Grand Canyon National Park is continuing to evaluate and adapt to changing COVID-19 guidance, and is adjusting operations as needed. The information presented here is primarily to help you plan a visit during 2021.
The information on this page describes a "normal" busy season on the South Rim.
For a detailed list of what is open now, and what remains closed during the COVID-19 Pandemic,Visit this link
Like other national parks, Grand Canyon has seen a dramatic increase in visitation over the last few years. The South Rim experiences crowded conditions during busy periods throughout the year, including spring break, summer, and holiday times during fall and winter. You can expect:
Long entrance station lines,
Long shuttle bus lines,
Limited parking near Grand Canyon Visitor Center,
Large crowds at popular viewpoints.
However, there are ways to navigate and avoid some of this congestion to make the most of your time on the South Rim. Here are some tips:
1) Park in Tusayan and Ride the Free Shuttle into the Park
1) Tusayan Shuttle Bus - Out of Service
In an effort to help keep park visitors and employees safe from the novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) South Rim Shuttles are running on a modified schedule. Visit this link for details >
During the Spring Break and Summer - Park in the Gateway Community of Tusayan
Ride the free Tusayan Route (purple) shuttle bus into the park, and bypass the wait at the entrance gate.
Shuttles run every 20 minutes between 8 am and 9:30 pm. (20 minutes transit time to the Visitor Center.)
You must present a valid park entrance pass when boarding the bus.
You can buy an entrance pass online on recreation.gov
Plan on Arriving Early — By 9 am — If Possible. Or Later in the Day — After 4 pm
As you drive into the Village area from the South Entrance Station, or from Desert View Drive, (Hwy 64) signs will direct you to the Visitor Center complex (right side of map below)
Arriving early will enable you to find a parking spot by the visitor center and get out walking along the Rim Trail - or riding a free shuttle bus from the visitor center out to scenic overlooks.
3) After 10 am Parking Lots Fill Around the Visitor Center.
When visitor center parking lots 1–4 fill, proceed to village lots A, B, C, or D.
Lots A and B are in the Market Plaza area and are closer to the visitor center.
Lots C and D are in the Village Historic District.
RVs and vehicles with trailers should park in lots B or D. The back section of lot D has dedicated RV and trailer parking. Lots A and C do NOT have room for RVs and trailers. RVs and trailers should NOT pull across multiple regular parking spaces
Village Route (blue) shuttle bus stops are located in or near lots A, B, C, or D . The Village Route is not in service at this time. (12/1/2020)
Rim Trail access is within walking distance of lots A, B, C, or D .
4) Enter the Park at Desert View, If You Are Approaching Grand Canyon from the East.
Note: The East Entrance to the park at Desert View, and most Desert View facilities are CLOSED because of COVID-19 concerns on the Navajo Nation.
You must use the South Entrance near the town of Tusayan to enter and exit the park. (12/1/2020) more
Desert View is less crowded than Grand Canyon Village (25 miles/ 41 km to thewest.) There is ample parking at Desert View
Desert View Point features expansive views of the Colorado River and Grand Canyon geology
Park ranger programs and cultural demonstrations are presented
Visit the historic Watchtower for sweeping panoramic views of the canyon.
The nearby Tusayan Museum highlights the story of the Ancestral Puebloan Peoples of the region (3 miles - 5 km west of Desert View)
If you plan to continue driving the 25 miles/ 41 km to Grand Canyon Village, time your travel so you arrive in Grand Canyon Village after 4 pm, as the crowds are thinning out.
5) Tips for Touring Scenic Hermit Road
Hermit Road is open to all vehicles during the months of December, January and February. There is no shuttle service during these months.
Or, ride a shuttle bus to the canyon rim. From the Visitor Center, take the Kaibab Rim (Orange Route) to Yaki Point, away from the Visitor Center congestion.
With limited time, the Kaibab Rim (Orange Route) is the fastest way get from the Visitor Center to exceptional canyon views. Take the eastbound bus to Yaki Point and the South Kaibab Trailhead, or westbound bus to Yavapai Geology Museum.
The East Entrance to the park at Desert View remains Closed (12/1/20)However, you can visit and watch sunset from Grandview, Moran, Lipan, Navajo, or Desert View Point — However you must return to Grand Canyon Village and exit the park through the South Entrance (Tusayan).