May 24, 2016
Emily Davis, 928-638-7609
Grand Canyon, Ariz. –Visitors to Grand Canyon National Park over Memorial Day weekend can expect long lines, crowds, and full parking lots. Last year, Grand Canyon's visitation hit an all-time high and the park is already seeing an increase over last year's numbers. The park anticipates a busier-than-normal holiday weekend.
To avoid the longest lines and busiest times, park staff encourages visitors to arrive before 9 am. Visitors can expect to wait an hour or more at the entrance stations during the busiest times of day, between 9 am and 2 pm. Once in the park on the South Rim, visitors should park their cars and take advantage of the free shuttle buses. Parking for the day in the gateway community of Tusayan is also encouraged, especially for RVs and vehicles pulling trailers. From Tusayan, visitors can ride the shuttle into the park and connect with the rest of the shuttle system at Grand Canyon Visitor Center. South Rim visitors can also purchase park entrance passes in Tusayan at the Best Western Squire Inn, Canyon Plaza Resort, Red Feather Lodge, Grand Canyon Trading Post, National Geographic Visitor Center (IMAX), and R.P.'s Stage Shop and use the pre-paid lanes for quicker entrance.
Mather Campground on the South Rim is sold out through the Memorial Day weekend. Nearby, the Kaibab National Forest's Ten-X Campground and Camper Village in Tusayan may have campsites available. Desert View Campground has first-come, first-served sites, which are expected to fill early. The North Rim Campground is also full for the holiday weekend. DeMotte Campground on the Kaibab National Forest, seven miles north of the North Rim entrance, has some first-come, first-served sites available.
On the North Rim, staff invites the public to the new Centennial Science Speaker Series. In celebration of the NPS Centennial, North Rim staff will host scientists, researchers, authors, and more to share their research and stories with visitors. Geologist and author Wayne Ranney will give the series' first presentations May 29 at 3 pm on the veranda of Grand Canyon Lodge, 8:30 pm in the lodge auditorium, and May 30 at 10 am on the visitor center porch.
On the South Rim, on June 2 at 11 am at McKee Amphitheater, the United States Postal Service will have a first day of issue ceremony for the new Grand Canyon Forever stamp. The stamp will be for sale following the ceremony.
At the Desert View Watchtower, the Cultural Demonstration series will host Beverly Blacksheep, Gwen Setalla, and Gayland Spencer. They will demonstrate painting and pottery making Friday, May 27 through Sunday, May 29.
For shuttle bus information, visit https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/shuttle-buses.htm. For the Centennial Science Speaker Series calendar, go to https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/calendar.htmor call Park Ranger Jessica Pope at 928-638-7647 for more information.