Visitors to Grand Canyon National Park this summer can expect long lines, full parking lots and crowded conditions.
The South Entrance Station, near the town of Tusayan, experiences long lines and up to two hour wait times between 10 am - 5 pm.
To help time your arrival, monitor theentrance station webcam >
Travelers arriving from the east on Interstate 40, or from Phoenix on Interstate 17, can take US 89 from Flagstaff north to Cameron, AZ., then west on State Route 64, and enter the park through the East Entrance at Desert View (for shorter wait times at the entrance station). Note: when traveling through the Navajo Nation, wearing a mask is still mandatory in public, whether a person is vaccinated or unvaccinated.
5 Free South Rim shuttle bus routes are in operation. Face masks are required while boarding, and on the bus. There is no extra fee to use the shuttle system. Paying your entrance fees entitles you and your vehicle's occupants to unlimited use of the shuttles. Details >
South Rim Village Area — Overview Map
Visitor Center Plaza- and Mather Point
Visitors entering the park through the South Entrance Station, often make the Visitor Center Plaza their first stop. Canyon views are a short walk from here.
Four parking lots (1, 2, 3, 4) surround the plaza.
Visitor center parking lots usually fill by 12 noon. Around the village, Lots A, B, C, D provide additional free parking.,
For those visiting for the day in an RV, or pulling a trailer, three parking lots provide large pull-through spaces. Details >
The Visitor Center Building is Closed
However, an information table, just outside of the visitor center building,is staffed by park rangers from 8 am - 5 pm daily. The rangers can answer any questions you may have.
In addition, trip planning and hiking information is available through signs and exhibits outside of the building — and at other key locations throughout the park.
Note: masks must be worn in busy outdoor areas, like the Visitor Center Plaza. Signs are posted where the mask zones are located.
Visitor Center Plaza Services
Within theVisitor Center Plaza, the Park Store is open 8 am to 6 pm daily. The Park Store features a wide variety of books, maps, souvenirs, and gifts.
If you have some time to explore the park, four shuttle routes serve the Visitor Center Shuttle Bus Terminal (just east of the Plaza). Arrive early and park you vehicle in one of the lots here — and leave the driving to us!
Village (Blue) Route > Transportation to lodges, campgrounds, the Backcountry Information Center and Market Plaza (market, bank and post office).
Kaibab Rim (Orange) Route > Eastbound to the South Kaibab Trailhead, Yaki Point and Pipe Creek Vista. Westbound to Mather Point and Yavapai Geology Museum.
Hikers' Express > Early morning shuttle with service from Grand Canyon Village and the Visitor Center to South Kaibab Trailhead.
Face masks are required while boarding and inside park shuttles. This is a federal mandate which applies to all public transit.
The Scenic Hermit Road (Red) Route Shuttle >
This route does not stop at the Visitor Center Shuttle Bus Terminal. It begins at the western end of Grand Canyon Village. From the Visitor Center, you can take the Village (Blue) Route shuttle to the village, then transfer to the Hermit Road (Red) Route.
Mather Point Overlook
If you don't have a lot of time, and just want to see the canyon, take the short 5 minute walk (.3 miles/ .48 km) to nearby Mather Point.
Because it is close to the Visitor Center and parking lots, Mather Point is a busy scenic overlook. Depending upon how many people are at the overlook when you arrive, you may or may not feel comfortable entering the area.
As of September, 2021, wearing a face mask/covering is required for everyone because Mather Point is a designated Mask Zone.
For less crowded canyon views, from Mather Point, it is possible to access theCanyon Rim Trail, which provides excellent scenic walks both the the west and east along the rim of Grand Canyon.
Market Plaza's Parking lot (B), is a large lot and is centrally located: about one mile/ 1.6 km from the Visitor Center Plaza, and one mile/ 1.6 km from the historic village. You can park your vehicle here for the day.
