Grand Canyon Operating Hours & Seasons
Once again we have to remember that the Grand Canyon National Park is very much a park of two halves, the South Rim and the North Rim, so I guess we’d better separate them right now . . . driving from one to the other is around 215 miles – 5 hours – so it is important, it does make a difference and you should pay attention!
More current news and information on the Grand Canyon National Park Facebook page.
Grand Canyon South Rim Operating Hours & Seasons
The phrase “open all hours” applies very much to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, it’s open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, all year round. The visitor services are open all year too, including lodging, camping and restaurants. Some stuff will close during the winter time, and in the summer it gets very, very busy (90% of visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park head to the South Rim) so if you’re visiting in the summertime it’s best to make reservations if you want to stay in the lodgings or at one of the campgrounds.
There’s a free bus service operating in the South Rim Grand Canyon Village area, so the best idea is to leave your car at the Visitor Center and hop on a bus to travel around the village.
Grand Canyon North Rim Operating Hours & Seasons
The Grand Canyon North Rim is a very different cookie . . . open only from the middle of May until mid October, this means the facilities, the lodgings, the campgrounds and any other visitor services close down for the winter. During the summertime you are strongly advised to make reservations before your trip or you may be disappointed.
One of the main problems of winter at the Grand Canyon North Rim is that Highway 67 is often closed because of the snow. Once the facilities have closed down in mid October there is often a small period (window of opportunity, as it were) to visit the North Rim during the daytime only, before the snow arrives and closes the road, bear in mind though that there will be no facilities open – no food, no lodgings, nothing like that will be operating inside the Grand Canyon National Park. You will, however, be able to fill up your gas tank in the park until 27 November, or until the snow arrives and closes the road.
Between mid October and 27 November there may be other facilities open, the North Rim Visitor Center and the Backcountry Information and Permits Office from 9am – 4pm, and there will be campsites although services will be limited . . . portable toilets only, and water is only available from the National Park Service admin office. Camping sites are available first come, first served.
Just be aware that throughout this period, Highway 67 (from Jacob Lake to the North Rim) can close down with virtually no notice at all due to snowfall, and when that happens it will probably stay closed until the middle of May.
I have to agree with Grandpa, it’s wonderful.