Awesome National Park
We’ve visited the South Rim a couple times, most recently in late spring and stayed at the historic El Tovar Hotel (highly recommended). The Grand Canyon is really a destination attraction in the Arizona desert – and not too easy to access if you’re in a wheelchair. By far the easiest mode of transit is driving your own vehicle. We drove about 4 hours from Phoenix and went through Flagstaff (about 75 miles from the south rim).
The train is apparently possible but it’s complicated, and Amtrak’s nearest location is Flagstaff and Williams – not Phoenix. There is a train platform near the El Tovar (down a somewhat steep grade and over rail tracks). I believe the Grand Canyon Railway operates this connection but do not know if it’s wheelchair accessible. Similarly, bus transit is complicated and not recommended. I’ve read that Groome Transportation out of Flagstaff and Williams provides accessible van transport, but I’ve not tried this. Your best and most convenient choice is driving your own vehicle.
Once you arrive, the south rim is reasonably wheelchair accessible with a very long (perhaps a few miles) paved 8 ft. wide asphalt walkway (See video above). I rolled a mile or so before returning back to the El Tovar. There are breathtaking views everywhere. You can read my review separately on the very accessible El Tovar (including many pictures) but we loved the historic lodge, huge restaurant and proximity to the Grand Canyon walkway. The side entry door and ramp is literally just a few feet from the canyon. You can also stay at the Kachina Lodge, Bright Angel or 2 other lodges. All are quite old but charming. On the WJAR index the Grand Canyon gets a 3 – it’s very accessible and a MUST visit! Please don’t miss this spectacular national park.