April 7, 2016
Emily Davis, 928-638-7609
Grand Canyon, Ariz. –Grand Canyon National Park will waive entrance fees April 16-24, 2016 to celebrate National Park Week and the National Park Service Centennial.
Park ranger programs will be available all week long including history and geology programs, fossil walks, and condor talks. For more information about ranger-led walks and talks visit https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/ranger-program.htm.
An Earth Day celebration will take place April 22at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center plaza from 10 am to 2 pm, and feature information on local and national environmental initiatives, games, and a recycled art sculpture. Volunteers and Grand Canyon National Park's Vegetation Program team will replant native species and remove exotic plants around the visitor center.
At Desert View, visitors can attend the Cultural Demonstration Series at the Watchtower. April 16 and 17, join Zuni inlay jewelers Tony Eriacho, Jr. and Ola Eriacho and Zuni fetish carver James Cheama at the Watchtower. The weekend of April 23 and 24, the demonstrators are Duane Tawahongva, Hopi silversmith, and Mike Tucson, Zuni fetish carver. The demonstrations are free and open to the public and run from 9 am to 4 pm.
During National Park Week, visitors can expect long lines at the entrance stations, crowded parking lots, and limited lodging and camping availability. Mather Campground takes reservations and sets aside a few first-come, first-served sites, which typically fill by noon. Desert View Campground, first-come, first-served only, opens for the season on April 17. Park rangers remind visitors that camping must be done in the designated campgrounds. The neighboring Kaibab National Forest has additional camping options.
While visiting the Grand Canyon area, visitors can also explore neighboring national parks and monuments. Findyourpark.com, a helpful trip-planning tool, has a list of park sites, experiences, events, and opportunities throughout Northern Arizona and across the country.
The fee-free designation does not affect fees for camping, reservations, tours or use of concessions. Park entrance stations will have Interagency Senior and Annual Passes available for those who wish to purchase them. Those who plan to spend time in the park beyond April 24 will need to pay the regular entrance fee for the remainder of their stay.
The National Park Service will continue celebrating its centennial year with additional fee-free days in 2016. Those dates are August 25 through 28 for the NPS Birthday celebration, September 24 for National Public Lands Day, and November 11 for Veterans Day. For additional information about NPS fee-free days visit https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm.