Fees and Permits
All private vehicles entering the Grand Canyon must pay a $25 entrance fee, which is good for seven days. Individuals on foot or on a bike must pay a $12 entrance fee, also good for seven days. If you're planning on doing a little more touring, for $80 you can purchase an America the Beautiful Pass which allows access to all American National Parks for a period of a year.
Animals are interesting to see as long as it is at a safe distance. Do not feed the animals; a seemingly tame squirrel might bite you and they can carry plague or rabies, or deer or elk can charge without warning. Apart from your safety, it is very unhealthy for them, so dispose of all scraps thoughtfully no matter how wooed you are with cuteness!
Rattlesnakes will leave you alone as long as you do the same as they aren’t aggressive, but just watch where you step. Most of their victims are young men showing off trying to chase or capture a snake! As a rule: if an animal is aware of your presence, you're too close.
For an eye-opening look at the dangers of hiking in and around the canyon unprepared, read Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Thomas M. Myers (long time resident doctor at the south rim) and Michael P. Ghiglieri (biologist and river guide). It describes the various ways in which visitors have lost their lives at the canyon; you know, for a relaxed holiday read! For hiking tips and safety precautions read the Hiking section of this guide.