Travel Planning
Grand Canyon N.P.
Travel Planning
Grand Canyon N.P.

Grand Canyon National Park at a Glance

In your first breathtaking moment at the rim of the Grand Canyon, you’ll instantly understand why it’s considered one of the top natural wonders of the world. Over millions of years, the Colorado River carved this spectacular gorge stretching 277 miles long, 18 miles wide (in spots) and more than a mile deep. Although it’s neither the widest nor the deepest such fissure in the world, the Grand Canyon boasts unparalleled beauty.

Vast and variegated stone and earth slopes descend in a riot of colors to the canyon floor, where the emerald green of the river supports lush flora and fauna. The jewel of the Grand Canyon National Park, the canyon draws about 5 million visitors per year, who savor its beauty in a variety of ways, from helicopter tours and hiking, to rafting and touring by motorcoach.

What to Expect
High Season
May - October
Low Season
November - April
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San Francisco, CA
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      Getting There
      Major Airports
      • Major Airport McCarran International Airport
      • Major Airport Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

      Passport / Visa Requirements

      All travelers to the United States are required to hold a valid passport; the passport should be valid for six months beyond your departure from the U.S. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of 37 participating countries to travel within the United States without a visa for 90 days; travelers must have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel, return travel tickets and a passport with a photo and an electronic chip. Visitors not eligible for VWP must apply for a non-immigrant visa. For more information, visit the U.S. State Department's travel website.

      Considering Driving?
      Distance from San Francisco, CA
      579 miles
      Estimated Drive Time
      11 hour(s)
      Need to Know

      Severe Weather The park experiences heavy snow in winter, and although the South Rim is open year-round, travel might be difficult. During the summer, watch out for heavy rains and thunderstorms

      Safety Concerns Protect personal belongings whether camping or day-tripping through the park. During the summer, the area is crowded and thefts could occur.

      Health Concerns Visitors with heart or respiratory problems may experience difficulty at the Grand Canyon's high elevation. Use caution. Additionally, some days the Grand Canyon is affected by air-quality issues. Wildfires, dust and sometimes urban pollution can affect the air in the park.