Grand Canyon Village, which is located on the South Rim, is the hub of this National Park's activities. Approximately 1.5 hours from Flagstaff Arizona, Grand Canyon Village contains the vast majority of hotels and activities. This part of the Park is open year round, and is close to the major Grand Canyon Gateways of Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Williams, AZ.
The South Rim is where it all started. Miners, Conquistadors, and pioneers of all sorts have ventured here for ages. Horse Drawn Buggies, Trains, and now automobiles flock to this destination to have their Grand Canyon Experience. Activities at the South Rim range from hiking to helicopter flights, and hotels range from quaint cabins to 4 star lodging. The summer season is the busiest time to visit the South Rim, but Spring and Fall have the best temperatures, and the Winter season has the most solitude.
There are three main areas of the South Rim. Grand Canyon Village is located near the parks south entrance a few miles from the town of Tusayan, AZ. The village is where all of the South Rim hotels are located, as well as Mather Campground, Market Plaza, the visitor center and backcountry office. Hermit's Rest Road traverses the South Rim to the west of Grand Canyon Village. This scenic drive is only open to park shuttle buses and commercial tours from March 1st through November 30th. There are many scenic vistas along the road, which also make it a nice ride for road bikes. At the end of this 10 mile road is Hermit's Rest, which has a small gift and snack in a historic building that used to be a lodge, as well as trailhead for backcountry hikers heading into the canyon via the Hermit Trail. The other are of the South Rim is know as Desert View Drive. You can access this road by heading east from Grand Canyon Village, or by using the Desert View (East) entrance station. Desert View Drive is open to all vehicles and offers many scenic pullouts, and several trailheads. Tusayan Museum and Ruins is also located off this road, and is the only major archeological site visitors can see on the Rim of the Canyon. Near the East Entrance, is a first come first serve campground, the Desert View Watchtower, and several small stores, snack shops, gift shops, and a gas station. Whichever area you choose to visit along the South Rim, you won't be disappointed.