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Buses, including Open Road Tours and Transportation, leave regularly from Flagstaff to the South Rim. The only public transportation to the North Rim is the Trans-Canyon Shuttle, which leaves from the South Rim. Learn more about Open Road Tours at or call 1-800-766-7117. For more information about the Trans-Canyon Shuttle, which operates seasonally, call 928-638-2820.

Things to Do

Backcountry Classes
If you hike around the Grand Canyon, you'll soon see signs reading, "The desert grows by the inch but dies by the foot." Although the desert seems like a harsh climate, the environment is as delicate as a flower. As a way to open this intricate world to visitors of all ages, the nonprofit Grand Canyon Association formed the Grand Canyon Field Institute, which includes a team of the finest and friendliest specialists available. These experts teach classes in photography, art, and the canyon's natural and cultural history. About three-fourths of the courses involve overnight backpacking. However, the Learning and Lodging program—more family-oriented and less strenuous—allows participants to stay at the Xanterra South Rim lodges.

The institute's archaeological survey trips provide the National Park Service with data to preserve ancient sites. In January 2002 one such survey in the extreme western Grand Canyon found a living-room-size roasting pit left by ancestral Pueblo people, often referred to as the Anasazi. This thousand-year-old site—as well as others—proved instrumental in establishing the known western boundary of this ancient culture.

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