Like other national parks, Grand Canyon has seen a dramatic increase in visitation over the last few years. The South Rim experiences crowded conditions during busy periods throughout the year, including spring break, summer, and holiday times during fall and winter. You can expect:
Long entrance station lines,
Long shuttle bus lines,
Limited parking near Grand Canyon Visitor Center,
Large crowds at popular viewpoints.
However, there are ways to navigate and avoid some of this congestion to make the most of your time on the South Rim. Here are some tips:
1) Park in Tusayan and Ride the Free Shuttle into the Park
In Service between March 1, and September 27, 2020.
During the Spring Break and Summer - Park in the Gateway Community of Tusayan
Ride the free Tusayan Route (purple) shuttle bus into the park, and bypass the wait at the entrance gate.
Shuttles run every 20 minutes between 8 am and 9:30 pm. (20 minutes transit time to the Visitor Center.)
You must present a valid park entrance pass when boarding the bus.
You can buy an entrance pass online on recreation.gov Alert: Begining this morning, digital pass options are not available - until further notice. Please do not attempt to purchase. (3/18/2020) An online pass will admit everyone traveling with you in your car or personal vehicle. More about pass options and Buying your Pass Online.
3) After 10 am Parking Lots Fill Around the Visitor Center.
When visitor center parking lots 1–4 fill, proceed to village lots A, B, C, or D.
Lots A and B are in the Market Plaza area and are closer to the visitor center.
Lots C and D are in the Village Historic District.
RVs and vehicles with trailers should park in lots B or D. The back section of lot D has dedicated RV and trailer parking. Lots A and C do NOT have room for RVs and trailers. RVs and trailers should NOT pull across multiple regular parking spaces
Or, ride a shuttle bus to the canyon rim. From the visitor center, take the Kaibab Rim (Orange Route) to Yaki Point, away from the village congestion.
With limited time, the Kaibab Rim (Orange Route) is the fastest way get from the Visitor Center to exceptional canyon views. Take the eastbound bus to Yaki Point and the South Kaibab Trailhead, or westbound bus to Yavapai Geology Museum.