On the south bank, there are several hotels of good comfort but whose prices can be exorbitant. The best value for money is, in my opinion, the Bright Angel Lodge, which offers lovely little cottages and very close to the shore. If all the canyon dwellings are taken, you may find space in Tusayan, just before entering the National Park. These are mostly chain motels without real charm, but quite comfortable. A little further, the Grand Canyon Inn can do the trick but requires driving 30 minutes to reach the south shore. For smaller budgets or different experience, two campsites on this side of the Grand Canyon: Mather Campground and Desert View Campground. Book at least six months in advance. Otherwise, they must is to spend the night in the Phantom Ranch, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. But here, we must think to book at least a year in advance. In the grand canyon tours this is important now.
The north shore side has fewer tourists and therefore fewer accommodation possibilities. There is a very good standard hotel but quite expensive, the Grand Canyon Lodge. The alternative is to book a pitch at North Rim Campground, the only North Shore campground but very nice and shady.
- Of all the US national parks, the Grand Canyon is certainly the best known around the world. Dugout by Colorado for millions of years, this giant of 4927 km2, visited by more than 5 million visitors each year, was founded in 1919 and World Heritage of Humanity in 1979.
In a few figures, the Grand Canyon is: 450 km long between Lake Powell and Lake Mead 350 km in the national park, a depth of up to 2000m, 1300m average and a width ranging from 5.5 to 30 km. Figures that, in the absolute, do not speak. But when you find yourself in front of him, that your eyes will struggle to settle in front of the immensity, that your mouth, surely ajar, will not emit a sound, or even that you pour a little tearful for the most emotional of you will understand what all these numbers represent. The Grand Canyon is the icon of the west, and the image of a whole state, Arizona, the Grand Canyon State.
90% of visitors
There are two great ways to discover the Grand Canyon: the North Shore or the South Shore. It can also be seen from the west, Skywalk or Supai, or from another location on the North Shore (Toroweap), but both banks concentrate most of the activity. And it is the South Shore which is, by far, the busiest 90% of visitors.
It fits better in the organization of a road trip, it is more accessible and the points of view and activities are more numerous. Since we do not do anything like everyone else, we first visited the north shore in 2011 before discovering the south shore in 2015. We will soon be doing a comparative article between the two rims because each has its advantages.
But here it’s about the South Shore. As we said above, it is easily accessible: a road (180/64), two entrances south and east and a mushroom town just outside. You can arrive from Flagstaff and Williams to the south and Page or Tuba City to the east. Many visitors arrive directly from Las Vegas, 4 hours’ drive west.