Grand Canyon National Park Destination Guide
Known as the South Rim, this region of the canyon is and hour and 20 minute drive northwest of Flagstaff, Arizona and just over 4 hours from Las Vegas, or an hour flight from the Las Vegas area.
The climate at the South Rim ranges significantly due to changes in elevation throughout the park. While the area tends to remain dry, precipitation is most often seen in the summertime and in winter. The Kaibab Forest and upper gorges are often coated in snow for a short period each winter, offering a natural sightseeing spectacle unlike any other. At the canyon floor - known there as the Inner Gorge - temperatures can range between 0 F (-17 C) and 100 F (37 C). Visitors to the Grand Canyon South Rim are encouraged to plan their trip in accordance to this incredible temperature variation and dress in layers for sudden changes in precipitation.
The entry fees for the Grand Canyon National Park vary depending on the vehicle being used. For our customers’ convenience, guests flying aboard one of Papillon’s Grand Canyon tours will have their park fees including in the cost of their tour. Individuals travelling to the Grand Canyon National Park separately can purchase a vehicle pass for $30, a motorcycle pass for $35, or an individual pass for bicycles, park shuttles, and walking visitors for $15. Guests under age 15 may enter free of charge.
Since being officially designated a national park in 1919, the Grand Canyon National Park - colloquially known as the South Rim - has been managed and protected by the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS is most importantly responsible for preserving the natural environment; from monitoring the delicate balance of plant and animal life to taking every measure possible to prevent forest fires and other avoidable disasters. The NPS also works to ensure that the parks are easy for the public to visit without disrupting the natural ecology.
Your visit to the Grand Canyon National Park will be made safe, enjoyable, and educational because of the hard efforts of the National Park Service, its employees, and volunteers.
The Grand Canyon National Park offers fantastic rafting opportunities ranging from daylong adventures to several-day expeditions. River rafting is perhaps the most high-demand activity at the canyon, with tour operators booking solid up to a year in advance. You can still experience the Grand Canyon from the Colorado River in just a day's time aboard a smooth water rafting trip or you can embark on an exhilarating white water rafting trip through the canyon walls.
Several hiking trails surround the edge of the South Rim, offering fantastic views of different angles of the canyon. Trail lengths vary in difficulty from light to expert and range in length from between quick, 2-mile hikes to half-mile, all-day excursions. No matter your skill level or time availability, Grand Canyon hiking is a possibility for every family.
Don't feel like hiking? Skip the trek and see magnificent views of the Grand Canyon on a South Rim tour aboard a converted Hummer vehicle! Each tour is customized by drivers to avoid the traffic and stop at the best lookout points with the least amount of other tourists. You can even privatize the entire Hummer for your group or choose to tour at sunset.
Grand Canyon Village
Lining the rim of the Grand Canyon National Park is a historic district known as the Grand Canyon Village. Here visitors will find several antique hotels and lodges, dozens of shops offering rustic Southwestern gifts, and two studios offering beautiful canyon vantage points as well as paintings, photography and literature. Additionally, several restaurants can be found in the village and hotels offering both casual and fine dining.
The South Rim features some of the most breathtaking and recognizable sights of the Grand Canyon. Many of these fantastic landscapes can be seen from the paved sidewalk lining the canyon’s edge. However, it is important to note that in winter conditions, paved areas can become snowy or even icy, so extra caution is advised.
The nearby Grand Canyon Village contains several hotels, shops, and restaurants, all wheelchair accessible with the exception of the Kolb Studio. Bright Angel Lodge offers wheelchairs for rent, as well. Additionally, the IMAX theater offers ample wheelchair space. A large number of Grand Canyon South Rim tours are fully accessible, as well. Visit our equipment page to learn more about our aircraft accessibility.