February 15, 2017
Emily Davis, 928-638-7609
Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The National Park Service (NPS) will again offer shuttle bus service between Grand Canyon National Park and the neighboring town of Tusayan, Arizona in 2017. Service will begin March 1 to help ease spring break congestion on the South Rim. Those taking advantage of the shuttle service can avoid entrance station lines and parking frustrations – no lines, no hassles, no fuss. The Tusayan Route will be available from Wednesday, March 1, 2017 through Saturday, September 30, 2017 and will run at 20-minute intervals between 8 am and 9:30 pm daily.
Last year, Grand Canyon’s visitation hit an all-time high of approximately six million. Spring break is 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 am 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 am and 4 pm. 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.
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, specifically RP's Stage Stop, Canyon Plaza Resort, or Red Feather Lodge. Annual and lifetime passes are also accepted.
Visitors can park anywhere in Tusayan to take the bus, including the Best Western Squire Inn, 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 vehicles with trailers, which have limited parking options in the park. Informational signs for the shuttle bus service are posted along Highway 64 south of Tusayan, as well as at various locations within Tusayan.
Each day, the first bus leaves Tusayan at 8 am from the IMAX Theater, while the first bus will leave the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 8:25 am. The last buses will leave IMAX at 9:45 pm and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 9:30 pm daily.
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. Buses are easily identifiable and are fueled with clean-burning, compressed natural gas. All shuttle buses are wheelchair accessible and are equipped with a bike rack that can hold up to two or three bikes.
In 2016, there were approximately 126,000 boardings on the Tusayan Route, representing a reduction of about 21,000 cars entering the park. Last year, there were approximately 7.4 million boardings on the park’s shuttle system overall, representing a reduction of two million short in-park car trips.
Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Chris Lehnertz said of the service, "We are pleased to provide this shuttle service to park visitors and local residents. Utilizing this service helps to reduce crowding along park roadways and reduces our carbon footprint, further protecting Grand Canyon's unique resources. We hope everyone will continue to use and enjoy the Tusayan Route in 2017."
Information regarding the Tusayan Route and the park's other shuttle bus routes is available in the South Rim Pocket Map and Services Guide or online 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.