grand canyonROADS AND CONDITIONS

Grand Canyon Roads and Driving Conditions

Grand Canyon Roads and Conditions

If you’re visiting Grand Canyon National Park knowing local road conditions will help you save time and stay safe on your vacation. There are hundreds of miles of roads in Grand Canyon National Park and other Grand Canyon Destinations. Roads along the South Rim stay open all year unless there is a winter snow storm, but they can get extremely busy during the summer months. The road to the North Rim is only open seasonally, but it offers much less traffic and a very different canyon experience. Heading to the East Rim and Marble Canyon offers a chance to drive to the Colorado River and Grand Canyon West will take visitors to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. For backcountry hikers and people looking for more adventure numerous dirt 4x4 roads lead to isolated destinations and backcountry trailheads. Learn the best driving routes and stay safe on your trip with up to date road conditions and driving resources. Read the guide below to learn more.

List of Roads and Driving Conditions

South Rim Roads and Driving Conditions

The roads along the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park are open year-round, but closures can happen from snow storms or dangerous weather conditions. Remember it can snow along the South Rim into April so even in the spring season a closure or poor driving conditions are possible. For the rest of the year the main issue is heavy traffic the occasional elk jam.

  • Grand Canyon Village: This section of road is the location of most Grand Canyon hotels, restaurants, events and Services, as well as the main Grand Canyon National Park visitor center. Many activities like hiking and mule rides into the canyon also start in Grand Canyon village, and some of the best views are found here along the canyon rim.
  • Hermit Road: Hermit Road goes from Grand Canyon Village west to Hermits Rest. This route is only open to Grand Canyon Shuttles, but hikers and bikers will enjoy the rim trail and the lack of traffic. Visitors are allowed to use the road if they have a valid backcountry permit to backpack the hermit trail.
  • Desert View Drive: Desert View Drive goes from Grand Canyon Village east to Desert View Watchtower and the east entrance of Grand Canyon Nation Park.  Desert View Drive is open to all visitors and offers numerous vistas with amazing view and several trailheads for hikers. Desert View Drive is also where you’ll find the Tusayan Ruins and Museum and Desert View Watchtower, an awesome Mary Jane Colter design.

North Rim Roads and Driving Conditions

The North Rim officially opens May 15th every year and Highway 67 is the main road to the North Rim. North Rim lodging and stores are open from May 15th through October 15th, while the National Park campground closes October 31st. After October 31st Highway 67 stays open until December 1st from dawn till dusk, unless there is snow, in which case the road is closed until May 15th when facilities reopen the following year. There are also dirt Forest Service roads that lead to the North Rim vistas and trailheads, but good vehicle clearance and the right maps are necessary.

  • Highway 67: Highway 67 is the main road to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Highway 67 is a seasonal road that starts near Jacob Lake Arizona at the junction of highway 89A and ends at the North Rim Village. This is where you’ll find the North Rim lodge, visitor center, campground and other services as well as the North Kaibab trailhead.
  • Cape Royal Road: Cape Royal Road goes to Cape Royal, Point Imperial and several other vista points and short trails. This is the only paved road aside from Highway 67 where visitors have easy access to the North Rim.
  • Point Sublime Road: The Point Sublime Road is a dirt 4x4 road that starts near the North Rim and ends at Point Sublime, one of Grand Canyon’s best vistas. This seasonal road also offers camping if you have a valid backcountry permit.
  • Kaibab National Forest Roads: Kaibab National Forest borders Grand Canyon National Park and there are numerous roads that go to the rim of the Grand Canyon. All of these roads are dirt and while some are well graded, others require high clearance or 4-wheel drive. These roads are not accessible in the winter once the snow falls, which can happen as early as October.

West Rim Roads and Driving Conditions

West Rim Roads go to popular destinations like the Skywalk and Havasu Falls, as well as some of the canyons least visited destinations like Toroweap. Grand Canyon’s West Rim has roads that are at lower elevations, so snow and winter weather are almost never an issue. Although these roads are open year-round, closures can occur due to flash floods on Diamond Creek Road and the roads to Toroweap. The road to Toroweap can also be very dangerous in the summer season due to its extreme isolation and hot weather.

  • Grand Canyon West and the Skywalk: Most visitor traveling to the Skywalk and Grand Canyon West will follow Highway 93 to Pierce Ferry road and turn off on Buck and Doe road to complete their drive to the Skywalk/Grand Canyon West. Although a large section of this road used to be dirt, it is now paved the entire way to Grand Canyon West.
  • Havasupai Trailhead: Havasupai Trailhead the hiking trail to Havasu Falls and Supai Village is accessed by following route 66 to Indian Road 18, which end at Hualapai Hilltop/Havasupai Trailhead. These roads located off the South Rim of the Western Grand Canyon are paved and open year-round. Indian Road 18 is narrow in places and can be difficult for larger vehicles.
  • Diamond Creek: Diamond Creek Road is one of only a few access roads to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The turn-off for Diamond Creek Road (also labeled Road 6) is off Historic Route 66 in Peach Springs, Arizona. This road is on Hualapai Tribal land and a $25 permit is required which can be purchased at the Peach Spring lodge. Diamond Creek Rd is a well graded dirt road, but access can be block during the summer monsoon season when flash floods wash out the road.
  • Toroweap: Toroweap, also called Tuweap is located in the far western Grand Canyon off of the North Rim. The turn-off for Toroweap is near Fredonia, Arizona and follows a dirt road for over 3 hours to get to the Toroweap Overlook and Toroweap Campground. From Route 389 travelers can take road 5 or 109 to road 115 to get to Toroweap. This is a very isolated area with no services and summer temperatures are extreme. Flash floods that can block road access are also possible during the summer monsoon season.

East Rim Roads and Driving Conditions

The East Rim of the Grand Canyon, also known as Marble Canyon is accessible year-road and the major roads are paved and accessible. Winter weather is not an issue for driving due to the areas lower elevation, but visitors should be prepared for hot weather during the summer months.

  • Highway 89A: Highway 89A is the main road along Marble Canyon and the East Rim. This is also the route to get between the North Rim and South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
  • Lee’s Ferry Road: Lee’s Ferry Road, located off highway 89A is a short, paved road to Lee’s Ferry. Lee’s Ferry has a campground and is the boat launch for whitewater rafting through the Grand Canyon. This is also one of the few places in the park you can drive right to the Colorado River.
  • BLM Roads: The East Rim of the Grand Canyon borders Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, which is manage by the Bureau of Land Management. This area has several access roads to backcountry campsites and trails, but most of these dirt roads require high clearance and some also require four-wheel drive.
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