LOGISTICS AND CAMPING PERMITS
Extensive planning is essential for any Rim-to-Rim hike and walking in a group of two or more is recommended.
Permit applications for camping at any of the three campsites within the canyon must be made at least four months in advance (nps.gov).
All three campsites within the canyon are open year-round.
Trans-Canyon Shuttle has two daily mini-bus trips from North to South Rim, running until October 16 ($90pp).
Flagstaff Shuttle and Charter offers bespoke transfers to North Rim until snow closes Highway 67 (usually around December 1 and reopening on May 15); $450 for South Rim to North Rim transfer for first three passengers, $45 each additional passenger.
Grand Canyon Train (Williams to South Rim) from $65 plus $12 admission to Grand Canyon national park by train.
ACCOMMODATION BEFORE AND AFTER HIKING
Williams: Lodging options and more at experiencewilliams.com South Rim: Mary Colter-designed Bright Angel Lodge, doubles from $95, room only. Yavapai Lodge, a one-mile walk from South Rim, doubles from $150, room only. Mather Campground on South Rim is open all year and does not require a permit but reservations are recommended (pitches from $18). Twenty-five miles from Grand Canyon Village is the eastern entrance and the Desert View campsite (pitches from $12). There are affordable lodge options just outside the south entrance in Tusayan. North Rim: Grand Canyon Lodge has a range of cabins sleeping three, from $143 and motel doubles are $132. Booking up to a year ahead is advised. North Rim Campground is open until October 31 in 2017. No permit required but reservations are recommended (pitches from $18).
GUIDED TOURS AND MULE HIRE
Guided Rim-to-Rim trips are provided by Arizona Outback Adventures. Both its three- and five-day itineraries include at least one night at Phantom Ranch. The company can also tailor faster or slower itineraries, but reservations currently need to be made up to a year in advance. Its three-day guided hike costs from $1,595pp, and two-night backpacking trips from $845.
Mule trips are a sure-hooved alternative for journeying into the canyon. Overnight rides to Phantom Ranch on the Grand Canyon lodges website start at around $588pp, reservation only by phone +1 303 297 2757. No operator currently offers a full Rim-to-Rim crossing.