Gaia InterMedia logo  Gaia Guides - multimedia travel guides  
home demo buy support contact guide about us

Grand Canyon National Park
Lodging and Hiking

Grand Canyon offers great hiking, rafting and other outdoor activities. Our web-linked CD-ROM multimedia travel guide describes in detail the following popular hikes with series of photographs zooming to full screen size. That way you can decide for yourself if the sights are worth the effort. We use our own walking times in minutes (min.) - steady, but with time taken to 'smell the flowers.'
See also Zion National Park!

The South Rim

view from Trail View Bright Angel Trail
Strenuous 9.6 miles/15.4 km hike to the Inner Gorge and Phantom Ranch, with 4400 ft/1350 m descent. From the aptly named Trail View west of The Village you can see large portions of the trail, including the first 1.5 mile in the photo (left.) The first resthouse is just beyond the left edge. The right photo is taken at the switchback in the center of the left photo. The canyon soon starts showing its size.
the trail descends relentlessly
near the 1st Resthouse After another resthouse at 3 miles from the top, the trail descend sharply down the Redwall cliff and finally levels off near Indian Gardens (4.6 miles/3000ft down) meeting Tonto Trail. Do not venture beyond Plateau Point, easy 1.5mile ahead, without backcountry permit or reservations at Phantom Ranch another 3.5 miles ahead. Colorado River is 1.7 mile and 1400 ft down from the Plateau Pt. Redwall cliff

start: steep switchbacks South Kaibab Trail is even steeper than Bright Angel, with no water and exposure to the sun most of the way. It reaches Phantom Ranch in 7.2 miles, dropping 4800 ft to reach the river. A possible day-hike takes South Kaibab 4.4 miles/3260 ft down to the plateau, then Tonto trail west, returning via the Bright Angel trail. The trail starts near Yaki Point with a series of steep switchbacks down into a side canyon (left,) then levels off for a while (right.) don't get used the easy walk!
Oh-Ah Point ahead A long series of steps descends past Ooh-Aah Point with great views up and down the canyon (left) to Cedar Ridge. The trail follows the ridge for a while, eventually dropping down another series of switchbacks to the plateau and Tonto trail (right.) Shortly after the intersection you will see the suspension bridge crossing Colorado River on the way to Phantom Ranch. Do not attempt to stay there without reservations (call a year ahead!) sheesh, not the zigzags again?!?

Coming soon:
the easy way: mule rides West Rim Trail, Mule Rides etc.

and more

The North Rim

down that valley North Kaibab Trail: the longest, easiest trail to the bottom of GC follows a side canyon 14 mi /23 km down 6000 ft/1800 m to meet South Kaibab + Bright Angel Trails at Phantom Ranch. how did it get there? Coconino Overlook less than a mile down (photo,) Supai Tunel (2mi) and Roaring Springs (5 mi/7.5 km and 3050ft / 930m down) are good day-hike destinations on this trail.

Hiking down into the Grand Canyon even for a short distance provides much better appreciation for the enormity and beauty of the canyon. It is strenuous, and the dangers should not be underestimated. In summer the temperatures inside the canyon are 20F higher than at the rim. Carry enough water and follow the rangers' advice. Some trails - South Kaibab among them - have no water sources at all, and most other sources are not reliable.
The best time is generally either Spring or Fall, when the weather is mild and the danger of thunderstorms is relatively low:

At the South Rim: Winter Spring Summer Fall
Temperature, F max 45 50-70 80 50-75
Temperature, F min 15 25-40 45-55 25-45
Thunderstorms/month - 5 15 3

All the facilities at both Rims are operated by Xanterra, L.L.C. The North Rim lodge and campground are open only from May 15 until Oct.15. South Rim is opened year round, but some of the Amfac-operated lodges do close for a time in the winter.

Lodging

The South Rim provides numerous lodging options for its 5 million visitors a year. Our guide reviews and rates the following lodges, motels and campgrounds, shows their photos (including guest rooms) and provides Internet links where available:

South Rim (The Village) - reserve early:
***El Tovar Hotel ... on the rim, nice historical lodge, some small rooms.
* Bright Angel Lodge ... on the rim, rustic cabins + lodge rooms with shared bathrooms.
** Kachina Lodge ... on the rim, motel style
** Thunderbird Lodge ... on the rim, motel style.
** Yavapai Lodge ... 5 min. walk to the rim, near store.
Mather Campground ... 5 min. walk to the rim. Reserve early! (link below)
Phantom Ranch ... bottom of the canyon. Reserve min. 1 year ahead!!!

CLOSED FOR REMODELING:
** Maswik Lodge ... 5 min. walk to the rim, cabins + motel style.

Tusayan (8 miles south)
***BW Grand Canyon Squire Inn
** Red Feather Lodge
* 7 Mile Lodge.
CLOSED: ** Moqui Lodge

Williams (56 miles south)
*** Best Western Inn of Williams
** Best Value Inn
** Mountain Side Inn & Resort

Flagstaff (80 miles south)
***Little America Hotel

Our Multimedia Travel Guide

Find more about our travel guide
Retail Price: US$18.95 - includes US shipping if bought from us
Wholesale: Order Information

Buy worldwide from:

barnes&noble.com

Buy our Southern California guide
Web Special: Directly from us!
US customers: $19 includes Priority Mail.
International: $6 additional for shipping.
We ship only to 'Confirmed Address!'
Use your Visa, MC or checking account at:


Let us tell you about our new game venture,
with jump-shooting action figurines.
Soon you'll be able to buy basketball toys & games here,
or you can find about our Paint Contest to "Paint Your Favorite Basketball Player!"

Useful links

Southwest info at Grand Canyon Explorer
Reservations for Xanterra, L.L.C. lodges within National Parks
Camping reservations for National Parks
Free topo maps at US Geological Service

Bryce Canyon NP

Coming soon:
Navajo Loop
Queen's Garden Trail

Grand Staircase/Escalante NM

Coming soon:
Buckskin Gulch
Calf Creek Falls
Escalante River Trail ...

Plan your Las Vegas - Grand Canyon - Zion NP holiday with our travel guide!
2001 Gaia InterMedia
Los Angeles, California
www.gaiaguides.com