Welcome to Just Ahead’s Grand Canyon Trip Planner—our guide to what you need to know to plan your trip to Grand Canyon National Park. Click here to see the complete series—and be sure to download our Just Ahead smartphone audio tour of Grand Canyon before you leave. We’ll steer you to and through the park and point out its inspiring viewpoints and scenic wonders—plus we share entertaining and educational stories all along the way. It’s like having a friendly tour guide along for the ride.
The number one thing to bear in mind when you’re planning a trip to Arizona’s Grand Canyon is the fact that the magnificent gorge has two rims. The South Rim is more developed—more camping, more lodging, and more people. It’s also closer to good-sized towns such as Flagstaff and Williams. The North Rim is more remote, less developed, and far less crowded. But it’s also a 200-mile-plus drive from the South Rim, and it’s far from developed cities.
Both rims are spectacular. If time permits, the North Rim is well worth the journey. But keep in mind that it is higher (around 8,000 feet) than the South Rim (around 7,000 feet), which means it draws a lot of snowfall, and its roads and services are closed from October 15 to May 15. The South Rim is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
No matter when you visit, a park that draws nearly five million visitors a year requires smart planning. But by heeding the advice that follows (compiled by the author of our Just Ahead guide, Alan Rider), and with Just Ahead along for the ride, you’ll have the trip of a lifetime to one of the true wonders of the world.
Just Ahead’s Grand Canyon Trip Planner is divided into three segments. Click below to read:
What Are the Best Sights to See in Grand Canyon? — including don’t-miss things to do and a personal selection of overlooked gems.
Where Should I Stay in Grand Canyon? — including great historic inns at both rims, and a selection of lodges just outside the park.
Where Should I Camp in Grand Canyon? — including both the South and North Rims, and campgrounds near the park.