Grand Canyon Visitor Center

Description

Closures & Seasonal Exceptions

 

Grand Canyon Visitor Center

  • Due to the current, COVID-19 Community Level in Coconino County, and decsions made by park leadership —masks are required this week, for all individuals over the age of two years (regardless of vaccinations status), in park buildings, and on public transportation, including the free park shuttle buses.
  • The Visitor Center Building is closed, however, an information desk staffed by park rangers is open daily from 8 am to 4 pm just outside the front of the building.
  • Trip planning, shuttle bus, ranger program schedules, and hiking information are also available through signs and exhibits outside of the building — and at other key locations throughout the park.

If you are entering through the South Entrance Station, make the Visitor Center your first stop. You can park your car in one of four parking areas, then get your first view of Grand Canyon by taking a short walk to nearby Mather Point.

NOTE: During busy periods, including spring break, summer, and fall holiday weekends, the 4 parking lots (Lots 1-4) around the Visitor Center Plaza fill by 10 am. When Visitor Center lots are full, you can proceed to lots A and B in Market Plaza and C and D in the Village Historic District. Details >

Some services in the Visitor Center Plaza are open. Some services are closed:

  • CLOSED Grand Canyon: A Journey of Wonder, a 20 minute movie that takes viewers on a rim to river and dawn to dusk journey through the park. Movie starts on the hour and half-hour. The theater is temporairly closed for renovation
  • CLOSED Explore exhibits inside the visitor center, including: a large video-enabled relief map, a Science On a Sphere® program, and displays of historic artifacts.
  • Shop at Grand Canyon Conservancy's Park Store, (Current Hours: Open 8 am - 7 pm daily) in the Visitor Center Plaza. Featured are a wide variety of books, maps, and souvenirs, to help you plan, or share your trip to Grand Canyon. Learn about the geology, ecology, and human history of the region, or find the perfect canyon-inspired gift. Your purchase goes towards protecting and enhancing Grand Canyon National Park for present and future generations. Visit Online Store >
  • Rent a bicycle or take a guided bicycle tour, through Bright Angel Bicycles, in the Visitor Center Plaza, available March through October, or when weather allows. A coffee bar with "grab and go" food options is also located here. Learn More...
 

Getting Around

SHUTTLESThe free shuttle bus system is a great way to get around the park. Many visitors choose to leave their vehicles in one of the 4 parking lots that surround the Visitor Center Plaza, and use the free shuttles to get around.

Note: When Coconino County is in High COVID-19 Community Levels, masks are required on park shuttle buses. Check the alert at the top of the page for our current status.

 

DRIVING – Even though use of the shuttle buses is encouraged in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as frustrations in finding parking, private vehicles are allowed in some areas of the park.

  • Grand Canyon Village, 2.5 miles (4 km) is open to private vehicles year-round, although parking is limited. This is the most developed area along the South Rim and includes access to lodges, restaurants, gift shops, campgrounds, parking lots, and more.
  • Desert View Drive, 23 miles (37 km), is open to private vehicles year-round, including access to viewpoints, pull-outs, picnic areas, and the developed Desert View area with a variety of visitor services.
  • Hermit Road, 7 miles (11 km) is only open to private vehicles during winter months (December - February). Private vehicles are prohibited for most of the year. The free Hermits Rest Route (Red), shuttle provides easy access to the viewpoints, Hermits Rest, and the Hermit Trail when road restrictions are in place.

Even though the shuttle bus fleet can accommodate most wheelchairs, accessibility passes are available upon request at park entrance stations and visitor centers. These passes are issued for visitors who would have difficulty using the shuttle system, for example someone confined to a wheelchair, particularly during the busy summer months when shuttles are filled to capacity.

 

WALKING – One of the best ways to view the canyon is to take a walk along the rim. The Rim Trail follows the canyon rim for 12 miles (19 km) from Pipe Creek Vista to Hermits Rest. Most of it is paved, with only 3.1 miles (5 km) unpaved between Powell Memorial and Monument Creek Vista along Hermit Road. Use the South Rim Pocket Map to check distances and locations of shuttle stops along the Rim Trail.

Ranger Suggestion: From Canyon View Information Plaza two great options are available for walking short distances along the Canyon Rim Trail.

  • Walk up to Mather Point and continue east 0.7 miles (1.2 km) to Yavapai Observation Station. The Kaibab (Orange) Route shuttle has a stop here, and it will return you to the Visitor Center, or you can continue walking to the Historic District, an additional 1.3 miles (2.1 km), and pick up the Village (Blue) Route shuttle to return you to the Visitor Center.
  • Use the Kaibab (Orange) Route shuttle to enjoy the views at Yaki Point and Pipe Creek Vista. Instead of re-boarding the bus at Pipe Creek Vista, walk the 1.3 mile (2.1 km) paved trail to Mather Point and the Visitor Center Plaza.
 

A Commitment to Renewable Energy Sources

Photovoltaic cells generate a portion of the Visitor Center’s electricity needs. Forty eight solar panels are mounted on the roof of the visitor center and an additional thirty six are mounted on poles outside. A display inside the visitor center discusses the solar panels and displays real-time data on energy produced.

More on the Greening of Grand Canyon.

Last updated: July 9, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon , AZ 86023

Phone:

928-638-7888

Contact Us

Stay Connected