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Directions To The Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided gorge carved...

Image via Wikipedia

There is some element of truth in the fact that the Grand Canyon is so big that you can’t miss it, but then again, you’ve gotta’ be heading in the right general direction to start with. The Grand Canyon is in Arizona (I bet you knew that already didn’t you), but did you know that it’s in the North West corner, close to the borders of Nevada (hence all of the trips from Vegas) and Utah. Flowing through the Grand Canyon is the Colorado River, and although the water in the Colorado originates from 7 different states, the Grand Canyon is completely found within Arizona, the majority of it in Grand Canyon National Park.

More current news and information on the Grand Canyon National Park Facebook page.

Grand Canyon Rims

When you head off to the Grand Canyon you’ve gotta’ remember that this is a Canyon of two sides, or rims to be exact – there’s the North Rim, and there’s the South Rim. Getting from one rim to the other, as you would expect, is a pretty long way, unless you’re a stunt man and attempt to jump over it, but that’s certainly not a recommended route in any of the Grand Canyon Guide Books and you won’t find those directions anywhere on this page either.

The North Rim and the South Rim are separated by 277 miles of canyon, it’s a mile deep (that’s 1.6 km for all you metric types) and really is a very large, very natural barrier which completely separates the Grand Canyon National Park. Okay, so the average distance across the actual canyon is around 10 miles, but to get from the North Rim Village and the South Rim Village you’ve gotta’ drive 215 miles.

Each Rim of the Grand Canyon has very different features, different scenery, different climate and different vegetation, due largely to the difference in elevation of the two sides. It’s kinda’ like two parks for the price of one, but if you want to visit both sides of the Grand Canyon during your visit then it’s gonna’ need some planning and traveling around.

Told you it was big . . . and it seems even BIGGER when you’re actually there in person.

Getting To The Grand Canyon South Rim

90% of visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park visit the South Rim, which is on the Arizona side of the park. The South Rim is open all year round, it has an airport, rail service and it’s pretty close to I 40. Located only 60 miles from Williams, Arizona (take route 64 from I 40) and only 80 miles from Flagstaff (you need to take route 180 from Flagstaff) there are many transport options to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

  • Fly in to Phoenix, Flagstaff or Las Vegas, you might even be able to catch a flight to Grand Canyon Airport from Vegas or elsewhere, but availability for this is limited.
  • Travel by bus to the Grand Canyon – Greyhound has a service from Flagstaff, and there are also numerous shuttle services from Arizona, there’s actually a Grand Canyon Shuttle Service.
  • Travel by rail to the Grand Canyon – Amtrak has a rail service into Flagstaff, then you can hop onto a bus.

They look like they had a GREAT time at the Grand Canyon.

Driving To The Grand Canyon South Rim

Directions for driving to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon very much depends on where you’re starting from, although many of the directions kind of mingle in together for the last leg of the journey . . . once you get close to the Grand Canyon. Here are directions to the Grand Canyon from just a few select destinations . . . surely you can work it out from this lot.

  • From the Grand Canyon North Rim – it’s 215 miles from the North Rim to the South Rim, but that doesn’t put plenty of visitors off from making the journey, it’s 215 pretty awesome miles after all. Right, first thing you do is head north along Highway 67 to Highway 89Alt, then take that road east to Highway 89. When you get to Highway 89 head south to Highway 64, then west along Highway 64 to the East Entrance – aka Desert View – on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
  • From Flagstaff, Arizona – it’s only 81 miles, but you have a choice of 3 different routes. You can either A) take I-40 west until you reach Highway 64, then follow Highway 64 north straight to the South Rim (probably the easiest option), or B) take Highway 80 west until you reach Highway 64, then follow the directions as above, or C) take Highway 89 north until reach Highway 64, then head west to the East Entrance to Desert View. The choice, my dear, is yours!
  • From Phoenix, Arizona – is a distance of 231 miles (providing you don’t get lost of course). Right, first of all head along I-17 north to I-40, then I-40 west to Highway 64, then head north to the South Rim.
  • From Sedona, Arizona – 119 mile journey starting off on Highway 89Alt to I-40, follow directions from Phoenix blah blah blah.
  • From Williams, Arizona – only 63 miles away, head north straight up Highway 64 and you’ll soon arrive at the Grand Canyon South Rim.
  • From Las Vegas, Nevada – it’s 278 miles, head out south along Highway 93 to I-40, then take I-40 east until you reach Highway 64, then head north straight to the South Rim. Alternatively, hop on a bus, lie back and relax and don’t worry about it!
  • From Los Angeles, California – it’s a 494 mile drive, but the view is definitely worth it! Head out along I-15 east towards I-40, then continue east along I-40 to Highway 64. Take Highway north straight to the Grand Canyon South Rim.
  • From Salt Lake City, Utah – 510 miles from Salt Lake City, head south along I-15 to Highway 14, then east along Highway 14 to Highway 89, then south along Highway 89 to Highway 89Alt, then east to Highway 89, then south along Highway 89 to Highway 64, head west and you’ll read the East Entrance on the South Rim – Desert View.

