Q. How big is the Grand Canyon?
A. Most people measure the canyon in river miles, along the course of the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon. By that standard, Grand Canyon is 277 miles long.
Q. How old is the Canyon?
A. Although rocks exposed in the walls of the canyon are geologically quite old, the Canyon itself is a fairly young feature. The oldest rocks at the canyon bottom are close to 2000 million years old. The Canyon itself - an erosional feature - has formed only in the past five or six million years. Geologically speaking, Grand Canyon is very young.
Q. When is the best time to visit the Grand Canyon?
A. Expect heavy crowds during spring, summer, and fall months. You will find fewer crowds in the early spring or late fall. The South Rim is open year round, but heavy snows close the road to the North Rim from late October to mid May of each year.
Q. Do I have to make reservations for lodging at the Grand Canyon?
A. Yes, lodging in Grand Canyon National Park becomes completely booked well in advance. Be sure to make reservations as far ahead as possible. You can contact US Park Lodging online at www.usparklodging.com or toll free at 866.315.2980.
Q. What is the weather like at the Grand Canyon?
A . Summer temperatures on the South Rim are relatively pleasant (50°s - 80°s F) but inner canyon temperatures are extreme. Daytime highs at the river, 5000 feet below the rim, often exceed 100° F. North Rim summer temperatures are cooler than those on the South Rim due to the increased elevation.
Winter conditions at the South Rim can be extreme: expect snow, icy roads, and possible road closures. Temperatures are low, and with the wind-chill factor can at times drop below 0° F. Canyon views may be temporarily obscured during winter storms; in such cases, entrance fees are not refundable. The North Rim is closed in winter.
Spring and Fall weather is extremely unpredictable; be prepared for sudden changes in the weather during these seasons. It is best to dress in layers so that you may be comfortable in any condition.