The Village (Blue) Route Shuttle > makes 2 stops here, and it can transport you to the Visitor Center, park lodges, campgrounds, the Village Historic District, and the Backcountry Information Center.
The Historic District is a Place of Interest
The village has an historic district, Verkamp's Visitor Center, train depot, lodges, gift shops, and galleries. The Historic District also has great views of Grand Canyon. Once parked, walk along the rim to explore the area.
The Bright Angel Trailhead and the scenic Hermit Road (Red) Route shuttles also begin from here.
Parking is limited in the Historic District— if you move your vehicle you may not be able to find another parking spot until late in the afternoon.
Take a Walking Tour of the Historic District
Step back in time and wander through this historically preserved village dating back to the early 1900s.Before you visit, it is possible to view the district's buildings and sites through an interactive map.More >
An audio tour of the Historic District entitled, "Full Steam Ahead", is available here on the website. You may also download the NPS Moblie App, then navigate to Grand Canyon National Park, and toggle "save this park for offline use." This will pre-download the audio tour, and you won't have to use mobile data during your visit.
As an alternative to driving around, park your vehicle once, then ride theVillage (Blue) Route Shuttle around the South Rim.It connects lodges, campgrounds, Backcountry Information Center, Visitor Center, and Market Plaza (market, bank and post office).
Bright Angel Trail
If you can set aside 4 to 8 hours, park in the village and take a day hike into Grand Canyon on Bright Angel Trail. The trailhead is just west of Bright Angel Lodge and is clearly marked. It is also shown in the map above. Before starting down the trail, review our Hiking FAQ > and Summer Hiking Safety Tips >
Bright Angel Trail is considered the park’s premier hiking trail; the best trail for first-time hikers. It is well maintained with shade, water, and help if you need it. Bright Angel Trail is the safest trail in Grand Canyon National Park. Check with rangers when you arrive for current trail conditions.
If you are not able to find a parking spot near Bright Angel Trailhead, continue driving around the Village Loop Drive to Parking Lot D — a large lot by Maswik Lodge and the Backcountry Information Center. From Lot D, it is about a .4 mile/.65 km walk to the canyon's rim and Bright Angel Trailhead.
Starting from the Village Historic District, the Hermit Road (Red Route) shuttle bus follows the Hermit Road for 7 miles (11 km) and has spectacular views of the canyon and Colorado River. Personal vehicles are not permitted on Hermit Road between March and November.
In the morning, park in village Lot C or Lot D, and walk to the Hermit Road Transfer Station, and tour scenic Hermit Road on the free Hermit Road shuttles.
It is possible to get off at one stop, enjoy a scenic walk along the Canyon Rim Trail, then get back on the bus at the next stop.
Hermit Road is best experienced in the morning.During Summer, expect long shuttle boarding lines and wait times (between 10 am and 4 pm).
As an alternative to riding the shuttles, bicycle rentals are available from Bright Angel Bicycles located in the Visitor Center Plaza. Hermit Road is also accessible by foot or your personal bicycle. Shuttles have front loading bicycle racks, if you tire of riding.
Walk the Trail of Time
Park in the Village and Walk East along the Canyon Rim Trail from Verkamp's Visitor Center to Yavapai Geology Museum. (1.4 mile/2.3 km). This section of the rim trail, called the Trail of Time, is a geologic timeline with a series of exhibits that explain how Grand Canyon formed.
It is also possible to park at Yavapai Geology Museum and Walk West along the Trail of Time to Grand Canyon Village, spend some time exploring the village, then return to your starting point at the Musuem.
There is just one scenic drive on the South Rim that is open to private vehicles all year. The 23 mile (37 km) longDesert View Drivefeatures marvelous panoramic views of Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. There is parking at every viewpoint.
Visitors can enter and exit the park through the East Entrance at Desert View.Details >
Most Desert View services are open at this time. However, it is always a good idea to bring enough food, snacks and water for everyone in your group.