Insider tip: Avoid long lines at the South Rim by getting there early, or prepay your park entrance fee before you get there at one of two National Park Service Pay Stations located at the Valle Travel Stop in Valle, Arizona (between Williams and the South Rim at the Junction of Highway 180 & 64) or at the IMAX Theatre in Tusayan (1 mile South of the Park Entrance). Pre-purchasing your Grand Canyon Pass will allow you to pass through one of two Express Lane when entering the park. If you’re visiting two or three National Parks on your vacation, see Travel Tip 23 about the “America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Lands Access Pass.”
Grand Canyon West is part of the Hualapai Indian Tribal Lands, which are separate from the National Park. Entrance fees here start at $29/person. Activities such as sightseeing tours, helicopter flights, cultural performances or the Grand Canyon Skywalk cost more.
Travel Tip 10 - Can I Drive My Car in the Park?
All viewpoints on the North Rim are usually accessible to private vehicles. The North Rim is recovering from a major forest fire, which means that temporary road closures may result to facilitate clean-up and restoration efforts. These should primarily affect off-road areas, but for your safety, please steer clear of the burn area and obey all road closure signs.
On the South Rim, the West Rim Drive (a.k.a. the “Hermit Road”) is closed to private vehicles from March through November, during which time complimentary shuttle service is offered to these overlooks. This shuttle line is known as the “Hermit’s Rest Route” or the “Red Line ” and begins at the West Rim Interchange near Bright Angel Lodge.
Shuttle service is also offered to the various hotels, restaurants and gift shops in the Grand Canyon Village area. The “Village Loop Route,” also known as the “Blue Line” runs year- round. It is highly recommended that you use this shuttle service whenever possible. Parking spaces inside the park are at a premium during peak travel periods. Shuttles pick up the various stops approximately every 15 minutes from sunrise to sunset. Check your information packet that you receive at the park gates for exact times. The East Rim Drive (or the “Desert View Road”) is open to private vehicles year-round, with the exception of Yaki Point and the South Kaibab Trailhead. This area is served by shuttle busses (the “Kaibab Trail Route” or the “Green Line” ) year-round.
When you enter the park, you will be given a map and schedule of activities by the staff at the entrance gate. These will indicate which roads you can use to tour Grand Canyon South Rim. Be sure to obey any and all road closure signs you may encounter.
At Grand Canyon West, which is separate from Grand Canyon National Park, you can drive your vehicle into the complex, but remember that the main access road is unpaved. A “park and ride” shuttle is offered at the Grand Canyon West Welcome Center in Meadview.