Grand Canyon National Park is a United States National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is located entirely in northern Arizona and is one of the great tourist attractions in the United States. There are two ways to approach the Canyon: the remote North Rim and the more accessible (and therefore more crowded) South Rim. Both areas have several options for camping, as well as hotels and restaurants. Expect all of these facilities to be overflowing with visitors during the busy summer season. Fall, spring, and winter are all great times to visit the Grand Canyon.
The Canyon is an overwhelming experience, and nothing can prepare a visitor for the sight. The Grand Canyon is a massive canyon carved over several million years by the Colorado River. Grand Canyon National Park boasts an elevation change of nearly 7,000 feet (2130 m) from Point Imperial (at nearly 9,000 feet or 2740 m) to the banks of Lake Mead (at just over 2,000 feet or 610 m). The canyon itself is, from rim to river over a mile (1610 m) deep. In spots the rock layers exposed in the canyon display over two billion years of geologic history.
The Grand Canyon is a "special flight rules" airspace, and there are detailed charts indicating areas which are restricted, and other areas which have minimum flight altitude requirements. These rules were implemented to reduce noise and pollution in the Grand Canyon area. There is an airport outside of this airspace, designated GCN (Grand Canyon National Park).
Some of the view points are reachable by car, park service shuttle, motorcoach tour or on foot.
The National Park Service runs an extensive shuttle service on the South Rim with three interlocking routes. The service is free, and runs from approximately 4:30am until one hour past sunset or 11 PM, depending on the route. The shuttles run from May 1 to September 28, with buses every 15 minutes. Recently added is service between the nearest town, Tusayan, and the Canyon View Information Center. Park visitors staying in Tusayan can leave their cars there and take the shuttle to the Canyon.
You can go into the canyon by horse, by mule (through guided tours on the south rim from Xanterra), on foot or by boat.
Private stock users (equines only) are required to follow a number of rules and restrictions while in the park, and must get a permit from the park service for overnight use. See Private Stock Use on the park service website for specifics.
From March through November the West Rim Drive is not accessible to most private vehicles (handicap vehicles may request a variance at the entry gate). The park service runs a shuttle during this time. The shuttles are frequent, but long lines form during the busy summer months.