The drive from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the South Rim is 215 miles and takes about five hours. Although the speed limit on the major roads between average 65 MPH, due to traffic and being a two-lane blacktop highway you should allow for the full five hours.
As you drive out of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on Arizona State Highway 67, you will pass through the Kaibab National Forest, part of the largest continuous pine forest in the United States and is considered by some the most beautiful drive in Grand Canyon country.
When you come to Jacobs Lake you will take United States Highway Alternate 89 toward Marble Canyon, Arizona, about 41 miles away. You will gradually descend in altitude and the terrain will give way from forest, to semi-arid forest, to semi-arid grassland, to spectacular desert vistas. In less than one-hundred miles the air temperature has gone up 30 to 40 degrees!
At Marble Canyon, Arizona you will cross over the Colorado River and you can stop at the Navajo Bridge to walk out and look at the river below. During the summer months it can be extremely hot, and will give you a good idea of the heat that can be found at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Take United States Highway 89 South toward Tuba City. The massive boulders you see along the highway and across the desert were placed there by the same erosion forces that created the Grand Canyon. Make sure to drive with your headlights on and pass with care. Don't be tempted by the wide open desert to take a chance passing, help is far away if you get into an accident. Also, due to the extreme terrain and heat (up to 120 degrees) make sure to carry water with you in the car. At least one quart for each person.
Turn onto Arizona State Highway 65 heading west toward the Grand Canyon. This is 73 miles south of Marble Canyon, Arizona and is not well marked. If you come to Gray Mountain, Arizona, you have missed the turn by eight miles. You will climb up out of the desert towards the Grand Canyon until you reach a semi-arid forest region. You will pass a number of shops that offer Native American crafts along this entire route. Gasoline, food, lodging, and vehicle services are very limited, with Marble Canyon offering the best facilities along the way.