Is that enough directions for you? What? You need to know how to get to the Grand Canyon South Rim from Denver, Colorado – but that’s 859 miles away. Okay, you asked for it . . .

  • From Denver, Colorado – head south along the I-25 to I-40, then west on the I-40 to Highway 64, and take Highway 64 north straight up to the South Rim. That’s not a lot of instructions for such a long journey, hope I haven’t missed anything out . . . you’d better take a map book with you just in case.

Driving To The Grand Canyon North Rim

The Grand Canyon North Rim visitor services close during the winter time, they’re only open from mid-May until mid-October, and Highway 67 does close in the winter, so remember that before you start driving to the Grand Canyon North Rim.

The Grand Canyon North Rim entrance is 30 miles from Jacob Lake, to the south along Highway 67, but the rim of the actual canyon is a further 14 miles south. Jacob Lake, Arizona, is on Highway 89A in northern Arizona, close to the Utah border, even though all of the Grand Canyon is in Arizona.

  • From The Grand Canyon South Rim – look at the directions from the North Rim to the South Rim, and follow them back to frontwards . . . okay, that sounds complicated . . . this is what you do! Take Highway 64 eastwards to Highway 89, then head north to Highway 89Alt, the west along Highway 89Alt to Highway 67, heading south on Highway 67 you’ll arrive directly at the North Rim.
  • From Flagstaff, Arizona – it’s a 207 mile journey to the North Rim from Flagstaff (yes, you might have noticed that the South Rim is much closer), take Highway 89 north as far as Highway 89Alt, then head west to Highway 67 and finally south to the North Rim.
  • From Phoenix, Arizona – this 351 mile journey starts by heading north on I-17 to I-40, then take I-40 east as far as Highway 89, then Highway 89 north to Highway 89Alt, then blah blah blah
  • From Sedona, Arizona – 236 miles from Sedona to the Grand Canyon North Rim, starting out on Highway 89Alt to I-40, then I-40 east towards Highway 89, then Highway 89 north etc. etc. etc.
  • From Williams, Arizona – this journey is 242 miles. Head off east along I-40 to Highway 89, then take Highway 89 north right to Highway 89Alt, then west to Highway 67, then south on Highway 67 to the North Rim. (I know the last bit is the same as the others but I thought I’d save you the job of looking back for the actual directions – no, it’s not favoritism but I do have friends in Williams who might take a look at this – hi Polly, hope your nasty rash has cleared up, say hi to Jeff for me).
  • From Las Vegas, Nevada – this is a 275 mile trip, which starts by taking I-15 north for 128 miles until you’ve just gone past St George, Utah at Highway 9, then head east along Highway 9 for 10 miles, to Highway 59, still going east follow Highway 59 for 32 miles when the highway changes to Highway 389 at the Utah and Arizona state line, stay heading east on Highway 389 for further 33 miles until you reach the junction with Highway 89a, head east on Highway 89a for another 30 miles to the junction with Highway 67, then south along Highway 67 straight to the North Rim 43 miles away.
  • From Salt Lake City, Utah – this journey is a rather impressive 392 miles, starting south on the I-15 to Highway 14, then head east along Highway 14 to Highway 89, Highway 89 south to Highway 89Alt, then south to Highway 67 and blah blah blah – you’re right, I don’t have any friends in Salt Lake City – don’t The Osmonds come from there? Okay, sorry Donnie, take Highway 67 south to the Grand Canyon North Rim.
  • From Denver, Colorado – this 690 mile journey starts by heading east on I-70 as far as Highway 89, then south on Highway 89 to Highway 89Alt, etc. etc. etc.

Okay, that’s enough directions to the Grand Canyon, let’s add one more video and then I’m off . . .

Byeeee!

 

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