The best route into the park from the east or south is from Flagstaff. Take U.S. 180 northwest to the park's southern entrance and Grand Canyon Visitor Center. From the west on Interstate 40, the most direct route to the South Rim is taking Highway 64 from Williams to U.S. 180.
The South Rim is open to car traffic year-round, though access to Hermits Rest is limited to shuttle buses during summer months. There are four free shuttle routes that run from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset, every 15 to 30 minutes: the Hermits Rest Route operates March through November, between Grand Canyon Village and Hermits Rest. The Village Route operates year-round in the village area, stopping at lodgings, the general store, and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. The Kaibab Rim Route goes from the visitor center to five viewpoints, including the Yavapai Geology Museum and Yaki Point (where cars are not permitted). The Tusayan Route travels between the village and the town of Tusayan from March through September. A fifth route, the Hiker's Express, shuttles hikers from the village to the South Kaibab Trailhead twice each morning. In summer, South Rim roads are congested and it's easier, and sometimes required, to park your car and take the free shuttle.
Taxi and Shuttle
Although there’s no public transportation into the Grand Canyon, you can hire a taxi to take you to or from the Grand Canyon Village or any of the Tusayan hotels. Groome Transportation has frequent shuttle service between Flagstaff, Williams, Tusayan, and Grand Canyon Village (at Maswik Lodge); they also have connecting service from Phoenix and Sedona.
Taxi and Shuttle Contacts
Groome Transportation. 928/226–8060; 800/888–2749; www.groometransportation.com.
Xanterra. 928/638–2822; 888/297–2757; www.xanterra.com.
Grand Canyon Railway. There's no need to deal with all of the other drivers racing to the South Rim. Sit back and relax in the comfy train cars of the Grand Canyon Railway. Live music, storytelling, and a pretend train robbery enliven the trip as you journey past the landscape through prairie, ranch, and national park land to the log-cabin train station in Grand Canyon Village. You won't see the Grand Canyon from the train, but you can walk (¼ mile) or catch the shuttle at the restored, historic Grand Canyon Railway Station. The vintage train departs from the Williams Depot every morning and makes the 65-mile journey in 2¼ hours. You can do the round-trip in a single day; however, it's a more relaxing and enjoyable strategy to stay for a night or two at the South Rim before returning to Williams. 800/843–8724; www.thetrain.com. $82–$219 round-trip; Rates do not include $35 park entry fee (for up to 9 persons).