Grand Canyon Visitor Center
Drop by for a quick overview of things to see and do in the park; it's reached by the park shuttles or a 300-yard walk south of Mather Point. Step inside the Visitor Center for the information desk, open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. The outdoor information panels are always available.
At the entrance stations, you'll receive a free copy of The Guide newspaper with the latest visitor information on sightseeing, hiking, programs, places to stay and eat, and other visitor services. You can also obtain this information online at the park's excellent website, www.nps.gov/grca. The park's mailing address is Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023. The automated switchboard (928/638-7888) provides visitor information, weather forecasts, and connects to all park offices if you're patient.
Grand Canyon and Arizona tourist information is available in Tusayan at the IMAX Theater and in Valle at the Planes of Fame Air Museum.
Backcountry Information Center
For trail information and backcountry camping permits, drop by this office (near Maswik Lodge, 928/638-7875, 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. daily). Call 1-5 p.m. to speak with someone in person. For day hikes, which don't need a permit, you can also get trail information at Grand Canyon Visitor Center.
Kaibab National Forest
Though often overlooked in the shadow of Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab offers many recreation opportunities. For handouts on scenic drives, hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and historic sites, stop by the Tusayan Ranger Station (Box 3088, Tusayan, AZ 86023, 928/638-2443, www.fs.fed.us/r3/kai, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.). It's in the Tusayan Administrative Site just outside the South Entrance Station. Staff can provide directions for hiking the Red Butte Trail, the prominent butte 12 miles south of Tusayan, as well as the Arizona Trail just south of the park. If sufficient snows arrive in winter, cross-country skiers can glide along loops near Grandview Lookout. The Kaibab National Forest map for the Tusayan District shows the trails and back roads.
A "virtual tour" on the park's informative website www.nps.gov/grca will give you ideas of things to do on your visit. The unofficial Grand Canyon Explorer www.bobspixels.com/kaibab.org is also a good source. The commercial site www.thecanyon.com offers an introduction to the park with listings of services and links to surrounding towns.
Getting online in the park is easy but costly at Internet kiosks found in many of the lodges. Jennifer's in Tusayan has an Internet cafe. Grand Canyon Community Library (see below), offers cheaper access, though is likely to be booked up.
Grand Canyon Community Library
This small collection (928/638-2718, noon-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat.) resides in an old schoolhouse tucked behind the garage and general office for the lodges in Grand Canyon Village; turn up Navajo Street, then turn left at the sign; don't worry about warnings that the street is just for residents. You'll find general and Southwestern reading along with periodicals. For a fee, you can use an Internet computer, copy machine, or fax.
Back to South Rim Sights and Hikes
On to Grand Canyon South Rim Tours and Transport