Grand Canyon National Park covers some 1.2 million acres, and this doesn’t include the Native American-owned lands that border the canyon along its southwestern reaches. Due to the Grand Canyon’s extensive size and its relatively remote location, it is almost imperative that visitors embarking on a Grand Canyon vacation arm themselves with detailed Grand Canyon maps. Having a good map of Grand Canyon National Park and the outlying area can save you from the stress of getting lost, which is something that can negatively affect any vacation, unless you pride yourself on going on intuition and finding your way back without any help. However, if you are driving and are low on gas, or hiking and running low on water, you won’t want to be struggling to find refuge. During the summer, temperatures at the Grand Canyon can be rather extreme, and getting stranded out in the desert is a sure-fire way to put a heavy damper on things.
When consulting your Grand
Canyon maps, you should first know that the Colorado
River, which is responsible for carving out this natural
gem, flows from east to west. The Colorado River
enters the northern center of Arizona where Lake
Powell strattles the border with Utah.
If you are scheduling a smoothwater Grand
Canyon rafting trip, you might be embarking from the
town of Page, Arizona, some 150 miles from the park’s
southern entrance. Here, the Colorado River enters
Marble Canyon and flows on a southerly route before making
a turn towards the west at the “gateway of the Grand
Canyon” at Lees Ferry. Most visitors to the
Grand Canyon will want to first locate Grand Canyon Village
and the South Rim on their Map of Grand Canyon attractions.
The South Rim is where you will find the most tourism-related
facilities, and it is easier to reach than the North Rim.
Also, while the North Rim offers the Grand
Canyon Lodge and various hiking trails, it is closed
during the winter, whereas the South Rim remains open
year-round. At the South Rim, you will find a collection
of notable Grand Canyon
lodges, popular hiking trails, and two of the park’s
Grand Canyon maps and trips go hand in hand, and visitors
will notice that the largest major city found near the
Grand Canyon is Flagstaff, Arizona. Just 75 miles
away, Flagstaff serves as a base for many Grand Canyon
excursions, as does Las
Vegas, which lies just around 275 miles to the west
of the southern entrance at the South Rim. If you’ve
booked a helicopter tour or a Grand Canyon bus trip from
Las Vegas, you will often get the chance to stop at the
Hoover Dam along
the way, or to take a motorboat cruise across Lake
Mead. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area
meets Grand Canyon National Park near the Nevada
border on the northern side of the Colorado River.
Again, however, you will likely want to base yourself
at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, where you will find
the famous lookout at Mather Point. At Mather Point,
you will find the head of the South Rim Trail, which is
among the most popular trails for Grand
Canyon hiking expeditions. Also at Mather Point,
visitors will find the Canyon View Information Plaza,
where a bevy of restrooms, pay phones and shuttle buses
can be located.
Near the lodges of the South Rim, you will also find the train depot, where the Grand Canyon Railway culminates its trip from the town of Williams. Williams lies just 60 miles south of the southern park entrance, and it is where visitors can arrange a trip on the historic Grand Canyon Railway. There are a collection of hotels, both luxury and budget, in Williams, and you can consider the vacation packages offered through the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. If you plan on doing an extended hike from the South Rim to the North Rim, you will find the only place you can cross the river is at the rustic Phantom Ranch. You can secure accommodations here ahead of time, or apply for a Backcountry Permit to camp at one of the few designated spots.
When arranging Grand Canyon maps and trips, you might want to include a map of the free South Rim Shuttle bus service. The Grand Canyon maps of the shuttle service will show you not only the various routes available, but also various points of interest and where you can find the parking lots. When arranging Grand Canyon maps and trips for the North Rim, you will want to locate the North Rim Visitor Center and the main shops, as well as familiarize yourself with the location of the Grand Canyon Lodge or the North Rim Campground. From both the North Rim and the South Rim, it’s also a good idea to bring a map of Grand Canyon trail routes to help you navigate the canyon. You definitely won’t want to get lost while hiking or camping in the inner reaches of the Grand Canyon. The last thing you might take notice of when looking at a layout map of Grand Canyon points of interest is where the Native American lands and parks begin and end. There are fees for entering the Havasupai and Hualapai Indian Reservations, and rafters will find that many trips involve either entering or exiting the river at Diamond Creek. Along the westerly stretches of the Hualapai Indian Reservation is where you will find Grand Canyon West, which is slowly building itself up into a main attraction. At Grand Canyon West, you can absorb Native American culture, book a stay at the Grand Canyon Hualapai Lodge, or experience the Grand Canyon Skywalk.