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Contact: Emily Davis, 928-638-7609
Grand Canyon, Ariz. –Visitors to Grand Canyon National Park this spring break can expect long lines and full parking lots. Last year, Grand Canyon's visitation hit an all-time high. Based on visitors coming to the park this spring, 2016 will probably set another record. As a result of increased spring break visitation, traffic regularly backs up at all entrance stations, with the longest wait time between 10 am and 4 pm. Parking lots, especially near Grand Canyon Visitor Center, start reaching capacity by 11 am.
"Warm sunny weather, low gas prices, and the National Park Service's Centennial year make Grand Canyon a perfect spring break destination," said Fee Business Manager Marlon Avantyr. He added, "there's no reason not to expect more visitors this year than ever before." Avantyr and other park staff encourage visitors to arrive to the park early, take advantage of the free shuttle bus system, and consider parking in Lot D at the Backcountry Office or parking lot C on Center Road. Visit www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/shuttle-buses.htm for more information about the free shuttle bus system.
Once in the park, visitors have many opportunities to experience Grand Canyon and learn about itsnatural and cultural history. Kids age 7-12 even have a chance to attend a ranger-led day camp weekends this spring. March 18-19, 25-26, and April 8-9, parents can drop their children off at park headquarters for a day full of games, discovery, and activities with park rangers. To register for this free program, call 928-638-7924 or visit www.nps.gov/grca/learn/kidsyouth/day-camps.htm
And March 19-20, 26-27, and April 2-3 from 9 am to 4 pm, visitors are invited to attend the Desert View Cultural Demonstration Series at the Desert View Watchtower.Jewelers, weavers, carvers and more from several of Grand Canyon's Traditionally Associated Tribes will be on hand demonstrating their work. Also March 19, author Frieda Ann Eswonia will give a special evening presentation called "Survival of the Yavapai" at Shrine of the Ages auditorium at 7:30 pm. These presentations and demonstrations are free and open to the public.
Grand Canyon's visitors are also encouraged to explore neighboring national parks and monuments, such as Petrified Forest National Parkand Wupatki National Monumentto help celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service. A helpful trip-planning tool, findyourpark.com has a list of park sites, experiences, events, and opportunities throughout Northern Arizona and across the country. Make your spring break unforgettable by enjoying not only Grand Canyon, but all the national park sites that make Northern Arizona unique and extraordinary!