During the busy seasons, lines are long at the entrance station and parking is difficult to find on the South Rim. Why wait in lines and drive in circles looking for parking when you can park in the gateway community of Tusayan and ride a shuttle bus into the park. No lines, no hassles, no fuss. Park and ride; we’ll be your guide.
The Tusayan Route (Purple Route) operates every day from March 1 through September 30. Buses run every 20 minutes between 8 a.m. and 9:45 p.m. Visitors can park anywhere in Tusayan to take the bus, including the Best Western, Grand Hotel, Big E Steakhouse, IMAX/R.P.’s Stage Stop, and the park and ride lot on the north end of town (by the second roundabout). The park and ride lot is especially good for RVs and vehicle with trailers, which have limited parking options in the park.
In order to board a shuttle in Tusayan, visitors must have a valid park pass – this can be a seven-day vehicle, individual, or motorcycle pass. For example, one valid seven-day vehicle pass will get a family onto the bus. Passes can be purchased at park entrance stations or various businesses in Tusayan, including RP’s Stage Stop, Canyon Plaza Resort, Red Feather Lodge, or IMAX. Annual and lifetime passes are also accepted.
Shuttle buses make the following stops in Tusayan:
· IMAX Theater/R.P.’s Stage Stop,
· Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn,
· The Grand Hotel, and
· Big E Steakhouse and Saloon.
After making four stops in Tusayan, the shuttle bus heads straight to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, where visitors can access trails, scenic viewpoints, and the free, in-park shuttle bus system.
Spring break, summer, and holiday weekends in the fall and winter are extremely crowded on the South Rim. Visitors can expect long lines and limited parking. During busy periods, visitors should park for the day in Tusayan, particular those driving RVs or pulling trailers, and take a shuttle bus to the South Rim.
If visitors choose to drive into the park, they should arrive by 9 a.m. to avoid the most crowded conditions. Visitors can expect to wait up to an hour or more at the entrance stations during the busiest times of day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Parking lots, especially near Grand Canyon Visitor Center, start reaching capacity by 11 am. Visitors driving RVs or pulling trailers should park in lot 1 near Grand Canyon Visitor Center, lot B at Market Plaza, or lot D in the Village.
More information about the Tusayan Route and Grand Canyon’s transit system is available at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/shuttle-buses.htm. Congestion tips can be found at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/sr-tips.htm. For parking and road conditions, go to @Grand Canyon NPS on Twitter.
Fee Free entrance
Mark your calendar for these entrance fee–free dates:
January: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February: Presidents’ Day
April: National Park Week
August: National Park Service Birthday
September: National Public Lands Day
November: Veterans Day Weekend
Fee-free days help make parks accessible to more people.
In 2016, the National Park Service turned 100 years old. For 10 days out of the year, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee offer free admission to everyone. While the fee-free designation applies to entrance fees, it does not affect fees for camping, reservations, tours, or use of concessions. Park entrance stations will have Interagency, Senior and Annual Passes available purchase.
With more than 400 parks available in the United States, fee-free days offer a great opportunity to visit these one-of-a-kind locations.