A powerful and inspiring landscape, Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size. Unique combinations of geologic color and erosional forms decorate a canyon that is 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep.Nearly five million people see the 1 mile deep (1.6 km) Grand Canyon each year. Most of them see it from their car at overlooks along the South Rim (this includes Grand Canyon Village, Hermits Rest, and Desert View). The South Rim is the most accessible part of the park and is open all year, averaging 7000 feet/ 2134 m above sea level. A much smaller number of people see the Canyon from the North Rim, which lies just 10 miles / 16 km (as the California condor flies) directly across the Canyon from the South Rim. Averaging 8000 feet/ 2438 m above sea level, the North Rim rises 1000 feet/ 305 m higher than the South Rim, and is much less accessible. Heavy snows often close the road to the North Rim from late October to mid May of each year. Even in good weather the North Rim is harder to get to. It is 220 miles / 354 km by car from the South Rim, or 21 miles / 34 km by foot across the canyon by way of the North and South Kaibab Trails. The Inner Canyon includes everything below the rim and is seen mainly by hikers, mule riders, or river runners.
There are many opportunities here for adventurous and hardy persons who want to backpack, ride a mule to Phantom Ranch, or take a river trip through the Canyon on the Colorado River (which can take anywhere from several days to three weeks – there are no one-day river trips through the length of Grand Canyon).