgeous hike in the eastern Grand Canyon takes you through a startling change in the geology at the floor of the canyon, where the open shale hills of the Tanner area give way to the somber Granite Gorge. The hike starts at the Tanner Trailhead at Lipan Point and ends at the Grandview Trailhead at Grandview Point, so you'll need to do a short car shuttle along Desert View Drive.

Boucher-Hermit Loop

This great loop hike starts from Hermits Rest at the end of the Hermit Road. Use the free Hermit Shuttle to reach the trailhead, except during winter when the shuttle is not running. (There is trailhead parking down a short gravel road beyond the main parking lot.) This loop makes a nice three day trip, though you could easily expand it to four or five days.

North Kaibab Trail

While a lot of backpackers focus on using the trans-canyon Kaibab Trail to hike rim-to-rim, there's a lot to do along the North Kaibab Trail itself. Using the two campgrounds, Cottonwood Camp and Bright Angel Campground, as bases, you can explore such enticing places as upper Bright Angel Canyon (the route of the original North Kaibab Trail), The Transept, Ribbon Falls, Phantom Canyon, and the Clear Creek Trail. A nice overnight hike from the North Kaibab Trailhead is to Cottonwood Camp and back, but you could easily spend a week in the area.

Kaibab-Bright Angel Loop

The classic first-time backpack trip in the Canyon, this loop is often done as an overnighter, but there's so much to explore that you could easily use up five days. The loop starts from the Kaibab Trailhead and returns to the Bright Angel Trailhead. Since both of these South Rim trailheads are served by free year-round shuttle buses, leave your car at the Back Country Office.

Backpack Trips

Backpacking in the Grand Canyon is extremely rewarding for those who are both experienced and equipped. Even if you are an experienced mountain backpacker, the Grand Canyon is different. It is desert backpacking, where the trip must be planned around the available water sources. During the summer, hikers may need as much as two gallons of water per person per day.
Difficult Trails


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