Grand Canyon National Park Fact File

When President Teddy Roosevelt visited Arizona and the Grand Canyon in 1903, he described it as ‘the one great site which every American should see.’ Today Grand Canyon National Park hosts approximately 4.5 million visitors every year as people come from all over the world to hike the canyon, camp in the backcountry or raft the Colorado River.

Although the area became a national monument in 1908, Grand Canyon National Park was not officially created until 1919. The park was deemed a World Heritage Site in 1979 and is located entirely in the Northern half of Arizona.

How big is it?

One word comes to mind when discussing the size of the park: immense! The Grand Canyon National Park AZ measures 1,904 square miles (4,930 sq km); this equals out to over 1.2 million acres of land (over 493,000 hectares). The Colorado River, which cuts a swathe through the Grand Canyon and the park, is 1,450 miles (2,333 km) long from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to Mexico’s Gulf of California. The river in the canyon measures 277 miles from Lees Ferry to Grand Walsh Cliffs.

Grand Canyon wildlife A Z

Though many consider the area around the canyon to be empty desert, Grand Canyon National Park is actually home to 75 different species of mammal including bobcats, coyotes, mule deer, desert bighorn sheep and mountain lions. Over 50 species of reptile and amphibians include lizards, toads, frogs and snakes like the unique ‘pink’ rattlesnake; over 300 species of bird are represented by bald eagles and turkey vultures and 25 species of fish swim in the river.

Visitor information

The Park has two entrances; one is located on the South Rim and the other is on the North Rim. Peak season is considered April to October. Summer time bustles with visitors, making traffic, parking, hotel and restaurant accommodation a problem. Winter holidays can also be crowded. Reservations are always recommended.

The National Park Service hosts a number of activities and events; check the park’s newspaper The Guide for a schedule. Accommodation and lodging are available in the park; visit for rates and information.

Cars and individuals must pay an entrance fee to enter the park. Fees are as follows:

Private non commercial vehicles pay $20 for a seven day pass

Individual visitors on foot and bike pay $10 for a seven day pass

Annual passes cost $40.00 for the season

Gold Access Passes are free for the blind or permanently disabled, never expire and are accepted in all U.S. National Parks

The Golden Age Pass is for those aged 62 and older, costs $10.00, never expires and is accepted in all U.S. National Parks

The National Park Pass costs $50.00, applies to all U.S. National Parks and is valid for one year from date of purchase

The Golden Eagle Pass costs $15.00, applies to all U.S. National Parks and is valid for one year from the date of purchase


Permits are required for all overnight activities in the park including hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, river camping and backcountry camping. You must also have a permit to fish in the park. For more information contact the National Park Service at