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Grand Canyon National Park Overview

"The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech, nor by speech itself.  The resources of the graphic arts are taxed beyond their powers in attempting to portray it's features.  Language and illustration combined must fail.  The multifarious and exceedingly diverse.  The Cyclopean forms which result from the sculpture of tempests through ages too long for man to contemplate, are wrought into endless details, to describe which would be a task equal in magnitude to that of describing the stars of the heavens."
                    - Major J.W. Powell, "Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons"

Given Mr. Powell's statement (and the fact that he had the added advantage of being a much better writer than myself) I won't even attempt such a description.  I will, however, provide a few observations based on my experience hiking and backpacking in the Grand Canyon. 
1) The Grand Canyon is HUGE and most of its area is rarely visited.   You could spend a lifetime hiking and exploring inside the park.
2) Given #1, if you enjoy solitude and a wilderness experience avoid the south rim (except as necessary for entry or exit from the canyon) and the corridor trails (North and South Kaibab Trails and the Bright Angel Trail).  As a warning: the corridor trails are dusty, smelly and crowded with tourists, trail joggers and mules.
3) To probably state the obvious, temperatures increase as you descend into the Canyon (figure on Phoenix like temperatures at the bottom).  For this reason, summer hiking is out of the question.  The best months the author has found for hiking the inner canyon (though I'm hesitant to reveal my secret) are February and November.  Though the rim may be icy and cold, once you get into the Canyon you will have beautiful, cool hiking temperatures.
4) The Park Service issues dire warnings regarding the dangers of hiking within the Canyon (with the 5 million tourists who visit the park every year, I'm sure the warnings are warranted).  Experienced desert hikers, however, will have no trouble adjusting to Canyon hiking - it is exactly like hiking lower Sonoran desert regions elsewhere in the state.  It may even be easier than other desert hikes in that there is considerable information available on current trail conditions and the availability of water.
5) No matter which trail you hike, it is a long steep climb out of the Canyon (especially with a full pack) - prepare accordingly.
6) The Mather Campground on the south rim has pay showers (you do not need to stay at the campground to take advantage of this service)! On the north rim the Lees Ferry Lodge has laundry and pay showers ($2.50 for 5 minutes).

Current information on the park, including weather, fees, directions and activities available are posted on the Grand Canyon National Park Service page and on the Grand Canyon Official Park Information page.

The Grand Canyon faces many challenges as visitation continues to increase.  Two of the larger issues include:
1) The proposal to increase development on the south rim either by expanding Tussayan Village or constructing a new gateway community for the park called Canyon Forest Village.
2) Noise pollution caused by scenic overflights tours.
There is nothing worse in my mind than an organization or business that lines it's pockets with profits from the exploitation of a public resource, while at the same time degrading the quality of that resource for everyone else.  As an individual whose taxes go towards the support of the Park Service (as well as the $20 entry fee you paid to get in), you are rewarded with the dust and stink of mules on the corridor trails (after all you'd be discriminating against the motivationally challenged if you asked them to walk), the incessant whine of helicopter and aircraft engines (much like that of a gnat that buzzes around your head, only you can't swat this one away) as well as the pleasure of the horde straining to get a view & snap that photo since they've already been here 40 minutes and the kids are whining and there is something better on tv anyway.

What is single most effective thing you can do to combat these two evils?  DO NOT GIVE YOUR MONEY TO THEM!  Do not support the overflight businesses, you will have a better time and see more exploring on foot (and it's better for you).  Do not support the gateway communities - buy gas and food ahead of time (it's cheaper anyway), bring a tent and camp outside in the wilderness for free rather than staying in a hotel.

If you feel the need to do more, the Arizona Sierra Club works to protect wilderness in the Grand Canyon and around the state.